Tech startups across the globe are making a lasting impact on their region’s economic growth and innovation potential by spurring competition and creating jobs. This is especially true of the Kenyan business environment: with the current government fully backing IT and technology innovation—especially among the younger population—the region is now seeing its own vibrant tech startup ecosystem take flight.
A culmination of great minds, mentorship, and inspiration make the Kenyan capital’s startup environment an invigorating launchpad for new digital products and services. Here are 11 tech startups from Nairobi you need to know about in 2017.
Shield Finance’s mobile money platform and proprietary technology enable employers to give salary advances to under-banked employees. The advance is sent to/paid via mobile device, with revenues earned from interest charged.
M-Farms’s innovative platform eliminates the middle man, allowing farmers to sell directly to consumers at fair market rates. The solution supports SMS updates and currently has over 10,000 farmers in its network.
Eneza’s goal is to provide tutorial support to children living in marginalized parts of Kenya. Using SMS, the platform delivers interactive quizzes, mini lessons, even live chats with government-licenses teachers.
Pesa Pal’s platform streamlines the process of making payments across Africa—the solution features buyer/seller escrow, printable receipts, and support for both phone and online payments.
Ticket Sasa’s solution makes it easy to purchase verified tickets ahead of time, with less hassle. The platform offers a range of ticket offerings: holiday packages, air tickets, event tickets, and airport shuttle transfers, and more.
Previously known as InVenture, Tala is a mobile-based lending platform that uses specific data points to assign potential borrowers a credit score. This in turn enables the company to offer qualified borrowers credit and personalized loans.
Bamba Group offers SMS-based solutions for data gathering, surveying, and engaging audiences—its database currently houses over 1.5 billion participants, many of which are hard-to-reach or otherwise inaccessible.
BRCK aims to bring internet connectivity to the 4.5 billion people in remote areas that have yet to get online—its rugged, self-powered mobile devices have been featured in Forbes, BBC, Wired, TED, CNN, and Der Spiegel, among others.
Duma Work’s recruitment platform gives small/medium businesses a cost-effective solution for recruiting qualified talent. Job seekers are pre-screened and applications can be made via mobile device.
As it stands, Branch’s mobile fintech offering has already disbursed personal loans to over 100,000 people. Its solution eliminates the challenges of getting a loan by using the data on a user’s phone to create a credit score.
Ona’s mobile data collection and analytics platform makes uncovering and sharing insights simple—over 3.5 million form submissions for over 10,000 user accounts have been processed to date. Customers include USAID, the World Bank, and the WHO; recently, UNMEER began using the platform in Sierra Leone to monitor patients and bed supplies during the ongoing Ebola response.
In short, the Kenyan economy is getting a much needed boost from the successes of these Nairobi-based tech startups. Be sure to keep they on your radar as they continue to innovate and expand to new markets in 2017 and beyond.