📺 Stream EntrepreneurTV for Free 📺

Startups Selected for AfricArena VivaTech 2019 Delegation AfricArena, the largest tech ecosystem accelerator on the continent, has announced the 10 tech startups handpicked by them and their partners, to accompany the delegation to Paris for VivaTech 2019. Among the top ten are local tech innovators, Aerobotics and DataProphet.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur South Africa, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


AfricArena is proud to announce the delegation of startups they will bring along and showcase at the "World's Rendezvous for Startups and Leaders", VivaTech, in its fourth edition.

These startups emerged as the top high-growth and high-potential startups in the Open Innovation Challenges of the AfricArena 2018 Tour. Two local startups form part of the top ten, including DataProphet and Aerobotics, two high-performance innovators from the Cape tech ecosystem.

"Cape Town has been named Africa's leading technology hub, and so it is our honour to see two Cape Town-based startups having such an impact on the tech ecosystem", says Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management.

"We are incredibly proud of the two local startups selected to be part of the AfricArena 2019 delegation and look forward to accompanying them to VivaTech in Paris this year to represent Cape Town. As an opportunity city we look forward to continue enabling the Tech sector and seeing more success stories related to SmartCities and economic improvement."

The two local startups selected for the 2019 AfricArena VivaTech delegation are Aerobotics and DataProphet.

"We are honoured to be chosen as one of the ten startups to attend VivaTech," says Frans Cronje, CEO at DataProphet.

"AfricaArena is leading the way and opening doors for innovative technology vendors born in Africa. The African market is often overlooked when it comes to foreign investment, yet the expertise and innovation is more advanced than some of the biggest tech vendors in the world."

"We're excited about the opportunity to showcase our proven Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions in manufacturing to investors at the event and meeting other technology pioneers."

Related: Machine Learning Is Changing The Game

"We've worked hard to gain the trust of more than a thousand farmers in ten countries. Winning the AfricArena VivaTech Challenge strengthens our expansion springboard into Europe," adds Timothy Willis, COO of Aerobotics. "We are excited that attending VivaTech this year will take us to New York and France as it forms part of our market expansion strategy."

This delegation comprises African-based tech startups that can gain international traction

The ten startups selected to form the AfricArena 2019 delegation are:

  1. Aerobotics (Cape Town): Aerobotics uses aerial imagery from drones and satellites and machine learning algorithms for early problem detection on tree and wine farms to optimise crop performance for farmers.
  2. DataProphet (Cape Town): DataProphet's OMNI provides solutions to critical manufacturing challenges. It is AI-enabled dynamic parameter optimisation for manufacturing.
  3. FinChatBot (Johannesburg): FinChatBot develops AI-powered Chatbots that help financial services providers acquire and retain customers while reducing operational costs.
  4. Guardian Gabriel (Cape Town): Guardian Gabriel is an early stage venture incubated at the French South African Tech Labs specialising in safety tech – providing a wearable panic button that works with no connection to a smartphone.
  5. HomeFarm (Johannesburg): HomeFarm is a smart, IoT, crop-growing app that allows users to effortlessly grow a variety of micro-greens from the comfort of their home all year round.
  6. MedBit (Nairobi): Medbit provides a means to search for, book and pay for various healthcare services on a smartphone or computer.
  7. OniriQ (Dakar): OniriQ is designing and manufacturing the next-gen Solar Home Systems (SHS) for African populations living off-grid (600 million people).
  8. PayDunya (Dakar): PayDunya is a global online payment service for Africans that allows customers to send and receive payments from mobile money wallets, credit cards and cash and allows users to get paid and sell online without the need of a website.
  9. SeaMonster (Cape Town): SeaMonster creates custom VR games that entertain passengers and allow them to compete for rewards.
  10. TravelBudds (Mauritius): TravelBudds is the social network for young, connected travel lovers looking for the best ways to travel the world and share their experiences with their friends.

"African tech innovation is globally competitive, and we welcome the opportunity for these outstanding startups from the African continent to take part in one of the biggest tech conferences in the world, especially through a platform like AfricArena," says Yaw Peprah, Chief Business Officer at Wesgro, who will accompany the delegation to VivaTech.

"We are particularly proud that two of the selected companies are from Cape Town, which also plays host to the annual AfricArena Summit. The Cape is fast emerging as the Tech Capital of Africa, with a recent research study confirming that the Cape Town-Stellenbosch ecosystem is the most productive in Africa.

These companies present an excellent showcase of our local talent. We are thankful to AfricArena and its partners for supporting these companies to reach new heights at an international level."

AfricArena teams up with corporate and institutional partners under the banner of utilising business and technology as a force for good in uplifting the African continent. The partners of AfricArena helped handpick the delegation and some key representatives will accompany the team to VivaTech.

AfricArena and its A-Team of startups will be present at the CityLab at VivaTech at 14:00 on Friday, 17 May. The startups will participate in a pitch battle and the winner of that pitch competition will win an award endorsed by the President Macron Council for Africa.

The fourth edition of VivaTech is taking place in Paris from 16 – 18 May 2019

Recognising that technology is revolutionising Africa, VivaTech will feature, for the second time, a dedicated Afric@Tech section – showcasing 50 African startups from four key sectors.

Among them the ten startups making up the AfricArena delegation. Learning expeditions in the French Tech ecosystem is also organized on the occasion for entrepreneurs and investors, for more information contact@africarena.co.za

AfricArena 2019 is taking place at the Century City Conference Centre from 11 – 12 November 2019. To see updates from AfricArena and keep track of the AfricArena 2019 VivaTech delegation in France and on their Investor Roadshow, follow AfricArena on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

For more information on AfricArena's 2019 programme, please visit: Africarena.co.za.

Starting a Business

I Wish I Knew These Four Things Before Starting My Own Business

Starting a business is hard work to say the least. These are four lessons I wish someone had shared with me before going solo, so I'm here to share them with you.


26 Of The Richest People in South Africa

Here are 26 of South Africa's richest people, but how did they achieve this level of wealth? Find out here.


Want to Be More Productive? Here's How Google Executives Structure Their Schedules

These five tactics from inside Google will help you focus and protect your time.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Growing a Business

How to Properly Manage the Cash Flow of Your Startup

Ever think financial planning and analysis is just for big businesses? Think again! Startups thrive on solid financial planning, which is key to staying ahead of your competitors.

Starting a Business

5 Different Types Of South African Business Structures

Do you know which type of business will suit your South African business idea best? Here are the five different types you can register your business as.