10 South African Seed-Stage Tech Startups You’ve Never Heard Of

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
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South Africa’s tech ecosystem is alive with possibility, with seed-stage tech startups that are solving problems through innovation given exposure and a chance to win $1 million in equity and prizes.

These startups participated in this year’s local Seedstars World competitions in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

 

Running for the past five years, Seedstars World is the world’s largest startup competition in emerging markets, bringing together the best tech startup talent from around the globe.

Competitions take place within emerging market countries, with the eventual winner pitching global investors at the 2019 Seedstars World competition in Switzerland.

South Africa’s tech startup talent for this year’s competition included a carpooling platform, a language-learning tool and a startup focused on enabling access to markets and finance for farmers.

Here are 10 South African seed-stage tech startups that you have never heard of.

HouseME

HouseME is a digital platform that not only connects dream tenants to great landlords, but also facilitates a mutually beneficial relationship between them – resulting in fair prices, support, transparency and reduced risk for both parties. The “Airbnb for long-term renting” was selected the best startup in Cape Town for its innovative sustainable solution, according to Bizcommunity.

Slide Financial

Slide Financial is a fintech startup that offers white-label digital wallets and easy-to-use payment APIs used by businesses. Users can send money to other people using the receiver’s email address or phone number, and the platform works with any of South Africa’s major banks. Slide Financial came second in the Cape Town leg of the Seedstars competition in October.

Kuba

Kuba is a South African startup that partners with small business owners to bring them digital tools that assist them in gaining access to new markets while also streamlining their operation. Kuba came third among the Cape Town tech startups in the competition, ensuring their place in the Seedstars South Africa finals on Nov. 14.

Uthini

Uthini is a language-learning platform that makes it possible for busy professionals who need to learn a language to connect with people who can speak that language using a structured learning path and chatbot technology. The innovative platform came second in the Johannesburg leg of the competition.

Franc Group

Franc Group is a self-insurance platform that offers customers the opportunity to grow their wealth and manage their personal risk through a set of innovative fintech tools. The startup was selected as the best contender in Johannesburg in the city’s Seedstars competition.

seed-stage tech startups
South African tech startups continue to feature prominently in the African tech scene. Photo by NESA by Makers on Unsplash

Maxicash

Johannesburg-based Maxicash is a financial support ecosystem built around remittance and payments for the African diaspora who are supporting their families financially. The fintech startup impressed Seedstars judges in Johannesburg and came third in the local leg of the competition.

DealZapp

DealZapp is a location-based self-service special offers’ platform that aims to attract customers to brands and stores that offer promotional deals via the platform. The idea is that the platform will get users to visit participating shops before customers will be notified of the closest and best deals within their area.

GreenFingers

GreenFingers Mobile is a concept that enables access to markets and finance for farmers through a digital platform that aims to replace traditional pen and paper management systems that are still prevalent in the industry and pose a variety of issues. The aptly named GreenFingers mobile platform empowers farmers through technology and gives them the tools to grow their small farming businesses.

Jumpin Rides

Jumpin Rides (Pty) Ltd: an urban mobility platform providing a commuting service to make more accessible, cheaper and safer transport in South Africa. It claims to be the first carpooling platform in South Africa, offering users the ability to connect with other users who are looking to travel on the same routes, enabling them to carpool together.

Tutor Roots

Tutoring startups appear to be a popular trend across the globe, and South Africa is no different. Edtech startup Tutor Roots is a reliable, secure and convenient way to get a vetted tutor for one-on-one sessions in the comfort of the user’s own home. The app makes tutors available for all education levels, from early school grades through to college.