10 African startups to watch in 2017

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How alternative funders enable small business success. (Image Source: http://africa.techvoize.com/)

(Image Source: http://africa.techvoize.com/)

In Africa, technology and startups continue to grow as more people search for solutions to everyday problems. African Tech startups raised upwards of US$129 million in funding in 2016 and this is expected to grow in the coming years. Disrupt Africa monitors technology startups on the continent and they have recently published a report listing South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya as the top three destinations for tech investors in 2016, both in terms of numbers of deals and total amount of funding received.

Out of a list published by Disrupt Africa that outlines the top technology start ups to look out for in 2017, we have selected 10 startups that are predicted to influence the market this year.

1. Instabug
Launched in Egypt in 2012, this service allows users to offer feedback from within apps and to report bugs and issues. The app allows for in-app conversations, powerful crash reporting, advanced analytics, and there’s a range of other cool features too.

Instabug was selected to participate in the Silicon Valley-based Y Combinator accelerator, it was running on 100 million deivices at that time.

2. RoamSmart
This solutions assists mobile operators manage their roaming businesses by allowing them to optimise workflows and monetise existing roaming sources through an automated data reporting and analysis platform.
Lauched in 2012, Tunisia’s RoamSmart has already secured up to 29 clients including Vodacom and Orange.

3. Tutorama
Relatively new in the startup scene, Egypts’ Tutorama was launched in January 2016. The online tutoring platform connects parents with top quality local tutors in their area. Parents can schedule and pay for sessions as well as monitor the progress of their child online.

4. Fuzu
A Kenyan development startup, Fuzu allows users to learn new skills and find jobs regardless of their levels of education.
The platform provides career counselling, learning solutions and information about open positions and industry updates, providing support and guidance at different stages of user’s career. For employers, it offers advanced search and recruitment solutions with competence evaluation and algorithm-based ranking to identify the best fitting candidates.

5. Flare
Another Kenyan startup, Flare application aggregates available ambulances onto a single system, and allows patients or hospitals to request emergency help via smartphone. Flare underwent testing with ambulances throughout 2016 ahead of the release of an Uber-style consumer-facing app .

6. Jamii
Tanzania health app offers a mobile micro-health insurance product targeted at the low income and informal sector. The startup has built a mobile policy management platform that performs all the administrative activities of an insurer, and allows users to access cheap insurance via USSD.

Jamii won the Tanzania Seedstar World competition and has promised launches in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa over 2017, and is raising funds.

7. Custos Media
A South African startup that uses blockchian technology to crack down on piracy in digital media. Custos Media Technologies embeds bitcoin bounties as watermarks within videos which can still be watched normally. However, if the media passes out of the control of the intended recipient – usually a reviewer offered a pre-released version of the movie – there is a small bitcoin reward that can be collected by one downloader using a free tool.

8. Cape
Formerly known as Asimmetric, the South African startup operates a WiFi network and application quality monitoring tool. The Cape Sensor monitors WiFi network and application performance 24/7 by behaving like a real user and reporting issues in real-time before users complain. The Sensor includes features such as mobile connectivity and power backup. It works alongside a cloud-based Dashboard, which Cape says is the simplest WiFi monitoring dashboard available.

9. Dr CADx
A Zimbabwean startup founded in 2016 is developing a computer-aided diagnostic system to help doctors diagnose medical images more accurately, and to provide pervasive radiology diagnostics in regions which currently do not have radiologists.

This solution is designed to be used by medical professionals on existing computers and tablets. Dr CADx is able to diagnose most diseases but the startup’s initial focus is on lung diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia and lung cancer, as well as head injuries and breast cancer.

Dr CADx was named winner of the Zimbabwean edition of Seedstars World.

10. Printivo
The Nigerian startup aims to help other startups and SME’s print business and marketing material with ease, and hopes to grow Nigeria’s US$200 million print market.

Fundisiwe Maseko