After the very first edition of TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa held in Nairobi, Kenya, last year, TechCrunch announced that its second Sub-Saharan edition will hold in Lagos, Nigeria.

We’re looking for Sub-Saharan Africa’s best innovators, makers and technical entrepreneurs to participate in this year’s TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa. We’re looking for startups most likely to produce an exit or IPO and startups of any kind may apply. TechCrunch will host the event in Lagos in front of a live audience and top judges

Yesterday, the much-anticipated competition happened at Orientals Hotel, Lagos with 15 pre-selected startups taking up the pitch stage. They were grouped into three sessions:

Session 1

Apollo Agriculture: Leverages advances in machine learning, remote imaging via satellite, and mobile money to deliver input finance and agronomic advice to smallholder farmers with radical efficiency and scalability.

Sud-pay: Developed an integrated, multi-support, multi-service, and multi-operator digital tax collection platform that connects merchants to financial institutions.

LabTech: a urine testing hardware and software solution designed to speed up the diagnosis of Uterine Tract Infections (UTIs).

Complete Farmer: a crowd farming platform that enables users to invest in sustainable farms and monitor farming activities without discarding their daily routine using data driven cultivation protocols and IoT enabled precision farming.

Bettr: a virtual banking experience powered by the smartphone and your data.

Session 2

FoodHubsUses mobile solar powered cold carts and cold rooms to help smallholders farmers store their produce, so as to avoid post-harvest losses.

Honey Flow AfricaOptimises beekeeping operations by digitizing and bringing the power of IoT to the beekeeping process to improve honey production, processing and predictability.

AgriPredictProvide farmers with tools that equip them with information that will improve predicting disease, pest infestations, and extreme weather conditions

MAXTransforms moto-taxi mobility in Africa using mobile apps, inclusive data-driven asset-finance, and a comprehensive driver on-boarding program that uses machine learning and psychometric tests to profile drivers and create credit scores for them. MAX enables financial inclusion for drivers, prioritizes safety, and uses IoT technology to track all drivers in real-time.

CodeLn: An end-to-end technical recruitment platform that automates the entire recruitment process, making it fast and easy for companies to find and test Software Developers and reduce the risk of bad hires.

Session 3

BanklyAn innovative financial product focused on reaching the unbanked in Africa, in a “Recharge to Save” model. Bankly developed a cash-digitization payment and savings products, in which users pay using Bankly vouchers.

Powerstove EnergyThe world’s first clean cookstove with built-in self-powered IoT System for real-time monitoring. Its 100 per cent smokeless biomass cookstove cooks food times faster and burns 70 times less of processed proprietary water-resistant Goodlife Biomass Pellets produced from forest and agricultural waste.

M-SCANDevelops portable mobile ultrasound devices (Ultrasonic probes) that are laptop, tablet and mobile phone compatible.

PineappleA fully decentralised insurer. With Pineapple, members pay premiums into their own wallets rather than a central pot. When claims occur, they are distributed to all wallets in the community, which collectively help pay for the claim.

Trend SolarAssimilated a 4G Android Smartphone and Solar Home System to provide affordable access to energy, internet, and mobile in an all-in-one solution that seeks to address the needs of 640 million+ people currently living off-grid in Sub-Saharan Africa.

After the pitch sessions, a final pitch took place where five finalists had to battle their way to the heart of the judging committee and convince them why they deserve to win.

In the end, the judges announced a winner.

M-SCAN, from Kenya, emerged the 2018 “Sub-Saharan Africa’s Most Promising Startup,” winning a grand prize of $25,000 in no-equity cash and a trip for two to compete in Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch’s flagship event, Disrupt in 2019 (assuming the company still qualifies to compete at the time). The runner-up was Bettr from South Africa.

We at smepeaks congratulate M-SCAN on this remarkable feat.

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