This may be a subjective list, but I believe it to be quite accurate. Here are six truly African startups, all in leading industries, which are continually reinventing themselves and setting industry standards while radically changing their sector. These businesses create, recreate, and then innovate. They exploit new ideas, products and services in order to produce dynamic and lucrative new business ideas. Here they are:
OTGPlaya is an affordable platform solution that combines cutting edge networking technology, emerging market wisdom, and customer focused application to bring “accessibility” to critically underserved sectors. Foremost amongst these sectors is the mass media, where it connects people in frontier markets to media content affordably by leapfrogging bandwidth constraints, and linking advertisers to the rising “next one billion” through a proprietary offline cloud.
Save & Buy
Save & Buy (S&B) is a web and mobile platform that enables the Nigerian consumer to save towards items they desire in an easy to use, fun and safe environment. Additional product features include group saving with friends and family, instant alerts and notifications as well as dynamic dashboards for merchants and customers. The S&B platform also integrates a loyalty program allowing savers to earn points and purchase virtual goods such as airtime and savers benefits from product discounts and consumer loans.
GMobile is a set of mobile apps running on any smartphone. The GMobile key proposition is to bring down the cost of making local calls from the current $0.04 per minute to about $0.01 per minute. For the consumer, this means getting 10 minutes for 10 shillings rather than the 3 minutes they get now for the same 10 shillings. As more hotspots are available across major Kenyan towns and school centers, the economy of scale will dictate calling rate reduction. GMobile combines all communications to IP protocol, an efficient and cost effective use of infrastructure, with no need to operate separate transmitters for voice, data and video.
Spyros Entertainment is a video gaming studio specialised in mobile games. Their main target is to provide hardcore gamers (those who play on PlayStation and Xbox) with midcore games that fit the experience, both from the perspectives of Gameplay complexity and the graphics richness that they used to get on their consoles.
Eventtus is a networking platform for events where users can explore events and socialise with like-minded people during events. They build a community for each event and help organisers and attendees interact before, during and after events. Eventtus focuses on the social part of events, aiming to build a community for each event where organisers can promote their event and build their community and then engage and communicate with attendees. For example, users can send event announcements through push notifications. Any updates about the agenda, tickets, or even break times can be shared with the community directly on their phones. Each attendee has an “Event Card”, a customisable profile for each event, and Eventtus also has a recommendation system for attendees during events based on their interests and common activities. Users can shake hands directly from the app and exchange contacts, meaning no more business cards needed. Users will have a visual list after the event contains all attendees they met during the event, and they can easily find them later on other social networks.
BrainShare is an academic application that offers a one-stop centre for students revision. With Brainshare, students can access well-organised notes, eBooks and past papers.
[author] Candice May is the head of content for Jobvine Nigeria, a jobs search portal that offers recruiters the ability to advertise for free. [/author]