On Thursday, Samurai Incubate Africa in partnership with GrowthAfrica held a successful pitch event in Nairobi where 11 startups got a chance to pitch their solutions to a panel of judges for a chance to walk away with a cash prize of $100,000 investment.
The eleven startups sourced from across Africa were namely: Bluewave, TalkLift, Uzapoint, Medbit, OZE, Ridesafe, Julla, Tovuti, Afrijob, Hoji and Raino Tech4Impact.
Each developer was given three minutes to pitch one startup and two minutes for a Question and Answer session with the judges.
At the end of the pitching competition, the judges led by the CEO of Samurai Incubate Africa Mr. Takuma Terakubo choose Raino Tech4Impact as the winner of Africa’s Notable Startup Pitch Event.
“Thank you all for coming today and pitching, all the startups were great and solves local problems in Africa so I am very impressed but today I have to choose just one startup to invest in and the winner is Raino Tech4Impact,” said Takuma.
Samurai Incubate Africa Inc is a venture capital based in Japan. The company launched a US$3.4 million fund to invest in seed-stage startups within the greater East Africa region. The company has its headquarters based in Tokyo with African operations stationed in Kigali, Rwanda.
“The reason why I choose Raino Tech4Impact is because in Africa the population is growing very fast and the problem of food shortage and wastage is also growing and is now a very big problem and the point is how much of a difference, we can make in investing a particular startup. We focus on this problem too and we are from Japan where a lot of Japanese companies invested in our fund and then we invest in Raino Tech4Impact So I felt we can have more synergies between us and help grow this business and make it bigger,” Takuma explained.
Francis Nderĩtũ, the Managing Director of Raino Tech4Impact, expressed grateful for being selected as the winner of Africa’s Notable Startup Pitch Event and said the money will go a long way in helping local fishermen improve their livelihood.
“I am very surprised to have been selected as the winner, I honestly didn’t expect it because I was very late and I even used a boda boda to get here. I am very happy because this money will go towards helping those people who at the bottom of the pyramid to compete with a lot of fish imports. This money will give them a leverage to have an edge in competing power and be able to sell their fish more effectively and at the end of the day be able to grow and improve their livelihood,” said Francis.
Francis’s background is computer technology and its applications. He is responsible for developing Africa use cases, go-to market strategies, relationship and partnerships management and overall business management.
He has co-founded several startup companies including Vakava Africa - a technology company that manufactures smart mobile off-grid cold chain solutions for transporting agricultural produce reducing post harvest losses.
Francis has been recognised severally including the Alibaba Founder Fellow, SOCAP Entrepreneur scholar, Singularity University GIC Leader, and Top 50 African Innovator and serves in several advisory boards and task force including Connected Summits, Connected Innovations Panel, Connectmed, Presidential Digital Talent Program(PDTP).
Why Raino Tech4Impact stood out
Founded in 2018, Raino Tech4Impact is a social enterprise that leverages technology as an enabler to empower African communities.
The company deploys technology-driven solutions in agriculture and health, powered by renewable energy to achieve sustainability.
Agriculture is one of East Africa’s most important sectors, with about 80 per cent of the population of the region living in rural areas and depending on agriculture for their livelihood. The agricultural sector is dominated by smallholder mixed farming of livestock, food crops, cash crops, fishing and aquaculture.
Raino Tech4Impact focuses on livestock, fisheries and Aquaculture and have introduced new sustainable practices like off-grid cold chain solutions, cold-chain logistics, remote monitoring of aquaculture farms powered by Internet of Things (IoT) and renewable energy like solar, all this riding on a shared service model to reduce cost and lower entry barriers.
After the harvest, small-scale producers residing in rural areas can hire Raino Tech4Impact off-grid Keep it cool (KIC) Cool Boxes to preserve their produce and ensure that it has a longer retention period and therefore negotiate for better prices.
Using a collaborative tool- an online web platform, clients can also book for their cold chain truck in a ‘shared service’ meant to help them access distant markets while keeping their produce in a fresh state.
The traders are mostly in urban areas markets, but due to power loss, the high cost of the power, they need a backup to prolong the shelf life, our cold storage can take DC and AC. This means that it has an inbuilt solar powered backup system in case of power loss or rise in the cost of power.
The company is targeting 399 plus sales in 2019 and also expand in to two countries in East Africa.