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12 Startups to watch in Kenya in 2019


Kenya is outperforming most lower-middle-income countries on innovation despite many challenges, a Nation Newsplex review of the Global Innovation Index for the last five years reveals. With more than 41 million mobile subscriptions and 8 million active social media users, Kenya has a huge audience on the main social network. Here are 12 startups that we have selected in Kenya for 2019, that are disrupting different industries with new technologies.

Kopo Kopo offers a software-as-a-service that enables the 30 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets to accept, process, and manage mobile money payments (e.g.SafaricomM-Pesa,AirtelMoney).

Kopo Kopo is the first company to offer this service on a subscription basis and is positioning itself to be a leader in providing merchant services in emerging markets.


BitPesa‘s goal is to build a completely transparent, low-cost, instantly interoperable company that does not have a legacy of paperwork or outdated systems, despite presence in frontier markets. They have built partnerships with payment and exchange companies in China, Canada, the US, Europe, India with less than a week of integration work. They have incorporated in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Nigeria and are receiving an MRB Payments Institution License in the UK.


One Uni is a mobile-first educational technology and services company that is partnering with top universities around the world to enable students to earn university degrees primarily using a smartphone.
Based in Oakland, CA and Nairobi, Kenya, the company is led by a world-class management team with decades of experience spanning education, business and technology.


Eneza provides a virtual tutor and teacher’s assistant on mobile devices. They have products via SMS/USSD, Web, Desktop Applications, and Android Applications.

Their student product consists of:
— A game called “Uko Wapi Ms Mandizi?” (Where are you Ms Bananas?)
— Educational quizzes and lessons tailored to local curriculum
— Wikipedia search
— Live “Ask a Teacher” chat


M-KOPAs mission is to make high quality energy affordable to everyone.
M-KOPA Solar, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, is the global leader of “pay-as-you-go” energy for off-grid customers. Since its commercial launch in October 2012, M-KOPA has connected more than 250,000 homes in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda to solar power, and is now adding over 500 new homes each day.


Ukall App is a software company that develops apps to simplify the way organisations collect, interpret, share and use data to make well informed and timely decisions. Akida accurately locates your team on a map and provides you with real-time updates on their movements so you don’t have to guess where they are working from.

Yum is Nairobi’s premier online food ordering service. They enable customers to browse through the menus of a wide range of Nairobi restaurants, place an order and pay – directly online. For restaurants that don’t do their own delivery, their dedicated Yum delivery team ensures that the food is delivered to their customers promptly.

At Flare, they are building the first integrated emergency response system for Africa. Their app connects patients and hospitals with ambulances in areas where there is no available 911. It is a digital response platform, including both infrastructure and consumer facing products like mobile and browser based apps.


Mobidawa is building the most reliable and easy to use medication reminder for Africa. They help patient to stick to their recommended medication so that they can live, healthier and happier lifes.
Pharma companies can make more efficient sales through their data.


CleanStar is a venture development partnership that leverages business and technology innovation in frontier markets.
Explore. They search globally to develop unique insights for creating new venture concepts on their core platforms.
Design. They use a structured process for market analysis, strategic planning, business modelling and partner engagement.
Launch.They raise co-investment, recruit

Senga is building Africa’s largest network of transporters. They find the right transport for your goods, wherever you are and whenever you need it. They move goods of all sizes up to 28 tonnes and provide trucks of all sizes.


Tulaa‘s marketplace levels the playing field for smallholder farmers in Africa by providing them with the goods, services and information they need to thrive.
Tulaa provides smallholder farmers with quality agricultural inputs on credit and brokers the sale of their crop at harvest time. Launched in 2017, they use mobile technology and artificial intelligence to smartly connect farmers, input suppliers, and buyers in a digital marketplace.


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