Africa’s most promising startups: 5 companies to look out for
You may be surprised to hear it, but Africa is home to some incredible startups that are set to become even bigger in 2018. With technological breakthroughs happening each and every day, these five startups are pioneering the revolution.
Nigerian ticketing platform PayPass has been seeing unprecedented growth as of late – the idea of being able to sell tickets for events virtually is a new concept for Nigeria (and a majority of Africa), and people have been embracing this breakthrough with over 2,000 people using the platform in 2017.
That’s not including the 10,000 people registering to purchase tickets for events, including festivals, talks and conferences – PayPass is opening up doors for many Nigerian citizens looking to broaden their horizons and experience more. Talking to Disrupt Africa, co-founder Funsho Olaniyi says the drive behind PayPass is “a standard event ticketing platform for Nigerians with a good user experience”, with seamless ticket payments “a core feature”.
With payments handled by secure platform Paystack, it’s safe to assume PayPass will become even bigger in 2018.
2. The Sun Exchange
It’s one of the more unique and intriguing startups to come out of Africa, but it’s all paying off for The Sun Exchange – the company has been making headlines worldwide, and deservedly so. This organisation funds solar installations that provide power to small communities, and people can invest in a number of the solar cells to help fund said installations. And, despite only being founded in mid-2016 by Abraham Cambridge, The Sun Exchange is growing dramatically quickly.
It’s a win-win situation – small areas in Africa gain a direct power source, and investors can then profit from it. To work around the conversion of currencies, The Sun Exchange uses cryptocurrency to make this startup universal. And, as more people catch on to this company, it has the potential to revolutionise a huge part of the continent.
Set to expand off the back of recently secured funding, FilKhedma, a company founded by Egypt businessman Omar Ramadan, serves Cairo as an online marketplace for home maintenance and improvement services, such as air conditioning, painting and plumbing.
With this new funding, FilKhedma is looking for major expansion in 2018 in the form of new services, a wider location to serve as well as a growth of its user base. It’s a promising and ambitious goal, but there’s plenty of potential to be seized here, and by the looks of things FilKhedma is one of the more promising startups to come out of Africa.
Expansion is the key for Sokowatch in 2018, having already reached out from Nairobi to Dar es Salaam and gaining 1,000 new clients in three months. Founded by CEO Daniel Yu, Sokowatch allows small stores to place orders via SMS to international suppliers, meaning their stock is increased and much more varied than if they stayed locally sourced.
And people from the world over are paying attention to Sokowatch, with the startup being named a winner of the Innotribe Startup Challenge back in May of 2017, as well as securing investment several months ago. By the looks of things, 2018 will see Sokowatch grow exponentially.
Founded by Allan Rwakatungu in September 2013, this startup is more “behind the scenes” than the others, but expansion is absolutely on the cards for Intelworld in 2018. After developing the successful mCommerce platform Xente, Intelworld want to expand to physical commerce this year – and, with onboard investors helping with the plans, it looks to be concrete.
50 Ugandan businesses have already embraced Intelworld’s services, with 3,000 customers experiencing the benefits of Xente – after all, 39% of people in the continent spend 5 hours or more per day on their phones. With a physical expansion, there’s no telling how many more people could be served by Intelworld in 2018.
Are there any more African startups we should know about? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.