M-SCAN, a company that develops portable mobile ultrasound devices (Ultrasonic probes), was crowned as Sub-Saharan Africa’s Most Promising Startup at TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa 2018, held in Lagos, Nigeria on 11 December. Bettr, a virtual banking experience powered by the smartphone and data was the runner up.
TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa 2018, sponsored by Facebook, sought to find Sub-Saharan Africa’s 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.
Fifteen African companies were shortlisted from hundreds of entries and competed to be chosen as Sub-Saharan Africa’s Most Promising Startup. The overall winning startup’s founders will be awarded US$25,000 in cash plus a trip for two to compete in Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch’s flagship event, Disrupt in 2019. 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.
“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,” says Mike Butcher, Editor at Large, TechCrunch.
“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.”
At Facebook, nothing excites us 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,” says Emeka Afigbo, Facebook’s Head of Developer Programmes. “I’m excited to see these startups flourish and provide truly Pan-African and global solutions for the future”