Most startup founders dream to scale their ventures into millions and probably have a good exit. In Africa a few founders are on the brink of making it huge but the journey is worth it when there are success stories around. Below are the top five African Tech millionaires to watch.
Mark Shuttleworth founder Ubuntu and Thawte, South Africa
After the acquisition of his digital certificate and internet security firm Thawte by software giant VeriSign for more than $500 million, he joined the class of millionaires in Africa. After the acquisition mark went ahead and founded one of the most famous viruses free and open source computer operating system Ubuntu and a tech incubator in South Africa. With the release of Ubuntu for mobile phones, he’s headed for a market full of competition with iOS and Android among others. He’s estimated to be worth more than $1 billion.
Jason Njoku co-founder iROKO Partners, Nigeria and London
Hailed as Africa’s Netflix, iROKO Partners is a pioneer platform for streaming Nollywood films which currently hosts more than 10,000 films. He raised over $8 million from a US venture capital firm, Tiger Global and $2 million from a Swedish firm. The platform boosts of more than 1 million users since its launch. iROKO is so far the fastest growing internet startup in Africa with many partners ranging from YouTube, iTunes, Amazon and Vimeo. His music streaming service iRoking is also growing everyday.
He also started an accelerator program to help out startups in Nigeria.
Kamal Budhatti founder Craft Silicon , Kenya
He grew in a humble background in India; he developed an interest in computers and software while at university in India. His first job was as a data entry clerk before he started developing banking software’s which was his turning point, later forming Craft Silicon in 2000.
Craft Silicon is a Kenyan software company with a local base and global presence across 40 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and America .the company provides software in core banking , microfinance , mobile and electronic payment solutions for over 200 clients .The company has a market valuation of over $80Million and currently has over 400 employees in Kenya only. It’s also building a world-class campus for its team in Nairobi, with growing number of banks and demand for demand driven banking solutions, Craft Silicon is on the brink of exploding.
Herman Heunis CEO and founder Mxit, South Africa
Who doesn’t know about Mxit in Africa? Herman is the brain behind the successful social networking site ,he sold the company to World of Avatars for around $60 Million marking an exit that many young developers dream of. The site had over 40 million users then, the user base as since shrunk since the departure of World of Avatar CEO coupled with stiff competition from other known instant messaging startups like Whatsapp ,2go ,Facebook Messenger , Message Me and others and entry of Smartphone’s. For him he made it at the right time.
Mike Macharia founder of Seven Seas Technologies , Kenya
Mike is a college dropout just like Steve Jobs, he dropped out of the University of Egerton after a year as a mathematics and physics undergraduate to study accounting in Strathmore University. As a qualified accountant, he founded Seven Seas Technologies at age 25 and lead the company to current status. Seven Seas is in more than 7 African countries with a team of over 100 employees and some of his clients include major telecom companies, banking and Governments institutions. Seven Seas provide cloud solutions and other services. It’s among the most talked company in Kenya with many accolades and awards to its name.
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