Editor’s note: With the unprecedented surge and use of open source tech to obliterate costs, disruptive blockchain uses, cheap web hosting plans and what not, is it any surprise that Startups will only get hotter in Africa?
Each year the Disrupt Africa team is lucky enough to meet with hundreds of innovative tech startups from across the continent, solving local problems with truly inspiring solutions. Some of these companies, however, exhibit particular potential. After protracted newsroom wrangles, we present to you our take on the 12 African startups you need to watch in 2018.
Our first East African pick is Kenya’s Sokowatch, which is giving small businesses across East Africa a boost with its ordering and delivery network for small shops.
Launched in 2013, Sokowatch is increasing the availability of everyday consumer goods by allowing small shops to place orders from various multinational suppliers at any time via SMS. Orders are then processed through Sokowatch’s system to notify nearby delivery agents, who then deliver the requested orders to shops within 24 hours.
The solution is taking off like wildfire – having reached the milestone of supplying 5,000 shops in Nairobi, Sokowatch expanded to Dar es Salaam this year, and snapped up 1,000 clients within three months of expanding. Further launches are planned for Mombasa, Kampala, and Kigali.
We’re not the only people to notice Sokowatch – the startup was named one of three winners of the Innotribe Startup Challenge in May; made it onto the World Bank’s XL Africa accelerator in August; and secured investment in October. What’s next?