The program, held virtually, provided these startups with funding ($100,000 convertible note and $20,000 stipend), mentorship and access to its network. For Treepz and TalentQL, the acceptance also served as an opportunity to operate from Canada with a modest ambition to become global companies.
While two African startups made the cut in the fourth class, the number from the now-announced fifth class is fourfold. Another change is the total number of startups in a class which has increased from 10 to 12.
Out of the 12, eight startups focused on the continent have been selected to participate in the three-month program (culminating in a Demo Day) slated to start today.
The African startups selected in Techstars Toronto’s October 2021 class include Lenco, OurPass, Healthtracka, Rentsmallsmall, Kyshi, Duhga, Fleri and PayDay. Here are a few details about them.
Healthtracka is a digital health platform that provides at-home lab testing, sample collection and result collection in less than three days. Rentsmallsmall is an on-demand home rental service that offers monthly payment plans.
Kyshi is a U.K.-based but Africa-focused fintech that helps people send and receive money to and from Africa. Duhqa is a last-mile end-to-end supply chain and distribution platform. Fleri helps immigrants provide healthcare and insurance for their loved ones back home from the U.S. PayDay facilitates transactions between Africa and the world by assisting foreign employers and clients pay people in the continent.
“What has happened is that the overall performance of Techstars has been very good, in part because of the [previous] African companies — Treepz, Korapay, Quidax, TalentQL, Fliqpay,” Sharma told TechCrunch in an interview. “So to answer the question of why we are doubling down on Africa, we are actually more than quadrupling down and it is because we see the future.”