Nine startups join Safaricom’s Spark Accelerator program

Safaricom, M-PESA Africa, and Sumitom corporation have launched the Spark Accelerator Program, designed to empower early stage startups with the tools and support they need to thrive. The plan promises to foster innovation and growth by offering critical resources to the founders who have been picked from various categories including Embedded Finance, Future Fintech, SME Productivity Tools, and Content.

Through the program, startups will get training, mentorship, go-to-market support, access to markets, technology, product development, and capital.

“Leveraging technology to drive meaningful innovation is a strong premise under which the Spark Accelerator program was founded. By supporting and investing in these tech-enabled startups, we aim to drive significant societal change and economic growth. We are excited to work with visionary founders who represent the promise of tomorrow and to see the impact they will create in their respective sectors,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.

Spotlight on the selected startups

The first cohort of the Spark Accelerator will include two startups under Embedded Finance category namely Chumz, a startup that is leveraging mobile money, gamification, and behavioral psychology to build a community of savers and Nobuk which is streamlining payment collection and reconciliation for African groups and collectives, simplifying financial reporting.

Four startups were shortlisted under the SME Productivity Tools category. These include, Chpter which empowers businesses to sell more on social platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram by automating conversations, marketing and payments all in one place, through an AI powered platform.

Faidi HR, a one in all Cloud Payroll and HR Platform for Businesses, Churpy which seeks to automate repetitive and manual tasks in the office of the “CFO” and Twiva, a social-commerce platform that helps brands to effectively gain access to markets by leveraging social media influencers to market their goods and services.

HealthX Africa, a data driven, primary health care provider offering hybrid digital and physical touch points, with the goal of providing a doctor for every Kenyan and BlackRhino VR that is enabling creators and brands alike, to tell immersive and interactive stories that are appealing to contemporary audiences, were shortlisted under the content category.

Read also: Sparking growth in emerging tech startups

VunaPay, a platform for Agricultural Cooperatives that facilitates instant payment to smallholder farmers for produce delivered to the cooperatives was shortlisted under the Future Fintech category.

“By leveraging our extensive global business know-how with excellent operations and customer base of Safaricom and M-PESA Africa, we are excited to expand digital financial services and contribute to the development of the Kenyan and African economies, human resource development and a more prosperous life through supporting and collaborating with advanced startups,” said Katsuya Kashiki, General Manager of Smart Communication Platform SBU, Sumitomo Corporation.

“In alignment with our commitment to accelerating innovation for African prosperity, we are excited to welcome these startups into the programme. Their unique solutions harness transformative opportunities to leverage technology to significantly improve the quality of lives of millions of Kenyans. We look forward to supporting the startups to optimize their offerings, scale their solutions and expand their impact,” said Nissi Madu, Managing Partner at iHUB/CcHUB.

[email protected]

Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every month.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.