The Y Combinators Summer Batch 2021 includes 377 startups representing 47 countries. This is the 33rd Demo Day for the well-known accelerator, and it holds the largest ever cohort. YC S20 saw 198 startups last year, which is a 90% increase over the previous year.
Half of the companies represented live outside the U.S. India has 33 startups, while the U.K. has 18 and Mexico has 17. Singapore has 12 and Canada and Brazil have 11.
The Demo Day for the winter batch took place in one day. It took two days for the summer batch. Today's pitching will include 189 companies, and tomorrow will be the rest.
African startups increased by 10 to 15 in the winter batch, a record number of African startups in a single YC class.
This batch is our largest ever and it's about half international. This makes it not surprising that this cohort is Africa's largest, Y Combinator managing Director and group arptner Michael Seibel said to TechCrunch, when asked if there was any other factor that contributed to the increase in African startups.
Another reason could be the fact that YC is receiving more applications from Africa because of the success stories of Flutterwave and Paystack. Kat Maalac (head of Outreach at YC) agrees with this view.
Alumni are the best representatives and spokespeople for YC. Many African founders and future founders I've met were encouraged to see Paystack succeed and be acquired. TechCrunch spoke to her about how the success stories of many of our African alumni inspire more African teams to apply.
Nigeria is the leader with five startups. Egypt has four, Morocco two and South Africa one. Below is the alphabetical list of African startups that made it into YC S21.
Africa is home to the lowest levels of insurance penetration. The insurance penetration rate in Egypt is a mere 1%.
Amenli was founded in 2020 by Adham Nauman and Shady El Tohfa. It is the first licensed online broker of insurance in the country.
This year, emerging markets are experiencing a wave of disruption in digitizing informal retail shops. Chari is part of this wave.
Chari was founded in 2020 by Sophia Alj and Ismael Bekhayat. Chari allows traditional Moroccan and North African retailers to place orders via its platform. It also handles free delivery to their shops. Chari also offers credit to these retailers through its fintech side.
Neobanks are taking the world by storm, and Africa is the last frontier of this fintech innovation. Fingo, a new brand of banking for African millennials, is starting in Kenya.
The digital bank was founded by Kiiru Moya Gitari James da Costa in 2020. It claims that fees are 90% lower than traditional banks in Kenya.
FloatPays (South Africa).
South Africa has up to 5,000,000 employees who borrow money to cover their monthly expenses after exhausting their salary. These employees have to pay outrageous interest rates for their loans.
Simon Ward founded FloatPays as an on-demand wage access platform in 2019 to assist employees with accessing, spending, saving, and managing their money.
Delivery business managers manage hundreds to thousands of deliveries every day. A fleet of vans or trucks can be complicated and requires that each truck or van has a separate delivery plan. How can they maximize efficiency and cost savings?
Enter Freterium. Freterium allows contractors, manufacturers and logisticians to plan, optimize and optimize B2B and B2C shipments. It also provides a cloud platform that gives real-time visibility into shipments, logistics infrastructure, and seamless collaboration. Freterium was founded by Mehdi Cherif alami and Omar El Kouhene in 2018.
Infiuss Health (Nigeria)
Due to time constraints, a large number of Africans have been exempted from clinical research studies. According to reports, these studies can take up to ten years to complete in these climes.
Infiuss Health claims it is creating a platform that allows remote research and clinical trials to be conducted in Africa. How does it work? In less than one week, researchers can connect directly with patients who are interested in participating in clinical research studies.
Mbah Charles and Melissa Bime founded the company in 2020.
Lemonade Finance (Nigeria).
Millions of African immigrants live in Europe and North America. Many have started businesses in these two regions as well as in Africa.
Lemonade Finance, another digital bank play, offers multi-currency accounts to these migrants in order to facilitate seamless banking and transactions. Rian Cochran, Ridwan Olalere and Ridwan Olalere founded the company in 2020.
Mecho Autotech (Nigeria).
Because of quality and pricing issues, it can be difficult to repair a vehicle in Africa. This is because many mechanics (professionals) are not vetted.
Mecho Autotech was founded by Olusegun Owoade and Ayoola Akinkunmi in 2021 to provide an on-demand platform for auto maintenance and repairs. Mecho Autotech has established a network for vetted mechanics. Car owners can book their services and pay via an app.
Odiggo, like its predecessor, connects car owners to mobile mechanics in Middle East. Car owners have access to additional services on the platform such as car washing and maintenance.
Odiggo is listed as a Dubai-based business on the YC database. However, Odiggo has roots in Egypt and started operations in North Africa first.
Access to credit remains a major problem for Nigeria's millions of small and medium-sized businesses, which account for most of the country's businesses.
Payhippo was founded in 2019 by Zach Bijesse and Uche Nnadi.
When opening new revenue streams to emerging markets, water and electricity distributors face losses due to thefts and leakages.
Pylon is an infrastructure management platform that distributes these companies. It helps reduce losses. Omar Radi and Ahmed Ashour founded it in 2017.
Merchants can find it difficult to manage their fulfilment and delivery needs when they start an e-commerce business. ShipBlu, an Egyptian platform that offers solutions to this growing need, is just one of many.
ShipBlu was founded by Ahmed ElKawass and Ali Nasser in 2020. It claims to offer an entire range of delivery services to e-commerce merchants, from overnight delivery to delivery to delivery within five to seven days.
Another digitizing-informal-retail-stores play, this time from Nigeria. Suplias, a B2B marketplace that allows mom-and--op shops in Africa to buy inventory from manufacturers directly via a mobile app, is called Suplias.
In 2019, Stephen Igwue and Michael Adesanya founded the company.
African fintechs specialize in providing physical and virtual cards to customers. It's not easy or cheap to do this in partnership with banks.
Union54, an alternative to the bank, provides an API that allows them to issue debit cards faster and cheaper. In 2021, Perseus Mlambo and Alessandra Martini founded it.
Yemaachi Biotechnology (Ghana).
Yemaachi Biotechnology was founded in 2020 by Yaw Attua Afari, Yaw Beziako, David Hutchful, Joyce Ngoi and Yaw Bediako. The startup idea is to diversify precision-cancer diagnostics and treatments across Africa, starting with Ghana.
In 2018, there were 752,000 new cases of cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, which is 4% of all the cases worldwide. Yemaachi works to reduce the burden of cancer by developing molecular diagnostics that are universally applicable for Africans.