Africa has undergone significant spurge of activity in the recent years regarding to investment. Now the investors think that Africa is the next big start up hub for businesses and investments.
Among the sectors in Africa experiencing the largest degree of activity are the e-commerce and mobile industries. At the heart of much of that activity is the Think Accelerator program, a product of Millicom Foundation, funded by an annual budget of $10 million. Also serving to support Africa’s startup scene is Safaricom, which launched a $1 million startup investment fund in 2015.
The rapid evolution of support for the startup scene in Africa is a breath of fresh air. In the past, it was quite common for startups on that continent to see their ideas ripped off. Today that is rapidly changing as more investment funds are being made available to support smaller companies. Just a few of the companies that have benefited from such funding include Jumia, an e-commerce operator that received a round of investment funding totaling $150 million. Takealot and Konga have also both received significant rounds of investment funding.
According to Frost & Sullivan, Africa could evolve into a $50 billion e-commerce market in the coming years. The size of Africa’s e-commerce market was just $8 billion few years before representing a substantial amount of growth.
Such growth is largely attributed to a rapidly expanding mobile and Internet market throughout the continent. Furthermore, several sub-Saharan economies are now experiencing a rapid rate of growth, further fueling e-commerce and other sectors.
Even IBM in 2015 had announced plans to funnel more than $60 million into a new tech hub and startup accelerator to be located in Johannesburg. Also driving the tech revolution in Africa is the rapid rise of greater access to inexpensive bandwidth. In fact, the growth of bandwidth in Africa expanded by a factor of 200 over the past few years. The fact that bandwidth wholesale prices have declined by some 90 percent makes the situation in Africa ideal for the development of a stronger tech infrastructure. In fact, the tech scene in Africa is growing at such a rapid pace that there are concerns that the continent might be undergoing too much tech investment and expansion at once.
As developments continue apace with industries such as Big Data, the Internet of Things and virtual storage (the Cloud) and telecommunications growing every year the most promising companies to invest are the big global brands offering usually a safe pair of hands such as Google and Apple, there are others worth considering and keeping track of through online information sources and the help of certain financial trading experts such as IG. Amongst the tech brands, lately there are the 5 best that are worth investing in 2017.
1. MTN Africa
MTN Brand Africa found MTN to be the most admired African brand at the end of 2015 for the second year running. MTN plays a pivotal role in Africa’s connectivity as the region relies significantly on the company for its mobile communication that provides payment, business and healthcare facilities. Also the company has suffered a major blip as a Nigerian law suit has seen it tumble out of the top 500 most valuable global brands as its market value has taken a hit. They could be worth keeping an eye on if and when they recover, a well timed investment in stock could pay off in the longer term.
Despite a slowdown in sales primarily due to users upgrading their iPhones less frequently of late – the consumer electronics household name is regularly one of the world’s most valuable brands with a strong presence in South Africa. For some time now and likely for the foreseeable future, investing in Apple is likely worth considering.
This South African information and communications technology services company has clients in diverse commercial fields including manufacturing, mining and financial services. They number several clients in the top 25 of companies listed on the JSE (Johannesburg Stock Exchange) and employ over 2,200 skilled professionals helping clients make the most of the cloud and connected Internet devices amongst other services.
A South African company at the vanguard of information and communications technology with a presence throughout Africa and offices in the UK and the Middle East who can trace their origins back as far as 1979. With various acquisitions over the years, the company provides a raft of technology support and infrastructure systems and offers their expertise to many worldwide corporations. Their list of partners reads like a directory of famous tech names including Microsoft, HP, IBM and Cisco. Like Gijima above, Business Connexion Group offers a strong combination of an established player operating in a growth industry.
Headquartered in Johannesburg, this Japanese-owned South African firm is a true global company offering IT services in the areas of network security, data centre solutions, converged communications and a range of professional consulting and support services. The company was founded in 1983, listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in 1987, and over the years has acquired a string of companies worldwide before being acquired itself by Japanese Nippon Telegraph and Telephone in 2010. They’re another example of a company combining an established presence with involvement in a cutting edge, high growth industry.
There are many newer tech companies of course good for investment in 2017 apart from the well know above. These companies represent more of a calculated risk as they’ve much shorter track records. The bottom line is that given the rapid adoption of technology and proliferation of startups in Africa, the time to invest in the continent’s quickly evolving technology market and keeping appraised of the new developments in tech is the need of the hour.