Startups are the future economic backbones of the African continent. Most Africa’s startups in the past few years use digital means to deliver services whether they are product based or service based. Many Africa’s startups are based on ideas that replicate products and services offered in other parts of the world but not necessarily in Africa, so these startups have the advantages of toiling on virgin grounds. Inasmuch as most startups in Africa focus on the model of implementing services that are already available in other parts of the world but fine-tuned to suit the African setting, other startups have focused on solutions to problems that are unique to Africans. To make life easy for you, Dream Africa has compiled a list of the top best startups in Africa to watch.
This is an Egyptian startup created to address the stigma in North Africa as regards to problems of mental health. Shezlong operates platform online on mental health, allowing patients to connect with licensed therapists using video on mobile phones or web. In 2018, Shezlong was able to raise US$350,000 in funding. Everyone is looking forward to exciting developments from them in e-health over the coming years.
VConnect is a Nigerian based startup in Africa that connects people and businesses to service professionals online. VConnect helps is an online bridge that connects trusted service professionals to businesses for all their service needs. They currently service over 300,000 customers with over 100,000 registered professionals. VConnect was launched in 2011 and has been growing very fast as a popular business online search engine. They launched couple sister websites, Promohub and Lyf.ng in 2015. In 2013, Forbes recognized Vconnect as one of the “Hottest Tech Startups in Africa”. By the end of 2015, Vconnect boasted of over 1.2 million businesses listed.
Hey Guys, did you notice we got a new look? Say hello to simpler and elegant new homepage of Vconnect. Let us know what you think of it. pic.twitter.com/ESbBz4Ucgz
— Vconnect (@vconnectnigeria) September 5, 2019
The agricultural technology sector is not left out on fast growing startups in Africa with over US$19 million invested into the sector. Taimba, a startup based in Kenya is doing well to bridge the gap between farmers and consumers. Taimba is an online B2B platform that connects farmers to retailers making transactions easy and quick. They started operation in 2017 and are already becoming very popular as the Agricultural industry keeps growing over the years. This is surely one startup to watch.
Farmerline is another Agri-Tech based startup located in Ghana. They focus on helping small scale farmers have access to modern resources. Farmerline currently services over 200,000 farmers giving them access to information, inputs and resources that will help them grow and increase productivity. They started operation in 2013 and are currently one of the fast-emerging startups in Africa due to their positive impacts on farmers obviously because Agriculture is one of the oldest and most popular industries in Africa.
CowryWise is a Nigerian Fintech startup launched in 2017. They focus on helping users save money and enjoy interests on risk-free investments. CowryWise is online based and currently has over US$1.5 million in savings for its clients. In 2018, they received US$120,000 in funding. We look forward to seeing them perform greatly over the coming years.
Founded in 2016, Flutterwave, is a complete payment solution changing the way the world does business globally by allowing global merchants, PSPs and financial institutions to accept various payment types including Visa, Mastercard, mobile money, bank accounts and more. Flutterwave inspires a new wave of success across Africa by building payments infrastructure to connect Africa to the global economy, regardless of location. With access to over 1 billion potential customers with Alipay, Flutterwave processes billions around the world, their technology allows users to make and accept any payments anywhere around the world, all on one integrated platform. Their HQ is in San Francisco with offices in Lagos, Nairobi, Accra, and Johannesburg, South Africa.
Hnown for one thing, food, Tupuca is an online food delivery app and the first of its kind in Angola. From their app, users can order different kinds of food and are able to choose from a variety of restaurants. With over 20,000 users buying food from over 120 restaurants, this platform seen one of the fastest growths of startups in Angola. Lupuca was launched in 2015 and is currently looking into expansion to other categories like pharmaceutical delivery and grocery.
PayPass is a genius idea, giving users an opportunity to create events online and sell tickets for the created events. This is a Nigerian startup that was launched in 2017 and have seen significant growth since then. By helping performers and event planners to easily distribute tickets for their event online, PayPass is helping users address the hassles associated physically creating events, buying and selling tickets. Even creators have a withdrawal option that is processed within 24 hours. They currently focus on college events only but are looking to replicating the platform all over the world when they get funds.
FinChatBot is a South African Fintech startup launched in 2016. They focus on helping financial service providers by creating chatbots that acquire and retain customers through artificial intelligence (AI)-powered conversations. The idea is to address the problems and cost of running call centers. Now, businesses can interact with multiple customers easily with different languages anytime using automated customer support. Brilliant! In 2018 FinchatBot raised $563,000 in funding to continue growing and expanding their clientele. This is definitely one startup in Africa to watch.
Founded in Stellenbosch, and launched in 2015 at the Las Vegas CES show, LifeQ is a fast-growing multinational science driven technology startup with a mission to maximise people’s health. Since its inception, this South African world leading science and technology company is bringing optimal health to people from all walks of life. Continuously building a sustainable value for investors and partners – enhancing the lives of consumers and enterprise worldwide.
The tech startups and digital finance services landscape in Africa is following a very unique trajectory. Africa is hot right now and that surge is being driven by entrepreneurs and their home-grown innovations, with a lot of support from government, individuals and organisations.
We also recommend our guide to the fintech startups in Africa to watch.