Top 10 Most Promising Tech-Startups In Uganda.

Startup
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Uganda as a country has seen ideas born, some of which have grown from the ground to outside Africa, and others dying at their baby stages. The increase in Uganda’s Tech start-ups is largely because many young people are realizing that technology is the only solution to the problems of this century.

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The increasing numbers in incubation hubs in Uganda have given Uganda’s young tech-startups a platform to get training and mentorship from already developed tech companies. Investment into the ICT sector of Uganda by the government has given momentum to tech-startups in Uganda to start, and those which haven’t yet ignited to light their candles away.

In this article, I bring to you Uganda’s top 10 promising Tech startups in no particular order (choose which one tops the other for you)

SafeBoda

Safeboda
Credit: Safeboda

Safe Boda is a motor cycle riding service (locally termed as Boda Bodas) which was started in 2014 November.

After realizing a big gap in the transportation sector of Uganda (particularly the motorcycling community), Maxime Dieudonne (Belgian origin), Rapa Thomson Ricky (Ugandan origin) and Alastair Sussock (British origin) came together to discover a tech solution to the very hated and bad mouthed motor cycling business, which was known to have unruly and rowdy individuals who never respected traffic laws.

In an initiative to rebrand motorcycling and give it a touch of professionality and easy access, Safe Boda slowly and surely grew to start in Kampala and gaining momentum until when it shot.

Through their mobile application, their goal of improving the industry for both drivers and passengers is being achieved. The Safe Boda community opened up training academy for its riders, which is the first of its kind in Uganda. Safe Boda currently has over 6000 riders operating within Kampala, and nearby districts and indeed the feedback they are attracting from the masses shows that their expansion shall even shoot too far away regions than Kampala.

Safe Boda also expanded to Kenya (particularly Nairobi) and this steady progress shows that Safeboda is one of the top tech startups that have shown significant growth not-only in customer base but attracting investors. (It is rumored that SafeBoda made about $1.1 million in 2018)

Even amidst competition from other local riding services such as Ride a Jack, MondoRide, including international companies Uber and Taxify (which incorporated motorcycles in their portfolios), SafeBoda has stayed at the top of its game as Uganda’s most used and preferred motoring service.

WeFarm

The WeFarm idea was initiated by Kenny Ewan (Kenyan Origin) and Claire Rhodes, General Manager of the Cafédirect Producers Foundation (United Kingdom Origin), and this was based on the need for the multitudes of smallholder farmers who were in need of information in Africa, and around the globe.

Starting from Kenya, Tanzania, and Peru, the WeFarm project was tested and developed from there through other African countries like Uganda.

With a limited percentage of farmers having access to the internet, the goal was to ensure that it favors all farmers, so it is a text based platform. You don’t need the internet to join WeFarm.

HOW TO JOIN WEFARM.

UGANDA: SMS JOIN to 6333

KENYA: SMS JOIN to 22301

WeFarm has seen success in Kenya and Uganda, as it announced that it has reached over 1.1 million users in the two countries in October 2018.

WeFarm now stands as the World’s largest digital farmer-to-farmer network and has gotten worldwide recognition and also won awards which include; Knight News Challenge, Google’s Impact Challenge Award, TechCrunch’s Europas Tech for Good Award, and the European Union Commission’s Ideas From Europe prize, among others.

WeFarm as a peer-to-peer service now helps farmers in Kenya and Uganda share agricultural information with each other via SMS which improves their crop yield and animal production, and it is expected to expand to other African countries such as Tanzania and many more.

Makanika Dotcom

Makanika Dotcom is a tech-startup founded at one of Uganda’s oldest incubation hub & co-working space, Hive Colab. Co-founded by Michael Katagaya and Meregurwa Moses in 2015, Makanika Dotcom’s aim is to help motor vehicle owners get access to trustworthy and experienced mechanic engineers (mostly from garages).

Many garages tend to have mechanics idle waiting for clients to bring their motor vehicles, while certain motor vehicle owners are usually on the hunt for the nearest garage where to take their motor vehicles for repair – some even get stranded from far-away places and are in need of a mechanical engineer, Makanika Dotcom through their mobile application help bridge this gap to connect mechanics to motor vehicle owners.

Since birth, Makanika Dotcom boasts of growing a community of about 200 garages, though not all are on their mobile application. (In one way or the other, having some garages not incorporated into their mobile application connection network undermines the role of the application)

With minimal challenges (as stated in this review), Makanika Dotcom is obtaining mentorship and training from Hive Colab which is meant to help it find ways of grooming and integrating the idea in many other ways.

Makanika Dotcom not only offers mechanic services but also has an online shop from where you can buy accessories and motor vehicle services from their trusted suppliers, an integration in their services.

SafePal

Safe Pal is an application that helps sexually harassed victims report cases of abuse to a confidential person – nearest service provider, who can help them find justice in the long run.

In partnership with Service Providers like Action Aid Uganda, Reproductive Health Uganda, FIDA Uganda, and Naguru Teenage Centre, Safe Pal runs its agenda.

The successes of this initiative Safe Pal is embarking on have not been registered as yet, BUT with lots of victims of sexual violence in Uganda, and perpetuators who have gone away without facing justice, indeed this application should be among Tech Start-ups that should enable the country address such acts of sexual violence.

The SafePal project is under the maintenance of 6 enthusiastic creatives, and hopefully, they shall shoot to the skies with registered successes.

Xente

The Xente application is a digital wallet which enables it’s users access make cash transactions by just a swipe. After launching on February 1st, 2018, Xente application has seen a significant rise as it is now expected to expand in 3 other African countries.

The services provided by the Xente application include.

  • Loan services
  • Paying for utilities (Water, insurance, electricity, movies, airtime and so much more)

Without using any cash, you can get access to all your services by using the application.

KiCare

KiCare is a software integrated with a hardware – used to test the functionality of a kidney. Without any pricking on your body, the system (both hardware and software) are used to test the kidney’s functionality and offer a report/assessment which clearly reports on the collected data.

PRISMS (Protecting infants remotely by SMS)

With many hospital nurses assigned to take care of infants at birth, some don’t have quite enough experience. The PRISMS platform enables these health workers to effectively manage sick and at-risk newborn babies.

After running tests of the application through a local clinic in Mbarara, PRISMs showed progress, and indeed it is among the startups Uganda should watch out for.

PRISMS has gotten recognition i.e MTN innovation awards which have shown that indeed such an innovation is needed by Uganda.

Wulira APP

Wulira is a hearing assessment application, for the deaf. Wulira is Luganda for “hear”, so the application is targeted to better the hearing abilities of the deaf.

Wulira application is an initiative by Makerere University Students from the College of Health Sciences, and on its launch on 17th September 2018, the committee heading it announced the success of the application as one of the Top 10 innovation to be showcased at the World Health Summit in Berlin, Germany.

Even at such a young stage, this application has got the potential to be an effective platform for the disadvantaged in hearing.

Sellio

Sellio is an online ad-buying platform that helps online businesses grow their customer base and increase sales.

This initiative harbored at The Innovation Village Ntinda has seen growth from Uganda and Kenya, and it is reported that they engage over 300’000 potential buyers each month for their 2’500 clients in Kenya and Uganda.

For a tech start-up, Sellio is performing exceptionally well and indeed there is hope for it to skyrocket to other potential markets around Africa.

Breast It

BreastIT is a portable and affordable technology for the screening of breast cancer, composed of a Glove (which does screening) and software (which does the image analysis).

The combination of three heads, MORIS ATWINE – Team Lead and Developer, ALVIN KABWAMA – The Hardware Engineer, DAVID L MWESIGWA – The Research & Development Lead brought to life an idea that is revolutionizing the status quo of breast cancer in Uganda, and shall enable easy and fast screening of breast cancer.

The success of this innovation without a doubt shows an expected growth of its users – The Breast It innovation won $2000 at the Pistoia Alliance President’s Startup Challenge 2018.

Other tech startups

  1. Pesapal
  2. AirSave
  3. Quickart
  4. SulaPay
  5. AccessMobile