In recent years, Africa has become a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurship, with several tech startups rising to prominence and achieving unicorn status.
From fintech companies that provide payment solutions, to e-commerce platforms that make it easier for consumers to shop online, these startups are changing the way that people in Africa do business. In this article, we will take a closer look at the top 10 unicorns in Africa.
Top Africa’s unicorns
1. Chipper Cash
Chipper Cash is a pan-African payment platform that enables cross-border money transfers between users. The company was founded in San Francisco in 2018 and has since expanded to serve users in several African countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, and South Africa.
Chipper Cash offers fast, secure, and affordable money transfers between users, without the need for bank accounts. This makes it a popular option for those who are underbanked or unbanked in Africa.
Interswitch is a Nigerian payment technology company that provides electronic payment solutions for businesses and consumers. The company was founded in 2002 and has since become one of the leading payment technology companies in Africa. Interswitch offers a range of services, including card processing, mobile payments, and internet banking.
These services are designed to make it easier for businesses and consumers to securely and conveniently make and receive payments. In addition, Interswitch has partnerships with several banks and financial institutions, allowing it to offer even more convenient payment options to its users.
Flutterwave is a Nigerian fintech company that provides payment technology solutions for businesses, including online and mobile payments. The company was founded in 2016 and has since expanded to serve businesses in several African countries, including Kenya, South Africa, and Ghana.
Flutterwave’s payment technology is designed to make it easy and convenient for businesses to accept payments from customers, no matter where they are located. This includes support for local and international payment methods, as well as integration with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce.
OPay is a Nigerian fintech company that offers a wide range of services to its users, including mobile payments, food delivery, and ride-hailing. The company was founded in 2018 and has quickly become one of the most popular fintech companies in Africa.
In addition to its range of services, OPay has also partnered with several other companies to offer more convenient and accessible financial services to its users. For example, it has partnered with ORide to offer bike hailing services, and with OFood to offer food delivery services.
Wave is a Ghanaian fintech company that offers business software solutions, including invoicing and accounting, to small businesses. The company was founded in 2016 and has since expanded to serve users in several other African countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.
Wave’s software is designed to help small businesses save time and money by automating their financial processes, such as invoicing, receipt tracking, and payment processing. The software is easy to use and accessible to businesses of all sizes, making it a popular option for small businesses in Africa.
Andela is a Nigerian company that trains and employs software developers from Africa, connecting them with businesses around the world. The company was founded in 2014 with the goal of bridging the gap between businesses in the developed world and talented software developers in Africa. Andela’s model is based on a rigorous training program that trains developers in the latest technologies and software engineering practices.
Once trained, these developers are then employed by Andela and matched with businesses that need their skills. This model not only provides businesses with access to high-quality software development talent, but it also helps to support the growth of Africa’s tech sector.
Jumia is an e-commerce company that operates in several African countries, including Nigeria, Egypt, and Kenya. The company was founded in 2012 and has since become one of the largest e-commerce platforms in Africa. Jumia offers a wide range of products, including electronics, fashion, and household goods, and provides convenient and reliable delivery services to its customers.
Jumia’s platform is designed to make it easy for African consumers to shop online, even if they don’t have access to a traditional brick-and-mortar store. The company has also launched several initiatives to support small businesses, such as its Jumia Mall program, which provides online marketplaces for small businesses to sell their products.
Fawry is an Egyptian fintech company that provides electronic payment solutions to businesses and consumers. The company was founded in 2011 and has since become one of the largest payment technology companies in the Middle East and Africa. Fawry offers a range of services, including mobile payments, bill payment, and online payments.
These services are designed to make it easy and convenient for users to securely and conveniently make and receive payments, whether they are at home or on the go. Fawry has partnerships with several banks and financial institutions, allowing it to offer a wide range of payment options to its users.
Paystack is a Nigerian fintech company provider offering financial services to a wide range of clientele. The company was founded in 2015 and was acquired for over $200 million by Irish-American financial services provider Stripe. At the time, it was the biggest acquisition in the Nigerian startup ecosystem.
The company is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria with a presence in three nations of South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana.
Esusu is a US-based fintech company that provides group savings and loans services to African communities. The company was founded in 2016 and has since expanded to serve communities in several African countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya. Esusu’s services are designed to help African communities build financial security and improve their economic opportunities.
The company’s model is based on group savings, where members contribute a fixed amount of money each week to a common pool. Members can then access loans from the pool when they need them, with the understanding that they will repay the loan plus interest. This model has proven to be popular among African communities, as it provides access to affordable credit and helps to build financial literacy and discipline.
In conclusion, the growth of these 10 unicorns in Africa shows the immense potential and untapped opportunities in the African market. These companies are not only changing the way that African businesses and consumers operate, but they are also creating new jobs and helping to drive economic growth in the region.
As the African economy continues to grow and evolve, it will be exciting to see which startups will rise to prominence next and contribute to the region’s continued development. The future is certainly bright for Africa, and these 10 unicorns are just the beginning.
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