Africa On The Rise: Top African Startups To Look Out For

The continent of Africa is rising to the challenges of 21st Century. Techpreneurship is growing in Africa and here are some of the African startups to look out for.

African entrepreneur and tech startups

Not many people have heard about Africa when it comes to ‘techpreneurship’. However, a new wave of African startups is breezing across the continent today.

No doubt, the popular news from the African continent is always negative. It’s always about war, corruption, famine, diseases, and many others evils.

But now, other great news and stories from Africa are making it into the mainstream media. We have all heard about IROKOTV – dubbed as the African Netflix.

Also, there are other African fintech startups that are thriving on the continent. It seems the continent of Africa is moving in the right direction!

African Startups To Look Out For

The coming years are going to be great for techpreneurs from the continent of Africa for so many reasons. First, the internet is becoming easily accessible even for people in remote and rural areas of the continent.

Also, the population of smartphone users continues to grow across the continent. This development alone is opening windows of opportunity for young entrepreneurs to launch their lucrative business ideas.

Today, innovative companies are springing up on the continent from South Africa to Egypt, and from Nigeria to Kenya. Africa is surely on the rise as there are business opportunities waiting to be explored. Below are some of the African startups and inventions to look out for:

#1]. Tress

Get your hairstyle inspiration from Tress


Tress is a community where users can discover and share their beautiful hairstyles. It’s a passionate community of black women from around the world sharing and discovering new and trending hairstyles.

Put together by three brilliant African women – Priscilla Hazel, Esther Olatunde, and Cassandra Sarfo, Tress is made for women to share ideas about hairstyles. Users share detailed info such as the exact hair products used, cost, and the location of the salon.

So if you are still wondering about where to get accurate information on how to achieve certain hairstyles and where to find a high-quality stylist, Tress app is all you need to have on your smartphone.

Once downloaded and installed, you can get inspiration by following other people who are sharing their hairstyle. The app lets you search for hairstyles specifically by place, price range. Also, there is a question and answer section where other users can help you.

#2]. SteamaCo

SteamaCo is one of the best African Startups

An emerging-market-focused IoT solutions provider, SteamaCo focuses on microgrids and asset management in remote areas. The company has a mission to provide electricity to people in rural areas who are not yet connected to the national grid.

How does SteamaCo work? The company makes solar and battery micro-grids that can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids.

The micro-grids come with SteamaCo’s technology that automates the regulation of electricity.

So, if the system detects there will be a surge in demand for electricity, or they see a dip in supply, like when the sun has gone down and so the grid is not collecting solar energy, then the grid automatically stops electricity for people so that it won’t affect too badly.

The system sends an automatic text to all customers on the grid saying that the electricity in houses is about to be cut off so that the hospital can keep on going. SteamaCo’s popularity is growing and it has featured in the Global Cleantech 100 Ones to Watch list.

#3]. Zipline

Using Zipline will make deliveries much faster

Zipline has been in the news recently having been hailed as the company behind the world’s first commercial regular drone delivery service. The company uses drones to parachute blood and medicine to remote towns in developing countries.


Based in Rwanda, the company uses Zip – a small robot airplane designed for a high level of safety, using many of the same approaches as commercial airliners. The drone can carry vaccines, medicine, or blood to remote places with little or no road access.

The operation uses fixed-wing drones that automatically fly to destinations in the central African nation. They release small packages attached to parachutes without needing to land at the delivery points before returning.
The technology promises to make deliveries much faster than had previously been possible by road.

#4]. BitPesa

Use BitPesa, it is one of the best African Startups

BitPesa is a mobile payment platform developed to help online workers such as web developers in Africa easily get paid. We all know popular payment systems such as PayPal are yet to enter the African market. This makes payments to remote workers in Africa difficult.

This is the gap BitPesa wanted to fill. It lets people outside the continent pay remote workers in Africa with ease. The company uses digital currency such as Bitcoin to notably lower the cost of remittances and SME business payments to and from sub-Saharan Africa.

It uses Bitcoin technology as a method of settlement with a global network of broker partners. This allows the company to settle cross-border payments at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional financial institutions. Most payments go through the same day (compared to 3-7 days for a bank transfer), and at an average 1.5% fee (compared to 5-10%).

BitPesa is connecting businesses in Africa with manufacturers in places like China as payments to any bank in China from Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania are now available.

#5]. PiggyBank

Automated saving made easy with PiggyBank

So many people in Africa do not save money or set aside some funds to meet unplanned challenges. However, the introduction of Piggybank will make it easy for people to save for such activities as travel, birthday celebration, wedding, and others.

Piggybank enables users to easily set a saving target. Then users will automatically save little amounts of money either daily, weekly, or monthly directly to a debit card until they reach their target.

Saving can often be difficult, however, Piggybank automates the entire process for users to seamlessly save regularly with ease. It enables Nigerian debit cardholders to save little amounts of money frequently with minimal effort. Users can only withdraw for free on already set withdrawal dates.


#6]. Sliide Airtime

Sliide Airtime rewards users for reading news

Sliide Airtime is a mobile app that serves as a content discovery platform. It distributes a highly curated newsfeed to the front of the smartphone lock screen in a data light format.

How does Sliide Airtime work? The curated news feed is supplemented with branded content and it appears in front of the smartphone lock screen. The company then uses a portion of the revenue generated to purchase data and airtime for users.

#7]. Printivo

Printivo is one of the best African Startups

Based in Lagos, is the Nigeria’s leading online print shop and it was recently voted as the country’s most investable startup in 2016.

The digital printing startup is on a mission to help Nigerian startups and SMEs easily print their business and marketing materials. The startup hopes to grow Nigeria’s multi-million dollars print market, which has had no credible online presence until now.

In 2015, the startup received a six-figure funding round from early-stage technology venture capital firm EchoVC Partners. The startup offers products ranging from business cards to mugs and bags. It also offers design templates to help users.

Users can select their product and template, upload images and input their information, pay online, and have the final product delivered straight to their doorstep.

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  1. Glad to see that young people on the continent of Africa are now going into internet entrepreneurship. Major thanks for the article. Much thanks again. Fantastic.


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