15 African Tech Startups to Watch in 2014

African technology startups are creating economic and social change on the continent. (Photo Image: Facebook)

African technology startups are creating economic and social change on the continent.
(Photo Image: Facebook)

Toby Shapshack of Stuff Magazine, has compiled a list of 15 African Tech Startups to watch for CNN InternationalShapshak is a technology journalist based in Johannesburg where he writes about tech and innovation in Africa. He spoke at TED about how Africa is solving the world’s problems, in Edinburgh in 2013. He edits and publishes the South African edition of Stuff magazine and has been named by GQ as one of the top 30 men in media.

Shapshack writes:

“Africa is not just a mobile-first continent. It is mobile-only. As such, many of the most innovative startups address mobile for what it is: the gold of today, the new, digital equivalent of a railroad.”

He adds, “Several of the names on the list come from the final 40 of this year’s Demo Africa the African arm of this renowned launch event for tech start-ups, held in Nairobi.”

“If they gave Nobel Prizes for Bloody Fine Ideas, it would be to Arthur Attwell, whose thoroughly clever Paperight idea turns education into a win-win for everyone, from publishers to students to small print shops. Everybody wins.”

“Aiming to be the ‘African Amazon,’ Jumia.com offers cash-on-delivery in the populous Nigerian cities of Lagos and Abuja. Ordered online or via mobile phone, the products are driven by motorcyclist couriers to the buyers’ home or business, when cash can be paid.”

mPawa matches employers with potential employees via skills and experience. It’s also SMS-based, which is ideal given that much of Africa is mobile-only.”

“Kind of like an AirBnb for Africa, but using SMS as much as the internet as its main interface, Kenya’s SleepOut was a highlight at Pivot East in Nairobi last year. It has a touch of Lastminute.com to the bookings it offers in over 30 countries in Africa and the Middle East.”

“Financial-planning site — and now app — 22seven.com offers a different, behavorial 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.”

Find out about more standout African tech startups at CNN International.

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