Innotribe 2017 Startup Challenge for Africa winners announced


Innotribe Startup Challenge attendees selected the three most promising African FinTech companies during its third annual showcase in the region.

The event was held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on Wednesday 17 May, in partnership with SWIFT’s African Regional Conference (ARC).

The three winners are:

  • Based in Nigeria, Irofit is providing a mobile Point of Sale that helps small retailers process card payments in REAL-TIME, even in settings where internet connection is poor.

“Awesome coaches, invaluable feedback, and inspiring fellow-entrepreneurs,” – Omoniyi Olawale, Co-Founder and CEO                 

  • Based in Kenya, Sokowatch Who are a last-mile distribution channel for consumer goods companies to better reach and sell more to small shops through an SMS ordering system.

“Being coached by some of the most knowledgeable startup investors in Africa and Silicon Valley was an invaluable experience in helping us craft our pitch for a global financial audience,” – Daniel Yu, Founder and CEO

  • Based in Rwanda,  is Helping mobile money merchants to get paid across Africa.

“I have learnt a lot on perfecting my pitch deck,” – Patrick Muhire, Co-founder                                                                                                                                 

The winning startups receive a 10,000 EUR cash prize and invitations to attend Sibos, SWIFT’s annual global financial services conference, taking place from 16 to 19 October 2017 in Toronto this year.

At the event, the startups will share the stage with FinTech experts, banks and financial institutions from across the globe and will provide great insights on innovation happening in Africa.

In its 24th year, ARC brings together policy makers, industry leaders and the broader financial community from across the African continent. Typically attracting up to 500 delegates from over 40 countries, the conference was the perfect place for our startups to deliver compelling pitches around their innovative products and demonstrate how they could support the economic development of the continent

“Our partnership with SWIFT’s African Regional Conference over the last three years has highlighted how much SWIFT’s community is keen to understand FinTech innovation, whether we refer to its latest developments, benefits or the opportunities it can unlock,”says Fabian Vandenreydt, Global Head of Securities Markets, Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute at SWIFT.

“It was a real pleasure for us to provide expert mentoring and in-depth industry feedback to the 9 participating startups and we wish them all a lot of success in the future”.

“The Innotribe showcase at ARC gives delegates an unique opportunity to tap into the most exciting new Fintech businesses on the continent. This year’s finalists are providing real solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the African financial industry including financial crime compliance, financial inclusion and supply chain finance,” Sido Bestani, SWIFT Head of Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

The African showcase was the first regional event to be held in 2017.

The next regional Startup Challenge will be organised in St Petersburg on 14 July 2017 during the Bank of Russia’s International Financial Congress (IFC).

For more information about Innotribe and the Startup Challenge please visit:


About Author

Thabo Mphahlele is the BizNis Africa Head of Sales and Marketing. Mphahlele was previously MultiChoice Production Support Analyst responsible for developing and monitoring applications. In addition, Mphahlele develops and automates batch scripts and is responsible for the daily infrastructure maintenance at MultiChoice. As a Production Support Analyst, he is responsible for incident analysis solving , developing and constructing business reports for SQL and Oracle and implement change controls for the business. Additional responsibility includes monitoring system performance via SOA, Kibaba (Elasticsearch), H.P BSM, HP Sitescope. Mphahlele is responsible for creating infrastructure performance reports through HP Ops Analytics, monitoring payments via Splunk and in-house built-in tool and disaster recovery simulation and testing. At Nashua Mobile, he was responsible for application development and enhancing the web sites At South West Gauteng College, he was the IT Technician and Network Administrator. During his tenure at Double Digit Media, he was he focused on application and web site development for new and existing clients Mphahlele contributes as a Content Manager for BizNis Africa.

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