The quality of African tech startups has never been as high as it is now, and as a result many of these tech firms are award-winning, having scooped accolades for their innovations or excellent ideas.
These award-winning startups are examples to others in the African tech ecosystem and serve as motivation for those who are looking to gain popularity or attract investment.
Here are 10 award-winning African tech startups worth taking note of.
An open digital transport mobility platform founded by students of the University of Cape Town in South Africa won the 2017 Promising Transport Innovation Award at the annual summit of the International Transport Forum (ITF) in Leipzig, Germany last year. WhereIsMyTransport has been recognized for innovation used within the platform, which provides invaluable data about transport mobility, and currently supports 20 cities in 10 countries in Africa and the Middle East.
African e-commerce platform MallforAfrica has been awarded a fashion retailing accolade for their efforts in providing African consumers with access to international markets. The Nigerian-based platform won the Drapers Award for Innovation in Fashion at the recently concluded Drapers Award ceremony in London. MallforAfrica finds itself in good company as the recipient of the international award, with previous winners including the likes of H&M, Next and BooHoo.com.
Fintech startup Zoona recently won an international accolade at the 2017 Employer Branding Awards, held at the beginning of December 2017 in Mauritius. The startup was awarded the Africa Best Employer accolade.
Nigerian e-health startup Mobicure was awarded an $100,000 Expo Live grant for its child focused app called OMOMI. Selected from a pool of 16 global startups as a part of the World Expo Innovation Impact Grant Programme, Mobicure’s platform, OMOMI, is a mobile platform that enables mothers to easily monitor their children’s health, providing access to life-saving maternal and child health information and medical expertise.
In April last year the 2017 edition of the Village Capital Fintech Africa program awarded two financial inclusion-focused startups with $50,000 investments. The two winning fintech startups were Kenya’s Olivine Technology, which developed a point of sale and stock management solution, and Nigeria’s Piggybank.ng, an app which enables users to reach their savings targets through a combination of discipline and flexibility.
In 2016, DIYlaw.ng, a Nigerian female founded tech company, won the Innovating Justice Award for the SME Empowerment Innovation Challenge for East and West Africa. The challenge was organised by The Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (HiiL).
Nigerian online tutoring network Tuteria won the Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation at an event held in Nairobi in May 2017. The Tuteria online platform links students to qualified tutors in their area and within their budgets, enabling cost-effective education through innovation. Users are able to find tutors within their budget and location to teach them a variety of skills, from playing the piano or sewing clothes to more academic pursuits.
Fintech startup Flutterwave won the accolade for the best mobile fintech startup at the 2017 West Africa Mobile Awards. Nigerian Y Combinator-backed Flutterwave provides a modern transaction infrastructure that is designed to allow payments to be made and accepted via mobile.
South African drone and data analytics startup Aerobotics clinched The Digital Insurer (TDI) European 2017 Startup Insurtech Award in September last year. The data analytics platform assists farmers with optimization of yields and cost-reduction through aerial data. It was recently selected for the Launchpad initiative by Google.
So edtech startup M-Shule didn’t win top prize, but the Kenyan firm came second in a pool of the top edtech companies in the world, and that’s worth a mention. They were runners up at the 2017 Global Edtech Startup Awards (GESA) held in London. M-Shule’s platform makes use of artificial intelligence (AI) and SMS to deliver personalised, accessible education to primary school students across Africa.