Blockchain Startups Selected to Pitch at Africa Tech Summit in Kigali, Rwanda

Three Blockchain Technology startups have been selected to pitch live in the 2019 edition of the Africa Tech Summit, which will be taking place in Kigali, Rwanda between February 13 to 15.

Ten technology startups would be participating in the summit tagged, “Where African Tech Connects.”

The summit is expected to bring stakeholders, investors and corporates bodies together in a bid to discuss opportunities and challenges facing tech startups in Africa.

The Co-organiser of the event, Disrupt Africa, named the three selected blockchain startups as Leaf, RideSafe, and DeMars.

Leaf is a fintech startup based in Rwanda, it utilizes blockchain to create a virtual bank to provide financial services to emigrants, refugees and excluded persons.

According to Leaf, the aim of the mobile application platform being developed is “to facilitate cash to virtual currency conversion through blockchain technology”. The app will be very important to refugees or displaced persons crossing different borders of multiple countries for safety reasons as it will allow them to store their money in stable investments.

More so, to protect the refugees against the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, the value of their money will not be stored in digital currencies. In addition, any mobile device can access the platform, thereby reducing the need to have a smartphone. Users of the Leaf mobile app can also have their relatives contribute into their accounts after which they can make withdrawals when they get to safe zones into the new local currency or use their balance as security on a microloan.

RideSafe is a mobile-based insuretech application that runs on the Aeternity blockchain, which provides real-time health solutions to the public motorbike sector in case of an accident.

The Kenyan startup, aims at providing a platform for riders to make weekly ($0.35) or monthly ($1.5) payments through their mobile wallets that qualify them for quick and immediate first aid from RideSafe’s partner facilities. Already, RideSafe has more than 15 partner facilities.

More so, the app was developed to allow riders to interact with service providers, report accidents, locate nearby facilities and receive tokenised rewards for good behavior over time. By notifying a particular partner facility of an accident, the app will enable the service provider to prepare adequately for the incoming patient as well as bill the app on the amount charged to the casualty. In addition, the app will ensure that those injured can get timely first aid treatment while delivering the best service.

The developers are currently targeting motorbike riders in Kenya, but aims to expand to both East and Central Africa and eventually to the entire continent.

Mauritius-based DeMars, is working on the first mobile money platform and blockchain protocol for the emerging markets. The new technology is meant to deliver financial services to the 1.7 billion young adults of whom two-thirds have mobile phones but are unbanked.

The startup, is also seeking to reduce the amount of data spent in the transfers being made without compromising on cryptographic security. This way, the platform aims to solve the scalability and speed issues that are common with most digital currencies.

According to DeMars roadmap, the Beta Mobile App will be available in June this year, with a rollout in both South Africa and Zimbabwe, while the expected rollouts for the rest of Africa and Europe have been scheduled for June 2020.

Opportunity to Attract Investors and network

The summit is sure to afford the selected blockhain startups the opportunity to showcase their services to more than 400 investors, accelerators, corporate partner and the media.

This is a testimony for blockchain development in Africa, thanks to the increase in blockchain adoption in the continent, as the summit is sure to be an eye opener to many as well as encourage them to accept it.

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