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10 Internet Of Things Startups To Keep An Eye On In Africa
HealthQ's internet of things tech assists in health monitoring. Photo - Engadget
The internet of things is fast becoming a major component of new tech around the globe, and Africa is no different, with the technology central to numerous startups on the continent.
There will be 8.4 billion connected things in use worldwide this year, according to Gartner, and Africa Analysis predicts that the internet of things installed base in South Africa alone will reach 35 million by 2020.
Some operate within agriculture, others in fintech and some in telematics, but many industries have been positively affected by the rise of the internet of things.
Here are 10 internet of things startups to keep an eye on in Africa.
Vula Telematix is enabling the internet of things for consumers across Africa. The startup has partnered with San Diego-based Ingenu to develop internet of things solutions through a network that offers expanded reach, a global range, and longer lasting battery life than any existing network.
M-Farm leverages the internet and text messaging to help farmers access market prices for produce, make aggregated orders of farm supplies, lower purchase costs, and sell their produce in bulk in order to reduce costs overall. This would not be possible without the internet of things.
South African startup HealthQ develops technologies that assist users who wish to monitor their health and fitness. The company’s solutions use cutting edge biomathematical models to power fitness trackers and other wearable devices.
Kenyan startup UjuziKilimo uses big data and the internet of things to provide useful information regarding farming trends and productivity based on the accurate data that is generated through soil analysis. This is derived using electronic sensors in the soil, which guides farmers via text message based on real-time soil conditions.
It may seem obvious, but being able to track the weather and forecast weather patterns is incredibly useful for farmers, and until fairly recently, African farmers could not do so. Now, thanks to the internet of things, Farmerconnect supplies information to farmers about weather, pricing trends and other updates, empowering farmers to track and plan their farming efforts much better.
SnapScan was launched in 2014 in partnership with Standard Bank, enabling customers to pay for things at restaurants and retailers in South Africa using their mobile phone. SnapScan is now used by hundreds of thousands of customers at more than 32,000 physical and online merchants.
Kenyan startup Illuminum Greenhouses develops innovative solutions to problems or challenges within the agricultural sector. Among the products it develops are its greenhouses, which use solar panels and sensors to maintain an optimal growing environment at all times.
Lumkani have produced an early-warning fire detection system that was developed with informal settlements in mind. Small blue heat detectors are embedded in homes and networked so that text messages are sent to community leaders and fire departments so that a response can be sent.
Kenyan company BRCK develops the a rugged mobile wifi hotspot device that gives people in remote areas access to the internet. The startup managed to raise over $172,000 with their initial Kickstarter campaign before a $1.2 million investment helped to put them on the map.
ProximityID turns a person’s smartphone into an all-in-one collection of loyalty cards, access cards and parking tickets, with that person given instant cardless access and functionality digitally. The company received the Wildcard award at the MTN 2017 Internet of Things Awards.
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