Founders Factory Africa (FFA) announced that it has accepted five new startups into their Venture Scale programme, which kicked off on February 3, 2020.
Nigerian agritech, FoodLocker, was among the selected startups and will participate in the 6-month-long programme. Other startups include Kenyan last-mile FMCG startup Bwala Africa and three South African startups — medical booking platform LocumBase, medtech company Envisionit Deep AI, and biomedical startup Akili Labs.
According to FFA, all five startups have product offerings directed at the continent’s fintech and healthtech sectors. Aided by the technical and operational expertise offered at the programme, these startups will have the opportunity to access an investment of £30,000 ($40,000) as well as £220,000 ($287,000) in various support services like product development, data science, engineering, business development and growth marketing.
Co-founder and CEO of Founders Factory Africa, Roo Rogers, gave his reasons on why the startups were selected.
“The five businesses joining the Venture Scale programme represent some of the best of African entrepreneurship and innovation. From point-of-care DNA testing to agricultural logistics, the Founders Factory Africa portfolio has the potential to truly drive economic growth and transform the continent. We’re incredibly excited to be part of the growth of these businesses and to deliver their true scale potential.”
We’re excited to announce that we’ve joined the Venture Scale programme at Founders Factory Africa – kicking off today. Over the next 6 months, we’ll be teaming up with FFA and @SBGroup to grow our business and scale across the continent! #FFAShowcase2020https://t.co/BA7cXUX2ZR pic.twitter.com/c0Uh8XeJWg
— FoodlockerAfrica (@FoodlockerNG) February 3, 2020
In addition to the hands-on support provided, FoodLocker and other participating startups will also have access to exclusive partnerships with FFA’s pan-African corporate investors, Standard Bank and Netcare. This will help solve the scaling challenges that a lot of early-stage startups face.
Since launching in 2017, FoodLocker has been on an upward trajectory. Founded by Femi Aiki and Jennifer Okoduwa, it started as a foodstuff and grocery startup that aggregates the outputs of smallholder farmers and FMCGs, then sells to large buyers. With that model, the startup finished runner-up in the Pitch Storm segment of Techpoint Build.
Now, FoodLocker has a slightly different model as it forecasts foodstuff demand through deep machine learning, thus enabling large-scale buyers to efficiently procure fast-moving consumer goods and fresh produce from smallholder farmers.
In December 2019, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University(UM6P), having launched its accelerator programme in Morocco, noticed the startup and selected it alongside fifteen others to participate in its intensive 12-week long programme between January 15 and April 8, 2020.
In a space of two months, FoodLocker has been selected to participate in yet another programme, this time with Founders Factory Africa. The programme was launched in October 2019 by Founders Factory to design, build, and scale 140 disruptive tech startups across Africa over the next five years.