Get to Know the African Founders Featured on Y Combinator

American seed money startup accelerator, Y Combinator, has recently shared a list of startups by black and latinx founders. We spotted a number of startups founded by Africans that have been backed by Y Combinator.

Previous startups that have received the company’s backing includes Stripe, Airbnb, Coinbase, Dropbox and Reddit.

From SAAS, B2B, Wealth tech, Fintech, Agritech, Healthtech and Freight brokerage, find below the startups we’re excited about.

54 Gene
Founders: Abasi Ene-Obong and Ogochukwu Francis Osifo

54 Gene is seeking to lead genetic mapping of African DNA.

The African genomics research, services and development company addresses the need to include underrepresented African genomic data in research which could potentially lead to medical breakthroughs and new healthcare solutions worldwide.


Founders: Wale Akanbi and Akin Jones 

Aella wants to make it easy for underbanked individuals in the emerging markets to borrow, invest, make payments, and get insured.

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Founders: Tope Alabi and John Obirije

Afriex is a money transfer provider that makes it easy and cheaper for immigrants to send money to over 30 countries around the world.


Founders: Emmanuel Buah and Ama Marfo

This travel startup allows you to buy flights for only a fraction upfront and pay off the rest in bi-weekly recurring payments before the departure date.


Founders: Mohammed Ahmed, Brook Ayalneh and Bitiya Samuel

Avion is a drone delivery network which is delivering vaccination and medicine to destinations as far as 150 km radius.


Founders: Richmond Bassey and Yanmo Omorogbe

Bamboo is the first online brokerage service for Africans with disposable income to access US and global securities.


Founders: Ire Aderinokun and Timi Ajiboye

Buy Coins is creating a cryptocurrency exchange that allows Africans to buy and sell cryptocurrencies instantly using their local currency.


Founders: Razaq Ahmed and Edward Popoola

Cowrywise is digitising wealth management in Africa. As a FinTech company, they are leveling the access to premium financial services by making them available to the mass market cheaply, to help them to achieve their savings and investments goals.


Founders: Oluwatomi Ayorinde and Damilola Ayorinde

Crowdforce allows any local merchant in Africa, starting with Nigeria to deploy digital services, financial products and collect payments from the mass market within minutes by leveraging big data and blockchain.


Founders: David Iya and Joshua Nzewi

Eze is a commodities exchange for used smartphones. Eze connects telecommunication and global electronic wholesalers allowing them to trade devices in wholesale quantities with real-time market data. The platform gives businesses real-time market prices and eliminates transaction risk by acting as an intermediary with a secure payment system.


Founders: Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, ACA Adekoya and Olugbenga GB Agboola

Flutterwave helps businesses to make and accept payments from anywhere in Africa through their payments infrastructure.

Since its inception in 2016, Flutterwave has grown to become one of the fastest growing payments companies in the world, processing close to $2 billion in payments and 25 million transactions across over 33 African countries where it currently operates.

It has attracted significant investment from experienced Fintech investors such as Ycombinator Continuity Fund (investors in Stripe), Greycroft (investors in Braintree and Venmo), Greenvisor Capital, Omidyar Network, and Glynn Capital.


Helium Health
Founders: Adegoke Olubusi and Dimeji Sofowora

Founded with the aim to improve delivery of medical services in Nigeria, Helium Health provides a suite of technology for healthcare providers, payers and patients across Africa including electronic medical records (EMR) and hospital management information system (HMIS).

They have recently raised $10 million to hire and expand to North and East Africa, including Kenya,  Rwanda, Uganda and Morocco.


Ife Oyedele II and Obi Ozor

With Kobo’s platform, companies now have easy access to a large pool of asset owners in the industry with the MSMEs that need their services.

Kobo is also preparing to enter the agro-trading space by developing a marketplace that connects farmers with buyers all over the world. The marketplace will effectively eliminate the high cost of middlemen for smallholder farmers and significantly increase their profits.


MarketForce 360
Tesh Mbaabu and Mesongo Sibuti

MarketForce 360 is enabling FMCG companies to manage their field sales activities and grow their distribution channels in Africa.

With MarketForce 360’s mobile app, sales agents record sales activities as they happen, including orders, visits, deliveries, payments, and feedback. The data is then visible in real-time to manufacturers, distributors, and financial service providers, enabling them to monitor and optimize their sales and distribution channels across agents, shops, and regions.


Founders: Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi

With a team split between Lagos and San Francisco, Paystack provides payments infrastructure for African businesses.


Founders: Calvin Usiri and Iain Usiri

Founded by two brothers, Ramani is helping African distributors manage their inventory, operations and sales transactions.


Founders: Uzoma Ayogu and Kenna Nzewi

This firm is using technology to grow food factories across Africa.
Releaf’s pre-processing technology enables users to improve the quality and scale of raw materials provided to African food factories.


Reliance Health
Founders: Matthew Mayaki, Femi Kuti and Opeyemi Olumekun

Reliance Health uses technology and data science to build an integrated health system that includes affordable health insurance, telemedicine and a combination of partner and proprietary healthcare facilities. 


Founders: Angela Essien and Henry Nnalue

Schoolable provides a tuition collection service for K-12 private schools in Africa.


Founders: Kingsley Oti and Larry Oti

SEND is a digital freight forwarder and customs broker for Africa, managing the end to end process of shipping cargo by air or by sea, including the documentation, customs process, delivery to the warehouse and trade financing.


Founders: Emmanuel Gbolade and Ayomide Awe

Termii helps businesses in Africa use messaging channels to verify and communicate with customers.


Thrive Agric
Founders: Ayodeji Arikawe and Uka Eje

Thrive Agric helps Farmers in Africa access finance, insight and FMCGS.


Founders: John Oke

Wallets Africa is building a borderless digital bank for Africa that makes it easier for people to spend locally across the continent without having to create an account with a local bank. 


Founders: Jackson Kibigo Kungu and Paul Kimani

HR and payroll processing for SMBs in Africa with tools for time tracking, payroll processing, and salary disbursement to banks and mobile wallets.


Founders: Boateng Opoku-Yeboah and Tunde Alao

YSplit helps you split the bill and enables users to pay their bills when they are due.


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Founders: Mohammed Ahmed, Brook Ayalneh, and Bitiya Samuel

A drone delivery network which is live in Africa delivering medical