Gricd, an early-stage tech startup, has emerged the winner of the 2019 GreenHouse Lab (GHL) Demo Day following an intensely contested pitching competition.
Held at the Cedar Hive & Co-working Space, Ikoyi on Thursday, 5 December 2019, the Demo Day was the climax of GreenHouse Lab, a two-month-long accelerator programme run by early-stage venture capital firm, GreenHouse Capital. The event brought together a select audience of over 150 investors, corporates, startup founders, media personalities and other dignitaries in Nigeria’s flourishing tech ecosystem to watch the GreenHouse Lab 2019 cohort pitch their businesses.
Welcoming guests to the event, GreenHouse Capital Founding Partner, Bunmi Akinyemiju said the Demo Day was put together “to build an ecosystem to mobilise capital into innovation for Africa”. He further explained that this formed the basis for the creation of GreenHouse Capital in 2015 and has driven its investment into nearly 20 African startups thus far.
The Demo Day featured pitches by 10 highly innovative startups from across Africa including Nigerian ed-tech and health-tech startups, SchoolsFocus – a one-stop management software for African schools; OTRAC – an e-learning platform for tailored trainings/courses for public and general Health practitioners; and Doctoora – providing healthcare professionals with medical facility rentals for their private practice and an online marketplace where consumers can connect to healthcare professionals. Three fintech startups were also among the 10 companies that took part in the Demo Day: Bace Group – a Ghana-based startup that harnesses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and facial recognition to improve Know-Your-Customer (KYC) protocols for financial institutions; Vimosure – a Botswana–based startup that offers a platform which leverages sensor-based IoT systems and data analytics to reduce costs and increase transparency between vehicle insurers and consumers; and Vesicash – a platform that provides securedigital transactions and promotes financial transparency between MSMEs.
Also featured in the Demo Day were three startups focused on building platforms and marketplaces, Datespace – an on-demand dating app that transforms the way Africans find love by connecting young, working professionals to memorable dating experiences; Mashup Beauty – an e-commerce startupdriving customer acquisition and sales for beauty-focused MSMEs via an online marketplace and business management Software as a Service (SAAS) solution; and Whip Music Africa – a platform for African artists to access connections and opportunities needed to take their music careers to the next level by increase collaboration and revenue creation among creatives in Africa’s music industry. as well as the winning startup, Gricd, which builds Internet of Things-enabled (IoT) smart active cooling devices to store and transport temperature-sensitive vaccines and pharmaceutical drugs.
Each founder pitched their startup for 5 minutes, after which they were asked questions about their business model and growth plans by a panel of judges, Dragons’ Den-style. The panel was comprised of leaders and trailblazers in Africa’s tech and venture capital ecosystem: Akwugo Onuekwusi of Verod Capital; Adia Sowho of Migo; Michelle Patrick-Akinrinade of Rising Tide Africa and Chapel Hill; and Opeoluwa Kumuyi of Africa of Fintech Foundry and Access Bank. Following judges’ deliberations, Gricd was announced the winner of the competition. In addition to the judges’ prize, an Audience’ Choice online poll was also conducted, for which Gricd was also selected as the winner.
GreenHouse Capital’s second Founding Partner, Kunmi Demuren, closed the Demo Day, stating, “The fact that Gricd emerged the winner of the pitching competition, as well as the Audience’ Choice voting competition, demonstrates the transformative potential of the startup not only to generate returns for investors but to also touch lives across Africa. We congratulate Gricd as well as the other nine startups that participated in this year’s GHL cohort and we enjoin everyone to look out for more exciting news from GreenHouse Capital as we go into 2020”.
The evening wound down with food, drinks, networking and a musical performance by an afro-psychedelic rock band – Skata Vibration.