Top 20 African Startups To Watch Out For In 2015
One fact we all can’t dispute is that startups emerging from America’s Silicon Valley gets far more attention than those emerging in other world regions. But the African continent has been making all the right moves to nurture and showcase her own startups not just to the international communities but to the people living on the continent. This can be attested to by figures from the World Bank that shows that there are now over 90 tech hubs across the African continent.
These tech hubs are coming up with inventions and innovations that seek to solve challenges in the education, transportation, security, connectivity and other socio-economic challenges facing the African communities. Without much ado, let us dive right into the top 20 African startups to watch out for in 2015:
Described as the Internet’s backup generator, this plastic-shelled brick-looking device would be all everything you need when you want to connect to the internet while you are in the wilderness of the African internet connection. The BRCK is powered by a powerful battery that can connect up to twenty devices for eight hours. For more details, click here.
This is one of those rare ‘win-win ideas’ for all stakeholders. Paperight can make any organization that owns any type of printer and has internet connection into an on-demand printing bookstore. Through Paperight, all registered schools, colleges, print shops and any other organization can print out book for customers. The customer simply walks into a Paperight outlet and asks for a book to be printed. For more details, click here.
Setting itself out to become Africa’s Amazon, Jumia is an online store operating in Kenya, Egypt, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Uganda, Morocco and Ghana. Jumia is one of the several online ventures started by Africa Internet Group. For more details, follow this link.
It has been referred to as Nigeria’s most popular deal site, one of the three digital giants founded by Sim Shagaya. From the site user can get great deals on fashion items, restaurants, hotels, electronics, spars, professional courses among others. The company has four outlets across 4 Nigerian states from which customers can go pick up their deals or have them delivered to their doorsteps.
This is an online portal where employers are matched with employees possessing the right skills and experience. The portal also works via SMS messaging which is quiet ideal for Africa given the continent if very much mobile.
Using the Facebook paradigm as the interface, Obami is a ‘Facebook-like’ education platform for high school students. The site has a friendly user interface to students, teachers and parents given it has the same paradigm as Facebook. Thus, it enables users to create common interest groups where they hold discussions and solve problems.
Founded back in 2012 in Kenyan coastal town of Lamu. SleepOut gives travelers a platform to book cozy accommodation across Africa, Indian Ocean islands and the Middle East. The platform can be likened to Airbnb but with an additional twist of using SMS-based services to compliment the internet services.
Founded by the London-based insurer Old Mutual, 22seven is a resourceful financial planning website for entrepreneurs looking for assistance in their financial planning. 22seven has also rolled out a mobile app that is more befitting the African continent where mobile is the thing. For more details, follow this link.
The Mobile-Money tsunami first hit the Kenyan market where it became quite popular and has been creeping into not only other East African countries but other countries in Africa and Europe. Kopo Kopo aims at taking the mobile money industry a notch higher by making it the default payment method for merchants across Kenya.
Having bagged the App of the Year Award in South Africa. SnapScan is an innovative app that allows customers to pay for goods by simply scanning the SnapCode using their smartphone and the pay for the good electronically from their bank accounts. SnapScan uses users accounts that have been securely (encrypted-connection) linked to their VISA and MasterCard credit or cheque card.
This is a Kenyan startup that made it to the Demo Africa finalists. The startup is set to stream paid-for content to Kenyan households at a cost of $6 (Ksh.500) per month. Households must first install a set-top box that employs edge-of-network service that can deliver content securely over a wireless network. The technology employed reduces up to 83% of the capital and operational costs incurred by the current network providers.
This is a social enterprise that has set itself out to deliver innovative solar solutions to regions living off grid. They produce modular solar lamps comprising of solar panel, rechargeable battery and light. They target the average Base of the Pyramid (BoP) consumers to obtain the solar lamps and pay in small incremental installment until they own the solar lamps. For more details, click here.
At the start of 2014, Mxit still held the bragging rights as Africa’s largest social network, but it was displaced earlier this year by Facebook. Still the social network platform commands a user base of about 7.5 million, 6.5 million of whom being from South Africa. It also has a considerable number of users in Nigeria, India and Indonesia. For more details, click here.
Unless you live under a rock in a God-forsaken desert, you must have watched or at least heard of Nigeria’s own Nollywood, the best of Africa’s ‘Hollywood and Bollywood’. iROKOtv the self-described, “the world’s largest online distributor of African content” is especially a favorite among Nigerian diaspora who want to catch their favorite home cinemas. For more details, in iROKOtv follow this link.
To say you’re bringing Free WiFi to South Africa is no child’s play. Project Isizwe wants to connect South Africans to the internet and avail educational, economic development and social inclusion to all South Africans. It is more of a non-profit organization than a business, which has been made possible by Alan Knott-Cragi the CEO at Mxit. For more details on this, click here.
This is an innovative taxi service that present three great solutions bundled in one. It’s eco-friendly given that it is powered by an electric motor, gives brands an excellent advertisement platform by putting up banner ads directly on the cars and gives commuters an on-demand taxi ride in urban areas within a three radius. For more on Mellowcabs, follow this link.
The African continent is experiencing unprecedented rise in the numbers of entrepreneurs. But one hindrance they all face, is the lack of access to reliable platform for getting information on customers’ tastes, preference and choice. The platforms that have been in place are out of the reach for most entrepreneurs in terms of cost. To mitigate this situation, Qurio gives users a platform to cost-effectively get information from their customers, audience and employees in a cost-effective manner.
The idea behind Dropifi is to help out businesses to analyze, visualize and gives responses to their incoming messages from clients in a smart, effective and well-organized manner. It is basically a smart widget that serves the work of an intelligent contact form for businesses. It was the first African startup to get acceptance into 500 Startups and currently boasts of more than 8,000 users from small businesses.
This is a private social network where people living in the same neighborhood can interact. It primarily serves as a platform for reporting criminal activities within the neighborhood. It can also be used as a platform for buying and selling goods; it would be quite handy when running yard sales, organizing fundraising function in the neighborhood among others.
This is a special amulet from Morocco that let you have wireless control over your smartphone and things around you. By simply using hand gestures, or pressing a button on the iMote, you can manipulate you smartphone into skipping to the next song, decrease the temperature on your smart AC, take a picture, order for a cab, make your phone ring if you do not remember where you placed it among other things. The best part with iMote is that you can customize your gestures to suit your personal preference.
As we usher in 2015, Innov8tiv will be on the lookout for more promising African startups. These were just the top 20 outstanding African startups we’ve come across this year, but there are plenty more to be showcased. So keep it Innov8tiv.com for all of your updates on startup and technopreneurs emerging from the African continent.