3 artificial intelligence startups in Africa



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6 artificial intelligence startups in Africa to look out for [Digital All Stars]

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Nigerian startup Kudi.ai has developed a chatbot which allows users to make payments and send money to friends and family in Nigeria via messaging. The company is a graduate of the YCombinator Winter 2017 batch.

Pelumi Aboluwarin (pictured above, left with co-founder Yinka Adewale) says the founders began working on Kudi in July last year. “We registered an entity two months after and ran a private beta in December 2016. We launched publicly in January 2017,” says Aboluwarin. The company has seven employees.

The company uses AI to understand user requests, drive conversations, understand user spending habits and prevent fraud. “We developed it in-house using a variety of machine learning techniques,” says Aboluwarin.

The startup has put together a business-to-business solution too, which it is piloting with banks and telecommunication companies.

“After YCombinator we’ve raised additional seed funding from a group of angel investors in the valley and in Nigeria,” says Aboluwarin.






Founded by former equity-derivatives specialist Annabel Dallamore (pictured here) together with Julian Dallamore and Mark Karimov in 2013, Johannesburg startup Stockshop.co.za offers a number of artificial intelligence solutions to financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies.

These include a conversational user interface (a bot in its infancy) that match-makes available financial consultants or brokers with client leads. The startup has also developed a bot interface that completes real-time identity verification checks on behalf of banks and financial institutions in line with requirements under the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA).

The startup has also developed a solution that uses an algorithm that pairs financial behaviour, spending and other data along with emotional cues and provides clients with assistance around financial matters such as payments, administration, rewards, education, analytics and tracking.

It’s also launched a micro-insurance platform in April that is unique to the African market.

In 2013 the company received support from the Seed Engine accelerator and has raised funding from two angel investors and a venture capital fund, for an undisclosed sum. It now has 11 employees.





Nigerian startup Aajoh uses artificial intelligence to help individuals that send a list of their symptoms via text, audio and photographs, to diagnose their medical condition.

The business was started in February last year — by Simi Adejumo (who is the CEO and pictured above), Zuby Onwuta, Vikas Ramachandra, Ike Ilochonwu and Charles Ademola — with an angel investment of $10 000.

The company has two companies and 35 users signed up for its pilot programme. “Our present go-to-market strategy involves getting companies to sign up to the platform as part of staff health benefits,” says Adejumo.

Adejumo said the app won’t replace medical diagnoses but will allow doctors to make the best use of their time by allowing them to focus on the patients that need physical care.

“In frontier markets, there’s a high patient to doctor ratio with Nigeria having a 4000 to one patient-to-doctor ratio, in proper context on the average an individual spends about 20 minutes with a GP, so assuming the population fell ill (all) at once, it would take over 55 days to get care,” he says.

The company’s immediate plans are to grow its pilot programme and then expand to India. “By August we aim to have implemented partnerships with key pharmacies across Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria and increased our user base to 1000.”


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