10 Startup Success Stories From Africa’s Largest Tech Incubator
The Meltwater School of Technology (MEST) is Africa’s largest tech incubator, and it has been involved in a number of startup success stories over the years.
The training program, seed fund and tech incubator is based in Ghana, but has grown to include space and operations in Nigeria, Kenya, Cote D’Ivoire, and South Africa. This has allowed MEST to be involved in the support of startups across the continent.
The incubator’s success stories include the likes of Tress, an app that helps women find inspiration for their next hairstyle, meQasa, Ghana’s largest online real estate marketplace, and ClaimSync, which provides processing software for the global healthcare market.
Here are 10 startup success stories from Africa’s largest tech incubator.
Kudobuzz is an e-commerce tool that enables brands to display social reviews and provides artificial intelligence-powered search engine optimization. The startup has been successful in gaining exposure, and was part of 500 Startups in San Francisco during 2016, while it also took part in Google + CCHub’s Pitch Drive in 2017. Earlier this year Kudobuzz acquired AdGeek, ad creation tool used by online merchants, another graduate of the Meltwater School of Technology (MEST).
meQasa is Ghana’s largest online real estate marketplace, and another successful MEST graduate. In 2015 the startup raised $800,000 from Frontier Digital Ventures in Kuala Lampur, and their growth was so impressive that in 2017 they acquired Jumia House Ghana, their largest competitor, according to MyJoyOnline.
A company with many firsts attached to it, Leti Arts was one of the first startups funded by MEST, and founder Eyram Tawia is one of the first mobile game developers to emerge from Ghana. The Ghanaian startup produces mobile games, comics and other artwork focused on the creation of African superheroes that are typically derived from local folklore. Fans of comics can use their app to download wallpaper and graphics from the company.
Tress is a Nigerian app that allows people to share their hairstyles with fellow app users, with the idea being that women would discover and share hairstyle inspirations with each other. Following an undisclosed investment from MEST in early 2017, Tress attracted a further seed round of $120,000 from Y Combinator that same year, according to Crunchbase.
ClaimSync is an end-to-end claims processing software that lets healthcare facilities all over the world automate patients’ medical records and process records electronically. Claimsync’s solution allows healthcare providers to easily prepare medical claims and send them electronically to insurance companies.
Ghana’s Asoriba is a web-based church management application for church worshippers and leaders. Through this app, members can give tithes, offerings, and pledges to the church online while the church can stay connected to its members throughout the week, and not only on Sundays. The startup now has a presence in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, and it was part of the Techstars Barclay’s Accelerator in South Africa in 2016.
The popular radio content verification platform allows stakeholders in the music and radio industry to monitor when their content is being played in real-time. In March this year, Qisimah won the 2017 Most Innovative Startup Award at the World Summit Awards in Vienna, according to MEST.
A company that was born out of Africa’s need for low-cost mobile messaging services, Saya Mobile is a mobile messaging app built for high-growth mobile markets throughout the world, bringing cost-effective mobile messaging to people who do not have smartphones in emerging economies. In 2014 U.S.-based Kirusa, a developer of mobile value added services for emerging markets, acquired Ghana’s Saya Mobile, according to Forbes.
AniTrack is an internet of things startup that enables farmers to track their livestock in real time, offering a service to the agricultural industry that is very valuable. Female CEO Winnie Akoko and her team have driven the agritech startup towards success, and it recently launched a product called Animartt, which is essentially a classifieds platform for livestock.
Known as the ‘Uber for tractors’, TroTroTractor addresses the challenge of connecting farmers who need ploughing services with the mechanization centers or tractor operators who would be able to assist them. This Ghanaian platform provides a link between those two stakeholders, making it a win-win for all parties.