Valuable South African Startups

Startups play a big role in driving innovation, job creation, and economic growth in South Africa. They contribute to the development of new industries, products, and services that can help address societal challenges, create employment opportunities, and increase the country’s competitiveness in the global market.

JUMO

JUMO is a financial services platform that uses machine learning to provide affordable financial products to underserved communities. It was founded in 2015 by Andrew Watkins-Ball, and its head offices are in Cape Town, South Africa. The company has operations in Africa and Asia, and its team consists of over 700 people.

Products and services

JUMO’s products and services include savings, credit, insurance, and payments. The platform leverages mobile technology to deliver financial services to people who have limited access to traditional banking services. Its machine learning algorithms analyze customer data to determine their creditworthiness and offer them personalized financial products.

Funding and valuation

JUMO has received over R150 million in funding from investors such as Goldman Sachs, Proparco, and LeapFrog Investments. In March 2021, the company raised R55 million in a funding round led by Goldman Sachs, bringing its valuation to over R1 billion.

Prospects

JUMO aims to continue expanding its operations in Africa and Asia and increase its customer base by leveraging mobile technology to provide affordable financial products to underserved communities. The company also plans to launch new products and services to meet the changing needs of its customers. With its impressive funding and valuation, JUMO is poised to make an important impact in the financial services industry in the coming years.

GetSmarter

GetSmarter is an online education company that provides short courses and degrees in partnership with leading universities and institutions. It was founded in 2008 by brothers Sam and Rob Paddock and the head office is in Cape Town, South Africa. The company has over 400 employees and operates in over 150 countries.

Products and services

GetSmarter offers short courses and online degrees in fields such as business, management, technology, and design. Its courses are made in collaboration with leading universities and institutions, and they offer students a flexible and personalized learning experience.

Acquisition by 2U

In 2017, GetSmarter was puchased by 2U, a US-based education technology company, for R103 million. The acquisition allowed GetSmarter to expand its operations and offer its courses to a broader audience, while also benefiting from 2U’s expertise in online education.

Funding and valuation

GetSmarter has received over R20 million in funding from investors such as the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and Naspers. Its acquisition by 2U valued the company at R103 million.

Prospects

GetSmarter aims to continue expanding its partnerships with leading universities and institutions and offering high-quality online education to students around the world. The company plans to launch new courses and degrees in emerging fields such as data science, artificial intelligence, and digital marketing. With its strong track record and the backing of 2U, GetSmarter is well-positioned to become a leading player in the online education industry.

Yoco

Yoco is a South African fintech company that provides card payment solutions to small businesses. It was established in 2013 by Katlego Maphai, Carl Wazen, Lungisa Matshoba, and Bradley Wattrus, and the head office is based in Cape Town, South Africa. The company has over 300 employees and operates in South Africa and Namibia.

Products and services

Yoco offers a range of card payment solutions to small businesses, including card readers, payment processing software, and point-of-sale systems. Its products and services are made to be easy to use, affordable, and accessible to small businesses.

Expansion plans

Yoco aims to continue expanding its operations in South Africa and Namibia and to enter new markets in Africa. The company plans to launch new products and services to meet the changing needs of its customers and to provide them with a comprehensive suite of financial solutions.

Funding and valuation

Yoco has received over R23 million in funding from investors such as Partech, Orange Digital Ventures, and Quona Capital. Its most recent funding round in March 2021 valued the company at over R100 million.

Prospects

Yoco aims to become the leading card payment solution provider for small businesses in Africa. The company plans to leverage its technology and expertise to offer innovative financial solutions that enable small businesses to grow and thrive. With its impressive funding and valuation, Yoco is well-positioned to achieve its ambitious goals in the coming years.

SweepSouth

SweepSouth is a South African online platform that connects clients with domestic workers who provide cleaning and other domestic services. The company was founded in 2014 by Aisha Pandor and Alen Ribic and the head office is based in Cape Town, South Africa. The company has over 10,000 domestic workers registered on its platform and operates in South Africa and Kenya.

Products and services

SweepSouth’s online platform connects clients with domestic workers who provide cleaning, laundry, and other domestic services. The platform allows clients to book and pay for services online, and it provides domestic workers with a flexible and reliable source of income.

Expansion plans

SweepSouth aims to expand its operations in South Africa and Kenya and to enter new markets in Africa. The company plans to launch new products and services to meet the changing needs of its clients and domestic workers.

Funding and valuation

SweepSouth has received over R5 million in funding from investors such as Naspers, Smollan, and CRE Venture Capital. The company’s most recent funding round in 2020 valued it at over R50 million.

Prospects

SweepSouth aims to become the leading platform for domestic services in Africa. The company plans to leverage its technology and expertise to provide innovative solutions that enable clients to access affordable and high-quality domestic services and domestic workers to access flexible and reliable employment opportunities. With its strong track record and the backing of major investors, SweepSouth is well-positioned to achieve its ambitious goals in the coming years.

» Read more: Who tops SA’s Elite Companies?

Aerobotics

Aerobotics is a South African agri-tech startup that uses aerial imagery and machine learning to help farmers optimize their crop yields. The company was founded in 2014 by James Paterson and Benji Meltzer and the head office is based in Cape Town, South Africa. The company has over 150 employees and operates in South Africa, the United States, and Australia.

Products and services

Aerobotics offers a range of products and services that use aerial imagery and machine learning to help farmers optimize their crop yields. Its products include drone and satellite imagery, pest and disease detection, yield prediction, and tree count analysis.

Expansion plans

Aerobotics aims to expand its operations globally and to offer its products and services to farmers in new markets. The company plans to launch new products and services to meet the changing needs of its customers and to provide them with a comprehensive suite of agricultural solutions.

Funding and valuation

Aerobotics has received over R17 million in funding from investors such as Naspers, Paper Plane Ventures, and FMO. Its most recent funding round in 2021 valued the company at over R100 million.

Prospects

Aerobotics aims to become the leading provider of agricultural solutions globally. The company plans to leverage its technology and expertise to offer innovative solutions that enable farmers to optimize their crop yields and reduce their environmental impact. With its impressive funding and valuation, Aerobotics is well-positioned to achieve its ambitious goals in the coming years.

Go1

Go1 is a South African tech startup that provides online training and learning management solutions to businesses and individuals. The company was founded in 2015 by Andrew Barnes and Chris Eigeland and the head office is based in Brisbane, Australia, with offices in South Africa, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Products and services

Go1 offers a range of online training and learning management solutions, including thousands of courses and modules on different topics such as compliance, leadership, and technology. The company’s platform allows businesses and individuals to access high-quality learning content and track their progress and performance.

Expansion plans

Go1 aims to expand its operations globally and to offer its products and services to businesses and individuals in new markets. The company plans to launch new products and services to meet the changing needs of its customers and to provide them with a comprehensive suite of learning solutions.

Funding and valuation

Go1 has received over R200 million in funding from investors such as SoftBank, SEEK, and Salesforce Ventures. Its most recent funding round in 2021 valued the company at over R1 billion.

Prospects

Go1 aims to become the leading provider of online training and learning management solutions globally. The company plans to leverage its technology and expertise to offer innovative solutions that enable businesses and individuals to develop their skills and knowledge. With its impressive funding and valuation, Go1 is well-positioned to achieve its ambitious goals in the coming years.

Takealot

Takealot is a South African e-commerce platform that provides online shopping services for a range of products, including electronics, clothing, and groceries. The company was founded in 2011 by Kim Reid and the head office is based in Cape Town, South Africa. Takealot is one of the largest e-commerce platforms in Africa, with over 2 million customers.

Products and services

Takealot offers a wide range of products and services, including electronics, clothing, home appliances, and groceries. The company’s platform allows customers to browse and purchase products online, and it provides delivery services to customers across South Africa.

Merger with Superbalist and Mr. D Food

In 2018, Takealot announced its merger with Superbalist, a South African fashion e-commerce platform, and Mr. D Food, a South African food delivery platform. The merger was aimed at creating a larger, more diversified e-commerce platform that could compete with global players such as Amazon.

Funding and valuation

Takealot has received over R225 million in funding from investors such as Naspers, Tiger Global, and Tiger Global Management. The company’s most recent funding round in 2020 valued it at over R2 billion.

Prospects

Takealot aims to continue expanding its operations and to become the leading e-commerce platform in Africa. The company plans to leverage its large customer base and diversified product offerings to provide innovative solutions that meet the changing needs of its customers. With its impressive funding and valuation, Takealot is well-positioned to achieve its ambitious goals in the coming years.

Conclusion

These startups are important contributors to the South African economy, creating jobs, driving innovation, and attracting investment. They are helping to address some of the country’s most pressing challenges, such as unemployment, poverty, and inequality, by providing new solutions and opportunities.

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FAQs

What role do startups play in the South African economy?

Startups are important contributors to the South African economy, creating jobs, driving innovation, and attracting investment. They are helping to address some of the country’s most pressing challenges by providing new solutions and opportunities.

What are some of the challenges facing startups in South Africa?

Some of the challenges facing startups in South Africa include limited access to funding and resources, a complex regulatory environment, and a lack of supportive policies and infrastructure.

How is the South African government supporting startups?

The South African government has introduced a range of initiatives and policies to support startups, including tax incentives, funding programs, and support services such as incubators and accelerators.

How do South African startups compare to those in other countries?

South African startups are competing with global players in a range of industries, including fintech, edtech, and e-commerce. While the country faces some unique challenges, such as limited access to funding, it also has a wealth of talent and innovation that is driving growth and development.

What is the outlook for startups in South Africa?

The outlook for startups in South Africa is bright, with a growing ecosystem of support and investment. With the right policies and incentives, startups in South Africa have the potential to drive important economic growth and development in the years ahead.

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