Somali tech startups are taking flight in 2017—supported by accelerators such as Innovate Ventures, a joint project between VC4Africa and Oxfam, as well as grassroots initiatives like Startup Somali—local entrepreneurs are building the next generation of products and services for the region’s digital consumers.
You can expect to see more digital innovations coming out of Somaliland/Somalia this year—the following are the top 11 tech startups from the region you need to know about in 2017 and beyond.
Guri Yagleel is a platform for finding rental properties and real estate for sale. Additionally, the company allows homeowners to keep their homes maintained and well-cared for with specialized property management service
MURAADso is an ecommerce destination that brings a myriad of personal electronics and computers to the Somali market—laptops, tablets, smartphones, and more. The startup was a recent winner at the Innovate Accelerator’s demo day.
Super Taxi One is Somalia and Somaliland’s premier taxi-hailing app and service; the offering allows users to get picked up safely with a touch of their smartphone. Riders can safely view the details of the car and driver before starting the journey.
eDahab is a mobile wallet service that allows users to make digital purchases from brick-and-mortar storefronts like supermarkets and other local establishments. The offering even allows for deposits and withdrawals sans signatures or a visit the bank.
iTech Solutions is an IT services provider in Somaliland that focuses on offering technology consulting services based on the unique needs of the region. Some services it offers include web development, mobile app development, SEO, database design, IT training/coaching, among others.
Mojatu offers a full range of digital services, from publishing and signage design to web development, web hosting, and domain registration. The Somaliland-based firm offers its customers 24/7 service and a live chat online support option.
Based in Hargeisa, Anfac offers a range of digital offerings—namely, a chat app and a customizable browser, available for free download.
SomeSite is a creative agency specializing in website design/development, as well as other services such as web hosting, domain registration, digital marketing and branding, and more. The company provides strategic planning and creative services to an impressive array of clients.
Hargeisa Daily provides media management software for engaging with Somali viewers and customers. The company’s mission is to increase the visibility and growth of East Africa’s SMEs through the use of digital means—primarily online marketing and digital advertising via the web/social media.
Somaliland Raspberry Pi—or SOMRAS—is the first company in Somaliland to offer Raspberry PI-powered services to consumers. The offering centers around a credit card-sized computer for learning and prototyping use cases.
World Remit is one of the leading online money transfer services in Somalia—the company enables users to send money to friends and family residing outside the country in minutes. Millions of transfers to over 125 countries have been processed using its platform.
In short, Somaliland and Somalia’s tech startup scene may be new, but supported by local initiatives and driven by local consumer demand for digital products and services, it’s certainly one to watch in 2017. Be sure to keep these 11 innovators on your radar in the coming months and years.