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10 disruptive SA tech companies you need to watch

10 disruptive SA tech companies you need to watch

After Michael Jordaan left FNB as CEO, he founded Montegray Capital, a private investment company investing in “leanly-run start-ups with disruptive business models”.

Jordaan said his investment focus is on “business models enabled by technology that solve real problems, and which can add value in existing, well-performing industries”.

“Our businesses are making waves in existing well-established industries and solving problems in completely new ways,” Montegray Capital said.

As one of the best chief executives South Africa has ever produced, many people are closely following Jordaan and Montegray Capital’s investments.

Since launching Montegray Capital, Jordaan has invested in ten South African tech companies. These companies range from a solar solutions provider to a self-service parcel delivery service.

Here is a list of companies in which Montegray Capital has invested over the last fifteen months.

Multisource

Multisource is a Global Convergence Technology Company which provides fully-integrated, end-to-end solutions deployed in 47 countries within Africa.

They design, build, operate, and federate next-wave networks (combine radio, wireless, voice, video, applications, and IP technologies) into a single, integrated communication network and leverage these into a converged communications ecosystem.

These context-aware interconnected networks include Wi-Fi/GSM/LTE, radio, identification, metering, location, and sensor networks.

Multisource

Multisource

HeroTel

HeroTel is introducing a new way of doing wireless business in South Africa. ProjectIsizwe brings free Wi-Fi to low-income communities – this opens up information, supports informal learning, and allows people to search for jobs online.

Herotel

Herotel

Bright Black

Bright Black provides solar energy solutions. One of their sites, KPMG in Parktown, generates 1,000,000kwh per annum – a saving of 1,320 trees or 621,000kg of coal.

Bright Black KPMG installation

Bright Black KPMG installation

execMobile’s PocketWifi

execMobile’s PocketWifi keeps business travelers connected with Internet access from any mobile device at a fraction of the cost of mobile operators’ roaming rates.

PocketWifi

PocketWifi

Snapplify

Snapplify’s digital publishing solutions are changing the way South African students learn, tackling the problem of access to textbooks. Its innovation has made it possible to download eBooks without an Internet connection.

Snapplify

Snapplify

GoMetro

GoMetro is a commuter-driven mobile app with 120,000 monthly active users interacting, collecting, and sharing information on public transport routes and delays.

GoMetro

GoMetro

AmaLocker

AmaLocker is a self-service parcel delivery service which aims to improve e-commerce delivery and efficiency.

Amalocker

Amalocker

codeX

codeX is growing Africa’s coders to be either highly employable or to start their own businesses. Coders learn by working on projects for companies, with their learning driven by industry more than by academia. This means they know what companies want and how to build it.

Codex

Codex

NMRQL

NMRQL is a disruptive investment management company that uses quantitative research and algorithmic trading, quantum leaps in technology, and data analytics to deliver consistent performance not correlated to the general market.

 

NMRQL

NMRQL

RealityGate

RealityGate designs user interfaces that allow fluent, cooperative navigation and selection of information across mobile and other electronic screens.

Realitygate

Realitygate

This article was republished with permission from MyBroadband.

More on SA companies

Michael Jordaan bets on new tech investments

Michael Jordaan’s new investment firm – MonteGray Capital

Michael Jordaan invests in SA e-book company Snapplify

Jordaan joins seed fund AngelHub Ventures


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  • fluffypony

    GoMetro is really doing fantastic stuff for public transport in SA. Well done to Justin and the rest of the guys.

    • Ipeleng

      Lol, it nearly broke my heart to see that up there…I was thinking of developing an app like that for MetroBus. But I guess I’ll do it as a personal project/challenge, at least I have something to benchmark it against.

  • Marco

    Unlisted companies! Not regulated so dodgy for amateurs like us.

    • McTSA

      What do you mean by unlisted?

      • Marco

        Not a public company listed on the JSE so not regulated by the JSE nor FSB.

        • fluffypony

          So angel investors should eschew startups and instead invest in large, established companies already on the JSE? lolwut.

        • McTSA

          You sir are saying that every company that isn’t publicly listed on the JSE cannot be trusted? That leaves more than 90% of business in beautiful SA described as dodgy and to be avoided. Wow.

          • Marco

            Not at all and I did not state that. All I am saying is that unlisted companies are more of a gamble than an investment on the JSE. Only intended for money that you can afford to loose. They are not dodgy at all but can run into trouble without you knowing it as the price of your shares are unknown to you. Also difficult to sell your shares. This is targeted for the wealthy Angel Investors so not meant for us for a nest egg.

  • Gareth David

    Don’t see most of these as “disruptive tech”, but ok, if the writer says so…

    • Craig

      I Agree… not much disruptive going on their, That CodeX is a bit of a laugh, their are absolutely zero coding skills in south africa, I offer cistomised web nased crm services and have to outsource all my developmnet work to India. What’s so disruptive about a programmung school?. Why not start a freelance development portal for SA developers that have been vetted and actually know how to code.

      • Gareth David

        Seems like there is little spelling skills in SA also. I am a developer and disagree that there is zero skilled developers in SA. We have lost some work with clients taking the work to India (because of apparently being cheaper) only to have them returned (and having spent more than double they would’ve with a South African company) because the quality of work was low and they didn’t have the technical expertise to do complex work or systems. Easy/Standard stuff they could barely do, but in general Indian developer companies mess up more than anything and South African companies, developers and the economy get the short end of the deal.

        • toughlips

          I also own a software dev company, we have done some outsourcing to India(and that failed horribly). I think there is some skills in SA, and there is a huge gap for development.

  • That Execmobile thing amounts to a roaming device, just with partnering with local networks to provide lower rates. It’s ultimately not all that different from, say, T-Mobile’s roaming services.

    It’s still much cheaper in many countries to simply get a prepaid SIM card locally if you’re going to be using any significant amount of data. As an example, in Japan you can get a prepaid sim for around R300-450 (depending on what ‘type’ you get and thus what that offers you) which grants you the option of a 512Kbps uncapped connection which still allows you to use, say, Skype.

    In 1 hour of ~80% capacity usage you’re already looking at 180mb worth of data getting chewed up at 512Kbps, so in 2-3 hours’ time you’ve already used up as much as the prepaid SIM costs where that SIM is valid for an entire month.

    I’m sure there are countries where it’d make more sense to simply get the Execmobile SIM and service, but I get the feeling that most countries most people would travel to for business or leisure don’t fit the product.

    • Bianca Albesco

      From ONLY R1/MB. Going rates, even locally, are as low as R0.02/MB. Whoopie! Not.

      • Which service provider in SA offers 1GB/R20 on prepaid? o_O

  • Duiwel

    If South Africans invented a new MS Windows, Linux, iOS in other words the next big Operating system or the next big web browser then maybe I would say yeah…

    However the biggest “tech” we have made thus far is probably Mxit and is it still relevant?

    Of all the above mentioned companies & apps Only Multichoice is really relevant, on top of that I doubt they are a good investment merely because their shares are not dirt cheap right now since their company is rather stable.

    The key word in the article is “start up” which none of the above mentioned really nail.

    Because that is but one element when investing.

    You need to ask yourself would I buy this product?

    To the apps above how many free apps already do that so they are irrelevant?

    That’s what I thought…

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