Internet usage in major cities and commercial nerve centres across Africa has continued to increase in leaps and in bounds over the last few years. Whether it is for buying and selling, banking or agriculture, or even access to an health care product, the use of technology has increased the volume of trade and offered smart solutions to challenges impeding the ease of doing business in Africa. The growth of the tech industry in Africa has been phenomenal since the last decade and more new tech start ups are still being created to improve on existing technology.
This article focuses on five African tech companies that have contributed immensely to the day to day activities in the business landscape, as well as provided consumer based solutions for easy living across the continent.
Fintech giant, Flutterwave is a Nigerian company that provides a payment infrastructure for global merchants and payment service providers across Africa. The company was founded in 2016 by by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Olugbenga Agboola, and Adeleke Adekoya and is headquartered in San Francisco, California with operations in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa , and seven other African countries.
In 2021, Flutterwave became a unicorn after it secured the largest amount ever secured by an African tech startup and gave it a valuation of over US$1 billion.
Jumia is a Pan-African technology company that is built around a marketplace, logistics service and payment service. The logistics service enables the delivery of packages through a network of local partners while the payment services facilitate the payments of online transactions within Jumia’s ecosystem. It has partnered with more than 110,000 active sellers and individuals. Jumia was founded in 2012 by a group of non African consultants alongside with Tunde Kehinde and Raphael Kofi Afaedor of Nigeria. By 2013, it had expanded to five other countries : Egypt, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Kenya and South Africa. In 2014, the company launched offices in Tunisia, Tanzania , Ghana , Cameroon , Algeria and Uganda, and by 2018 it was present in 14 African countries.
mPharma, co-founded by Gregory Rockson is a Ghanaian e-commerce platform for pharmaceuticals. The startup is positioned to build a network of community pharmacies across Africa as it plans to be the go-to primary healthcare service provider for millions of people residing in the region. It plans to plans to grow its community (Mutti) pharmacies across eight markets in Africa to be the first point of care for patients. The startup’s Mutti pharmacies are essentially mini-hospitals offering a wide-range of services, including medical consultation, diagnostic and telehealth services. All these while increasing access and affordability to quality medication.
Launched in East Africa, Kenya in 2012. Mdundo provides a music streaming and download service dedicated to showcasing Africa’s musical talents. Available via Android app or online, by 2013 Mdundo had expanded to its second country, Tanzania, after earning US$125,000 in follow-on funding. The service continued to grow organically, with artists from around Africa signing up to make their music available on the platform. The platform currently lists music from over 15,000 artists.
The startup now boasts 750,000 active users each month; and is popular with users in Kenya, Tanzania,Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Egypt, Mali, Guinea, Rwanda, South Africa, Senegal, Zambia, Togo, Benin, Burundi, Mozambique, and Ethiopia.
AgriPredict was founded in 2016 by Mwiza Simbeye and Sikalinda Patrick in Lusaka, Zambia. AgriPredict provides farmers with access to information that will help them identify diseases, predict pest infestations and weather conditions. The startup also provides weather predictions to help farmers plan better.
The mobile application is available for download on the Android platform or via a USSD platform. A farmer can take a photo of a suspected diseased plant and have AgriPredict give a diagnosis, treatment options, and the location of the closest agro-dealer in the area. Also since marketing is one of the major problems affecting small-scale farmers in Zambia, AgriPredict connects farmers with markets for fair trade of their commodities.