FFA Partners Bank to Empower African Startups


Five new African startups, including a Nigerian startup, have been accepted into the Venture Scale programme, which is an initiative of Founders Factory Africa (FFA),backed by Standard Bank and Netcare as corporate investors. The five startups were formally inducted into the Venture Scale programme this week.

All five startups have developed product offerings targeted at the fintech or healthtech sectors and are set for an aggressive growth strategy – aided by the technical and operational expertise offered at FFA.

The Venture Scale programme at FFA affords African startups the opportunity of rapid scale, made possible through a financial cash investment in tailored support services – across product development, UX/UI, data science, engineering, business development and growth marketing.

Co-Founder and CEO, Founders Factory Africa, Roo Rogers, said: “The five businesses joining the Venture Scale programme represent some of the best of African entrepreneurship and innovation. From point-of-care DNA testing to agricultural logistics, the Founders Factory Africa portfolio has the potential to truly drive economic growth and transform the continent. We’re incredibly excited to be part of the growth of these businesses and to deliver their true scale potential.”

In addition to the hands-on support provided, participating startups will also have access to exclusive partnerships with FFA’s pan-African corporate investors, Standard Bank and Netcare, which unlocks many of the scaling challenges that businesses face. This includes distribution channels, customer acquisition, pilots, data, IP and expertise, essentially offering the startups a very huge advantage in the competitive marketplace.

Head of Strategic Investments and Alliances at Standard Bank, Larry McCarthy, said he was excited to grow entrepreneurship across the continent. “Seed capital and business development programmes like FFA are needed to meet the fast-paced demand for technology across all sectors of business, and the effect it can have on improving growth. Standard Bank, being an African business, is committed to participating in this vital element of the economy,” he said.

Among the five new startups is Foodlocker, a Nigerian based company. Foodlocker forecasts foodstuff demand through deep machine learning, thus enabling large-scale buyers to efficiently procure fast-moving consumer goods and fresh produce from smallholder farmers. Others startups include: LocumBase, Akili Labs and EnvisionIt Deep AI, all from South Africa.

LocumBase is an independent, online booking and management platform that provides real-time availability of verified locum medical professionals, by assisting practices in need of short-term, qualified stand-ins, who are able to provide quality care when needed most.

Akili Labs leads the way in low-cost point of care, rapid diagnostics – capable of testing for viruses, bacterial and fungal infections. EnvisionIt Deep AI is a platform that improves the speed and accuracy, with which a radiologist can diagnose and prioritise chest x-rays for further analysis using AI algorithms.