10 African Startups to follow [Updated 2019]

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Over the last months, Disrupt Africa, the leading African startup news and information outlet has seen the rise of hundreds of innovative startups. Among this crowd, which ones stood out?

We have compiled a list of the top 10 African tech-fueled startups that look poised to shake up the African landscape in 2019, and beyond.

Top 10 Startups in Africa

1. CowTribe (Ghana)

Cowtride was launched back in 2016. Over the past years, the startup has been consistently improving their services and has made 2018 their most successful year yet. Cowtribe offers farmers the opportunity to access legit and affordable animal vaccinations by reaching out to large suppliers. Vaccines can be ordered via USSD, text messages, over the phone and through community agents. All orders are then processed and delivered to the farmers by qualified agents.

In July 2018, Cowtribe was crowned winner of Seedstars Ghana, and a few months later announced its plans to reach all 10 regions of Ghana within 18 months. To match their ambitious and aggressive expansion strategy, the startup secured an investment of $300,000 from USA-based Draper Richards Foundation.

2. Nala (Tanzania)

Tanzania’s Nala has gradually made a name for its simplified mobile money application. The East African startup allows its users to faster and safer transactions without the need for an internet connection. While it was initially developed as a Stanford University student side-project in 2017, the past months has seen the company’s progression accelerate quickly.

Nala has raised $200,000 in funding over 2 rounds, with their latest funding in March 2018 from a Seed round. The startup also won the Ecobank Fintech Challenge, the AppsAfrica Award for Disruptive Innovation and was declared winner of Seedstar Tanzania.

3. Elves (Egypt)

Elves is a virtual assistant app that has been on the rise over the past 18 months. So far, the Egyptian startup still seems to be far from its full potential. The Elves app allows its users to chat with a super-human assistant, built on Artificial Intelligence. The methodology they use to ‘train’ the AI is through human interaction and allows users to do almost any task from anywhere around the world, all for free.

In the beginning of 2018, Elves raised $2 million in seed funding, which allowed them to constantly update their app and implement additional functionalities. Recently, they have opened an office in Los Angeles and are constantly working towards perfecting their app.

4. Taimba (Kenya)

Over the past 2 years, the agri-tech market has boomed in Africa. According to the Agrinnovating for Africa report released by Disrupt Africa, over $19 million was invested in the agri space recently. Kenyan startup Taimba provides a mobile cashless platform that aims to connect farmers with retailers. So far, the B2B platform has improved the supply chain and positively regulated the production cost.

Taimba has won the inaugural Disrupt Africa Live Pitch Competition and was named among the 3 winners of the Food+City Challenge Prize.

5. Shezlong (Egypt)

Shezlong is an Egyptian startup looking to fight off the stigma in North Africa towards mental health issues. Through its advanced online platform, Shezlong allows patients to get in touch with certified and licensed therapists. The sessions / consultations are done through video conferencing, supporting both mobile and desktop platforms.

Shezlong has been around for a few years now but has had a solid run in 2018 – they got accepted in the 500 Startups accelerator program, raised $350,000 in funding and are among the few selected startups to pitch at the annual Africa Early Stage Investor Summit.

6. FinChatBot (South Africa)

FinChatBot, from South Africa, develops chatbots that have for aim to help financial service providers acquire and retain customers, with the use of AI-powered conversations. Last year, the startup has been rapidly making a name for itself in its home country and is now looking to expand to multiple markets across the African continent.

FinChatBot ended 2018 on a high, securing $563,000 in funding from Kalon Venture Partners and Mauritius-based Compass Capital.

7. Appy Saude (Angola)

Appy Saude, from Angola, seeks to tackle one the African continent main challenges – healthcare. This innovative startup allows users to connect to its healthcare database to get access to various information, such as services offered, insurance accepted, contact details, medical specialities and locations. The past 12 months have been very busy for the startup as they are constantly adding new functionalities to their platform.

Recently, Appy Saude has partnered with Unitel, the country’s largest mobile operator, which allows them to tap into more than 12 million users!

8. KudiGO (Ghana)

KudiGo was born with one objective in mind: Redefining Consumer Retail in Africa. The startup was well-met by businesses, who are keen to use their array of services: integrated, mobile-based retail, payments, accounting and analytics engine for the consumer retail industry. Their platform allows businesses to receive payments, track inventories and build sound financial models based on past trends.

KudiGo hit the ground running and has raised $450,000 of funding from Founders Factory Africa, in a single round. Currently, the company seeks to expands over the African continent.

9. Vizibiliti Insight (South Africa)

Vizibiliti Insight makes use of Artificial Intelligence to boost the real estate sector. The South African startup uses AI to give the commercial property sector an edge by enabling them to pre-screen tenants and predict the probability they will default.

Vizibiliti Insight was named overall winner for the Customer Experience Transformation through Digital challenge. They also secured an invitation to collaborate with New York’s Verizon. Last November, the startup was selected to be part of the Knife Capital’s fourth Grindstone Accelerator programme.

10. Halan (Egypt)

For many African cities, transportation is a major pain point. While there are many startups scattered across Africa trying to solve this puzzle, one in particular has been constantly progressing over the past months. Halan, an Egyptian ride-hailing startup has already facilitated over 3 million motorcycle, tuk-tuk and on-demand logistic rides across Egypt and Sudan.

So far, Halan has raised a total of $5 million over 3 rounds. Most of their funding comes from big established companies, such as Singapore’s Battery Road Digital Holdings and Egypts’s Algebra Ventures.

Developing your business in Africa – the Smart Way

The African continent is full of opportunities. Whether you are looking to invest in a startup or to set up your own business, it is the best moment to do so. Why? Because competition is not yet as imposing as it is on other continents. However, getting into Africa may not be the easiest way forward; especially with the huge number of varying laws and regulations depending on where you want to set down.

Africa HR Solutions can help you get a head-start in Africa. We offer a range of business services, developed to facilitate business integration and expansion on the African continent.

  • Simplest and fastest way to hire people without having a registered entity
  • We manage the payroll and employment duties
  • Single solution for all your HR requirements in Africa & a central point of contact for all your queries
  • Always available for your queries and reports
  • Full compliance with local legislation’s – expert across Africa
  • Centralizing of payroll functions
  • Team dedicated to quality and flexibility to meet your requirements
  • Up to date statutory changes through multiple sources
  • Professional indemnity and employer liability

What Can We Help You With?

GRANT GERAGHTY - Africa HR Team

GRANT GERAGHTY

HEAD OF CLIENT RELATIONSHIP

Grant Geraghty is the longest-serving member of the Africa HR team. This resident subject matter expert and client champion is responsible for gaining a deep understanding of our clients’ unique HR needs in Africa and providing tailored solutions that align with their business objectives. Grant collaborates closely with our clients to ensure that their requirements are properly implemented, providing ongoing support and guidance throughout the process.

Grant brings a wealth of experience to his role, having served as Africa HR’s longest-serving employee. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with a major in Economics and Business Finance, from the University of Natal in South Africa. Additionally, he has completed a certification program in Payroll and Tax Administration from the University of Cape Town, further enhancing his expertise in HR operations and compliance.

His commitment to delivering exceptional service and his extensive knowledge of HR in Africa make him an invaluable member of the Africa HR team.

KEVINA TAKOORDYAL Africa HR Team

KEVINA TAKOORDYAL

HEAD OF OPERATIONS

Kevina Takoordyal has a BA Hons Business Management from the University of Glamorgan, UK, with MBA in leadership and Innovation, MBA General, PMP Certified, and Agile Scrum Master. She currently works as the Head of Operations at Africa HR Solutions Ltd with more than 20 years of proven leadership capabilities in Operations, Business Development, People Management, Process Optimization, and Project Management in the Financial Services, BPO, Banking Industry, and Heath Care Industry. In Senior leadership roles with an international footprint across Europe working and extensive Pan- African experience from a compliance, finance, and operations angle, Kevina comes across with a panoply of cross-functional skills. Kevina also serves on a few Boards, Non-Independent Executive at MioD and for NGOs on a voluntary basis, a coach and mentor to aspiring female leaders across Africa and Mauritius.

Kevina is a firm believer in Servant Leadership with a strong focus and commitment to uplifting others, with the ability to deliver through a highly engaged – diverse team, and works towards consistently synergistic value creation. While being a focused and adaptive thinker and Kevina is actively participating in panel discussions on Innovation, CX, Digital transformation.

Kevina serves as Project Assessor for the National Youth upskilling program. She has been recognized as Global Talent in a few companies, Ceridian, and International SOS Ltd whereby she has been awarded a few scholarships and had the opportunity to be mentored by Senior Vice President in the US. Award Winner in various fields and at a national level and recognized including Super Achiever Leader Award in Africa in 2016, Awarded Africa Women Leader 2018.

VILOSHNA PACKIRY POULLE​

VILOSHNA PACKIRY POULLE

Head of Finance & Business Support

Viloshna is an experienced finance professional with 18 years of expertise in strategic financial planning, financial analysis, cash flow management, systems and controls implementation, financial reporting, and continuous process improvements. She currently serves as Head of Finance & Business Support, where she has successfully automated and leveraged the financial reporting system capabilities to ensure efficient company operations.

Viloshna’s background includes senior roles in a multinational pharmaceutical company and a large listed Mauritian conglomerate. Her meticulous attention to detail and strategic thinking have streamlined financial processes, making her a valuable addition to any finance team. Viloshna is a qualified finance professional with an FCCA qualification and an MBA, bringing valuable expertise to any organization.

In her current role, Viloshna leads the company’s Treasury and Payments function, including the fulfillment of the company’s cross-border payments into Africa. With her strong educational background and extensive experience, Viloshna consistently demonstrates her ability to optimize financial operations, minimize risks, and improve profitability. Her expertise in financial reporting and process improvements make her a valuable asset to any organization.

MARK DU PREEZ​

MARK DU PREEZ

Head of Legal & Compliance

A qualified lawyer who joined Africa HR Solutions in July 2020, Mark Du Preez has experience working in private practice for a reputable law firm in South Africa. He also played commercially focused roles at a leading private bank, wealth management company, and outsourcing firm in South Africa and Mauritius.

Mark has played a pivotal role in Africa HR Solution’s risk mitigation strategy, which positively impacted P&L performance over the years.

He currently leads the Partnerships function of the company including relationships and oversight with in-country partners (ICPs) across Africa.

Alex Daruty - Africa HR Team

ALEX DARUTY

Head of Commercial

Alex has more than 15 years of experience in the global, strategic development of both enterprise and consumer brands in categories including technology, transport, enterprise software, entertainment, and travel.

With experience in roles on both agency and corporate side, he has worked across international brands and has led the development and execution of multi-discipline campaigns across EMEA, NORAM and Asia Pacific.

His focus is on driving meaningful business impact through brand differentiation and building high-functioning, digitally oriented, and analytically driven capabilities. He is motivated by working with, and developing dynamic people, teams, and organizations.

He leads, manages, develops and mentors the Key Account Management department, including line management responsibility for the team of Key Account Managers and Key Account Administrator who represent the Company as the primary communication link between all relevant stakeholders, including clients, third party in-country partners and internal functions.

Originally from Mauritius, he holds bachelor’s degrees in International Business, Finance and Management from the University of Nevada, Reno.