Startups in Silicon Valley usually get all the attention, but there’s a slew of startups in Africa that are aiming to effect change in the continent.

In fact, there are now more than 90 tech hubs in and across Africa, according to the World Bank. These startups are tackling issues like education, connectivity and transportation.

In 2013, U.S. investors poured more money into African startups than any other year,according to CrunchBase. Here are the top 12, according to Business Insider Australia:

12. Obami (it’s like Facebook for education)

Obami is a social learning platform that brings teachers, students, and parents together. It also aims to connect them with NGOs, small businesses, and corporations that are doing good.

With Obami, people can connect with other educators and students, as well as create and share content.

Number of employees: 7

Funding: N/A

11. Spottm - a private social network for your neighbourhood.

Spottm helps keep you connected with your neighbours. Besides being able to buy and sell goods, Spottm makes it easy to report crimes and other incidents in your neighbourhood.

The network is totally private and safe. When you sign up, you must verify your address. The entire site is also password protected.

Number of employees: N/A

Funding: N/A

10. mPawa helps people in Ghana and Kenya find jobs.

mPawa is a job-matching application for the blue-collar sector in Africa. With mPawa, companies can post job openings. For job-seekers, they can create an online resume that’s visible to employers on the platform.

Using the mPawa matching algorithm, workers get matched to jobs that fit their skill set. Employers can request workers on the go, and job-seekers will receive a notification via text or email.

Number of employees:3

Funding: N/A

9. SleepOut connects guests looking for a place to stay with hosts renting out accommodations.

SleepOut provides a one-stop destination for booking things like campsites, apartments, resorts in Kenya. You could think of it as the Airbnb of Africa.The site makes it easy to search for spaces with a pool, homes on the beach, floating cabins, and castles.

Number of employees: 14

Funding: $235,000

8. 22seven is a money management service.

22seven wants to make the way your manage your personal finances a lot easier. 22seven is a subscription-based online money management service similar to Mint.

With 22seven, you can see all of your money and accounts in one place. 22seven also automatically creates a plan based on your recent spending.

Number of employees: 5

Funding: N/A

7. Able Wireless is an on-demand wireless streaming service provider.

Able Wireless has been described as the Netflix for Africa. It allows people to watch content whenever and wherever they want.Able Wireless manufactures its own set-top box made from a modified Raspberry Pi. It also creates a wireless hotspot to deliver Internet access. The service costs roughly $US6 per person.

Number of employees: N/A

Funding: N/A

6. Dropifi helps small businesses offer better customer support.

Dropifi is a widget that serves as an intelligent contact form. The idea is to help businesses analyse, visualise, and respond to incoming messages from customers.Over 8,000 small businesses use Dropifi. Dropifi was the first African startup to be accepted into 500 Startups.

Number of employees: 4

Funding: $100,000

5. SnapScan lets you pay bills using only your smartphone.

With SnapScan, people can pay at over 5,000 stores across South Africa. SnapScan is available for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry.

It works by scanning the bar code on the ‘SnapCode’ on your bill or at the checkout. You then enter the amount you want to pay, type in your four-digit pin code, and voila!

In 2013, SnapScan won the South African app of the year award.

Number of employees: 10

Funding: N/A

4. Jumia - Nigeria’s number one online retailer.

Inspired by Amazon, Jumia is an ecommerce platform for buying anything from electronics to clothes to home goods.

Jumia offers free nationwide delivery and free returns. It’s currently live in Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ivory Coast. Now it’s gearing up to launch in its sixth country: Uganda.

Number of employees: ~100

Funding: $61 million

3. Mellowcabs provides first and last mile public transportation for free.

Mellowcabs makes and operates high-tech electric pedicabs. Mellowcabs aims to fill the gap for commuters that need transportation within a 3 km radius. So that could be the distance between your bus stop and home, or between a parking lot and a stadium.

In order to be able to offer free rides, Mellowcabs offsets its costs by placing banner ads directly on the cars.

Number of employees: 3

Funding: N/A

2. Qurio by Edge Campus - high-quality, low cost education solutions.

Accessing quality education in Africa is still a big problem. With Qurio, you can easily create quizzes, tests, and surveys. Your audience can complete it on any computer or mobile device.

Teachers can use Qurio to administer quizzes and receive instant results. Qurio allows the student to be interactive with the content.

Qurio is totally free and since it’s web-based, no one needs to download anything. This free basic application is web-based so nothing has to be downloaded.

Funding: N/A

Employees: N/A

1. BRCK helps people in rural communities connect to the internet.

12startups

BRCK is a durable, modern router that helps people connect to the internet no matter where they are.

It can connect to multiple networks, and serve as a hub for local devices. It can even survive a power outage, meaning that you can still access the internet even if you don’t have electricity.

Number of employees: N/A

Funding: $172,107 via Kickstarter

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Via Business Insider Australia - http://www.businessinsider.com.au/

 

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