Africa’s five fastest-growing technology companies

The Deloitte Technology Fast50 Africa initiative is an award that recognises the continent’s fastest-growing technology companies in terms of revenue. David Mwanambuyu looks at 2014’s top five winners.

Techno Brain CEO Manoj Shanker

Techno Brain CEO Manoj Shanker

1. Interswitch Limited – Nigeria

Interswitch Limited is an integrated payment and transaction processing company. Rooted in Nigeria, it also has a presence in countries such as Uganda and The Gambia. Founder Mitchell Elegbe has his sights set on expansion into the rest of Africa.

“International expansion should have started a lot earlier… every country in Africa is talking about financial inclusion, and had we been very aggressive we think Interswitch would have fared better in this regard many years ago,” he told How we made it in Africa in an interview last year.

The firm started operations in 2002, specialising in the provision of technology, integration, advisory support, transaction processing and payment infrastructure services to governments, banks, and corporations.

2. Techno Brain – Kenya

Starting out as a training institution offering basic computer literacy, Techno Brain has mushroomed into a multinational. It first set up shop in Tanzania, before moving headquarters across the border to Kenya’s capital Nairobi.

Techno Brain builds software solutions for private companies, governments and NGOs, supplemented by business process outsourcing (BPO) services. It operates in 24 countries in Africa, Asia, US and Europe and employs 1,600 people across the board.

In recognition of his work, CEO Manoj Shanker was crowned the 2014 East Africa Entrepreneur of the Year at CNBC Africa’s annual All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA).

3. Everlytic – South Africa

Everlytic is an integrated email mobile and social communications tool. It helps businesses connect people to content through world-class web-based software.

The company’s service offering has come a long way in a relatively short time, beginning with hosting domains and building websites and content management solutions. The introduction of digital communications was the game changer, with newsletters first being sent out in 2007, but it was really the creation of a proprietary platform known as Everlytic that saw unprecedented levels of growth. It was launched as a general email marketing platform in 2010 and continuous improvements to the offering ensured steady progress.

4. TA Telecom – Egypt

TA Telecom specialises in offering telecom operators, brands and NGOs a wide range of mobile managed value-added services such as mobile applications, content delivery platforms and mobile marketing solutions. It operates out of Egypt with branches in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Kenya.

“I believe it is very important for any entrepreneur or business executive to constantly redefine what success means, to challenge yourself, set a higher bar, year on year. It’s about changing your expectations of yourself, your company and your teams,” says the company’s founder Amr Shady.

5. Adapt IT – South Africa

Adapt IT is an innovative, specialised information technology services and solutions provider, delivering a variety of specialised turnkey solutions and services to the manufacturing, education, financial services and energy sectors in more than 20 countries around the globe.

Adapt IT has strategic partnerships with the world’s leading technology and business software providers, intended to provide customers with robust, reliable and enduring solutions. It is anchored in Durban, South Africa.