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African startups to watch in 2017

NORTH AFRICA

Instabug

Launched in 2012, Egypt’s Instabug isn’t exactly new to the scene. However, 2016 saw the startup up its game, come out of a four-year beta phase, and make some serious waves.

Instabug allows users to offer feedback from within apps to report bugs and issues with the product. The app allows for in-app conversations, powerful crash reporting, advanced analytics, and there’s a range of other cool features too.

In February 2016, Instabug was selected to participate in the Silicon Valley-based Y Combinator accelerator; and announced it was coming out of beta testing at last (fair, seeing as the app was already running on 100 million devices at the time.

By June, the startup announced it had closed a US$1.7 million seed round led by Accel Partners, to allow it to expand its suite of tools to provide a comprehensive support kit for mobile apps.

Oh, and by the way, Instabug has been used to report 20 million bugs already… and counting.

2017 will be exciting for these guys.

RoamSmart

Tunisia’s RoamSmart is something of a startup world veteran, also launched in 2012. But the startup is on a renewed push to take the world by storm, and we think they might just do it in 2017.

RoamSmart’s solutions aim to assist mobile operators to manage their roaming businesses more efficiently; helping operators to optimise workflows and monetise existing roaming sources through an automated data reporting and analysis platform.

The startup has clocked up 29 clients, including Vodacom and Orange – they’re clearly tapping into operator demand. But RoamSmart has set itself high targets for the coming months: accelerated growth and surpassing 50 customers worldwide.

Initially funded through private funds and bank loans, RoamStart secured its first funding round in 2016 to help it on its way to world-domination. We’re excited to see what’s next in 2017, aren’t you?

Tutorama

For our third pick, we’ve gone with a very new candidate. Founded in January 2016, Egyptian ed-tech startup Tutorama spent most of the year in closed testing, working through technical kinks and refining its business model.

Tutorama is a platform connecting parents with top quality local tutors in their area. Parents can schedule and pay for sessions as well as monitor the progress of their child online.

It’s not only Disrupt Africa who thinks this startup has got what it takes to shake up the ed-tech space.

In April, Tutorama won first place in the ideas track of the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition, securing US$50,000.

Hot on the heels of the startup’s first win, global startup pitching competition Seedstars World crowned Tutorama winner of the Egyptian edition of the contest.  It will soon represent the country at the Seedstars global finals in Switzerland, standing the chance to win US$1 million funding. We think they have what it takes.

EAST AFRICA

Fuzu

Kenyan career development startup Fuzu only launched in late 2015… but did this team hit the ground running or what?

Fuzu provides a one-stop career development platform, which aims to allow users to learn new skills and find jobs regardless of their levels of education.

The platform provides career counselling, learning solutions and information about open positions and industry updates, providing support and guidance at different stages of user’s career. For employers, it offers advanced search and recruitment solutions with competence evaluation and algorithm-based ranking to identify the best fitting candidates.

The startup immediately received backing from the Rockefeller Foundation and Accenture, and by December 2016, Fuzu announced it had raised US$1.88 million in funding to support its business development, and expansion from Kenya to other African countries as well as to Asia.

Flare

Kenya’s Flare app is a great example of a startup responding to a local pressing challenge.

Created by startup Capsule, Flare is a mobile solution that aggregates available ambulances onto a single system, and allows patients or hospitals to request emergency help via smartphone.

“Today, there is no well-functioning emergency response dispatch system like 911. In Nairobi, Kenya it takes up to two hours to get an ambulance. During an emergency, patients struggle to locate and connect to private ambulance companies through their individual dispatch phone numbers. They are often unaware of their options and waste critical time. Meanwhile, there are up to one hundred available ambulances sitting idly around Nairobi waiting for patients,” explains co-founder Caitlin Dolkart.

The app was under construction and testing with ambulance companies throughout 2016; with the startup raising funding (US$150,000, still open) in the last quarter of the year to enable a full-scale commercial launch.

We’re looking forward to seeing the emergency response space in Kenya thoroughly shaken up in 2017.

Jamii

Grow Africa
Business in Africa – Startups to look upto. entrepreneurs in Africa –

Tanzania’s Jamii is our next tip from East Africa.

Jamii offers a mobile micro-health insurance product for the low income and informal sector. The startup has built a mobile policy management platform that performs all the administration activities of an insurer, and allows users to access cheap insurance via USSD.

Launched in January 2015, the startup has racked up some impressive successes so far. It received backing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and won the Tanzanian leg of Seedstars World – progressing to the global finals (just a reminder: up to US$1 million funding up for grabs).

Jamii has promised launches in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa over 2017, and is raising funding. We’ll definitely be keeping a keen eye on this startup.

We shall publish the rest later….. Kindly comment

source: Disrupt Africa.

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Anthony Ansong

Ceo - Ansong Holdings LLC Co-Founder & Editor Light Magazine Africa Author of Children Book Entrepreneur

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