Africa is reckoned as one of the high-growth regions globally, ranking second only to Asia, with an annual GDP growth rate above 5% over the last ten years. With this remarkable economic growth, Africa’s economies are robust with promise, with an expanding middle-class that has increasing disposable income power. The infrastructural gaps that still bedevil countries of Africa offer opportunities for greatly scaling growth and innovation within the continent. Africa’s vast young population, along with the increased penetration of technology and tech literacy, is also proof of the continent as the mainstay of technology talent globally. As such, Africa is a land of promise.
With numerous challenges in insecurity, food scarcity, and economic difficulties, many innovative young people on the continent are thinking out creatively, solutions to the changing the situation of their communities. These founders are facing strong headwinds, in the determination, not simply to become successful entrepreneurs, but to contribute impactfully to transforming their communities. Especially within the fintech sector, there has been significant progress made, with solutions seeking to leverage Africa’s unbanked population. It is no surprise, therefore, that a majority of Africa’s one-billion-dollar startups are from the fintech sector.
Just recently, the Financial Times published a ranking of Africa’s fastest growing companies. This inaugural list tries to offer a snapshot of the corporate landscape in Africa where “technology, fintech, and support-service businesses have had to adapt to a radically altered environment.” The list features over 75 African companies, ordered using their highest compound annual growth (CAGR) in revenues between 2017 and 2020. The officially stated revenues of over 900 public companies were examined to develop the list. However, since the data relied heavily on publicly disclosed companies’ financial data, a number of fast-growing private companies may have been missed in this ranking.
It is interesting to see Wasoko, formerly known as Sokowatch, heading the list of these remarkable companies on the continent. The company, based in Kenya, is one of those on the continent, transforming the e-commerce sector dynamically through its service offerings. The company had achieved a compound annual growth rate in revenues between 2017 and 2020, of over 346.2%, with its revenues rising from $300,000 in 2017 to over $27.4 million in 2020. Just in March, the company had risen to over $625 million, with its $125 million Series B.
Wasoko is increasing purchasing power across Africa by enabling every retailer to thrive, every shopper happy and every community to shine. Through their services, they support communities across Africa to get more for less, by providing free delivery and financing of essential goods to local retailers.
Other startups that are featured in the list include Flocash Limited, Yoco, Copia Kenya, IT Consortium, and M-KOPA, with these majorly from Kenya. A bulk of these companies are also clustered within the financial services and fintech sectors.
View the full list HERE.