PRESS RELEASE – 17 May 2019, Paris
Aerobotics Wins President Macron ‘Africa Most Innovative African Startup Award’ at AfricArena challenge at VivaTech 2019
Recognising that technology is revolutionising Africa, VivaTech featured, for the second time, a dedicated Afric@Tech section – showcasing 50 African startups from four key sectors, among them the ten startups making up the AfricArena delegation. This year proved another success for tech innovation from the continent of Africa.
The AfricArena VivaTech 2019 delegation comprised of investors, African governments representatives and some of the brightest and most innovative minds in the Pan-African tech entrepreneurship ecosystem. With five of AfricArena’s startups having been listed under the top 23 of Frenchweb’s not-to-miss innovators earlier at VivaTech, prospects for prestigious outcomes for Africa’s leading tech entrepreneurs were prevalent.
AfricArena Track Pitch Battles @ VivaTech 2019
The following startups participated in a pitch battle where the winner of the competition received the President Macron African Tech Award handed by Jeremy Hajdenberg from the African Presidential Council: Aerobotics, DataProphet, FinChatBot, Guardian Gabriel, HomeFarm, MedBit, Oniriq, PayDunya, TravelBudds and Sea Monster.
The winning team from South Africa, Aerobotics, will be invited to showcase its progress at the AfricArena 2019 Summit to be hosted this November. Amongst other contenders, Xabiso Lombo, a 20-year-old black female South African entrepreneur running in SEDA’s incubation program, won the hearts and the applaud levels, making it hard for the Jury to determine the winner.
“We’re extremely excited to have run a world-class showcase at Vivatech with many talented entrepreneurs from all over the continent. This top 10 selection resulted from over 800 applications to on AfricArena’s platform, leading to 80 finalists competing at last years AfricArena Summit. It is remarkable that Aerobotics, which is at the intersection of AI and Agritech won this Top African Startup Award at Vivatech, showing Africa can excel in AI,” says Christophe Viarnaud, AfricArena CEO. “We look forward to Aerobotics showcasing at the upcoming AfricArena Summit the development of a company that is making a global impact on farm production and is helping shape the future of farming through their AI and crop monitoring software. ”
“The VivaTech 2019 journey has been an amazing venture”, says Tim Willis, Aerobotics’ COO. “Since our 2018 involvement with AfricArena, the accelerator has provided key opportunities to expand our networks, particularly in Europe. Our shared vision to scale African tech into global markets strongly aligns with our expansion plans. The positive uptake abroad of our product is proof that African tech is world class.”
Aerobotics is an artificial intelligence agritech start up specialising in tree crop pest and disease monitoring processes using aerial data and AI software. While headquartered in Cape Town, they are serving clients in more than 18 countries. Aerobotics recently expanded its series funding round from $2 million to $4 million.
“Going into a second consecutive year with the AfricArena VivaTech Challenge, we are excited at the prospects of another year of their successful partnership,” says Timothy Willis, COO of Aerobotics. “We’ve worked hard to gain the trust of more than a thousand farmers in ten countries and this opportunity is giving us a chance to extend our market expansion strategy to France and USA.”
Africa is the future and African tech is where to invest right now. AfricArena offers the ideal deal-making platform where corporates, angels, VCs and CVCs, incubators/accelerators and entrepreneurs can join forces for the good of innovation and the growth of the African tech ecosystem.
AfricArena 2019 Summit is taking place at the Century City Conference Centre from 11 – 12 November 2019, and is precedented by an Unconference on 9 and 10 November and the AfricArena Tour through events in the 9 top African tech ecosystems.