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Meet the women-led web3 startups from Thousand Faces’ demo day

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Thousand Faces, a web3 community-based investment group, hosted its demo day on Wednesday with the top 10 startups from its Female Founder Accelerator program.

The demo day coincided with International Women’s Day and featured women-led businesses focused on sustainable development goals (SDGs). The accelerator program’s first cohort accepted 30 startups from a pool of over 220 applicants across 76 countries.

The 10 startups are pitching for a spot in the top five to be eligible for one-on-one mentorship and up to €50,000 in cash rewards and prizes that will be awarded next month, the group said.

Here’s a breakdown of Thousand Faces’ top 10 startups the Female Founder Accelerator:

Company name: Kleiderly

  • What it does: Recycle textile waste
  • Founder: Alina Bassi
  • Country: Germany
  • The pitch: Kleiderly recycles unwanted textile waste and turns that into its patented plastic alternative in hopes of replacing the need for plastics. The material aims to replace oil-based plastics and produce items ranging from eyewear to suitcases, Bassi said during demo day. To date, it has saved 20,000 shirts from going to landfill, Bassi added. The startup estimates each corporate customer can save about 12,500 kilograms of CO2e, equivalent to 1.5 million smartphones charged or 13,800 pounds of coal burned.

Company name: SALUBATA

  • What it does: Shoes made of recycled plastic
  • Founder: Yewande Akinse
  • Country: Nigeria
  • The pitch: SALUBATA makes patented modular shoes from recycled plastic waste in an effort to decrease the global carbon footprint. The shoes are customizable and are also available as NFTs. The startup has strategic partnerships with companies like Amazon and Faire and has sold over 6,000 shoes to date. It is currently registered in Nigeria, France and the U.S. and is looking to raise $3 million to scale globally, Akinse shared.

Company name: SOULA (legal name MAMATECH Inc.)

  • What it does: Pre- and post-pregnancy app
  • Founder: Natallia Miranchuk
  • Country: Cyprus
  • The pitch: The SOULA app is an AI-powered guide for 24/7 informational and mental health support during pregnancy, birth and postpartum care. The application provides personalized educational content and emotional support with a virtual assistant or “pocket” version of a doula. It is currently raising a seed round to invest in business development and grow its product development.

Company name: AkwaaPay

  • What it does: Payments solution
  • Founder: Christine Dikonguè
  • Country: Canada and Nigeria
  • The pitch: AkwaaPay leverages web3 infrastructure to help African businesses and individuals make and receive payments internationally. The platform allows users to receive money in their wallets in cryptocurrencies or convert it to local currencies. The startup launched its beta product in Q4 2022 and has 384 users registered across three countries. It hopes to expand in 15 different currencies across 44 countries by the end of the year, Dikonguè said during her pitch.

Company name: Jonda Health

  • What it does: Health network with patient-facing app
  • Founder: Suhina Singh
  • Country: Singapore
  • The pitch: Jonda Health aims to improve health data available to patients. It’s building out a “Lego-like tech stack” to provide a host of capabilities to clients to improve care coordination, reduce costs and improve health outcomes for patients, among other things, Singh shared during her pitch. The platform adheres to data privacy laws and uses zero-knowledge encryption to store data in a secure way, Singh added.

Company name: Radava Mercantile

  • What it does: Links agriculture to financial markets
  • Founder: Josephine Adeti Otieno
  • Country: Kenya
  • The pitch: Radava aims to link small agriculture farmers in sub-Saharan Africa to financial markets. It provides an agricultural commodity exchange market, alternative financing and post-harvest technologies to farmers. The startup also gives farmers the ability to use their produce as collateral to access loans and real-time market information. In the past six months, it has traded over 540 tons on its platform across over 650 customers and users for around $26,000 in revenue, Otieno shared.

Company name: Biiah

  • What it does: Singing wellness platform
  • Founder: Xann Schwinn, Suzi Digby Obe
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • The pitch: Biiah is an employee wellness platform that aims to make singing accessible in-person, virtually or through an application to establish a daily singing routine and help users improve their health. The platform is focused on large corporations in the U.K. and U.S. and has 12 recurring clients and has had 24 total clients to date, Schwinn said. ExxonMobil is a client, and 92% of employees who used it said “it made a positive impact on their workweek,” she added.

Company name: Qerat Startup

  • What it does: Food product
  • Founder: Salma Essa
  • Country: Syria
  • The pitch: Qerat Startup aims to provide “food for good,” or food security, by using a commonly wasted resource, carob, for nourishment. The prototype consists of coffee, sweetened bread and chocolate and is suitable for diabetic, cardiac and hypertension patients. To date, it has six partners, including UNICEF, and works with 22 farmers and 20 schools.

Company name: CONCAT Tech

  • What it does: Web development company
  • Founder: Laura Jardine
  • Country: U.K./Lebanon
  • The pitch: CONCAT creates websites for clients internationally while providing long-term, sustainable employment for marginalized communities like refugees. It has over 50 clients across 12 different countries and has generated $90,000 in revenue to date. It also has provided employment to about 15 marginalized refugees and/or female developers, Jardine shared.

Company name: Majik Water

  • What it does: Clean water technology
  • Founder: Beth Wanjiku Koigi
  • Country: Kenya
  • The pitch: Majik Water is a Kenyan social enterprise that aims to provide access to clean drinking water in arid and semi-arid regions through air-to-water technology and devices. Even if you’re in a desert, you can get drinking water, Koigi said. The startup has over 20 large-scale devices and 10 small-scale devices producing over 300,000 liters of water monthly to over 2,500 beneficiaries in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia. It is raising a $200,000 preferred equity round to help with manufacturing and has $190,000 in grant funding secured, Koigi said.

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