When Kenyan’s are given an opportunity they seize the idea and run with it. Kenyan’s are smart, innovative and have a talent in making money while creating solutions. This is the reason Kenya’s ICT sector has been the most consistent and one of the key drivers of Kenya’s economic growth in the last decade. In just a few years, groups of Kenyans have had great tech innovations that have been tested and deployed. These startups have not only been helpful but also have great potential to be introduced in other emerging economies. Kenyan startups have created jobs, real change and inspiration for other innovators to build in Africa. Here are five most innovative tech startups in Kenya.
Before M-kOPA Solar, many Kenyans were still using kerosene for their lamps which had obvious negative effects as it was expensive and is non-renewable. Since M-KOPA solar began it has been providing clean and affordable energy that has replaced Kerosene lamps. Currently, users purchase 8W power by paying a deposit of Sh50 per day through mobile money after which the power system becomes free for use in 12 months. In 2015, M-KOPA solar announced that they would have connected one million homes to solar units by the end of 2017.
Forget DHL for a minute and think about a service that ensures you receive and send a package in a secure and timely way. With the busy roads that we have, making a delivery can be tedious and nerve wrecking. Sendy helped us out with their app that connects independent motorbike riders with clients that need courier services. It is basically like a uber for motorbike’s but for delivery purposes. It is a user-friendly app with an easy mobile money and visa payment system.
This startup was formed by a group of University of Nairobi students that created mobile money additional services. Chura, which means frog in Swahili allows users to leap between between mobile money services in different networks. Because of this startup customers can also exchange airtime for money across mobile networks, send airtime to someone in a different network and buy airtime or data using any of the mobile money services.
M-Changa is a mobile and an online platform that helps users raise funds through M-Pesa, Airtel Money and PayPal, meaning anyone even friends outside the country can contribute to a fundraiser. This new method sets us apart from the traditional harambee ways we usually use to raise money. It saves people transport and event planning money. Over 10,000 people have used M-Changa, driven to the platform by M-Changa’s unique mix of integrating SMS and social media to reach and engage customers.