Nine African startups have been selected to take part in the second edition of the Norrsken Impact Accelerator, which is designed to find the world’s most promising impact startups, and help them scale.
Founded by Niklas Adalberth, one of the founders of Swedish fintech unicorn Klarna, in 2016, Norrsken aims to help entrepreneurs solve the world’s greatest challenges. Its ecosystem consists of Norrsken House, a co-working space for over 350 impact entrepreneurs in Stockholm, the Norrsken Founders Fund, and Norrsken VC.
Disrupt Africa reported in 2019 the foundation had launched operations in Kigali, Rwanda, which it said it planned to use as a base for investing across the East and Central African region, and last year it accepted 11 startups from Africa into the inaugural edition of the Norrsken Impact Accelerator.
It has now picked 20 startups to take part in the 2022 edition, with those companies hailing from 15 countries and offering solutions ranging from mental health, poverty alleviation, sustainable agriculture, financial inclusion and green energy.
Nine of those companies are based in Africa, with the rest hailing from countries like Sweden, the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK). Two are Nigerian, namely digital primary healthcare service Clafiya and clean-tech startup SunFi, while the rest are Mozambican digital transport platform Appload, Ugandan lending service Emata, Tanzanian payment solution Umoja Labs, Rwandan artisan recruitment service Fixa, Ghanaian BNPL platform Motito, South African health network HealthDart, and Kenyan savings and investment service Power Financial Wellness.
All of the participating companies were selected via an open application process, and have been evaluated against the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and ranked based on the magnitude and depth of their potential impact. Only companies that can successfully demonstrate that impact is an integral part of their business model have been admitted for entry into the programme.
Beyond acceptance to the programme itself, including an 8-week growth sprint at Norrsken House in Stockholm and mentorship from a roster of over 110 entrepreneurs, investors and unicorn founders, all startups will receive US$125,000 in upfront pre-seed or seed investment from the Norrsken Foundation.
“This is a big day for Norrsken. Our accelerator brings together over one hundred extraordinary individuals who channel their knowledge, experience and network to pave the way for early-stage, up-and-coming impact tech startups. We only want to work with companies that are solving real, urgent and important problems – problems that matter. We believe that all of the companies in our 2022 cohort are doing exactly this, and we’re so excited to be part of their growth journeys from here!”, said Funda Sezgi, Norrsken Impact Accelerator managing director and co-founder.
Since being accepted into the 2021 programme, the 20 participating companies, sourced from over 2,300 applications worldwide, have raised more than US$24 million in seed or pre-seed funding from investors like Brilliant Minds co-founder Ash Pournori, Kry co-founder Fredrik Jung-Abbou, Pär Norberg of Nordic Capital, Capital T, Globivest and Norrsken Foundation.
Norrsken also recently announced the launch of Norrsken22, a new US$200 million tech growth fund that will invest in exceptional entrepreneurs building Africa’s new tech giants.