This was the first time TechCrunch came to Africa for hosting a conference that invited a long list of superb speakers for sharing their huge pool of knowledge as well as their expertise in the growing technology and startups in the African continent and with a special focus on Kenya. However, the main focus of the entire show was the Startup Battlefield.
In the event, there were 15 participant startups competing for the trophy. Also, there were three sessions focused on Utility and Productivity, Social Good and Gaming and Entertainment. Many people do not have the idea about the startup potential in Africa, and it was a great opportunity to find out the potential of various startups which might have bright future but are at the early stage at present.
It was a very tough competition between the startups from all over the continent. All the startup available in the show were hand-picked and were also presented in front of various groups of VCs as well as other tech leaders who played the role of the judges. The winning reward was $25,000 as well as a fully sponsored trip for two people to San Francisco.
However, we are not going to talk about all the startups, but we are definitely going to tell you about the winners of each category.
Utility and Productivity Category Winner: Lori Systems
Lori System is a startup that is based in the city of Nairobi and which focuses on improving the cargo transportation in the entire African continent. With optimized truck utilization, they try to transport things from one place to another without wasting any money as well as time. Not only that, they also take care of the cargo tracking, billing as well as payment, becoming an all-in-one platform to solve all the logistics issue that the people have been facing recently. They also won the Best of Show award from the judges.
Social Good Category Winner: AgroCenta
AgroCenta is a startup that Africa really needs right now. The agriculture value chain in Africa is really very poor, and AgroCenta helps more than 8,000 farmers in the rural areas to access the larger markets. The startup uses the truck delivery system to take the crop from the farmer and bringing it directly to the larger market cutting off the middlemen for better returns.
The farmers can handle the large orders using the AgroCenta logistics and can actually generate reasonable revenue in order to uplift their lifestyle and standard of living.
Gaming and Entertainment Category Winner: SynCommerce
SynCommerce is the startup that works in building up the e-merchant market for small businesses. There are several small e-commerce businesses in Africa that find it very difficult to showcase their products or business on various e-commerce websites. With the help of SynCommerce, the small business owners can list the products that he or she wishes to sell on all the big e-commerce websites like eBay, Shopify, Etsy etc. Soon they are also going to include Amazon on their list. A lot of small business owners have experienced the increase in sales after the started selling their products with SynCommerce.