5 outstanding African tech companies

In 2021, African tech companies were reported to have jointly raised over $4.27 billion in 800+ deals, which was a record quadruple the $1.1 billion that was pumped into the continent amidst the pandemic in 2020.

Most of the funding went to fintech startups founded in Nigeria, one of the four countries that receive the bulk of local and international venture capital, including Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa. The four countries present Africa’s most connected populace and growing economy; the perfect environment to attract foreign capital before others.

With over 40% of Nigerian adults having bank accounts and digital payments hitting more than $250 billion in 2019, it’s no surprise that the startups facilitating transactions for the unbanked (OPay) and providing gateways (Interswitch and Flutterwave) are now worth more than $1 billion. Fintech opportunity in Nigeria is the largest on the continent.

As we celebrate and commemorate Africa Day, we highlight outstanding African tech companies that have improved the ease of doing business in one form or another and not forget the ingenious techpreneurs behind these successful African companies.

1. Flutterwave

Founder: Olugbenga Agboola, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji
Founded: 2016
Country: Nigeria

Flutterwave ranked the first African Tech company an African fintech company that specializes in the provision of payment infrastructures for the world merchants. The company was created by Olugbenga Agboola was created with the aim of providing a digital means which connects Africa and in turn the rest of the world.


2. Jumia

Founders: Sacha Poignonnec, Jeremy Hodara, Raphael Kofi Afaedor, Tunde Kehinde
Founded: 2012
Country: Nigeria

Jumia is a Pan-African technology company that is built around a marketplace, logistics service, and payment service. The logistics service enables the delivery of packages through a network of local partners while the payment services facilitate the payments of online transactions within Jumia’s ecosystem.


3. Andela

Founders: Jeremy Johnson, Christina Sass, Ian Carnevale, Nadayar Enegesi, Brice Nkengsa, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji
Founded: 2014
Country: Nigeria

Andela is a global job placement network for software developers. Andela focuses on sustainable careers, connecting technologists with long-term engagements, access to international roles, competitive compensation, and career coaching through the Andela Learning Community. The firm, which is based in New York, was reported to be worth $1.5 billion in September 2021.


4. OPay

Founders: Yahui Zhou
Founded: 2018
Country: Nigeria

OPay is an ePayment wallet launched by Opera software company the developers of the popular Opera mini web browser. The e-wallet is a one-stop mobile-based platform for payment, transportation, food & grocery delivery, and other important services in everyday life. In August 2021, the Chinese-backed and Africa-focused fintech company OPay raised $400 million in a Series C round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, valuing the company at $2 billion. The fundraise made the Nigeria-based company the second African fintech unicorn after Flutterwave and the third African unicorn after e-commerce giant Jumia. OPay’s fundraise is the largest of the lot in terms of size and value.


5. Wave

Founders: Durbin Drew and Lincoln Quirk
Founded: 2018
Country: Senegal

Similar to PayPal, with mobile money accounts, not bank accounts, the Senegal-based platform runs an agent network that uses its cash on hand to service Wave users. Wave closed the largest Series A round for an African fintech with $200 million in September, making it the first Francophone unicorn at a $1.7 billion valuation. 

As Eight2Five Innovation Hub, powered by Old Mutual we partner with entrepreneurs to achieve a shared vision of solving real-world and business problems through technology. Annually, we run our flagship program, the Value Creation Challenge (#VCCZw) which is a nationwide opportunity powered by Old Mutual Zimbabwe in partnership with the British Council in Zimbabwe, aimed at supporting businesses and ideas that provide innovative and sustainable solutions to Zimbabwe’s socio-economic challenges. We shall be launching #VCCZw2022 soon, follow us for updates.

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