Safaricom, M-PESA Africa, and Sumitomo Corporation have chosen nine startups for their Spark Accelerator Program to help founders grow their businesses. The selected startups cover categories like Embedded Finance and Content and will receive training, mentorship, and support to access markets, technology, and capital.

The first cohort of the Spark Accelerator includes:

Embedded Finance Category:

  • Chumz: Uses mobile money, gamification, and behavioral psychology to build a community of savers.
  • Nobuk: Streamlines payment collection and reconciliation for African groups and collectives, simplifying financial reporting.
  • SME Productivity Tools Category:
  • Chpter: Empowers businesses to sell more on social platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram through an AI-powered platform.
  • Faidi HR: A comprehensive Cloud Payroll and HR Platform for businesses.
  • Churpy: Automates repetitive and manual tasks in the office of the “CFO”.
  • Twiva: A social-commerce platform that helps brands gain market access by leveraging social media influencers.
  • Content Category:
  • HealthX Africa: A data-driven primary healthcare provider offering hybrid digital and physical touchpoints to ensure every Kenyan has access to a doctor.
  • BlackRhino VR: Enables creators and brands to tell immersive and interactive stories appealing to contemporary audiences.
  • Future Fintech Category:
  • VunaPay: A platform for Agricultural Cooperatives that facilitates instant payment to smallholder farmers for produce delivered to cooperatives.

Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom, emphasized the program’s commitment to leveraging technology for meaningful innovation, stating, “By supporting and investing in these tech-enabled startups, we aim to drive significant societal change and economic growth. We are excited to work with visionary founders who represent the promise of tomorrow and to see the impact they will create in their respective sectors.”

The Spark Accelerator, launched last year following a strategic partnership between Safaricom, M-PESA Africa, and Sumitomo Corporation, aims to accelerate product innovation across various industry verticals with a team of founders and experts.

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