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Ten Technology Start-Ups To Watch

Innovation is becoming the cornerstone of business. These are 10 of the most promising technology companies in Cape Town.

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Entersekt

Entersekt is a global pioneer in transaction authentication for financial institutions. The system combines electronic certificate technology with encrypted cloud messaging and the convenience of mobile phones to give banks, and their customers, full protection from cyber criminals looking to steal users login details and passwords. Entersekts clients, who include Investec, Absa, Old Mutual, Nedbank and Capitec, have allegedly reported an elimination of online banking fraud since implementing the system. Over 12 million customers are protected by Entersekt’s security software which has authenticated more than 250 million transactions since being launched in 2010. The start-up has so far raised around $10 million and has been implemented in Swiss financial institutions with plans to expand to Nigeria, Britain, Netherlands and the United States.

iono.fm

Described as PVR for radio, iono.fm is an audio-on-demand platform that publishes content from radio stations, podcasts and audiobooks. Listeners create their unique playlists and download content for later use. The revenue model centers on short audio adverts and all the content is currently free but going forward they may charge for exclusive content and added functionality. Where traditional radio stations can only monetize their content once as it is streamed live, iono.fm can monetize the content multiple times with different advertisers as the audio is stored online for repeat use. The platform currently generates over a million page views and 800,000 downloads per month. In the second quarter this year, iono.fm saw a 400% increase in downloads. The company has been self-funded since 2008 but is now engaging with venture capital investment to expand operations to the rest of Africa, India, and South America.

 

wiGroup

wiGroup is a specialized point-of-sale integration platform that enables retailers of any size to tap into the mobile money market. Retailers that plug-in to the wiPlatform are able to accept any kind of current or future mobile payment, loyalty, reward or couponing application that exists on the platform. MTN Mobile Money, FlickPay and M-Pesa are some of the apps that have been integrated into the system which services over 50,000 till lanes across South Africa and has processed close to $250 million in mobile transactions. wiGroup’s clients include Pick n Pay, Shoprite, Vodacom and KFC, and the revenue model is based on transaction fees and monthly licensing subscriptions for apps that run on the platform. The company has a presence in Namibia and Mauritius, with plans to expand into Nigeria, Zambia and Britain in the near future.

CapeRay

CapeRay develops and manufactures advanced breast cancer screening equipment combining X-ray and ultrasound technology to enhance a clinician’s ability to detect cancer in women – especially those with dense breast tissue where conventional methods often miss a cancerous lesion. The technology is the first of its kind globally. The start-up spun away from the University of Cape Town around four years ago and has so far raised $2.26 million in funding pre-revenue. Clinical trials have been completed and an offering memorandum is now in front of 15 major multinational companies with CapeRay looking to raise an additional $10 million to begin rolling out the product in the United States, Europe and South Africa.

 

iKubu

iKubu specializes in developing computer vision and commercial radar systems. The small team of engineers have a deep understanding of embedded software solutions and electronic hardware with a strong focus on algorithm development. The start-up developed a 3D scanning system for automated baggage check-in that has been implemented in major airports, including Heathrow, Sydney and Singapore. The company has, up until now, been bootstrapped by the founders who are engaging with international investors to expand operations.

 

Nomanini

Nomanini develops and manufactures rugged mobile point-of-sale terminals to sell products such as airtime and electricity in emerging markets. The technology enables vendors in the informal sector to efficiently distribute prepaid vouchers and facilitate micro cash payments with plans in the works to enable additional transactions such as mobile money and insurance premium collections. Nomanini has partnerships in Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Namibia, Guinea and Mozambique with active terminals processing over a million transactions in September with the company expecting to process a million payments per month by December. Nomanini has so far raised more than $2.3 million in funding and is engaging with venture capital players in foreign markets for further expansion.

 

8bit

8bit is a content recommendation platform that connects online publishers to a larger network of content producers driving traffic to members’ websites by showcasing their most popular content on other sites in the network. 8bit’s system automatically detects a site’s top content based on time, click rate and social media engagement and shares impressions across the network of publishers. It is currently in a closed invite only beta stage with South Africa’s leading independent publishers and has begun trialling with the country’s largest media houses. 8bit will officially launch at the upcoming Web Summit conference in Dublin in November after being named as one of Africa’s top 10 start-ups. In the upcoming months the company will be launching its paid promotions platform where publishers and advertisers can promote sponsored content not only on 8bit’s network but on traditional advertising exchanges. Since being founded earlier this year 8bit has raised around $135,000 in seed funding with plans to expand into Kenya, Nigeria and Denmark. 8bit processes over 20 million recommendations per month and in many instances, directs more traffic to publishers on its network than Google, Facebook and Twitter.

OrderCloud

OrderCloud integrates all the sales channels of a business, whether telephone, web or mobile, into a single online dashboard for simple and effective order management. The system automatically locates the closest outlet to the customer and links it with the necessary delivery services to process the order. Whether customers pay with credit, cash or mobile money, all your funds are instantly aggregated into a single account which distributes the lump sum to all the relevant parties in the supply chain. OrderCloud is being integrated into large franchises in South Africa though the start-up cannot say who at this point as the information is classified. The company is busy putting together a prominent board of directors and has so far raised $226,000 with plans to raise an additional $900,000 from local and international investors.

 

WhereIsMyTransport

This month, WhereIsMyTransport will be launching Africa’s first official multi-modal transport application for Cape Town. Commuters using the app are able to seamlessly plot their journey from point to point linking various modes of public transport such as Golden Arrow buses and Metrorail trains with minibus taxis to come online in the near future. The application generates valuable data regarding commuter traffic and congestion enabling cities to more efficiently develop their transport networks. The start-up, still in its infancy, is engaged in talks with investors in three foreign markets to develop similar applications for major metros. The long-term vision of the company will be to open up its application programming interface to allow other developers to build apps using their technology.

 

Ekaya

Ekaya has created an online marketplace where you can list, find and rent property from your phone or on the web. Landlords can vet and rate tenants, collect rent and freely advertise their property on the platform. Tenants applying for property pay an administrative fee of less than $10 for all necessary criminal and credit record checks, whereas property agents usually charge around $100. Also, instead of paying a fat deposit upfront, Ekaya offers an insurance scheme where tenants pay a smaller monthly fee that can be used to cover damages. Ekaya makes money by taking a small commission of the rent and is looking to expand its insurance, micro-loan and deposit components with added loyalty and reward features. Ekaya recently raised $126,000 in angel funding and has over 1,000 estate listings in Cape Town since the beta version went live about two weeks ago with the platform aiming to launch in Durban and Johannesburg in the next few months.

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