Nigerian owned start-up company, Flutterwave and Ethiopian owned start-up, Gro Intelligence are the two African Companies that made it to the lineup on 2021 TIME 100 Most Influential Companies List.
These two African companies were listed alongside giant firms like Twitter, Apple and Stripe, in the ‘Pioneer’ category of the coveted list. Other categories include Leaders, Innovators, Disruptors, and Titans.
Flutterwave is an African fintech company that offers payment services to African and global merchants. Flutterwave teams up with PayPal to make it easier for African businesses to accept and make payments
Gro Intelligence is an analytics startup using artificial intelligence systems to help organizations, in the agricultural sector to make more efficient decisions that leads to strategic and financial planning.
Only two African companies made it to the list of the 2021 TIME ‘100 Most Influential Companies’.
Flutterwave was on the list for its efforts in ‘Powering retailers’ after the Covid-19 pandemic restricted movements in Africa. TIME praised the leadership of the co-founder and CEO Olugbenga Agboola for starting a free campaign “keeping the lights on that was able to rapidly set up digital storefronts for 20,000 customers, throwing them a lifeline.”
TIME also acknowledged Flutterwave’s effort in achieving tech-unicorn status in March when it secured $170 million in Series C funding from global investors, valuing the company at more than $1 billion.
TIME said Flutterwave made the list for its impact in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic, having set up digital storefronts for 20,000 customers who were bound to their homes by the lockdown.
The investment elevated the company to a unicorn position, making it the fourth African startup to reach that status.
Fawry, a fintech firm based in Egypt; Nigerian payments platform, Interswitch; and e-commerce giant, Jumia, were the three African companies to have reached a $1 billion valuation before Flutterwave’s emergence.
Gro Intelligence is an analytics startup using artificial intelligence systems to help organizations, especially in the agricultural sector to make more efficient and effective decisions that impact their strategic and financial planning.
According to TIME, it selected Gro Intelligence for building the AI-powered decision engine across climate, agriculture, and the economy. The companies ingest and analyses over 650 trillion data points from more than 40,000 sources. It covers crop forecasts, satellite images, topography, reports on precipitation, soil moisture, evapotranspiration, and provides insights and projections into 15,000 unique agricultural products.
An Ethiopian-born former Wall Street commodities trader, Sara Menker, founded Gro Intelligence in 2014 in Kenya. The objective was to build an AI-powered decision engine that would create a relationship between ecology and economy.
Early this year, the company raised $85 million funding from tech investors, Intel Capital and Africa Internet Ventures (a strategic partnership between TPG Growth and EchoVC).