FEATURE: The week in startups

HumanIPO connects with startups and tech hubs throughout Africa on a weekly basis. This week’s roundup features startups from Rwanda, Kenya, Egypt and Nigeria, as well as a tech innovation hub in Zimbabwe.


The Foyo Group is a Kigali-based startup dedicated to conceiving, designing, and developing mobile applications, as well as providing consultancy management services.

The startup is currently in talks with MTN Rwanda regarding a contract which will see the two corporations sharing revenue.

Aphrodice Mutangana, Foyo Group’s managing director, told HumanIPO about “M-Health”, an application based on the principal “you are what you eat”. The application shares information via SMS regarding a healthy diet once the user has signed up for the service, filling out an online form, which collects important physical stats about the user.

“We use a specific developed mobile application short code SMS in combination with a short code USSD that sends daily SMSs concerning the composition of a balanced diet to consume to stay healthy,” Mutangana told HumanIPO.


eKitabu, a Kenyan startup aiming to promote and advance the use of eBooks in the country recently ran a digital essay competition, described as the first of its kind in the country. The winners of the competition were announced on Friday.

The startup also aims to transform education through the use of digital content. The competition saw more than 2000 public and private schools throughout Kenya partaking and submitting essays online in line with the topic: “How will technology improve my learning”.


Rawy, founded approximately a year ago, is an Egyptian digital publishing platform, which assists authors, artists, and publishing houses to transform printed books into interactive digital books.

The digital publishing platform is available for download for the Apple and Windows 8 platforms and will soon be available for download through Google Play, now that it has almost completed its Android version.

Mahmoud Ghoz, the founder of Rawy, told HumanIPO the platform was initially created as a solution for parents wanting to purchase content that both delivers value to, and entertains their children.

“We have a lot of Arabic books, but books designed for kids are not as interesting anymore, so I decided to start a company to cover this gap,” Ghoz said.

Meanwhile Cairo-based Eventtus, a social platform that enables event-goers to engage with each other more easily, has obtained 20,000 users since its launch and recently closed its first round of funding.

Eventtus, started in June 2011 by three co-founders, is now a team of seven, which last month closed its first funding round – from Vodafone Ventures and Cairo Angels – of EGP1.2 million (US$175,000).

“We focus on the networking part at events, with Eventtus event-goers getting the full attendees list before the event, able to check who is around and get to know them more through their highlighted profiles,” co-founder Mai Medhat told HumanIPO. “Attendees can shake hands from the app and exchange contacts to easily find each other later on other social networks.”


Startup Save & Buy, the Nigerian web and mobile platform recently developed a financial planning system for online shopping. It enables users to save up online for an item they wish to purchase.

Save & Buy was selected as one of ten companies to join VC4Africa’s September Cohort, which is a business development programme that runs for three months.

“The Save & Buy process makes it easy to create and manage a payment schedule that fits into any budget, anywhere, anytime,” Hugo Obi, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Save & Buy, told HumanIPO.


Hypercube is a technology innovations hub, and is described as the first of its kind in the country. The tech hub is planning to launch officially on November 13, and will feature a series of launch events following the initial launch party.

Hypercube will be introducing “SuperHyper”, which is a two day hackathon, and the Startup Bus Africa Kickoff, planned for November 17. This will be an inaugural five day trip from Harare to Cape Town in South Africa.

“Our goal is to harness the collective intelligence and experiences of the nation’s human capital to drive technological solutions aligned to the needs of everyday Zimbabweans, from the vegetable seller at the Mbare Musika in Harare  to the unemployed youth,” Irene Chikumbo, community manager at Hypercube, told HumanIPO.



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