The South African telecommunications, technology and Internet markets have shown strong growth over the last few years with numerous promising start-ups launched locally.
Many people are aware of prominent success stories like MXit founded by Herman Heunis, Vinny Lingham’s Yola (Synthasite) and BidorBuy, which is now expending into Africa. There are many lesser known companies which are doing impressive things in the South African ICT market.
While Internet start-ups and new telecommunications companies get a fair amount of exposure online, companies which are not selling directly to the public typically don’t enjoy the same coverage.
We deiced to list a few local tech businesses which many people may not be familiar with, but which they may have used, or have seen their products in the South African market. Many of these businesses may fly under the radar, but their influence in the local market is growing.
Established in 2001 by two brothers Karel and Riaan Leuschner, Nology is a BEE-compliant supplier of broadband, networking and communication solutions. Few consumers may have heard of Nology, but as the exclusive distributors of Billion and Airlive equipment in South Africa thousands of people use their products. Nology has agreements with most of the major telecommunications operators in the country which gives it a strong foothold in the broadband and networking equipment market.
Neology is a small tech-company founded and run by three techies. Neology has close links with IPINX, another tech startup, and its network solutions are behind many services offered in the local and African telecoms markets. With clients like Vodacom Lesotho, ARC Telecoms, iBurst and Sainet they are well positioned to show strong growth in future.
The newly launched ARC Telecoms will still have to prove itself in the local small business ISP market, but it has a few things going for it. It has an established team working for it (essentially the old iBurst Business team) and has three experienced telecoms professionals heading up the company: Steve Briggs, Paven Chetty and Michelle McCann. Its focus on small and medium sized businesses and operator/technology agnostic strategy may pay off.
Cerebra has recently shown its strength in the local online marketing arena when it acquired technology-focused media relations firm Emerging Media Communications. Cerebra – a social and mobile media company – was founded by Mike Stopforth and has shown strong growth with the advent of social networking and mobile data communications. With the addition of a corporate communications arm the company looks set to continue its good fortunes.
Altech Technology Concepts was founded in 1999 by Wayne de Nobrega as an internet centric business, and continued to evolve into a respected provider of services such as Internet connectivity, IT service & support and Web site & application development. The company is showing stronger growth than ever, and armed with the backing of Altech it is set to become a prominent player in the local ISP and broadband space.
Rob Stokes founded Quirk eMarketing in 1999, and has since then grown from a one man show to an international business with offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg and London. The company is aggressively growing its staff compliment and its customer base, and was recently joined by Justin Spratt as a managing partner. Spratt will focus strongly on acquiring new business, and with the growing importance of online services and marketing in SA the business is poised to show growth in the future.
These are only a few of the small and medium sized businesses in the South African technology market which may warrant a closer look, and if you know about any other tech businesses doing cool things please give details in the forum discussion (link given below).
SA Tech companies to watch << Do you know of any other cool tech companies?