While Uganda might not be the “traditional startup hub” in Africa compared to Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa or Egypt, the country has been recognized as one of the most entrepreneurial countries by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor due to the resilience and entrepreneurial attitude of its people.
The startup environment in Uganda has been on the rise in the last few years with the rising number of innovation hubs and spaces like Outbox and Innovation Village to support early-stage entrepreneurs.
This has created a ripple effect on the rising number of startups disrupting various sectors while providing efficient and affordable services.
Founder360° takes a look at 9 rising startups from Uganda worth following.
Asaak is a FinTech startup providing world-class financial services to farmers and small businesses through their mobile phones.
Founded in 2016 by Kaivan K. Sattar and Titus Opesen, the startup provides mobile lending services to small businesses that need a capital injection to help them grow.
In 2018, the startup raised US$1.5 million from Resolute Ventures, 500 Startups, Social Capital, Catalyst Fund and other four investors.
Esibuuko is a Ugandan FinTech startup that provides cloud-based micro-finance software for community-level financial entities in Africa.
The software known as Mobis, is uniquely designed to help savings and loans cooperatives go paperless and become more efficient by digitizing how they manage customer data and transactions. The software is also integrated into the mobile phone network allowing users to access their account via mobile phone, check the balance, make deposits and make withdrawals.
The startup which was founded in 2014 by Gerald Otim and David Opio received a grant from GSMA Accelerator in 2018 and counts Spring Accelerator among its notable investors.
Akorion is an AgriTech startup that digitizes the agricultural value chain to deliver better production and marketing services to farmers and other agribusinesses through the flagship platform EzyAgric. The services include digital farmer profiling, market linkages, garden mapping and agrishop among others.
In 2018, Akorion secured a grant of US$75,000 for their new solution; EzyArmyWorm (EAW), an enhancement of the pest and disease diagnostic in the EzyAgric app.
To date, the company has been able to serve over 60,000 farmers and digitally profiled 42,000 farmers through a network of 480 village agents and 100 farmer associations.
Neopenda is a HealthTech startup creating solutions that give patients in low-resource areas access to high-quality care.
Their first product is neoGuard, a wearable biometric device that monitors the vital signs of critically ill newborns including pulse rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen saturation, and temperature.
The wearables are powered by rechargeable batteries, and wirelessly transmit health data to a central monitoring application which alerts health workers in real time when a newborn is in distress.
This solution is being designed hand-in-hand with nurses and doctors in Uganda, to ensure that it meets the needs and constraints of low-resource areas. The patent-pending product is currently undergoing clinical validation.
Neopenda which was founded in 2015 by Sonah Shah and Teresa Cauvel closed a seed round of US$1 million led by Axel Johnson Inc and the round also included SUNU Capital and several angels.
Xente is an m-Commerce and mobile payments startup providing consumers and African businesses a platform to transact efficiently and safely on through mobile without the need to use cash.
The platform which is accessible through an app also allows one to access credit, utilities and tickets while offering Cash Back on every transaction a customer makes.
The startup was founded in 2014 by Allan Rwakatungu and Francis Nkurunungi and has to date raised US$100,000 from Leapfrog Ventures.
M-SCAN is a HealthTech startup that develops portable mobile ultrasound devices (Ultrasonic probes) that are a laptop, tablet and mobile phone compatible.
The device is targeted to people in resource-limited settings especially pregnant mothers with the aim of reducing maternal mortality rates by ensuring early detection and management of risk factors of maternal and neonatal mortality.
The HealthTech startup which is led by Menyo Innocent, a former student from Makerere University Medical School received US$10,000 in a grant from Up Accelerate, a program of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
M-SCAN was crowned winner at the second edition of TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria banking US$25,000.
Mayicard is an InsurTech platform which makes access to healthcare insurance and/or prepayments and access to assets like land and housing possible.
The web-based solution seamlessly handles the entire claims management process from the first notice of loss right up to the closing of claims and processing of invoices.
Founded in 2018 by Livingstone Mukasa, Mayicard was named the winner at the Catapult: Inclusion Africa, a week-long boot camp on financial inclusion organised by the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT) Foundation.
ClinicPesa is a FinTech startup that provides access to healthcare financing through a digital micro-loans and savings platform.
Founded in 2016 by Chrispinus Onyancha and Sharon Anyango, ClinicPesa’s platform allows customers to set aside funds which can be used to offset medical bills and purchase drugs when the need arises.
The startup which was selected to be part of Hello Tomorrow Summit in 2017 has partnered with various clinic, hospitals or pharmacies in Uganda where their customers can access their services.
Swipe2pay is a payment solutions company that provides card and mobile payment services to SME’s in Uganda.
Swipe2pay offers merchants a choice of mobile card readers that connect to their smartphone/tablet allowing them to accept payments quickly and simply.
The startup which was founded in 2017 by Solomon Kitumba received US$40,000 from Samurai Incubate (Leapfrog Ventures) in 2018; was also nominated to participate in Visa’s Everywhere Initiative 2018.
Cover Image Credits: KCCA