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Tech Startups in Kenya - Top 5 Ranking

Tech Startups in Kenya – Top 5 Ranking

Since the explosion of startups in Africa, tech startups in Kenya have been creating innovative products using tech to better the lives of people, and  Kenya wasn’t left out. 

The country has been the center of tech startups as some of the most funded startups in Africa are in Kenya. A whole lot of tech startups in Kenya are making waves with their innovative technology, which makes picking the top five startups amongst them a tough task. 

But here are the top five startups in Kenya

  1. Cellulant 

Cellulant is a top Pan- African payment system company that provides users with a one-stop platform for digital payments. It enables doing everything payment in one spot.

It was founded in 2004 and has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. It, so far has its operations spread across Africa in countries such as Uganda, Ghana, Rwanda, Nigeria, Zambia, and so on. 

Cellulant has received up to series C in the funding of up to $47,500,000 as of May 14, 2018. Which makes it one of the most funded startups in Africa. The company was founded by Bolaji Akinboro and Ken Njoroge. It has become one of the largest payments and funds transfers in Africa. 

Cellulant facilitates more transactions between more people around Africa which enables people to live better lives by powering Africa’s payments through technology. 

Cellulant provides 120 banks in Africa with a reliable and efficient mobile banking system. They have partnered with 35 of the largest mobile money operations in Africa. 

Although Cellulant was doing well, the company saw a need to solve the problem of fragmentation in the African digital payments environment.

They solved this problem by merging commerce, payment, and financial services into a single platform. This is Tingg. It provides seamless transactions between people and even facilitates banks all over Africa. 

  1. Carepay 

This is a  mobile health data and payment distribution platform that has shown the potential to revolutionize and change healthcare and how it has been. 

It has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya but it also operates in Nigeria and Tanzania. The brand has developed a health benefit wallet that operates on mobile phones which pushes their services to reach. 

Participants can save, receive and spend money but the funds can only be used to pay for health care. The system is directly linked with participants, healthcare providers, and healthcare payers like insurers and donors. 

So both treatments and payment are fast and efficient and transparent. And has connected over 3000 healthcare providers to the platform, ranging from small clinics to large hospital groups.

In 2014, an investment plan for Carepay was created by Michiel Slootweg and Kees Van Lede (CEO), who registered the company 1n 2015. 

It was funded by MPESA Foundation and IFHA. From its series A round, the company was able to raise $45M with ELMA Investments and PharmAccess Group as its main investors. 

The goal was to make more improvements and developments to the mobile health wallet and turn it into a very functional and reliable health platform that could reach all Kenyans.

The platform provides participants with easy access on all mobile devices and enables quicker treatment and the program is easy to manage and the payments are transparent. 

It makes it easier, quicker, and cheaper to set up healthcare programs that are accessible to everyone and the verification process is quick and fast. It is also easy to check if someone is eligible for treatment and enrollment is easy and cost-effective. Safe environment process that is done via mobile devices.  

  1. Twiga Foods

Twiga Foods is a mobile-based B2B food supply platform that supplies food/vegetables to small and medium-sized fruit and vegetable vendors.

The Kenyan Startup was founded in 2014 by Peter Njonjo (Co-founder), Grant Brooke (Co-founder and CEO), Kikonde Mwatelam (Co-founder and COO), and Caine Wanjau (CTO-GSMA grant manager). The brand, through three rounds of funding, raised $44.6M with TLCom Capital, Google Launchpad Accelerator, International Finance Association (IFA), Wamda, and others.

The food and vegetables are locally sourced from farmers in the rural areas of Kenya and sent off to small and medium-scale vendors, kiosks, and outlets all over Nairobi. 

This Agritech runs a mobile-based cashless platform that allows Twiga Foods to offer higher prices and a secured market to the farmers. And this now offers lower prices and a steady supply of commodities to vendors.

Twiga Foods deals with farmers directly. Since its inception, it now operates 25 collection centers and has a fleet of about 50 delivery vehicles. The startup has employed about 240 staff and with that has become the largest seller of bananas in Kenya. 

The brand’s distribution infrastructure is managed through a digital platform that enables sustained real-time and end-to-end data collection. The platform also works with mobile money (M-Pesa) which provides cashless payments throughout the business. 

The platform works for both farmers and vendors. For farmers. Twiga foods staff register on the app. Using feature phones, the farmers can receive harvest receipts. 

After which the inventory of harvested food is kept at Twiga’s warehouse and its processing centers. Vendors then place their orders using the Twiga food USSD platform or through its call center.

The products would then be delivered to the vendors and records stored on the mobile app. The products are paid for using mobile money and Twiga sends the vendor an SMS receipt. 

Using mobile technology, Twiga foods has managed to connect farmers and vendors seamlessly.

  1. Wefarm

Wefarm is a peer-to-peer (P2P)  digital network. It is a social platform for small-scale farmers that enables them to connect with one another to share ideas, solve problems, and help change how farming is done. 

Farmers ask questions using shortcodes and receive answers from registered and experienced users. The platform is available to anyone, even those that just want to do business with the farmers. It is available in both English and Swahili. 

Wefarm is the world’s largest farmer-to-farmer digital network, connecting small-scale farmers. The brand since it began has raised $19.6M in funding from True Ventures, Local Globe, Norrsken Foundation, and Wayra amongst others. 

Founded by Kenny Ewan in 2015, the brand was first launched as a pilot project. After the results from its first beta launch, Wefarm became an independent and mission-driven brand of its own.

It has succeeded in developing a brand that is trusted and reliable. And because it operates on a digital platform, it is easy to use by small-scale farmers in the community. 

Wefarm, has so far, connected 2.4 million and counting to one another without any charge. That is, farmers connect without the use of the internet or a special fee. They communicate through the Wefarm SMS platform. 

Based on the foundation put in place by Wefarm and the goal they set to achieve they have been able to gain popularity as a popular and reliable brand that can be accessed online and via the SMS platform plus it is free for farmers to use.

Farmers use the platform to not only share information they have gained but also share their knowledge with other farmers. This environment provides a marketplace that is most convenient and trustworthy for retailers.

Wefarm pioneered the first technology that uses their collective knowledge and skill in 2015. Thereby becoming the first brand that used offline tech for its market. 

The knowledge shared on the Wefarm platform has both positive and insightful benefits. The ideas shared and problems solved between farmers have helped them produce the best quality of products, increase their yields, tag and adjust prices, get the best seeds for planting, and many more. 

  1. Sendy 

Sendy is a logistics company that started its operation in Kenya in 2015. The startup was co-founded by Meshack Alloys, Evanson Biwott and Don Okoth (Kenyans), and Malaika Judd (American).

The e-logistics startup has its offices in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda and about 5,000 Vehicles that are accessible on its platform to move all sorts of goods to where the clients need them to be.

Sendy’s platform works as a medium, connecting clients to drivers and their vehicles who make the delivery of goods securely ensuring the receivers get on time and intact. 

Using the Sendy app, clients simply need to choose a pickup and destination location and the price, and the various modes of transportation available would appear on the screen (prices vary with each mode of transport). Upon selection, an order is made, and once confirmed the client can now track the driver in real-time. 

The logistics startup, across 4 rounds of funding, raised a sum of $12M in funding and recently raised $20M in series B funding. The series B investment includes an R&D arrangement with Toyota Tsuho corporation. Its investment is sourced from a venture fund made especially for Africa called Mobility54. 

To make up the $20M in funding, Atlantica Ventures was joined by Sunu Capital, Asia Africa Investment, Vested World, Keppel Capital, and Enza Capital. Some of its notable investors are DOB equity, Safaricom, Unilever, and Goodwill investments.

Sendy’s e-logistics platform seeks to connect businesses and clients to competent, reliable, and efficient modes of transport while lowering the cost of logistics in Africa. And by putting its clients and their business first when it comes to logistics, Sendy has made a name for itself as the biggest logistics company in Africa. 

Conclusion

Tech startups in Kenya have always been on top of their game, creating businesses that have come to solve Africa’s problems at large and also redefining how some industries are using technology to run their companies. 

The above has proven that what it has produced is just the tip of the iceberg as more startups are being created and each one is dynamically leading the African market and with time the global market as well. 

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