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Why Zimbabwe's tech start-ups have it all to do

Why Zimbabwe's tech start-ups have it all to do

Zimbabwe tech start-ups are acutely aware of the challenging environment in which they compete and while funding remains limited, they continue to pitch for support and recognition.

According to WeeTracker's African Startups & VC Ecosystems Report, African start-ups have raised US$168.6 million in the first half of 2018.

"African start-ups have strong support system in the form of many tech hubs, incubators and accelerators. The West African nation of Nigeria has emerged as the top destination, standing next is Kenya. Trailing further are countries of Egypt and Africa," read an excerpt from the report.

Although Zimbabwe did not feature in the top destinations for start-up funding according to Weetracker, the ecosystem has delivered on solutions that have the potential to disrupt traditional industries.

Recently, nine Zimbabwean tech start-ups competed for funding at an event hosted by Seedstars in Harare.

Rera, a venture that allows people to invest in poultry utilising mobile platforms to monitor progress, was chosen to represent the Southern African country.

Other notable ventures included Parcel Tip, a peer-to-peer parcel delivery company offering its service at half the price of more established competitors.

Tatenda Taonezvi, co-founder of Parcel Tip, said, "If you need to send something, you take a pic and put on WhatsApp so that it is viewed by people and we connect travelers and those sending parcels using social media and our online platform. We want to scale in Zambia and Tanzania where we want to scale from next year."

The company launched in May 2018, made US$98 in commission earnings and closed the month of June at US$300 in earnings.

Justice Today is another start-up that caught the attention of adjudicators. It runs a mobile application that facilitates access to legal information, allows citizens to access legal aid and encompasses a crime heat map.

"Using a mobile application to deliver justice is workable because there is high mobile penetration. Youths spend most of their time on mobile phones and we are targeting 18 to 34 year olds because of prevalence of crime in the youth segment," said a representative of the company.

The WeeTracker report says much of the funding targeted at African tech start-ups is taken up by FinTech.

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