Uganda’s startup firm, mSCAN has beaten competitors from Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia and others to TechCrunch’s $25, 000 grants.The firm defeated 15 other startups from SSA including, Apollo Agriculture, LabTech, Sud-pay, Bettr, FoodHubs, Honey Flow Africa, AgriPredict, Max, CodeLn, Bankly, Powerstove Energy, Pineapple and Trend Solar to the coveted prize.
At the TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa 2018 pitching event, held in Lagos on Tuesday, mSCAN, a firm that develops portable mobile ultrasound devices (Ultrasonic probes), was crowned as Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) most promising startup.
The runner up was Bettr, a virtual banking experience powered by the smartphone and data was the runner up. Bettr is a startup from South Africa.TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa 2018, sponsored by Facebook, sought to find SSA best innovators, makers and technical entrepreneurs. Africa’s second TechCrunch Startup Battlefield built on and exceeded the breakthrough success of last year’s event in Nairobi, Kenya.
The organizers explained that aside the award of $25,000 in cash, mSCAN will also have a trip for two to compete in Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch’s flagship event, Disrupt in 2019 in San Francisco.They explained that this is a valuable boost for the winner in a continent where funding—particularly venture capital investment—is in short supply.
Since 2007, 778 Battlefield startups have raised a collective $8.5 billion in funding after launching on stage, with a total of 105 exits. In the past year, TechCrunch has held Startup Battlefield across the globe in cities including Sao Paulo, Beirut, Sydney and Nairobi.
In Startup Battlefield Africa, M-SCAN follows in the footsteps of the 2017 winner, Lori Systems, which has significantly grown revenue, headcount and geographical reach since competing in the event. Hailing from Kenya, Lori Systems have built a logistics platform that is revolutionising the cargo-transport value chain in Africa.
Editor at Large, TechCrunch, Mike Butcher, said: “Africa’s tech ecosystems is really coming into its own as successful entrepreneurs scale up their businesses and achieve good exits and IPOs. The strength of the entries for this year’s Startup Battlefield Africa 2018 confirms that there is no shortage of creative inventors, makers and entrepreneurs in sub Saharan Africa.
“We are excited to showcase great startups that not only have the potential to produce an exit in the years to come, but which are also using technology to solve real-world problems in innovative ways, from healthcare to financial inclusion.
There is some world-class technology coming out of Africa, which promises to help drive prosperity across the continent and position it as an important player in the digital economy of the future.”
From his perspective, Facebook’s Head of Developer Programmes, Emeka Afigbo, noted that at Facebook, nothing excites more than supporting the work of diverse talent and young businesses, “so we have been thrilled to see some of Africa’s innovative and disruptive startups tell their stories at Startup Battlefield 2018. I’m excited to see these startups flourish and provide truly Pan-African and global solutions for the future”