10 African companies are amongst the 434 most innovative companies in the world for 2020 put together by FastCompany magazine.
FastCompany Magazine is an American business magazine — published in print and online — which focuses on technology, business, and design. The magazine releases just eight print issues each year.
Every year FastCompany puts together a list honouring businesses that made impact the most in both industry and culture. The magazine’s editors draw their list from a myriad of businesses across different industries in the world.
The World’s Most Innovative Companies list for 2020 features 434 businesses from 39 countries.10 African companies, however, stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Tesla, Snap, Microsoft, Canva amongst others on the list.
These companies are:
This Kenyan company actually makes it to the top 50 most innovative companies list, ranking at 35. Twiga is a B2B online marketplace that sources farm produce from farms and delivers them to urban retailers. The company makes the list for upgrading a Kenyan informal market economy, providing a supply chain of quality farm produce.
mPedigree makes the list for providing a solution to a unique problem; fake goods. It does this by embedding a unique code on the packaging of the good which users can then send to a number provided to verify the authenticity of the product. The start-up works with some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in dealing with the problem of fake drugs. mPedigree is present in Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Tanzania.
The Kenyan firm is on this list for helping the unbanked population in Kenya participate in eCommerce. Copia uses a network of agents, numbering about 5000 to place orders for people while also serving as delivery points. Delivery is free and it usually will take just two days.
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This Nigerian fintech is only four years old and is already improving the savings culture in the country. PiggyVest does this by automatically deducting fixed amounts set by users at specified times into online savings or investment platform. The company launched in 2016 and its mission is “to give everyone the power to better manage and grow their own finances.”
Mpost stands for mobile post office and it allows its users to convert their phone numbers into virtual post offices, rather than pay for a PO Box. The service sends notifications to its users when they get a mail which they can either pick or get delivered. This startup is based in Kenya.
This Nigerian wireless internet service provider is on this list for providing high-speed internet with solar-powered towers. The company is building solar-powered WiFi base stations as well as WiFi to provide affordable unlimited high-speed internet service. As of when this article was written, Tizeti’s services are available only in Lagos, Ogun and Rivers State in Nigeria. The startup is also expanding into Ghana.
Tongoro makes the Most Innovative Companies list for “empowering local artisans via a Senegalese fashion house.” The startup was founded by Sarah Diouf and has been worn by Beyonce and featured in The Vogue. The label showcases locals fabrics as well as the work of other African tailors which she trains to meet international standards.
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This company makes devices that detect temperature changes as opposed to smoke to detect fire in South Africa’s townships and settlements. The company also offers low-cost insurance to low-income businesses and households with quick payouts. Its services are now in use in more than 40,000 South African homes.
This tech startup connects fleet drivers and fleet operators with companies that need their goods and product moved throughout Nigeria. Thus, Kobo360 provides digital freight and haulage solutions to help achieve an efficient supply chain framework.
Ife Oyedele II and Obi Ozor co-founded it in 2016. The Nigerian company eliminates cash transactions by paying the drivers directly into their bank account making them less vulnerable to robberies and also creating a digital paper trail.
This startup makes the Most Innovative Companies 2020 list for taking the first step in creating an African genetic biobank. 54Gene is thus partnering hospitals all over Nigeria in collecting, sequencing, and analyzing the genomes of their patients. So far, it has collected tens of thousands of samples and is also expecting to have more than 200,000 by the end of 2020. The startup aim is to facilitate new drug and diagnostics discoveries that are more impactful for Africans.
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