Twelve South African Tech Entrepreneurs Who Made Headlines In 2017


Startups are known for changing ideas that seem to be unrealistic to more realistic ones. Some entrepreneurs have been able to sell their startups for more than a billion rand. Here is a list of 12 South African entrepreneurs who have been the talk of the day in 2017 ventures.

Vinny Lingham

The Civic founder managed to raise $33 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) in earlier 2017. The entrepreneur who is also based in Silicon Valley said in May that he is planning to start up an office in Cape Town to employ developers for his startup to adhere to the reforms by the South African Intellectual Property (IP). US crypto fund Multicoin Capital announced on early December 2017 that Ligham is on the verge of joining the fund as a general partner at the same time BnkToTheFuture announced that the entrepreneur would join the organization’s token sale advisory board.

Sam and Rob Paddock

Sam is one of the founders of a GetSmarter startup. The startup was acquired by 2u’s which is a US-listed company in a deal worth $103 million. The deal is seen as the largest acquisitions of an SA tech startup.

Llew Morkel

He is the founder of Johannesburg based Prosperiprop startup. The startup got more than $200,000 in an initial coin offering (ICO) that was closed in November 2017.

Katlego Mphai

He is the founder of Yoco. The entrepreneur engaged in a Series-A funding round in of an undisclosed fee. The platform is currently increasing its product offering and working on its 2018 global expansion.

Peter Castleden

The entrepreneur who is the founder of Indie a South African based Indie startup and thinks of involving himself in traditional insurers in the youth market, and he has received backing from insurance giant Sanlam.

Yaseen Khan and Mohammed Dalwai

The EMGuidance founders hit the Ventureburn headlines at the beginning of 2017 when they decided to represent South Africa at the next Seedstars World competition. EMGuidance helps doctors to get more reliable information on treatment procedures and medication dosages among others.

James Paterson and Benji Meltzer

The two are the founders of Aerobotics startups based in Cape Town. The platform came into limelight in 2017 after winning Digital Insurer European 2017 Startup Insurtech Award and secured funding of R8 million from 4Di Capital and the Savannah Fund in Kenya.

Andrew Watkins-Ball

The founder of Cape Town-based startup Jumo has been pivotal in the growth of the company that has seen an increase of its employees from 7 to 300 in three years. The company has offices in Cape Town, Portugal and Nairobi. In early 2017 the company became the first SA startup to be accepted into Google’s Launchpad Accelerator program. JUMO also walked away with a $150,000 prize from the Mastercard Foundation in November 2017.

Lebogang Mokubela

Lemok founder is looking forward to putting the company in the limelight through YouTube videos. The entrepreneur is challenging the South African black entrepreneurs need to look at promising business opportunities in the township rather than in the suburbs.

Ray de Vries

He is the founder of Airwater, and in 2017 he warned them that unless the Cape Town water crisis is solved earlier enough, then people should be prepared for a dry spell come Christmas period in 2017. He put up machines that he said can give sustainable water solution to everyone in any sector the idea has bored fruits with the fact already he has opened a bottling factory in the city.

David de Villiers

David is the CEO of Zapper which has been able to offer mobile payments to South Africans in 12 markets in less than four years. While some media stories previously have referred to Zapper Group CEO David de Villiers, as the founder of Zapper, the former IT head at Investec bank told Ventureburn that he started the firm in November 2013 with an angel investor company.

Amanda Dambuza

Amanda is the founder of Uyandiswa that in three years after it bought a 49% stake in black-owned project management consultancy Uyandiswa and built the firm up to an almost R100-million a year company, JSE-listed IT firm Adapt IT sold its stake back to the black-owned startup at a 90% discount.


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Written by Denis Opudo

Am an engineer who's a tech blogger, hit me up on [email protected] and we base our discussion on technology in Africa and the rest of the world.
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