5 AFRICAN TECHNOLOGY STARTUPS TO WATCH IN 2014

The most recent figures for mobile and internet usage are promising, and show room for growth. “Only 16 percent of the Africa’s one billion people are currently online, but that share is rising. More than 720-million Africans have mobile phones, 167-million already use the Internet, and 52-million are on Facebook,” reported consultancy McKinsey, in a report entitled ” Lions go Digital: The Internet’s transformative potential in Africa.”

Read through the list below to see, in no particular order, the innovative companies at the forefront of Africa’s tech revolution:

1. DealDey: “To become Nigeria’s largest deal site is no mean feat. Just ask Sim Shagaya — this is one of the three digital giants he has created in the country. Scepticism runs high, even in Nigeria, but DealDey, which could be just another Groupon ripoff, appears to be bucking the odds.”

2. 22SEVEN: “Financial-planning site — and now app — 22seven.com offers a different, behavioural economics-approach to managing your finances. Snapped up by London-based Old Mutual, one of the largest insurers, 22seven is expected to deliver great things.”

3. ABLE WIRELESS:  “One of the finalists at Demo Africa, Kenyan start-up Able Wireless wants to stream paid-for content for $6 per month using a household set-top box. It is an edge-of-network service that ‘delivers content over a wireless network through a secure device, reducing 83% of capital and operational costs for current network providers, creating a legitimate distribution system.'”

4. KARIBU: “The Karibu solar system is a small standing lamp, that is split into three components: the lamp, the battery and the small solar panel. The merchant ‘rents’ out the lamp and battery for a few weeks, before the renter owns the whole device, including the charger. Using the same small amounts that are typically used to buy kerosene, Karibu provides light but also power to charge cell phones.”

5. iROKOtv: “Everyone knows Nigeria’s film industry, Nollywood, is the Bollywood of Africa — especially Nigerians abroad, who want to keep watching their favourite cinema. They do this through, iROKOtv, which calls itself “the world’s largest online distributor of African content.'”

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