Emata, a Ugandan fintech that gives farmers access to digital and affordable financial products, has been named the winner of the CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa 2021, a programme developed by the LHoFT Foundation.
For the 2021 edition of CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa, fourteen fintech startups were selected from 163 applications from 29 different countries.
The runner-up of CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa was Mosabi, a Sierra Leone-based fintech and edtech hybrid which unlocks financial opportunities through innovative learning. The second runner-up was Nokwary Technologies, a Ghanaian startup developing voice based interfaces for financial services, with the aim of facilitating financial inclusion of the technologically illiterate.
The ten-day online bootcamp was organised and delivered by the LHoFT Foundation, sponsored by the Directorate for Development and Humanitarian Affairs of Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and supported by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) as well as key strategic partners.
Focusing this year on investment readiness, the fourteen ventures were supported by investors operating in Africa such as Bamboo Partners, TLG Capital, ZedCrest Capital, Rising Tide Africa, Outlierz, Angaza Capital, Anza Capital, Baobab Group, Beyond Capital, Advans, CRE VC, DRK Foundation, AfricInvest, Triodos Capital and Sherpa Africa Partners.
The CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa bootcamp covered a range of topics, including business model mapping, investment readiness, funding and capital raising, social impact, scaling strategy, building teams, operational management and pitch development.
The digital bootcamp culminated with an online final pitch session gathering all the partners and supporters of the programme, an audience of 100 spectators, where the fourteen companies delivered their final pitches, leveraging the input they had received from the programme partners, experts and mentors over the course of the ten days.
Emata received €5,000 prize money from the LHoFT, as well as a free entry and accommodation to attend the upcoming “African MicroFinance Week” in October 2021 (provided by ADA). All fourteen fintechs participating in the bootcamp received a one-year free membership at the LHoFT.
Franz Fayot, Luxembourg’s Minister of the Economy and Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, commented: “Luxembourg is a centre of excellence for inclusive finance. Our distinct ecosystem, which includes the gintech innovations promoted by the LHoFT, aims at jointly creating impact through innovation.
“I’m glad to see that once more, and even digitally, Catapult: Inclusion Africa was able to benefit an excellent cohort of fintechs working in and for financial inclusion in Africa. While we have witnessed excellent solutions for payments, insurance, e-education, pensions and more, this year’s winner, Emata, illustrates that modern and inclusive fintech models can also foster digitalisation in the agriculture sector”.
Nasir Zubairi, CEO of the LHoFT Foundation, added: “The Catapult: Inclusion Africa programme brought together fourteen impressive entrepreneurs all committed to delivering real impact. I feel energised and inspired, their solutions are excellent and I am sure many will go on to achieve great things. Emata was a beacon amongst all the impressive pitches. We are immensely grateful for the commitment of the Luxembourg and international community who helped make this programme a success. It would not be possible without all our sponsors and partners, thank you all”.
CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa 2021 aimed to support fintech companies with the goal of improving financial inclusion across the African continent. The bootcamp served to build bridges for business between Africa and Europe and helped the fintechs connect with an international set of investors and venture capitalists.