Rakuten and AAIC collaborate to support African startups – Tech in Africa


In late 2020, we shared Rakuten Europe’s new collaborative initiative between Asia Africa Investment & Consulting (AAIC). The idea was to support African startups to apply innovative solutions that help their economies leapfrog into higher development stages.

Here is what AAIC-Rakuten have been up to:

AAIC utilizes Rakuten’s logistics experience to push Flare to the next level. Flare is a Kenyan healthcare startup that offers an ambulance dispatch service. In December 2019, 56 of 100 ambulances operating across Nairobi were registered on Flare’s platform. Rather than calling a hospital individually, one can call Flare. The startup uses GPS to determine the best ambulance ad route for responding to the situation. Flare hopes to ensure greater response times during medical emergency situations for instance ambulance response time in Japan in 8.6 minutes while in Kenya it takes 2-3 hours.

In Nigeria blood is a chronic problem for most hospitals resulting in preventable deaths among children that are anemic and pregnant women. LifeBank is one of the companies tackling this problem since it was founded in 2015. The company runs a blood ordering and delivery service through a smartphone app. To date, the company has donated blood to over 1,115 hospitals saving over 9,000 lives.

Shezlong is an Egyptian digital platform addressing the issues of availability and social stigma in an effort to support 1 in 4 people suffering from social stigma across the continent. All consultations are done online reducing the barriers to healthcare infrastructure while giving highlighted access to a variety of medical health specialists.

Jibu, a social enterprise that provides clean treated water to underserved communities across the continent through a franchise model.

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Most of AAIC’s work is centered in Nigeria and Kenya which are at the top of Africa’s active and well-funded startup communities. More on the works of the Rakuten-AAIC initiative here.





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