6 West African Tech Ventures We’ve Got Eyes On This Year

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The tech startup scene in the African continent is experiencing record-breaking growth and increased international recognition. According to research by Partech Ventures, African tech startups received over $560M investment in 2017– a 53% increase from $367M in 2016.

While South Africa and Nigeria still lead in attracting tech investments for the continent, there are some notable tech companies in West Africa that are not left out.

This article highlights the leading West African tech companies attracting investors, and international attention due to their laudable solutions and activities in the region.

Bitland- Ghana

Bitland uses blockchain technology to create tamper-proof digital public records to help people prove their land belongs to them. Bitland aims to provide services to allow individuals and organisations to survey land and record deeds onto the Bitshares Blockchain.

Though based in Kumasi, Ghana, the team is looking to expand their reach further into the African continent. As the organisation grows, they look to build infrastructure in developing countries to potentially unlock billions of dollars in untapped property rights.

Bitland has been building the team over the past year under the leadership of Narigamba Mwinsuubo. While the current team is making connections locally in Ghana, the company looks to have their services available globally within five years. With a combination of remote workers and key partnerships, Bitland is looking to assist governments in solving land disputes in areas that are currently beyond their reach.

MeQasa – Ghana

Sorting out a suitable accommodation is a daunting process, we would all agree. The scenario is nothing different in Ghana until real estate platform meQasa came into the scene in 2013.

The startup made headlines in 2015 when it secured an investment of $500,000 from Frontier Digital Ventures, a Malaysian-based global venture capital firm. In the space of three years, the company has seen remarkable growth, featuring nearly 18,000 property listings. In 2016, meQasa was nominated for several of awards for the strides it has made in making finding property in Ghana a seamless.

NerveFlo – Nigeria

Accessing African content like movies or music online could be compared to pounding fufu with a needle. On the other hand, you can easily buy an Adele song or the latest Hollywood movie. That’s all changing quickly, though, thanks to a host of proudly African outfits like NerveFlo, a digital content marketplace. The company is similar to online giants iTunes and Amazon, but with a range of digital content.

NerveFlo allows digital content creators to rapidly distribute their work to the ever-growing African market. Here you can find anything from short films to music to comics, lectures and e-books. The platform also gives Africans the opportunity to showcase their products to the global market.

DIYlaw – Nigeria

Nigeria’s DIYlaw is one of the players at the forefront of the tech sector in Africa. The venture is on a mission to create easy access to legal services on the continent through internet technology, starting with Nigeria.

The company offers Do-It-Yourself registrations, for things ranging from business and trademark registrations to Value added tax (VAT) and Tax identity Number (TIN) registrations.

DIYlaw is also proposing a new offer that will allow users to hire a lawyer or ask a lawyer a specific legal question as regards business by choosing from their extensive database of lawyers. One will be able to read reviews by other DIYlaw users before deciding on a lawyer.

Flutterwave-Nigeria

Flutterwave is stripe for Africa having built a payments platform and an expense management system that leapfrogs traditional payments technology.

Flutterwave’s API makes it easier for almost 24,000 businesses and individuals to process payments across Africa.

Recently, it partnered with Visa to simplify digital payments.  Flutterwaves’s total funding is estimated at about $20M.

Andela

Andela founded in 2014, has presences in Lagos, Nairobi, Kampala, Kigali, New York, San Francisco, and Austin.

It builds high-performing, distributed engineering teams with Africa’s burgeoning community of software developers.

Companies get lower cost developer talent by tapping into Africa. Over the years, they have helped companies move in a faster direction, building tools to identify extraordinary developers, anywhere in the world, and connect them with the right companies in a way that scales. In the past four years, they have screened 100,000+ applicants, hired more than 1,000 developers, and matched them with hundreds of companies around the world.

Andela has been a key instrument in Nigeria’s technological revolution as it’s developers work as full-time engineers with companies ranging from the Fortune 500 to high-growth tech startups like Cloudflare and InVision. Backed by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, GV, Spark Capital, and CRE Venture Capital, Andela is powering global engineering teams while catalyzing the growth of tech ecosystems across Africa. Andela’s total funding is estimated to about $100M which we are eagerly waiting to see what great stride they will pull with such funds.

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