Top 20 Tech Startups in Africa According to Forbes

Sometime ago, Forbes released their list of Top 20 Startups in Africa. According to Forbes, the start-ups listed were carefully selected based on the fact that the start-ups must have been around for less than 10 years with the aim of providing solutions to some of Africa’s pressing needs. Forbes also hand-picked these sites based on their presence in the social media. The websites selected were all Pan-African in both scope and services they offer.

Here are the 20 African Tech Startups that Made the List:

1. MXit


Founded in 2003 by Namibian technology entrepreneur, Herman Heunis, MXit is a free online mobile instant messenger and social network. Shop, play and explore a multi-million user social network. MXit works on close to 3000 mobile handsets, including Java, Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Nokia, and Windows Mobile. You can buy wallpapers, music and video clips all in one space.

Watch Mxit’s Promotional video below:


2. Yola


Founded by South African-born internet entrepreneur, Vinny Lingham in 2007, Yola (originally known as Synthasite), is the website builder and hosting service that helps small businesses stand out on the web. It allows you to create a professional, free website in minutes, Yola’s award-winning Sitebuilder is fast, free and flexible. Yola provides easy to use sitebuilder for websites without advertisements. It currently has over 6 million users.

See Also: 5 Groundbreaking African Inventions in Technology

3. Dropifi

Dropifi 1

Founded in 2011, Dropifi is a Ghanaian web messaging platform that serves as a bridge between website owners and their visitors. It helps companies better analyze, visualize and respond to incoming messages from contacts. The website helps companies to manage clients and respond to their client’s inquiries

4. Cobi Interactive

cobi interactive 1

This is a mobile software development company that offers custom software design and development for the full range of mobile platforms. Cobi Interactive has extensive experience in mobile application development for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, Nokia WRT, J2ME and Windows Phone 7. Cobi uses best practice software engineering processes to develop, plan, design, implement and maintain the most efficient mobile software solution to fulfil your needs.

5. FloCash


Anybody that is familiar with Africa should know that lack of a reliable online payment system has been a major problem in the continent. The folks at FloCash has come up with a system that allows anyone with an email address and mobile number to send and receive money across Africa simply and easily. The platform also allows you to send money, receive money and make purchases with your mobile phone.

6. Obami


It is a social learning management system founded in 2009. Obami provides social networking and learning management solutions for schools and communities in South Africa enabling them to share, connect and learn. Consider this as a social learning platform that brings together everyone within the education sector such as teachers, learners and parents as well as NGO’s, Government bodies, SME and corporate bodies.

7. Bandeka


Founded in 2011 by two Havard Business School Graduate Students, Tunde and Yaw, Bandeka, adapted from ‘bandika’ which implies connect in Swahili is an invite-only community where Africans anywhere in the world can connect, meet, date and build long-lasting relationships.

8. Jobberman


Founded in 2009, is one of West Africa’s most popular job search engines and aggregators. Jobberman initially started in Nigeria but has expanded recently to Ghana.

9. Motribe


Motribe is a South African based mobile platform that enables users, brands, agencies and publishers across the world to build and manage their own mobile social communities. Founded in 2010 and based in CapeTown, Motribe enables you to build your community. It offers mobile sites with customised social features for its clients.

10. PesaPal


Described as Paypal of Kenya by Business Insider, PesaPal is an online and mobile payment platform that enables Kenyans to buy and sell on the Internet using M-Pesa, Zap and Credit Cards. PesaPal also partners with some of the leading Banks, Mobile Network Operators and Credit Card companies to give their consumers more options.

11. Synaq


It is an email solution for business providing messaging and security products built around open source solutions. The aim of this startup is to reduce barriers to adoption of technology around the world. It focuses on Linux and Open Source Software to design and build applications that deliver real business value at minimal costs.

12. Rupu


Very much like Groupon, Rupu is a Kenyan daily deals website. Rupu started operations in December 2010. It enables Kenyan businesses reach millions of users in a cost-effective way by enabling them bring you some of the best entertainment deals, restaurant deals, spas, health and beauty, travel, sports and electronics just to name a few.

13. BongoLive


It is a targeted opt-in based SMS advertising service based in Dar es salaam. Members on their platform receive offers and discounts based on their interest and, businesses. They also use the platform to target their potential clients based on interests. Developers also use the platform to send out and receive SMS as well as connect via a range of plugins.

14. Skyrove

Skyrove 1

It is South Africa’s largest independent Wi-Fi hotspot network with over 600 Wi-Fi hotspots in South Africa. Skyrove is composed of a team of dedicated technical staff, engineers, sales and marketing people with the primary aim of bringing you the fastest and most efficient Wi-Fi solution for your customers.

Watch the promo video below


15. Njorku


Founded in Cameroon in March 2011, Njorku is a technology based career and recruitment services platform focused on Africa.

16. Ushahidi


Founded in Kenya, Ushahidi is a not for profit tech company that specializes in developing free and open source software for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping for clients that includes Al-­jazeera, World Bank and the United Nations. Ushahidi which means testimony in Swahili is all about democratizing information, increasing transparency and lowering the barriers for individuals to share their stories.

Watch the video below for more on Ushahidi platform

[vimeo 7838030 w=500 h=281]

What is the Ushahidi Platform? from Ushahidi on Vimeo.



SMSGH  is a Ghanaian startup, that offers bulk SMS solutions. It is an SMS Gateway and mobile web solutions. The platform currently processes about 3.8 messaging requests per second and over 10 million business-critical and subscriber messages every month with close to 3.9 million mobile subscribers relying on the platform to alert, inform, notify, transact, interact, monetize and share mobile data.

18. Hummba


Based in Cape Town, Hummba is a South African social and travel networking website that lets you download free audio travel guides and share travel experiences directly from your mobile phone. The platform which is also integrated with Facebook and Twitter gives you ability to share your travel experiences just as they happen in a unique and exciting way. Hummba currently has guides to over 100 locations across the web. Applications also exist for iPhones and Android platforms. Hummba was launched out of BETA in early 2011.

19. 10Layer


Built for editors, developers, and Publications, 10Layer is a South African startup CMS system targeted specifically at newsrooms.

20. Sembuse

It is a SA based mobile social network & instant messaging platform

[Originally published by our sister site – TechTalkAfrica]

Editors Recommendation: 

Emeka Chigozie
Emeka Chigozie
Emeka has a keen interest in tech, entertainment, and politics. He likes to stay up to date with global news when he is not thinking about future trends in tech.


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