Uganda’s M-SCAN, which develops portable mobile ultrasound devices (Ultrasonic probes), are the winners of TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa. The event which just finished in Lagos Nigeria, saw 15 companies taking the stage for the chance to win the $25,000 equity-free grand prize, a trip for two to TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2019, and the coveted title of “Africa’s Favorite Startup.”
M-SCAN’s laptop, tablet, and mobile phone compatible Ultrasonic probes impressed the judges with its scalability potential to make many other medical access devices affordable for Africa, where mother and infant mortality is high.
Bettr, a virtual banking experience powered by your smartphone and mobile data was the runner up. Bettr can potentially make banking much more accessible for the millions of unbanked people across Southern Africa.
The other startups, representing various economic sectors were:
Apollo Agriculture: Leverages advances in machine learning, remote imaging via satellite, and mobile money to deliver input finance and agronomic advice to smallholder farmers with radical efficiency and scalability.
Complete Farmer: A “crowdfarming” platform that enables users to invest in sustainable farms and monitor farming activities without discarding their daily routine using data driven cultivation protocols and IoT enabled precision farming.
FoodHubs: Uses mobile solar powered cold carts and cold rooms to help smallholders farmers store their produce, so as to avoid post harvest losses.
Honey Flow Africa: Optimizes beekeeping operations by digitizing and bringing the power of IoT to the bee keeping process to improve honey production, processing and predictability.
AgriPredict: Provide farmers with tools that equip them with information that will improve predicting disease, pest infestations, and extreme weather conditions
Sud-pay: Developed an integrated, multi-support, multi-service, and multi-operator digital tax collection platform that connects merchants to financial institutions.
Bankly: An innovative financial product focused on reaching the unbanked in Africa, in a “Recharge to Save” model. Bankly developed a cash-digitization payment and savings products, in which users pay using Bankly vouchers.
Pineapple: A fully decentralized insurer. With Pineapple, members pay premiums into their own wallets rather than a central pot. When claims occur, they are distributed to all wallets in the community, which collectively help pay for the claim.
The others are;
LabTech: UriSAF by LabTECH is a urine testing hardware and software solution designed to speed up the diagnosis of Uterine Tract Infections (UTIs).
MAX: Transforms moto-taxi mobility in Africa using mobile apps, inclusive data-driven asset-finance, and a comprehensive driver on-boarding program that uses machine learning and psychometric tests to profile drivers and create credit scores for them. MAX enables financial inclusion for drivers, prioritizes safety, and uses IoT technology to track all drivers in real-time.
CodeLn: An end-to-end technical recruitment platform that automates the entire recruitment process, making it fast and easy for companies to find and test Software Developers and reduce the risk of bad hires.
Powerstove Energy: The world’s first clean cookstove with built-in self-powered IoT System for real time monitoring. Its 100 percent smokeless biomass cookstove cooks food times faster and burns 70 times less of processed proprietary water-resistant Goodlife Biomass Pellets produced from forest and agricultural waste.
Trend Solar: Assimilated a 4G Android Smartphone and Solar Home System to provide affordable access to energy, internet, and mobile in an all-in-one solution that seeks to address the needs of 640 million+ people currently living off-grid in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The maiden Startup Battlefield was held last year in Nairobi, Kenya. The organizers were impressed enough by the African startups’ innovative solutions and effective business models such that they had to come back and find even more impressive companies from across the continent.
TechCrunch reviews several hundred startups from across the region, selecting the top 15 companies to compete on stage. Our partner for the event was Facebook Start.