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5 Most promising AI start-ups in Africa

Pulak Srivastava
Jun 30 · 3 min read

There is no other place on this planet of ours except sub-Saharan Africa that is urbanizing quicker.

With a combined 54 countries hosting a population of upwards of 1.3 billion people, most economic outlooks such as the World Economic Forum and the World Bank expect growth in Africa to zoom massively till 2025.

With increasing investment is high-speed internet, increased early-stage investment funding, and a huge amount of data from more than a billion people (expected to double by 2050), there is enormous room for AI to actively grow and emerge in the continent.

To the east of the continent, the charge for rapid AI adoption seems to have been taken up by countries such as Ethiopia and Kenya, and to the north Egypt is turning out to be a leader as well. However, markets such as Nigeria and Ghana to the west and South Africa down south remain the flag bearers for the AI transformation movement for the foreseeable future.

To delve deeper into the AI start-up scene in Africa, here we take a look at some of the most promising AI start-ups in the continent:

DataProphet:

Based out of Cape Town, South African start-up DataProphet has been developing ground-breaking ML solutions for the Finance and Insurance markets.

A flagship application the AI start-up has developed is a conversational agent for customer inquiries and an emotion — detecting solution via images that has even been adopted by gaming community.

They have also managed to onboard several large industrial and consumer goods clienteles, and are currently looking at avenues to expand overseas, especially the US.

Clevva

Based out of Stellenbosch, Clevva aims to make use of virtual advisors on AI platforms to assist sales processes and technical consultants in partner organizations. Their clients usually have a large number of staff dealing with sales, operations and services with verticals ranging from banking, telecom, insurance, electronics, software and oil and gas to name a few.

With a team size of seven, Clevva has also been selected by Microsoft for the BizSpark programme.

With their feet firmly on the ground, expansion beyond Africa is on the horizon with the UK and Australia next, and eventually the US as well.

Kudi.AI

Based out of Nigeria, Kudi has developed a chatbot which enables people to send money and make payments by the means of messaging. Using a variety of Machine-learning techniques, the company makes use of artificial intelligence to understand user requests and spending habits, drive conversations and prevent fraud. A B2B solution is also in the pipeline, with major banks and telecom entities trying out the product.

Since graduating from the YCombinator batch of 2017, they’ve also raised a seed fund from a group of angel investors in Nigeria.

Awamo

Based out of Uganda, this FinTech start-up was launched in 2015, and offerings include intelligent solutions to microfinance institutions.

The platform aims to completely digitize business procedures and credit information sharing among other things for their partners using bio-metric SaaS.

With secured investments, they now look to expand across East Africa.

Aerobotics

They were launched in 2014 and are based out of Cape Town, SA.

The company focuses on Agri-Tech and deploys machine learning to analyze and extract actionable intelligence from maps for crops.

Their farming consultation services are used across SA, and beyond in Australia and the UK as well.

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Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in Industry

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