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3 Nigerian startups selected for YC W23 batch, banking $500k

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Three Nigerian startups have been confirmed as participants in the W23 batch of the renowned Silicon Valley-based Y Combinator accelerator, banking US$500,000 in funding among other benefits.

The W23 batch of the Y Combinator programme, which played a role in the early days of companies like Airbnb, Coinbase and Dropbox among others, is currently taking place, and concludes with a demo day in March.

Disrupt Africa reported in September the accelerator had increased its standard deal size to US$500,000. Previously, YC invested US$125,000 for seven per cent equity, but under its new standard deal it now also invests an additional US$375,000 on an uncapped SAFE with “Most Favoured Nation” (MFN) terms.

Of the first 85 startups revealed for its W23 batch, three are from Africa – all Nigerian. They are Waza, a B2B payments infrastructure that provides the rails for global payments and intra-Africa trade; Shekel Mobility, a simplified finance and operations platform for auto-dealers, and Bujeti, an end-to-end expense management and budgeting platform.

More startups will be announced over the coming months, with more Africa ventures set to be amongst them. Seven African startups took part in the previous batch of the accelerator, S22, but it was the edition prior – W22 – that had the most African representatives ever, with 24 startups from the continent taking part.

Y Combinator’s alumni features continental royalty such as Flutterwave, Paystack and Kobo360 (not to mention Cowrywise, MarketForce, Kudi, WaystoCap, WorkPay, Healthlane, Trella, 54gene, CredPal, NALA and Breadfast).

The accelerator occupies an ambiguous position within the continent’s startup ecosystem, but is lauded by entrepreneurs for the positive impact it has on their businesses.

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