LifeBank is a healthcare technology and logistics startup that works with hospitals round the clock to find lifesaving products lsuch as blood, blood products, oxygens and vaccines, and deliver to the hospitals in the right conditions across Africa. It was founded in 2016 by Temie Giwa Tubosun in Lagos, Nigeria.
The platform is able to sort orders based on urgency, location and price. Dispatch riders convey the products in padlocked boxes that can only be opened by the recipient using a Bluetooth connection or key. The startup uses data, smart logistics, and a combination of AI and blockchain in discovery and transportation of medical products in Africa. Recently, they partnered with Google to design a system to connect blood banks to hospitals via Google Maps Platform, thus decreasing delivering time from 24 hours to less than 45 minutes. According to LifeBank founder, Temie Giwa-Tubosun,
“Donated blood has a shelf life of just six weeks…The doctors need the blood and the blood banks who are discarding blood needed to somehow find a way to communicate with each other. We are solving this problem by using the Google Maps Platform to create an interface by mapping each location involved in blood distribution across Lagos- from hospitals to blood banks to the delivery drivers.”
Currently, the organization, using WHO-approved equipment, has moved 14,732 products, served 781 hospitals in Nigeria, signed up 5282 donors and saved 4151 lives. LifeBank’s mission, however, is to save 1 million lives. Earlier in 2015, before their official launch, they incubated at the CoCreation Hub and received a $25,000 investment. In 2018, they closed a $200,000 seed round with EchoVC, Fola Laoye and Co-Creation Hub though its Growth Capital Fund, being chief investors. In that same year, they won the MIT Solve Global Challenge in health category, receiving an additional $50,000 in equity-free funding to aid in its expansion plans to Abuja and Kaduna, where it will plans to engage with government hospitals.
Mines.io is a technology company that provides a cloud-based platform that facilitates local institutions- banks, mobile operators, retailers- to offer credit to their customers in countries without functioning credit bureaus. They developed a proprietary credit rating and anti-fraud system to do so. Mines was founded in 2014 by a group of computer scientists working on an artificial intelligence project at Stanford University- Ekechi Nwokah, Kunle Olukotun and Adia Sowho.
Mines provides credit-as-a-service products to large firms. The platform builds machine learning algorithms on customer phone records, bank records, and payment transactions to assess credit risk, along with full automation to manage the credit application and delivery process. Using artificial
intelligence and their proprietary credit rating, the system is able to determine the creditworthiness of the customer in 60 seconds. According to TechCrunch, “most of Mines’ partnerships entail white-label lending products offered on mobile phones, including non-smart USSD phones.” It has become the world’s most powerful platform for consumer credit in emerging markets. Operations began in Nigeria, with its product, Kwikmoney becoming one of the most popular online lending services in the country. It counts telecom giant, Airtel, and payment processor, Interswitch, as current partners.
Crunchbase noted that in 2014, Mines raised $938,000 in seed funding from X Seed Capital, and another $2.2 million in a seed round led by First Ally Capital in 2016. A year later, Western Technology Investment provided debt financing of $1 million. In 2018, the financial technology startup received $13 million in venture funding in a Series A round led by TPG’s The Rise Fund to scale into new markets in South America and Southeast Asia.
CrowdForce is Africa’s largest offline distribution network. They empower businesses to drive mass adoption of digital, crypto and financial services to undeserved population in their communities. Crowdforce was founded by Oluwatomi Ayorinde and Damilola Ayorinde in 2016, with headquarters in San Francisco, USA and operations in Nigeria.
Currently, CrowdForce has 7000 active merchants, 90000 active agents and provided a payment value of $10,000,000 to merchants. They plan to build an ecosystem of 1 million merchants that will render penetrative market research and financial inclusion services to the billions of consumers in Africa and other emerging markets. CrowdForce has two products: MobileForms and PayForce. MobileForms is a data and analytics platform that empowers decision makers with real-time, actionable intelligence gotten directly from real individuals living in the communities, leveraging the power of field agent crowdsourcing and mobile technology. Whereas PayForce is a payments platform, that helps banks and fintech startups collect payments from the mass market through its merchant network, and provides these merchants with the tools to drive adoption of cross border digital and crypto services for the next billion consumers.
According to Crunchbase, Crowdforce (MobileForms) has raised $270,000 from investors such as Ventures Capital, 500 Startups and Right Side Capital Management LLC. In 2018, they launched a Presale, building partnerships with companies like Tokenpals, ICOBox, Flashcoin, and most recently, Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange, Huobi.
29. Connected Analytics:
Connected Analytics is an analytics platform that helps businesses grow with the aid of data. With rewards, they can understand customer spending patterns, customers value and retention, as well as
aid customers earn/save on deals, whilst helping merchants improve in client acquisition and retention. It was founded in Lagos, Nigeria in 2018 by Madonna Ononobi, Simeon Ononobi, Suraj Supekar and Harshal Gandole.
ThankUCash is their premier product. It is a multi-merchant rewards platform that allows merchants embrace more customers by rewarding them. It aims to connect businesses to their customers like never before by helping these customers save on every purchase, and businesses grow through every transaction. The platform currently boasts of 24,363 members, 150 merchants, and has helped customers save N13,000,345. Some of its merchants include: Payporte, Game, Wings N’ Slides, Coffee Plus, Fruits2Go and the Meaty Café.
According to Crunchbase, Connected Analytics has raised over $210,000 in 3 rounds from investors like Niche Capital, Microtraction, Ventures Platform, Guan Company Ltd, Click Capital and Victor Ohioze Imevbore. The startup also took part in the 2018 Google LaunchPad Accelerator Africa.
30. Schoolable (formerly, Allpro):
Schoolable is a fintech company focused on providing access to affordable finance in the private school system in Africa. They believe access to affordable finance is the greatest barrier to quality education in Africa, and are on a mission to make finance available to all players in the school value chain. Schoolable was founded by Henry Nnalue and Angela Essien in 2018.
According to Yele Badamosi of Microtraction,
“Their solution underwrites credit risk for lenders while making access to credit easy for various stakeholders in the school system (school owners, parents and teachers). With Allpro, school owners don’t only enjoy the benefits of having a functioning school management system solution, but they don’t have to worry about the difficulty in accessing capital for infrastructural development and cash flow financing. On the other hand, parents can now pay for their children’s school fees with ease, save towards it, or pay with a low interest microloan.”
Schoolable invested and signed an exclusive partnership with SchoolCompass, giving them direct access to 2000+ school owners. In just a few months after launch in 2018, they were in 30+ schools, with a waiting list of over 90 schools, had processed $1.4 million in fee payments and had over 12,000 students on the platform. In that same year, they received initial $15,000 investment from Microtraction, and has sinced received an additional seed funding of $190,000 in 2019 from Y Combinator and Founders Factory Africa. They were part of Y Combinator’s 2019 Winter batch.
Episode VI - 100 Companies that have Changed the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Nigeria