Tech companies are quickly becoming some of the fastest growing businesses in South Africa.
Traditional sectors such as mining, manufacturing or food and beverage continue to dominate the local business landscape, however we are starting to see tech companies catch up.
This is confirmed by the Financial Times and data company Statista which recently published their inaugural ranking of Africa’s fastest-growing companies, with several major South African tech firms included on the list.
The report attributes this trend to companies catering to underserved markets.
“Many of the fastest-growing companies, especially in the fintech sector, are those seeking to tap Africa’s unbanked population, or markets that have previously been underserved or ignored.
“The health and education sectors, for example — spurred by unmet need and rising aspirations — are among those offering most scope for growth.”
The tech companies below are not only making a difference, but are among the fastest growing businesses in the country.
eAdvance Pty Ltd (SPARK Schools)
SPARK Schools is dedicated to delivering accessible, high quality education. Their blended learning model combines traditional classroom teaching with online learning to primary school children.
Stacey Brewer and Ryan Harrison founded the education company in 2012 with a mission to provide affordable private schooling in South Africa.
Today eAdvance is not only one of the fastest growing companies in the country, but also one of the biggest networks of independent schools in South Africa.
The company closed a Series C funding round in 2020 with three large investors to enable the company to grow from 18 sites in 2021 to 45 by 2026.
Yoco, a fintech company, is one of the country’s biggest success stories in recent history. The company’s payment solutions enables small businesses and entrepreneurs to securely accept card payments. They currently service over 50 000 small and micro merchants across South Africa, processing a billion dollars on the platform.
Yoco launched in 2015 and is the brainchild of founders Katlego Maphai, Bradley Wattrus, Lungisa Matshoba and Carl Wazen.
In addition to becoming one of the fastest growing tech companies in South Africa, in 2021 Yoco achieved the largest single investment ever raised by a South African payments company. They raised a Series C funding round of $83M (R1.23 billion) to accelerate product development.
South Africa-based financial services company, Purple Group Limited, focuses on trading, investing, and asset management.
The company provides trading and investment solutions via several trading platforms, including GT247.com and EasyEquities.
According to the company’s website, their products and services enable their clients to complete any of the following.
“DIY investing, managed portfolios through to goal-based robo-advice or any combination of these, ensuring that we are capable of catering to the changing needs of all investor types, not just locally but abroad too.”
Mark Angus Barnes founded the company in 1998. The company’s headquarters are in Johannesburg, South Africa.
hearX Group Pty Ltd
hearX Group is a Pretoria-based healthtech companyHearX offers health tech solutions for hearing loss, detection, and diagnosis. Its latest offering includes an end-to-end hearing care solution for the direct-to-consumer markets.
Professor De Wet Swanepoel is the founder of the group of the company which started trading in 2016.
One of the company’s biggest milestone was in 2021 when its Lexie hearing aids began selling at Walgreens stores in the US.
Founded in 2001 by Dr Charles Pritchard Entelect designs and builds customised software solutions for a variety of industries. This includes healthcare, logistics, insurance and mining and manufacturing sectors.
The firm has a footprint across Africa, New Zealand and the Netherlands and they counts Anglo American, Vodacom and Discovery Health, among their clients.
According to the company’s website, they help clients to “meet the rapidly changing demands of their businesses and stay competitive.”