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Startup - October 6, 2022

5 African Startups Offering Highly Unique Services

Africa is one of the poorest continents in the world. However, African entrepreneurs have been tenacious and persistent to the very core in building startups that offer highly unique services. 

There has been an amazing wave of innovation in the industry with startups like Chipper, OPay, Wave, Flutterwave, Fawry, and Interswitch raking billions in valuation. 

By the end of the year, startup funding on the continent may barely top $4 billion. It has already crossed $3 billion.

Most of these African startups offer unique services that integrate augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Let’s take a look at some of these African startups that offer highly unique services.    


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1. Affectiva

Affectiva uses artificial intelligence to analyse facial and voice expressions, the company’s AI observes human emotions, cognitive processes, behaviours, and the objects people use.

Using a normal webcam, Affectiva can recognise a face and its distinctive features, such as the corners of the mouth and the tip of the nose, to categorise facial expressions into seven basic emotions.

Speech detection, which can classify “how” something is spoken with a frequency of a few hundred milliseconds, can be merged with pre-recorded audio as well. Data accuracy is in the high ninety percentile with around six million faces evaluated in 87 countries.

Rana el Kaliouby, an Egyptian woman who serves as CEO, founded the platform. Affectiva was purchased by Swedish business Smart Eye in June 2021 for $73.5 million.

2. Taeilo

Taeilo was founded in 2017 by Jumoke Dada, to be like IKEA. One of the biggest furniture merchants in the world, IKEA, employs augmented reality to market its goods.

Taeillo improves the customer experience by integrating AR  and VR to let customers visualise the furniture in their area before making a purchase.

Additionally, each piece of furniture has a native name, such as Femi, Ngozi, Ada, Segun, and Africana. According to Jumoke, her primary objective is to make the consumer experience simple and satisfying.

3. Aerobotics

Aerobotics, a company founded in Cape Town in 2014, combines overhead imagery from drones and satellites along with machine learning algorithms to help tree and wine producers identify problems early and improve crop performance.

The startup’s cloud-based Aeroview platform gives farmers knowledge, scout mapping, and other tools to lessen pest and disease damage to tree and vine harvests.

Aerobotics, which obtained Series B funding in 2020, has gathered perennial crop imaging from over one million acres with over 200 producers to identify over 195 million plants during the previous seven years.

4. Beamm 

Through video conference services like Zoom, Google Meet, Facebook Rooms, and MS Teams, Beamm facilitates live, content-rich, commercial meetings.

The platform is made to support the flow of an interactive dialogue, enabling a host to effortlessly offer content that is catered to a visitor’s needs and wants.

Beamm, founded in 2012 by AJ Philippakis and Vishal Talreja, has raised a total of $1.7 million. 

5. Imisi 3D

Judith Okonkwo is working to create an extended reality (XR) ecosystem in Nigeria and abroad with her firm Imisi 3D.

Imisi 3D is prepared to develop a community of African AR and VR designers, launch the development of AR and VR-based solutions, and provide learning and engagement opportunities.


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