Techstars, a global investment business that provides access to capital, one-on-one mentorship, and customized programming for early-stage entrepreneurs, in partnership with ARM Labs, a Lagos-based innovation program focused on helping fintech startups, announces the launch of the ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator Program. The new accelerator program will focus on investing in early-stage fintech and proptech companies based in Africa.
“Lagos has built a successful startup ecosystem that merits more global exposure, investments and resources, and we see extraordinary potential in the market,” said Nancy Wolff, general manager at Techstars. “Techstars has been investing in Nigerian and African startups for years, and through our partnership with ARM Labs we look forward to bringing the value and reach of the Techstars’ global network to the increasingly prominent Nigerian startup ecosystem.”
The choice of Lagos, Nigeria for the location of this accelerator program is the result of the growing global relevance of Nigeria’s startup ecosystem. Global venture capital investment data shows Lagos is one of the fastest-growing ecosystems worldwide and the number one African startup city as of 2021. “Over the years, ARM has been on a mission to support African fintech startups that are solving key problems in innovative ways,” said Jumoke Ogundare, CEO of ARM. “Our partnership with Techstars is the logical next step in propelling the African continent to become the future global capital of fintech and transform how Africans access financial services.”
The ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator will receive applications from May 9, 2022, through July 27th, 2022. Up to 12 startups will be selected on an annual basis to participate in the program and benefit from up to $120k in funding, curated startup programming, and access to Techstars’ vast network of 7,000+ mentors, 20,000+ investors, alumni, and corporate partners. The program’s inaugural class will commence on November 7, 2022, and culminate in a Demo Day on February 16, 2023.
Techstars has been active in the African tech space since 2011, hosting more than 400 Techstars Startup Weekends across 40 countries, and operating the Barclays Accelerator Powered by Techstars Cape Town in 2016 and 2017. Similarly, through its other programs, it has invested in 14 Nigeria-based startups like Healthtracka, FarmCrowdy and Rent Small Small. A notable Nigerian Techstars alumnus is Onyeka Akumah, two-time Techstars founder and current Co-Founder and CEO of Treepz (formerly Plentywaka).
In 2017 Akumah participated in Techstars Atlanta while building his first startup FarmCrowdy. Two years later, his new venture Treepz, Nigeria’s first bus-hailing app, was selected for Techstars Toronto. Following Akumah’s participation in Techstars Toronto, Treepz expanded to operate in Ghana and Uganda, grew from 900 to 7,500+ bookings per day, and nearly tripled in employee size. To date, the company has completed over 1 million bookings and raised $3 million in funding.
This new program furthers Techstars’ mission to support entrepreneurs everywhere and give startups the advantages they need to succeed, regardless of their location or background. Startups are encouraged to learn more about the ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator and explore Techstars’ many global accelerator programs at techstars.com/accelerators. Corporations and investors interested in partnership opportunities with Techstars can learn more at techstars.com/corporations.
The Techstars worldwide network helps entrepreneurs succeed. Founded in 2006, Techstars began with three simple ideas—entrepreneurs create a better future for everyone, collaboration drives innovation, and great ideas can come from anywhere. Now we are on a mission to enable every person on the planet to contribute to, and benefit from, the success of entrepreneurs. In addition to operating accelerator programs and venture capital funds, we do this by connecting startups, investors, corporations, and cities to help build thriving startup communities. Techstars has invested in more than 3,000 companies with a combined market cap of more than $172B.
Established in 1994, ARM is a leading Nigerian diversified and integrated asset management group firm that offers wealth creation solutions and opportunities through a unique blend of traditional asset management and alternative investment services to retail, high net worth and institutional investors. ARM Labs is our fintech support programme designed to facilitate and encourage innovative growth in the financial services industry. ARM currently manages total assets of approximately N1.6 trillion (as of December 2021).