By Florence Onuegbu
Lagos – M-SCAN, Ugandan portable mobile ultrasound devices (Ultrasonic probes) developer, has been crowned ”Sub-Saharan Africa’s Most Promising Startup” at TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa 2018.
TechCrunch Editor at Large, Mike Butcher, said at the event on Tuesday in Lagos that the overall winning startup’s founders wad awarded 25,000 dollars in cash.
Butcher said that the winner would also be given a trip for two to compete in Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch’s flagship event, Disrupt in 2019.
He said that prize was a valuable boost for the winner in a continent where funding – particularly venture capital investment – was in short supply.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ”Bettr”, a virtual banking experience powered by the smartphone and data was the runner up of the competition.
Butcher said that TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa 2018, sponsored by Facebook, sought to find Sub-Saharan Africa’s best innovators, makers and technical entrepreneurs.
He said that the competition was Africa’s second TechCrunch Startup Battlefield, and it built on and exceeded the breakthrough success of last year’s event in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Editor said that 15 African companies were shortlisted from hundreds of entries and competed to be chosen as Sub-Saharan Africa’s Most Promising Startup.
He said that since 2007, 778 Battlefield startups had raised a collective 8.5 billion dollars in funding after launching on stage, with a total of 105 exits.
According to him, 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 Initial Public Offerings (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,” he said.
The Head of Developer Programmes, Facebook, Emeka Afigbo, said that the company was excited to showcase great startups that had the potential to produce an exit in the years to come.
Afigbo said that the startups also used technology to solve real-world problems in innovative ways, from healthcare to financial inclusion.
”There are some world-class technology coming out of Africa, which promise 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.
”I am excited to see these startups flourish and provide truly Pan-African and global solutions for the future,” he said.