A total of six African countries were named in TIME Magazine’s 50 Most Genius Companies of 2018 in a list that became public last week. The enterprises listed in this prestigious list are described by TIME as businesses that are “inventing the future.”
Having had its ownership change hands not that long ago, TIME appears to have been working in the trenches and putting in efforts towards compiling a list of enterprises for its annual list of 50 companies from around the world who are making waves in the global ecosystem.
The selection process is believed to have involved solicitation of nominees from its network of editors and journalists, as well as evaluation of the nominees. The evaluation process is said to have focused on such aspects as originality, influence, success, and ambition — as it concerns those companies.
Having passed through the rigorous vetting and evaluation process, six African companies were listed in this year’s top 50. And if you are yet to come to terms with how big a deal this is, companies like Airbnb, WeWork, and SpaceX, are just a few mentions of other companies from other parts of the globe that are also mentioned in TIME’s 50 Most Genius List of 2018. Now, here are the six African companies that made the cut.
AgriProtein (South Africa)
Established in 2008, this Cape Town-based company is making significant strides in the agricultural sector in an extraordinary way. The company specializes in creating sustainable sources of protein for the monogastric animal feed industry. And it is unique in that it goes about this by recycling nutrients. The company is believed to be working towards expanding into other parts of Africa, as well as the Middle East and Asia, and USD 105 Mn is reported to have been raised in that regard.
This Nigerian company came into existence in 2017 as the brainchild of Adeloye Olanrewaju and Cletus Ajibade. The duo’s creation is headquartered in Lagos; Nigeria’s commercial hub. Babymigo is a platform that assists mothers in connecting with certified experts for the purpose of asking questions and getting information on all things “mom-related.”
The platform makes it possible for both mothers and expectant mothers to ask questions bordering on maternity/infant health and get instant replies from medical experts, as well as experienced mothers. Babymigo also serves up chat groups which enable members to talk to experts, find mothers in the same age group and city, and also find books and reviews of hyperlocal maternity and child care services. Also incorporated into the platform are features which allow individuals to identify and attend offline events, oriental classes, and meetups.
With a presence in at least five African countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, and Mauritius, this company appears to be holding its own quite well. The startup is doing its bit to eliminate some of the problems associated with land registry in parts of Africa by leveraging the provisions of blockchain technology. Larry C. Bates who currently serves as the Chief Security Officer of the company is credited as the Founder of the startup which came into existence in 2013.
This Nairobi-based company was established in 2014 as the result of concerted efforts between Erik Hersman, Jon Shuler, Reg Orton, and Philip Walton. BRCK is essentially an integrated hardware and software company which is carving a niche for itself in the area of offering infrastructure as a service. A number of notable products are known to have rolled off its assembly lines in the past including the SupaBRCK-powered MOJA. Invested Development and Revolution are believed to have led two funding rounds which have seen the company raise up to USD 4.2 Mn to date.
The duo of Matt Berg and Peter Lubell-Doughtie brought this company into existence in 2013. Ona is a social enterprise that has set its sights on driving change by building a reliable data infrastructure. The company is headquartered in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. It also boasts operations in New York.
Wonderbag (South Africa)
Boasting offices, factories and distribution centers in Ghana, South Africa, U.S., U.K, and The Netherlands, Wonderbag could well be on its way to even bigger feats. The company’s creation is an appliance of the same name which is basically a slow cooker that continues to cook food for up to 12 hours, provided it has already been brought to boil using conventional methods. And what makes this creation all the more interesting is that the slow cooker does the cooking without using any power.
The Wonderbag is a heavily-insulated container which functions as a non-electric, go-anywhere, slow cooker. The company claims to have distributed over 1 million of these slow cookers around the world since its invention.
Image Courtesy: TIME