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Digest Africa NEXT50

  1. 1

    Accept

    Financial Services
    Egypt

    Have you ever faced a payment complication? Do you have a business idea, but all that you think of, how will you ever collect money with a lean startup and a small team? Cash collection is one of the biggest challenges for any new business; small and medium enterprises. Accept is an omnichannel payments universe tailored for growth, which helps businesses reach its maximum potential by never missing a transaction. They currently have operations in Egypt and Jordan Last year saw the startup secure funding from A15. They declined to disclose the amount but maintained it was below the $1 million. Accept also signed partnerships with MEPS Jordan, ValU by EFG Hermes, Aman for E-payments, Masary, Robusta, Link Development, Gouna City, American University Cairo and Shopify.

  2. 2

    AfricaSokoni

    E-commerce
    Kenya

    Far too long on far too many occasions Africans have been mere participants in commercial activities that are about them. Africasokoni seeks to deliberately give agency and control back to the African, be he or she the buyer or the seller. Sokoni is a Swahili word for marketplace. The startup is therefore looking to redefine shopping in Africa. The startup has secured $620,000 in funding from Ebrima Fatty - the founder - and George Koranis. They also signed a partnership with Xingye International Development company China.

  3. 3

    Babymigo

    Social Network
    Nigeria

    The lack of access to affordable healthcare and a trusted support network for expecting moms and parents is a large and growing problem. Babymigo is a fast-growing parenting community for Africa. They are building a trusted support network for every mom and moms-to-be irrespective of their social status or geographic location. The social network also serves as a pregnancy and parenting portal for Africa. Last year, Time Magazine listed the startup among the 50 Genius Companies for 2018 inventing the future alongside companies like SpaceX, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Nike, Dominos, Paytm, Slack and Pinterest.

  4. 4

    BACE Group

    Financial Services
    Ghana

    BACE Group is a FinTech company that provides digital services to financial institutions. The team is revolutionizing customer experience through their application programming interface (APIs) that secure client identity and KYC data with OCR and facial recognition technology. The startup was among the seven that received $100,000 each in funding and incubation support from MEST las year.

  5. 5

    BeneFactors

    Financial Services
    Rwanda

    If you have pending payments from trustworthy clients but need cash today, BeneFactors wants to hear from you. The startup provides factoring services and working capital solutions to firms in Rwanda. They do this through a model combining a unique credit scoring algorithm they developed specifically for the Rwandan market and post-disbursement support to work with companies other financial service providers consider unbankable. Last year, they secured partnerships with Seedstars, NISK and Bank of Africa on top of $550,000 in funding from Seedstars, Silverback Capital and NISK Capital. They are also the winner of the 2018 Seedstars World Kigali Competition.

  6. 6

    Bismart Insurance

    Insurance
    Kenya

    Insurance is a complex product. Yet, given the right and correct information, consumers can easily chose and buy the investments and the insurance solutions that they desire and meet their needs. Bismart insurance is an insurance aggregator that enables young Africans to access and buy insurance in a transparent and convenient manner. The platform allows customers to compare price and benefits and buy the best policy based on their needs. Last year, they secured partnerships with 13 insurance companies in Kenya as well as investment from German-based GreenTec Capital Partners and incubation from Standard Chartered and Strathmore University's Women in Tech Programme.

  7. 7

    BuyCoins

    Financial Services
    Nigeria

    According to Quartz Africa, in July 2016, Manasseh Egedegbe, an Abuja-based investment manager, was caught in the crosshairs of Nigeria’s dollar crunch and had some difficulties making an international payment. At the time, with Nigeria’s foreign reserves and revenues shrinking amid an economic slump, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) put up currency controls to restrict access to dollars. For Egedegbe and many other Nigerians, that presented a problem. In his desperation, he turned to the cryptocurrency wave of the moment: bitcoin. BuyCoins is a cryptocurrency exchange for Africa. It is the only exchange in Nigeria that allows Nigerians to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, ranging from Bitcoin and Ethereum to Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, directly with their local bank account or debit card. The startup is a graduate of Y Combinator - Summer 2018 Batch and subsequently received $120,000 in seed funding. They also received an undisclosed amount from Precursor Ventures.

  8. 8

    Bwala Africa

    Transportation & Logistics
    Kenya

    In supply chains in African businesses, the challenge is not big data, as in developed countries, but simply data itself. While striving for increased visibility, African companies’ goals remain focused on the internal organisation rather than suppliers and customers. Bwala is a crowdsourcing platform for last mile logistics partner. The startup recently secured funding from CFC Stanbic as well as a partnership with ISUZU East Africa and Jumia Kenya. They also announced their expansion plan to Uganda with their operations set to kick-off in February 2019.

  9. 9

    Chefaa

    Health & Pharma
    Egypt

    Approximately 1.6 million Africans died of malaria, tuberculosis and HIV-related illnesses in 2015. These diseases can be prevented or treated with timely access to appropriate and affordable medicines, vaccines and other health services. Without access to medicines, Africans are susceptible to the three big killer diseases on the continent: malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. Chefaa is an on-demand Smart Medical Platform. The startup's vision is to help patients order/schedule and have medicine delivered from nearest pharmacy according to GPS location with the easiest user trip. Last year, the received funding from Flat6Labs as well as signed partnerships with an insurance company (details confidential for now), two nursery schools and 489 pharmacies across Egypt.

  10. 10

    Complete Farmer

    Agriculture
    Ghana

    Individuals in corporate Ghana, retirees and people in the diaspora have shown a keen interest in starting an agribusiness so they can earn a secondary source of income. However, time constraints, middlemen and limited access to information and input are major barriers to starting an agribusiness. Complete Farmer describes itself as 'Farmville in real life'. The startup enables its users to build and manage farms from the comfort of their homes. Last year, it signed partnerships with HMD Africa, Premium Bank and MEST Accra. They have so far secured $50,000 in funding from Kosmos Energy Ghana. It also emerged among the five winners of DEMO Africa 2018 who will tour Silicon Valley early this year.

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    Cowrywise

    Financial Services
    Nigeria

    Traditional financial institutions have made saving money and growing wealth costly and unattractive to individuals who are outside their high net worth bracket. We want to make saving worthwhile again for everyone by making it simple to do and highly rewarding. We invite you to join us on this wonderful journey. CowryWise is a FinTech company democratizing access to premium financial services by making these services available to the mass market cheaply. They graduated from Y Combinator last year receiving an investment of $120,000. They also received got $15,000 from Microtraction and $50,000 from Kairos after being named among the '50 World-Changing Startups to Watch in 2019' by Inc Magazine.

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    CredPal

    Financial Services
    Nigeria

    Financial access and the underlying financial infrastructure is taken for granted in rich countries, such as savings accounts, debit cards or credit as well as the payment systems on which they operate, still aren’t available to many people in developing countries.CredPal is a technology company that allows consumers to buy anything across online and offline merchants and pay for it in instalments. The startup's platform gives consumers instant access to consumer credit for offline/online purchases. Last year, they were a part of a VilCap program as well as signed partnerships with Visa, Konga, Pointek and Zenith Bank.

  13. 13

    Elkrem

    Blockchain
    Egypt

    Elkrem develops software and hardware tools to connect makers to the Blockchain and other decentralized technologies. The startup powers Blockchain on IoT. Last year, they joined Consensys's accelerator - Tachyon - as well as secured funding from Consensys Ventures, 500 Startups and other investors. The startup also signed a partnership with Viant - a supply chain tracking company on Blockchain. They currently have a staff of 10.

  14. 14

    EnerGrow

    Energy
    Uganda

    The 2014 Africa Energy Outlook showed that more than 620 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live without electricity, a figure that has not closed much in the years since its release. Focusing in on Uganda, according to the World Bank, only 1 in 5 households had access to the electric power grid in the same year. When comparing rural and urban homes, the situation is much direr with over 89% of rural households not reached by the grid compared to the still inaccessible 34% unconnected in urban areas. This means that those in the rural areas are locked out the commercial opportunities that come with electricity. EnerGrow is a technology company that uses training results and big data analysis to offer business financing services to rural customers as well as the necessary business and financial training programs. The startup is empowering capacity through increasing the consumption of energy for commercial use. They are building their business model to work hand in hand with, and benefit from, the expansion of the electricity grid to rural areas. Through partnerships with banks, their customers will gain access to the capital markets and as such cheaper loans, whilst banks gain hard-to-reach rural customers whilst assuming zero risks. Last year, they received funding from Uganda's Ministry of ICT as well as signed a pilot agreement with UMEME and confirmed MFI license from UMRA.

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    Fakahany

    E-commerce
    Egypt

    Founded in 2017 by Waleed Khalil, who happens to be a partner with Endure Capital, and Ahmed Attia, Fakahany allows users in Cairo and Giza governorates to order fresh fruits and vegetables through its online platform or mobile. The startup supplies the daily needs of fresh quality fruits and vegetables at the comfort of your doorstep. According to a statement they sent to Menabytes, they have seen a great level of demand in the market and has been able to grow its revenues ten-fold over last one year.Last year, they raised $700,000 in funding in a funding round that was led by Endure Capital with a couple of other angel investors joining in.

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    Gokada

    Transportation & Logistics
    Nigeria

    Lagos has become a sprawling megacity, and, as with all megacities across the world, it is characterized by rapidly growing urbanization and its attendant increase in population. Transportation and the concomitant increase in traffic are some of the challenges the city is facing. Gokada, an on-demand transportation company or motorbike hailing service headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, is working to solve the problem. The startup’s customers can order a motorbike ride through the company's website, or by using the company's geo-location -based smartphone Gokada mobile app. The Gokada mobile app provides commuters access to hail motorcycles and take safe and affordable rides to any part of Lagos. The app is currently available and can be used on both Android and iOS devices. The startup got funding from CRE Venture Capital as well as Adventure Capital.

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    Harmonica

    Social Network
    Egypt

    Harmonica is the leading marriage-making app that allows users to find their life partner through their scientific conservative algorithm. In the Middle East, hundreds of millions of single people had no other solution but arranged marriages, which is a stressful process and often leads to incompatible matches. In only 6 months, Harmonica has grown organically into 100,000 user base, with 10,000 daily active users who have exchanged more than 5 million messages, and already has the first marriages coming through. The startup also secured funding from 500 Startups.

  18. 18

    HitchHiker

    Transportation & Logistics
    Egypt

    Imagine that shopping the world is as simple as a click of a button, shop the world and ship easily with HitchHiker. Pay 70% less on shipping. Hitch Hiker is a peer-to-peer shipping app to connect shoppers with trusted travellers to save money on shipping & make money travelling. The startup has 5 main routes from/to; (Germany, UK USA, UAE and KSA) to Egypt, with a staff of 13. The startup also offers insurance for shipments up to $1,000. Last year, they partnered with 15 Travel agency to supply travellers all over the year. They also raised funding from an unknown investor.

  19. 19

    IAME

    Blockchain
    Mauritius

    Regulatory integration and mainstream adoption depend highly not only on the implementation of Know Your Client (KYC) but also Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CFT) processes, which are difficult to conduct when all cryptocurrency transactions are anonymous and decentralised. IAME is a tech company engaged in the development of a decentralised fragmented identification system for the blockchain ecosystem. By leveraging the IAME Identification Network, individuals can successfully verify their identities without having to disclose sensitive information to the other parties within a transaction. The startup raised Angel investment from Jonathan Evrard and Ka'resh Eswar last year.

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    iSagha

    E-commerce
    Egypt

    Although the jewelry industry in Egypt is a very ancient industry, it is still far from technological development. Therefore, iSagha has come to develop and transfer this market for the 21st century. iSagha is a platform that allows jewelers to showcase and sell their inventories online. The startup aims to digitize the Egyptian jewelry market by providing them with this new distribution channel to reach a large number of customers. It was part of Flat6Lab's recent cohort.

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    KAINO Africa

    Education
    Uganda

    In Uganda, just like in most parts of Africa, the education sector is slowly failing to deliver to the 21st Century needs. This is partly because the teaching methods are old-fashioned and books are not only inadequate but those that are available are not always used effectively. For example, at primary and sometimes secondary levels many students leave school without having mastered required levels of literacy and numeracy. KAINO Africa is an inclusive education platform that leverages technology to transform how teachers deliver lessons across Africa. The startup’s model doesn’t seek to replace the teacher, instead, place technology in the hands of teachers in Africa bundled with training and support. They secured a partnership with SIPRO Educational Services - publisher of education material in Uganda and launched their MVP tab mid last year. Other partners they signed last year ranged from Hillside Naalya, MK Publishers, RS Publishers, Fountain Publishers, KORTEXT to Ridgeway Primary School.

  22. 22

    Kamtar

    Transportation & Logistics
    Ivory Coast

    Kamtar is the first digital platform for connecting carriers and business or private customers in West Africa. Kamtar allows you to book a vehicle in seconds on Abidjan.The Ivorian startup makes it possible to connect the carriers to professional or private customers. The services offered range from moving to internal logistics, including delivery, explain the co-founders Arthur Thuet and Délas N'Dri. The idea came to them after encountering difficulties during a move. About 1,000 vehicles - from motorcycle to truck - are already registered on the platform.

  23. 23

    KoloPay

    Financial Services
    Nigeria

    Impulse buying/unplanned spending and easy access to saved funds have stopped millions of people from achieving their planned goals. KoloPay, on the other hand, is a cashless mobile and web application that enables you to achieve your target savings over a period of time and offers discounts on the good and services customers are saving towards.

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    Kourtim

    Transportation & Logistics
    Morocco

    Kourtim has a digital platform for the planning and real-time management of transport flows. The startup currently only operates in Morocco but has plans to expand across Africa in 2019. Last year, it was selected among the top five winners of the DEMO Africa competition. It also secured partnerships with LaFactory, Demo Africa and [email protected]

  25. 25

    KudiMoney

    Financial Services
    Nigeria

    In a world built for spending, Kudimoney helps you save conveniently towards the things you want. The startup is building a full-service digital-only bank with a tonne of features that save you money. From zero bank charges to interest-bearing automatic savings to low interest instant loans. Kudimoney has built a bank packed with a bundle of features that saves you a tonne of cash, helping you towards achieving financial freedom.

  26. 26

    Langbot

    Education
    Ethiopia

    Despite several economic recessions in the past, the game industry has been growing and evolving. Official statistics show that 51% of U.S household owns a dedicated game console and those that do, own an average of two. Gamification in education aims to make learning more engaging and appealing to a public audience and goes beyond traditional learning methods as traditional learning tends to be boring. Many organizations have borrowed the main tools and concepts from games to motivate people. LangBot Technologies is a startup specialized in the creation of language teaching chatbots. The startup's MVP won $20,000 from Facebook's messenger bot challenge and its Beta was launched in December 2017 getting over 200,000 users who've had about 12 million interactions with the bot. It has since secured partnerships from Alliance Francaise Addis Ababa, French Embassy in Ethiopia and Institut Francaise in Paris as well as acceleration and incubation from Injini.

  27. 27

    M-SCAN

    Health & Pharma
    Uganda

    According to WHO report 2015 on maternal health, every day, approximately 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries. In Uganda, 19 mothers in 10,000 women die due to maternal complications. M-SCAN is a startup that develops portable mobile ultrasound devices. The journey of mSCAN was brought to life with winning of its first $10,000 seed funding from UNFPA after taking part in the Up Accelerate challenge. Last year, it emerged the winner of TechCrunch's Startup Battlefield Africa.

  28. 28

    MAYDAY

    Automotive
    Egypt

    MAYDAY utilizes a sharing economy model connecting "providers" in this case tow trucks or car drivers with motorists in need of assistance across Cairo & Giza. The startup offers a range of services to its users including Battery jump start, Fuel delivery, tire change or Towing all delivered in less than 30 minutes. After four months of its launch, MAYDAY successfully raised $20,000 in investment from VFlock, other angel investors and its founders. In addition, to being incubated within the 2nd cycle of the MINT incubator lead by EGBank and Cairo Angels.

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    MedMisr

    Health & Pharma
    Egypt

    MedMisr is Egypt's 1st Digital Healthcare Benefits Management Startup that provides Medical claims management services for Insurance companies, starting from the first Medical point of service. The startup aims to reshape the Medical insurance Industry by eliminating the traditional claim form, offering a cost optimization solution with complete new user experience, connecting all stakeholders online and providing protection against fraud.

  30. 30

    NALA

    Financial Services
    Tanzania

    NALA is a simplified mobile money application that allows you to make faster, smarter and safer transactions without an internet connection. The startup is a unified platform to carry out financial transactions securely and easily. It is working to make financial inclusion a reality for Africans everywhere, starting in Tanzania; smarter, faster, and offline. Last year, it won Seedstars Dar es Salaam and was also selected by the prestigious US seed accelerator Y Combinator to take part in its 2019 batch.

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    Nvoicia

    Financial Services
    Ghana

    There is a growing demand for working capital by small businesses while on the other hand there is a continuous need for secure and competitive returns for investors. Nvoicia assists small businesses with unpaid invoices, gain access to working capital loans in order to efficiently run their businesses using these invoices. The startup partners with Individuals and Institutional Investors to finance the Small business invoices in exchange for a competitive return on their investment. They provide the working capital loans to SMEs without collateral through invoice factoring. Last year, the startup was accepted into Kosmos Innovation Centre as well as MEST Incubator and also raised $100,000 in seed funding.

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    Optimalogistic SA

    Transportation & Logistics
    Tunisia

    Africa carries the potential for economic and social prosperity, yet has numerous challenges that still need to be overcome. These challenges – related to supply chain infrastructure – in itself also holds huge opportunity though, especially for those organisations specialising in construction and related industries. Africa, therefore, needs to invest heavily in transport and logistical infrastructure to support and enable the economic growth that awaits the continent. Optimalogistic is an online marketplace for logistic services such as road haulier, heavy duty machinery rental, handling equipment rental, etc. It offers many functions like; booking system, trucking System, real-time trucks details, empty return trip notification and dedicated solution for industrials and manufacturers to manage their logistics.

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    Pineapple

    Insurance
    South Africa

    Big profit margins, heavy expenses and fraud ruin the value that an insurance buyer gets from their policy. That is why Pineapple set out to change this, a task which required a complete overhaul of insurance as most do and know it with an entirely new business model that aims to achieve affinity, fairness and simplicity to decrease costs, cap profits and deter fraud in an effort to create more value from an insurance policy than the traditional model. The Pineapple model has its roots in what is a traditional South African Stokvel, developed further to be decentralised, digital, completely scalable and fully comprehensive insurance cover with no chance of claims not being able to be paid due to a lack of funds. The startup is a peer-to-peer decentralized insurer based in South Africa that gives its members fully indemnified insurance coverage. Last year, the Johannesburg based insurtech startup was accepted into the US-based Hartford InsurTech Hub as well as the Google Launchpad Accelerator.

  34. 34

    Redbird Health Tech

    Health & Pharma
    Ghana

    Modern healthcare requires consistent monitoring of personal health. Patients cannot afford to spend a day out of work for simple health monitoring. Redbird Health Tech is a for-profit social enterprise enabling more convenient healthcare for patients in Ghana. The startup partners with pharmacies and licensed chemical shops to bring them proven rapid test technology for chronic and acute conditions, enabling them to expand their business, and giving patients a convenient way to monitor their health, wherever they are. They have so far signed up 2,000 pharmacies and 10,000 chemists.

  35. 35

    Safari Meals

    E-commerce
    Somalia

    Following more than two decades of conflict, a new federal government emerged in Mogadishu in 2012 within the framework established by the Provisional Constitution. Soon after, the international community agreed to the Somali New Deal Compact–an organizing framework (2014-2016) for assistance delivery to the country—with the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), in line with national priorities, increasing delivery through Somali institutions. The compact was succeeded by the New Partnership for Somalia in 2017, following a peaceful transition of power in February 2017. Somalia’s economy is projected to grow at a steady, nominal annual rate of 5% to 7% over the medium-term, according to the second Somalia Economic Update to be published by the World Bank Group. This will breed a new class of consumers that are likely to be in the middle income. Safari Meals operates an online food ordering platform targeting those households in the middle-income bracket. Currently, the startup covers Mogadishu, Somalia’s Capital city with a population of 3.5 million and has a permanent staff of 7 with over 25 restaurants signed up on their platform. Over the period of the past 12 months, the startup had a 30% customer return rate. It also secured $32,000 in funding from Khadar Ems.

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    Seemba

    Gaming
    Tunisia

    Several developers and companies are pushing hard to establish an Africa-wide games industry. Yet, how to make money out of their games is still a challenge. This is particularly because in-app purchases are relatively rare. Seemba allows developers to monetize their games by integrating an innovative API which enables them to; Add an eSport feature to their games, Generate a new revenue stream, Increase customer attraction/Loyalty/Retention or Improve customer experience by removing ads. The startup secured $51,000 from Flat6Labs last year.

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    Swipe2Pay

    Financial Services
    Uganda

    Small retail businesses are essential for the growth of the African economy. Though many of these business entities need more assets to seize business opportunities, previous research studies suggest that their overall access to finance through banks and other finance providers seems to be limited. In general, small retail businesses are usually managed by entrepreneurs who lack financial knowledge, but banks, when deciding on credit applications, rely heavily on financial information, which is provided by these entrepreneurs. Swipe2pay is a payment solutions company, that empowers SME's to accept both card and mobile money as a mode of payment and not only to accept payments but also make sense of their sales data, to have quick access to loans. Last year, they received funding from Leapfrog Ventures as well as secured a partnership with VISA through the VISA Everywhere Initiative.

  38. 38

    TabAds

    Marketing & Advertising
    Kenya

    According to JCDecaux Global Ad Spends Forecast – Digital Out Of Home Advertising (DOOH) was projected to grow by 15% in 2018 reaching $5B and accounting for 18% of total OOH spend excluding cinema. With the trend catching up globally, African countries, too, are showing some promising statistics. Entertainment and Media Outlook, a PWC report says, Nigeria is the fastest growing market in the continent when it comes to DOOH with a CAGR of 47.5% between 2016 to 2020. Kenya comes second in the continent with a growth rate of 26.9% followed by South Africa at 13.4%. TabAds - as the name suggests - wants to capitalize on that. The startup has interactive tablets that entertain and engage passengers in cabs running content along with advertisements. The startup can help brands reach out to 100,000 premium passengers of cabs monthly. Early last year, they raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Foresight Ventures Kenya.

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    TalkLift

    SaaS
    Kenya

    In the mid-1990s, as the use of mobile phones started its rapid spread in much of the developed world, few thought of Africa as a potential market. Now, with more than 400 million subscribers, its market is larger than North America's. Africa took the lead in the global shift from fixed to mobile telephones, notes a report by the UN International Telecommunications Union.* Rarely has anyone adopted mobile phones faster and with greater innovation. More and more Africans are using mobile technologies to access social media tools on the internet more and more Africans are using mobile technologies to access social media tools on the Internet. A similar story now seems again to be unfolding. Africans are coupling their already extensive use of cell phones with a more recent and massive interest in social media — Internet-based tools and platforms that allow people to interact with each other much more than in the past. In the process, Africans are leading what may be the next global trend: a major shift to mobile Internet use, with social media as its main drivers. TalkLift, formerly Biashara Bot, is a social selling platform for small and medium-sized businesses that focuses on optimising leads collection and conversion at every touch point. The startup’s goal is to help small and medium-sized businesses sell on social media in a professional way and increase revenue. To date, they have helped more than fifty businesses take over one thousand orders and aid in successful deliveries to their customers. It was also among the first startups that Leapfrog Ventures invested in from their $4.5 million Africa focused fund.

  40. 40

    Tareeqi

    Transportation & Logistics
    Egypt

    Tareeqi offers a new way to handle your daily trips. The startup’s app helps users to better plan their journeys by linking them with transport minibuses in the informal sector. You can track the bus you or your kids are taking and also get notified with every movement. Tareeqi launched with a $60,000 injection from an Emad Hamdy. For the startup, they are targeting minibuses that transport university students and have so far signed agreements with three Egyptian universities to offer students the app.

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    Teliman

    Transportation & Logistics
    Mali

    In May, the World Bank and CFAO Automotive – the subsidiary of Toyota in Africa – joined forces to help launch Mali’s first bike-hailing startup, Teliman. In Mali’s capital, Bamako, the population sits at 2.3 million and growing rapidly – at 5%. As a result, the country’s road network is coming under increased pressure. Especially when it comes to public transportation. Prompting the need for a solution.

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    Thank U Cash

    Financial Services
    Nigeria

    Once a customer gets to be appreciated, the tendency of repeat purchases, and also the continuous patronage becomes a normality for the consumer. Thank U Rewards Platform is a multi-merchant rewards platform that works both offline and online. The scheme engages and rewards customers of Thank U Cash partner Retailers and Service owners and also creating growth for businesses under the Thank U Cash Brand. The startup’s system provides an analytical platform for merchants to be able to understand the needs of their consumers, what they buy, when they buy and how they buy things. Using this data the merchant can understand better what products to stock, when to stock them and how to better price their products. Last year, the startup got backing from Ventures Platform, Microtraction and Google Launchpad Accelerator.

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    TradeBuza

    Agriculture
    Nigeria

    Resilience is the capacity of a system to continue providing a desired set of services in the face of disturbances, including the capacity to recover from unexpected shocks and adaption to ongoing change. In the last ten years, there has been a surge of interest in the topic of resilience across different academic disciplines and practice communities. Food systems is one area in which understanding resilience will be crucial, because food, nutritional outcomes, livelihoods, and many other essential life-supporting services are derived from food systems. At the same time, the rapid pace of industrialization, market segmentation, and consolidation of food systems are making them increasingly complex New challenges related to population growth, conflict, climate change, and the degradation of natural resources may be driving an increase in the incidence, magnitude, and impacts of disturbances—such as droughts, fires, price shocks, and mass population displacements—that affect the availability and distribution of food. The nature of these shocks is often unpredictable, underlining the limitations of standard risk management paradigms that attempt to quantify the probability and outcomes of disturbances. The task of understanding food system resilience is arguably most urgent for developing country contexts, where vulnerability is higher to such challenges and food and nutritional security are already tenuous. Furthermore, developing countries depend the most heavily on the agrifood sector for jobs, household incomes, and economic growth.TradeBuza is an AI-enabled commodities sourcing platform for Commodities Aggregators and Outgrower Schemes. The startup improves efficiency, provides visibility and transparency into outgrowers and commodities sourcing activities. Last year, it was among the four startups that received $25,000 from Itanna Accelerator each.

  44. 44

    Uprise.Africa

    Financial Services
    South Africa

    Equity Crowdfunding is a new way to invest in SMEs. Multiple investors contribute to innovative business pitches in exchange for equity shares in the company. Raising capital alongside multiple sources reduces the investment risk. Businesses gain validation and build brand awareness through the capital raising process. Uprise.Africa, a South African Equity Crowdfunding Platform, wants to be the go-to place for early-stage companies looking to raise funding by positioning itself as an innovative online platform to discover, learn and invest in local business. In October last year, Uprise.Africa received an undisclosed amount of funding from Nexxus Ventures, based on a ZAR60 million (US$4.2 million) valuation of the company, to enable it to launch new deals on its platform in the coming months.

  45. 45

    UTU Technologies

    Blockchain
    Kenya

    Establishing trust in an online context is both critical and difficult. When customers shop at a brick-and-mortar store, they have multiple indicators of how trustworthy the business is. Individual clues might include professional signage, a friendly store owner, a clean storefront, products in stock, and other customers browsing and making purchases. UTU Technology offers Trust-as-as-Service through its machine learning algorithm optimised for trust. Their Trust API seamlessly serves up personalized recommendations for trusted service providers on sharing platforms to drive your conversion, satisfaction, retention, and viral acquisition. UTU raised funding from Hong Kong-based accelerator Zeroth as it looked to expand its platform offering trust recommendations to sharing economy platforms across Africa. It also received an additional $50,000 from æternity Ventures’ partner network.

  46. 46

    Wasla Browser

    Information Technology
    Egypt

    There are more than two billion people in emerging markets coming online for the first time through their mobile phones. However, high connectivity costs remain one of the biggest obstacles preventing people in emerging markets from achieving universal access. Wasla’s goal, therefore, is to provide over 500 million people in emerging markets with free mobile internet. After a year of developing the platform in stealth, Wasla successfully launched its browser at the 2018 Rise Up Summit and attracted over 2,000 users organically in under 48hours. This traction landed Wasla the #2 spot on the Google Play Store Trending Apps. Wasla’s Android browser subsidizes user's mobile data costs by leveraging mobile advertising. Towards the end of last year, they raised $180,000 from a couple of angel investors led by Omara Barakat.

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    Weelo

    Information Technology
    Egypt

    Africa’s middle class is rising and they have money to spend. About a third of the continent spends between $4 to $20 a day—a group that is expected to grow to 42% by 2060, according to data from the Africa Development Bank (pdf). That’s more than a billion people. Founded in 2017, Weelo offers an innovative way for supermarkets to answer the demands of new generation consumers and meet them exactly where they are; on their mobile phone. The startup positions itself as the gateway for supermarkets to leverage the rising e-commerce market. Weelo's platform streamlines inefficient and complex home delivery processes to manage and track customer orders and deliveries for supermarket and chains. Through the Weelo application, users are connected to the nearest partner supermarkets. By mid last year, the start reported that it had hit 4,000 users. It was also among the 10 that received funding to the tune of $28,000 from Flat6Labs in May last year.

  48. 48

    YouVerify

    SaaS
    Nigeria

    In business transactions rely on trust, and - in turn - that trust is based on transparency. Youverify is building trust in Africa by helping businesses and individuals confirm identity and physical addresses. Using artificial intelligence, the startup confirms a user’s identity document and compares it with their facial biometrics. This information can be cross-checked against more than 300 databases locally and globally. Youverify in partnership with over 20,000 field verification officers verifies physical addresses all over Sub-Sahara Africa in less than 48 hours. Last year, the Lagos-based startup secured at least $350,000 in funding from Village Capital investment arm - VilCap Investment and Chinook Capital.

  49. 49

    Z'POS

    Financial Services
    Zambia

    According to the World Economic Forum, small and growing businesses in Africa create around 80% of the region’s employment. They are also responsible for establishing a new middle class and fueling demand for new goods and services. Yet, despite their significance, they are still plagued with challenges. But, recently, the number of startups tapping into these SMEs has risen. These provide services ranging from tools for tracking sales and stock to credit. Zambia’s Z’POS – a product of Outsource Now – is joining that club. The startup has a mobile accounting app that helps retail merchants record their business transactions so that they can make better business decisions easily. A graduate of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program, Z’POS is the “the first company in Zambia that is working to organize Zambia’s informal retail data,” according to Chisepo. They have raised at least $57,500 in funding in both equity and grants. The startup scored $7,500 in grant funding from the Tony Elumelu Foundation ($5k) and Insight to Impact ($2.5k). It also attracted an extra $50,000 in equity investment in June this year from Zenga Ventures and Ground Squirrel Ventures.

  50. 50

    Zelda Learning

    Education
    South Africa

    Zelda is an Ed-Tech platform focused on connecting students to education and employment opportunities. They use personal and psychometric data to match high-potential students to the companies and opportunities that are right for them. The startup, which runs a bursary management platform that helps organisations find and filter talented youth and fund their university studies, was founded in 2017 by three former UCT students — Carla Wilby, Jasanth Moodley and Dominic Schorr. Last year, Zelda was selected among the startups that joined Injini’s incubator. They went on to receive $35,000 from Injini and an additional $35,000 from a group of three Angel Investors. The three angels are: Bas Hochstenbach — a co-founder of Asilia Africa and angel investor for Skill-Up Tutors (he helped the startup to this year raise funding from Knife Capita); Frederik Gerner — a co-founder of Ampelmann Operations and partner at Forward.one venture capital group; and Justin Drennan — a co-founder of ParcelNinja and an investor for Superbalist. In a conversation with Ventureburn, Schorr, one of the co-founders, said that they have a team of six full-time and two part-time members. Their current focus has been on building its online platform. As such, the startup is generating only a ‘small revenue’ — from helping a small client run its leadership camp, said Schorr. However, with this latest round of funding the startup intends to concentrate on growing sales and improving its client-facing services, with Schorr adding that the company has just signed on a client to carry out a pilot.

What is Digest Africa NEXT50?

Digest Africa's vision is to organize all the information and data about Africa's tech startup ecosystem and also disseminate it in ways that are easier to consume and understand. That is why we are launching the Digest Africa NEXT50, to make it easier for some of Africa's promising startups to be noticed.

The list is a selection of the 50 startups we are confident have the potential to take off and become the 'NEXT' high-flyers. As we highlight these startups, we also create opportunities for them in terms of follow-on funding, strategic partners as well as customers or users.

We follow a strict criterion which involves only considering startups that were founded not more than two years ago. This means that for the 2018 list, we considered those that were founded not earlier than Jan 1, 2017. Startups founded in that period but have raised over $1 million in funding aren't considered also. Please note that the startups are arranged in alphabetical order.