10 Tech Startups Showcasing Africa’s Innovative Potential In Paris

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
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With around 1,900 investors expected at Europe’s prestigious VivaTech conference in France this week, the 10 African tech startups who will showcase their ideas have a great opportunity to attract investment and gain exposure.

Held in Paris from May 16 to 18, more than 100,000 attendees have the chance to experience the African companies that emerged as the best startups in the Open Innovation Challenges of the AfricArena 2018 Tour.

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Most of the startups are from South Africa, but others hail from Senegal, Kenya and Mauritius.

Here are 10 tech startups showcasing Africa’s innovative potential in Paris.

DataProphet

South African company DataProphet makes use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop solutions to optimize businesses operating in a range of industries. DataProphet expects to grow its global presence, with moves into the U.S. and European markets. In 2018 the startup was selected for law firm Webber Wentzel‘s Ignite Legal Incubation Program, according toBusinesstech.

PayDunyaP

PayDunya describes itself as a one-stop shop to create, manage and grow sales on social media networks, allowing merchants to get paid via relevant payment methods in Africa through a CRM toolbox. The startup aims to leverage the popularity of social media to assist merchants who do not understand and fully make use of the advantages that an increasingly digital world provides for businesses. The company placed third in the 2018 Seedstars Dakar competition, Socialnetlink reports.

FinChatBot

South Africa’s FinChatBot is a company that develops artificial intelligence-powered chatbots that assist financial services providers to acquire and retain customers while reducing operational costs. This is essentially automation taking over the job of customer care or client relations staff. In November 2018 the company secured a $500,000 investment round from South Africa’s Kalon Venture Partners and Mauritius-based Compass Venture Capital, according to Techcentral.

MedBit

Kenyan startup MedBit is the only company from East Africa among these 10 businesses. The startup provides a platform from which users can search for, book and pay for various Kenyan healthcare services online, according to Ventureburn.

Aerobotics

South African drone company Aerobotics is a data analytics platform that uses drone technology and artificial intelligence to assist farmers with optimization of yields and cost-reduction through aerial data. Founded in 2014 by James Paterson and Benji Meltzer, Aerobotics has grown significantly in the last five years, serving clients in Peru, Uruguay, France, Spain, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., Namibia, Kenya, and South Africa, AGfundernews reports.

South African drone startup tech startups
Aerobotics uses drone and satellite imagery to assist farmers with their crops. Photo – AP – Alex Brandon

OniriQ

Senegal’s OniriQ aims to address the lack of access to electricity across Africa through innovative methods. The firm has combined the traditional solar home system with a set-top box to provide those living off grid with access to solar-powered digital services such as the internet, according to DisruptAfrica.

Guardian Gabriel

Guardian Gabriel is a South African company that has developed a wearable panic button which works with no connection to a smartphone. The emergency panic button is connected to various individuals or organizations that the user chooses to notify when the button is pressed. This means that the device can be immediately alert family members, friends and a security company when it is pressed, according to SiliconCape.

Homefarm

South African startup Homefarm has developed an internet of things product that can be used with its Homefarm app to allow users to grow a variety of micro-greens from the comfort of their home, all year round, DisruptAfrica reports.

Seamonster

South Africa’s Sea Monster Entertainment is a marketing company that uses animation, games and augmented reality to make a difference, with a particular focus around financial education and entrepreneurship. The company has ambitious plans to open an office in London in the next five years, according to the London Stock Exchange.

TravelBudds

The lone startup traveling to Paris from Mauritius, TravelBudds is a social network designed to be used by young, connected travelers looking for the best ways to travel the world and share their experiences with their friends, according to Entrepreneur.com.