What the path for African startups to global success might look like

by MMC
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At a time when the spotlight is increasingly on African startups, the complexity of expanding beyond national borders cannot be overstated. Although local ingenuity is omnipresent, the challenge is to translate it into a global vision.

African startups do not lack creativity and ingenuity, qualities that make them invaluable in international markets. From fintech solutions revolutionizing European banking to healthcare tech innovations making big strides in the United States, the potential is limitless. However, the question remains: how can these startups adapt their strategies to enter international markets?

It seems the answer lies in a change in mindset and a focus on financing. A report of Oxford Business Group reveals that since 2015, funding for tech startups in Africa has increased by more than 1,000%, with the number of startups funded increasing by 406% per year over the same period. In contrast to a decline in startup funding in Latin America and Asia Pacific, Africa saw growth of 5% in 2022. Funding from foreign investment suggests that African startups are increasingly looking beyond the continent, challenging the conventional expansion framework that focuses solely on the entire continent. African growth.

Let’s take the case of Specnoa South African startup founded in 2018 by Daniel Novitzkas And Jacques Jordan. What started as a group project at the University of Stellenbosch has transformed into one of South Africa’s projects leading design and development agencies. With an annual growth rate of 230 percent, Specno now employs 50 people full-time and has served more than 100 customers worldwide. In 2022, the company expanded its operations to Amsterdam, a move Novitzkas describes as fraught with challenges, but also full of opportunities. “South Africa has incredible talent, but growing a startup there is challenging due to the small market size and logistical and regulatory hurdles,” he says. Specno also recently announced its partnership with Group Q, a Swedish global technology investment company. This collaboration has enabled Specno to expand its footprint and leverage its unique innovation framework and growth strategies to advance the European and African technology sectors.

Specno’s local projects, such as the redesign of PEP’s website to improve user experience and SEO, demonstrate the company’s commitment to local expertise. “Working with a national company requires regular presentations to various stakeholders,” notes Novitzkas. Such interactions provide learning opportunities from the client’s unique perspective, making the project highly collaborative.

Internationally, Specno has also made its mark with SchoolPass, a US-based education technology company. They turned to Specno’s expertise to migrate their 15-year-old website to a new mobile-friendly framework. Samuel Rosenfeld, director of product management at SchoolPass, says it has enabled tens of thousands of users to measure their well-being, manage their attendance, and handle emergencies every day.

As the company prepares for South African Innovation Summit this week, the message is clear: African startups have the potential to have a global impact. THE Founders Den Eventa side event to the summit hosted by Specno, will offer invaluable insights into the tech scene and is scheduled to be streamed live on September 27, 2023. Novitzkas will speak at the SA Innovation Summit in Cape Town, covering topics such as “Navigating the Journey financing” and “Business creation: navigating the path to innovation and success”.

Specno’s ambitious goal of helping one million people build technology businesses by 2030 serves as a model for what African startups can achieve on the global stage. With the right mindset, adequate funding, and a willingness to adapt, the sky is the limit for these startups. If we look to the future, it is clear that African startups are not just local heroes, but are increasingly becoming global champions.

About Specno: Specno is a leading design and development agency based in Cape Town, South Africa. Founded in 2018, we help startups, enterprises and large enterprises validate, design and build their app ideas. In 2022, Specno was recognized as one of the highest rated app development and user experience agencies in South Africa..

For more information, visit Specno, the application development company.

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