24 Aug 2023
For the S23 batch of Y Combinator, two additional African startups were chosen.
DRC's VaultPay and Nigeria's Chow Central have joined forces with Rwanda's Eden Care as distinguished selections for the S23 cohort of Y Combinator, the renowned accelerator rooted in Silicon Valley.
We noted in a post from last month that the only African applicant to the S23 batch of Y Combinator was Eden Care, an insurtech startup from Rwanda. The early development of well-known businesses like Airbnb, Coinbase, and Dropbox, among others, was greatly aided by this accelerator.
Evolving the landscape further, VaultPay from the Democratic Republic of Congo now stands alongside, facilitating direct distribution of banking services for telecommunications providers. Alongside it is Chow Central, a Nigeria-based virtual restaurant chain catering to the middle-class populace within African cities.
This augmentation heralds the participation of three out of the 198 confirmed startups in the S23 cohort from Africa. This figure marks a contrast to the W22 batch, which featured 24 startups from the continent. However, the representation of African startups in Y Combinator has seen a marked decline since then, with only seven participants in S22 and three in W23.
In addition to companies like Flutterwave, Paystack, and Kobo360, the alumni list of Y Combinator also includes companies like Cowrywise, MarketForce, Kudi, WaystoCap, WorkPay, Healthlane, Trella, 54gene, CredPal, NALA, and Breadfast. Though its exact place within Africa's startup ecosystem is still unclear, entrepreneurs frequently acknowledge its beneficial impact on their businesses.
It was revealed in a report from last year that the accelerator had increased its minimum deal size to US$500,000. The revised standard transaction includes an extra investment of US$375,000 through an unlimited SAFE mechanism with "Most Favoured Nation" (MFN) criteria, as opposed to the prior investment of US$125,000 for a seven percent ownership position.