10 December 2012

Africa's Top 20 Tech Startups (Forbes)


Earlier this year, Forbes Africa named Africa's top 20 tech startups. No Rwandan company made it to the list: maybe this will spur us into action so as to make it on the continental (and then global) playing field.

One of the criteria was that the start-up must have been around for less than 10 years and provide solutions pertinent to the continent's needs; Forbes also hand-picked these sites based on social media presence.

Here goes:

MXit: Founded by Namibian techpreneur Herman Heunis, Mxit is a mobile instant messaging (IM) utility with services including social networking, mobile voice clips, multi-media, banking access and other community based applications. Mxit subscribers can also connect to other social networks and instant messaging. It boasts 10 million users.

Sembuse: A South African mobile social network & instant messaging platform similar to Mxit.

Yola: Founded by South African internet entrepreneur VinnyLingham, Yola is a website builder and hosting service which lets you create your own site with easy-to-use drag and drop multimedia features. It hosts 6 million users.

Dropifi:A Ghanaian web messaging platform which helps bridges website owners and their visitors to better analyze and respond to incoming inquiries.

Cobi Interactive: A South African mobile software development company that provides mobile technology and strategy consulting for top African corporations; this is done through custom software design and development.

FloCash: For anyone with an email address and mobile number who wants to send and receive money across Africa easily, as well as carry out mobile phone purchases.

Obami: A social learning management system for South African schools, teachers and students.

Bandeka: An invite-only online community where well-educated Africans can connect with other equally successful professionals, thereby building lasting relationships over the long term.

Jobberman: West Africa's most popular job search engine and aggregator.

Motribe: A mobile platform enabling users, brands, agencies and publishers across the world to build and manage their own mobile social communities.

PesaPal: A payment platform that enables Kenyans to buy and sell on the Internet using M-Pesa, Zap and Credit Cards; it is similar PayPal in that PesaPal partners with banks, Mobile Operators and credit card companies to open options for consumers.

Synaq: An email solution for business that provides messaging and security products built around open source solutions.

Rupu: A Kenyan daily deals website modeled after Groupon.

BongoLive: Tanzania's first and only targeted opt-in based SMS advertising service; subscribers receive offers and discounts based on their interests.

Skyrove: South Africa's largest independent Wi-Fi hotspot network with over 600 Wi-Fi hotspots in South Africa.

Njorku(Cameroon): A career and recruitment services platform focused on Africa.

Ushahidi(Kenya): Software development for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping. The focus is on increasing transparency and lowering barriers for people to share stories and democratize information.

SMSGH: Ghanaian startup that offers bulk SMS solutions, SMS Gateway solutions and mobile web solutions.

Hummba: A social and travel networking website that lets you download free audio travel guides and share travel experiences on social networks directly from your mobile phone.

10Layer (South Africa): A CMS system targeting newsrooms.

What do Rwandan startups have to consider in order to make the cut in the coming years? Look out for next week's piece...

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