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Top 20 African tech startups, PesaPal, mobile services providers in the lead

(Credit: Reuters) This image shows a customer during a mobile money transfer, known as M-Pesa, inside the Safaricom mobile phone care centre in the central business district of Kenya's capital Nairobi.Pesapal
July 29
4:26 PM 2014

Africa today is said to be a mobile continent, according to CNN. As such, a lot of innovative startups concentrate on developing innovative products and systems for mobile applications. Although most of the startups in the continent had humble beginnings, there is a possibility that they will make big outside Africa.

Recently, Forbes Africa released its list of the top 20 tech startups in the African nation. All twenty startups have reportedly passed specific standards to get included in the list: operational for less than a decade, has huge social media,presence, provides products and services that serves as solutions to the country's socio-economic and communication problems, and should be Pan-Africa in terms of providing services and scope.

While there are a lot of companies that are developing amazing products in Africa that can compete in the international level, below are some of the trending technology startups from different nations of the continent that have what it takes to become a massive success in their respective industries.

Here are five of the 20 top tech startups in Africa. You can check out the rest of the list here, or sign up with Forbes Africa for a paper subscription:

  • MXit. The mobile instant messaging utility is currently serving over 30 million users a variety of services including social networking, mobile voice clips, music & entertainment, banking access and other community based applications. Founded by a Namibian entrepreneur, it has since gained popularity in the African region since its humble beginnings in 2003, thanks largely to users' capability of being able to connect to other social networks like Facebook, Google and others.
  • ForgetMeNotAfrica. Six major mobile carriers in Africa have taken up this popular Messaging platform. Their most popular service is allowing users to access the Internet through SMS. The company is aiming to bridge the gap between computer and mobile messaging through the use of Internet on every mobile phone. This platform became a huge success that it was acknowledged as the best innovation prize at various award-giving bodies.
  • Paga. Paga Technology was initiated in Nigeria in early 2009 to reach out Africans in transmitting innovative and universal approach to various financial services in the continent. It also offers the first interoperable system wherein a person owning a mobile device can make electronic transactions by changing their phones into an electronic wallet.
  • Dropifi. This nifty web messaging platform allows different companies to analyze, visualize and respond to incoming messages from their contacts. Moreover, it allows users to write down comments and feedbacks using the central dashboard. This platform won the Accra Startup Weekend competition in 2011.
  • PesaPal. Currently, many Africans find mobile banking as an indispensable need, particularly those who are not acquainted to any depository financial institutions. PesaPal is a mobile banking platform that provides ease for the users to buy and sell items on the Internet with the use of an M-Pesa, Zap or any other leading credit cards.
  • BongoLive! This mobile SMS service company allows users to register, create a profile and obtain information from different users for free. According to the company, they believe that there are more than the basics that mobile can offer. Thus, this platform is created to cater services that will empower NGO, businesses and consumers.

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