Out of Africa: Tech’s Next Big Thing
Maybe African tech startups aren’t new news, but things are starting to stir in Africa. While Western blogs haven’t covered many African tech startups, there are more than a handful of startup competitions in Africa – and plenty of innovative companies emerging. Tech is rampant in places like Kenya where using a smartphone to pay for an item is a lot more common than cash or cards. Here are some of the startups from Africa that are making a big splash.
M-Pesa: ‘Pesa’ means ‘money’ in Swahili, and this is a smartphone-based money-transfer app. Users can withdraw, transfer, and deposit money simply using this app. This company is one of the reasons why mobile phones are used to make and receive payments in certain parts of Africa (mostly Kenya and Tanzania).
Afroes: this company is all about educating children and teens. Afroes creates content and applications that are developed and designed to target younger audiences. Why is this content so special? It provides users with detailed information about important social messages.
ForgiveMeNot: this company turns any Facebook message or comment into a quick SMS. This way, users don’t have to connect to the Internet in order get social messages.
Yola: this company provides simple to build website setups for anyone that wants to create one. Yola is kind of like Word Press, only some say it’s simpler.
Jobberman: this app and website lets anyone living in Africa look for a local job – highly successful company.
Rupu: this is Kenya’s answer to Groupon. Users can get deals through Rupu’s site that are local and often less expensive than paying a regular price.
More Tech Coming
These are just some of the newest and best tech startups in Africa. But, you’re going to see a lot more out of startups based in major cities across Africa. Right now, startup competitions abound in Africa, but funding is still hard to come by (even though there has been a recent surge in Western investor dollars heading to African startups). All of this is bound to change, though, as Africa starts to bring more tech into the global startup sphere. Even if you don’t live in Africa, you can still check out what’s happening on the startup scene in places like Kenya and Tanzania.
While the Western world is still important where startups and tech is concerned, a lot of attention and dollars are being turned towards African’s blooming startup tech scene – and for good reason.
Some African startups complain that Western blogs aren’t giving them enough attention, but is that attention really necessary? Maybe not; if you’re running a highly successful startup in any country, getting the attention of Western press isn’t the most important thing in the world – and maybe, one day, the West won’t be as important on the tech scene either.
Have you heard of any new and interesting African tech startups? If you are involved in one, leave a message below – let us know what’s happening out there!