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The ranking: Africa's Fastest Growing Companies 2024

© Benson Ibeabuchi, for the FT


List of 50 includes many businesses that have overcome the Covid pandemic and the continent’s economic problems


The third year of our now expanded ranking of Africa’s Fastest Growing Companies (below) comes against a background in which many economies are struggling to recover from the Covid pandemic. Economic growth in Africa, overall, in 2023 was 3.2 per cent, according to the IMF — lower than in Asia, which grew at nearly 5 per cent. And, given the African continent’s fast population expansion, this underperformance is even starker in per capita terms. Rather than closing the gap with wealthier regions, on aggregate, Africa is falling further behind.



Africa’s Fastest Growing Companies 2024


Rank

Company Name

Brand

Country

Sector

Absolute


growth


rate(%)

Compoudannual


growth


rate


(CAGR,%)

Revenues


2022


($mn)

Revenues


2019


($mn)

Number


of


employees


2022 :

Number


of


employees


2019 


Founding


 year

50

AfriGrown

AfriGrown

South Africa

Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

260.63

53.35

4.67

1.47

31

19


2008

49

Paratus Namibia Holdings Ltd.

Paratus Namibia Holdings

Namibia

Fintech, Financial Services & Insurance

262.86

53.67

26.63

130.04

202

450


2017

48

KudiGo Inc

Verifibuy

Ghana

E-commerce

266.25

54.14

1.78

0.49

18

34


2017

47

Veritasi Homes And Properties Ltd.

Veritasi Homes

Nigeria

Real estate

267.56

54.33

77.94

24.95

33

23


2017

46

Solar Md Pty Ltd.

Solar MD

South Africa

Electrical Manufacturing

272.1

54.96

24.76

7.54

75

35


2014

45

Sundry Markets Ltd.

Marketsquare

Nigeria

Retail

281.44

56.25

128.42

39.62

2,098

922


2014

44

Good Nature Agro Products Ltd.

Good Nature Agro

Zambia

Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing

291.4

57.59

9.8

2.5

171

31


2014

43

Luxity Pty Ltd.

Luxity

South Africa

E-commerce

297.61

58.42

2.98

0.75

23

12


2015

42

Turaco Ltd.

Turaco

Kenya

Fintech, Financial Services & Insurance

303.43

59.19

2.28

0.56

60

37


2019

41

Easy Solar (Sl) Ltd.

Easy Solar

Sierra Leone

Energy & Utilities

303.53

59.21

6.76

1.67

256

150


2016

40

Powergen East Africa Renewable Energy Ltd.

Powergen Renewable Energy

Kenya

Energy & Utilities

307.48

59.72

3.44

0.85

104

146


2011

39

GoMyCode

GoMyCode

Tunisia

Education & Social Services

309.4

59.97

2.1

0.51

130

40


2018

38

Fleetcam Pty Ltd.

Fleetcam

South Africa

IT & Software

311.63

60.26

3.11

0.86

44

21


2014

37

CSSi South Africa Pty Ltd.

CSSi South Africa

South Africa

IT & Software

315.02

60.7

44.16

12.06

82

37


2000

36

Innovo Networks Pty Ltd.

Innovo Networks

South Africa

Media & Telecomunications

316.41

60.88

1.69

0.46

8

5


2013

35

Aces Africa Pty Ltd.

Aces

South Africa

Energy & Utilities

336.65

62.49

3.96

1.04

54

20


2013

34

Quick Mart Ltd.

Quick Mart

Kenya

Retail

346.72

64.69

294.86

76.34

5,309

1,734


2006

33

Open Vantage Pty Ltd.

Open Vantage

South Africa

IT & Software

362.22

66.58

3

0.74

53

28


2017

32

Herholdt’S Group Pty Ltd.

The Herholdt’S Group

South Africa

Energy & Utilities

405.66

71.64

273.7

61.34

208

161


1989

31

West African Soy Industries Ltd.

Wasil

Nigeria

Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing

446

76.09

248.71

53.6

762

174


2015

30

Hubtel Ltd.

Hubtel

Ghana

Fintech, Financial Services & Insurance

448.97

76.41

31.95

5.82

238

60


2007

29

Natural Extracts Industries Ltd.

Natural Extracts Industries

Tanzania

Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing

496.85

81.39

2.99

0.51

135

39


2011

28

Terragon Holdings Mauritius

Terragon

Mauritius

Advertising & Marketing

568.23

88.35

19.45

2.91

109

106


2017

27

Zendascape Pty

Aura

South Africa

IT & Software

596.45

90.97

3.73

0.61

63

15


2017

26

Consilient Ltd. Company

Consilient

Somalia/Somaliland

Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

599.74

91.27

2.58

0.37

35

15


2019

25

Lipa Later Ltd.

Lipa Later

Kenya

Fintech, Financial Services & Insurance

606.44

91.88

7.17

1.01

73

12


2017

24

The Seamless Company Ltd.

Seamlesshr

Nigeria

IT & Software

700.66

100.06

2.62

0.38

160

39


2018

23

Globe Medex For Trade And Distribution

Globe Medex

Egypt

Pharmaceuticals & Cosmetics

799.97

108.01

2.55

0.28

12

6


2017

22

Marchiche Global Solutions

Marchiche Global Solutions

Morocco

Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

858.61

112.43

10.34

1.14

66

104


2008

21

Tymebank Ltd.

Tymebank

South Africa

Fintech, Financial Services & Insurance

885.69

114.41

40.41

4.65

350

230


2018

20

Evolution Foods International Pty Ltd.

Evolution Foods International

South Africa

Food & Beverages

911.04

116.23

2.3

0.26

1

1


2017

19

Bisedge Ltd.

Bisedge

Nigeria

Logistics & Transportation

926.54

117.33

3.14

0.36

372

20


2016

18

Thrive Agric Ltd.

ThriveAgric

Nigeria

Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

964.9

120.01

73.26

8.1

223

30


2016

17

Balancell Energy Pty Ltd.

Balancell Energy

South Africa

Manufacturing

984.95

121.38

11.4

1.19

40

8


2017

16

Alpha Morgan Capital Managers Ltd.

Alpha Morgan Capital

Nigeria

Fintech, Financial Services & Insurance

994.85

122.05

13.79

1.48

59

22


2012

15

Deimos Cloud Pty Ltd.

Deimos Cloud

South Africa

IT & Software

1,196.11

134.9

15.23

1.33

82

24


2018

14

Lapaire Glasses Côte D’Ivoire S.A.R.L.

Lapaire

Ivory Coast

Health Care & Life Sciences

1,344.04

143.52

3.42

0.24

323

24


2018

13

Agro Supply Ltd.

Agro Supply

Uganda

Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing

1,466.77

150.23

2.29

0.15

12

4


2017

12

Mycredit Investments Ltd.

FairMoney

Nigeria

Fintech, Financial Services & Insurance

1,719.13

163

142.93

9.25

542

45


2017

11

AfricaWorks

Africaworks

Mauritius

Real estate

1,847.88

169.06

7.45

0.38

77

12


2017

10

HearX Group Pty Ltd.

HearX Group

South Africa

Health Care & Life Sciences

2,056.82

178.36

12.28

0.57

172

42


2016

9

Kentegra Biotechnology Epz Ltd.

Kentegra Biotechnology

Kenya

Health Care & Life Sciences

2,333.05

189.77

3.76

0.15

194

42


2017

8

Yellow Digital Retailers Ltd.

Yellow

Mauritius

Energy & Utilities

2,892.22

210.45

28.77

0.96

85

17


2018

7

Enara Group

Enara

Egypt

Energy & Utilities

3,265.65

222.87

4.31

0.15

36

3


2018

6

Chari

Morocco

E-commerce

4,107.31

247.8

6.31

0.15

187

10


2019

5

Afex Commodities Exchange Ltd.

Afex

Nigeria

Fintech, Financial Services & Insurance

5,733.12

287.82

415.54

8.38

391

59


2014

4

Moniepoint Inc.

Moniepoint

Nigeria

Fintech, Financial Services & Insurance

7,979.35

332.31

148.66

1.84

962

111


2015

3

Resourgenix Pty Ltd.

Resourgenix

South Africa

Employment Services

26,441.42

542.65

33.62

0.14

91

5


2019

2

Kyosk Digital

Mauritius

E-commerce

41,644.81

647.37

155.35

0.37

202

20


2019

1

Omniretail Inc.

OmniRetail

Nigeria

E-commerce

66,294.88

772.39

139.88

0.25

896

11


2019



Nigeria, one of the continent’s three biggest economies, spent 2023 in economic crisis as prices spiralled upwards and the naira went into freefall. Nevertheless, it still had the second highest number of companies in our ranking of Africa’s fastest-growing, compiled in conjunction with research company Statista. South Africa, where growth has also been lacklustre, was home to the highest number.


Even generally more dynamic economies, such as Kenya — which, like many African countries is labouring under high public debt — struggled to get out of the low-growth doldrums as inflation gnawed at disposable income and the government squeezed expenditure.


“Our purchasing power has really suffered,” says Daniel Kobei, a community leader, looking around the empty terrace of a once-thriving grilled meat restaurant in Nakuru, Kenya’s fourth-largest city. That left little money to spend on luxuries like eating out, he says. Abebe Selassie, the head of the IMF’s Africa department, acknowledges that Covid-19 set economies back. “I worry about the effect that the pandemic has had on poverty, particularly in the most fragile countries,” he says.


Still, he points out that many businesses have managed to survive, and even prosper. “Much of the private sector, particularly the private sector that’s not directly reliant on government business, has shown incredible resilience,” he says.


The FT-Statista list reveals the type of companies that, even in hard times, have managed to grow, often by disrupting markets. Stéphane Bacquaert, managing partner at Adenia, a private equity firm specialising in Africa, says problem solving was key. He cites Herholdt’s Group (number 32 in the ranking) which provides solar equipment to homes and businesses in South Africa, a country bedevilled by power cuts.


Herholdt’s pivoted from legacy electrical equipment to renewable energy after a tussle between its family owners. Adenia backed the younger generation and the business has taken off.


“Anyone can tell you electricity is a huge problem in South Africa,” Bacquaert says. “So, if you solve that problem, you must have a winner.”


He says this is also true of Quick Mart (number 34), which bucked a difficult retail environment by transferring lessons learned in eastern Europe to Kenya, in east Africa.


This year, our ranking has a wider geographical spread of companies than before. The big newcomer is Morocco, with 12 companies in the top 125 against just three last time. Mauritian-domiciled companies also did well with nine winners, against four in 2022. South Africa had 42 companies in the list, followed by Nigeria’s 25, while Kenya tied third at 12.


Again, it was a Nigerian company — this time Omniretail — that came top. As in previous years, the winning business is a B2B ecommerce platform that helps small retailers, kiosk owners, and market traders digitise their business.


Mauritian-domiciled Kyosk.App (number 2) — which describes its business as “empowering traditional African retailers, farmers and their customers with a digital first and data-led distribution platform” — performs a similar role. Founded in Nairobi, it has since expanded to Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria.


Still, 2023 was “a rough year for the tech ecosystem”, according to Partech, an investment platform for tech and digital companies. Its annual survey of venture capital investment in Africa showed a 46 per cent drop from 2022, to $3.5bn, raised from 547 deals, which was also fewer than in recent years.


However, Lexi Novitske, general partner at Norrsken22, an Africa-focused tech growth fund, says there are signs the market has now bottomed out. Since November, venture capital firms have raised more than $650mn in funding for Africa, with Norskenn22, itself, raising $205mn.


Novitske says valuations have become attractive again after an investment exodus last year. She prefers asset-light companies, especially those harnessing AI, some of which are capable of providing solutions to global problems. She highlights HearX (number 10), a South African-based company that uses AI to diagnose and treat hearing problems, and now sells its products in the US.


“African companies are not only solving local or regional problems but global ones,” observes Aniko Szigetvari, a founding partner at Atlantica Ventures, a pan-African venture capital fund. “If you figure it out in Africa, you can take it to other markets.”


Szigetvari cites Lelapa AI, which transcribes chatbot messages into African languages such as isiZulu and Sesotho, as an example of a company with transferable technology. Another, from this year’s ranking (number 21) is Tymebank, a neobank that is taking its South African-developed model to the Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore.


Nevertheless, there are other big hurdles for companies, over and above the sluggish macro-environment. Businesses frequently mention currency and regulator risk, and negative investor sentiment as a result of political and security upheavals — including in the coup-prone Sahel.


For Valerie Labi, though, whose German-Ghanaian start-up Wahu is manufacturing e-bikes in Accra, the real problems can be more mundane. She blames bureaucracy both in Ghana and in cross-border trade for hampering ambitious start-ups. African banks, she says, are reluctant to finance innovative start-ups like hers.


However, Bacquaert of Adenia says there are some signs that local pension fund investment is at last finding its way to fast-growing start-ups, with Ghana, Kenya and South Africa leading the way. “This has opened up a pool of money,” he says. “And you don’t have to pitch them on the African story because they already understand it.”


Methodology


Africa’s Fastest Growing Companies 2024 lists 125 companies, ordered by the highest compound annual growth in revenues (CAGR) between 2019 and 2022.


Application phase


Through research in company databases and other public sources, Statista identified thousands of companies in Africa as potential candidates for the FT ranking. These companies were invited to participate in the research by post and email. The project was advertised online and in print, allowing all eligible companies to register via the websites created by Statista and the Financial Times.


The application phase ran from October 9, 2023 to February 29, 2024. The submitted revenue figures had to be certified by the chief financial officer, chief executive, or an executive committee of the company.


Criteria for inclusion in the list


To be included in the list of the Africa’s fastest growing companies, a company had to meet the following criteria:

Revenue of at least US$100,000 generated in 2019 (1);

Revenue of at least US$1.5mn generated in 2022 (1);

An independent company (not a subsidiary or branch office of any kind);

Headquartered in an African country (2);

Revenue growth between 2019 and 2022 that was primarily organic (ie “internally” stimulated).


(1) Value equivalent in local currency for companies not reporting in US dollars. For the ranking, a conversion of all figures to US dollars was performed using yearly average exchange rates for 2019 and 2022. The CAGR provided has been computed based on reporting currency.


(2) All countries in the African continent were eligible to participate


Evaluation and quality assurance


All data reported by the companies was processed and checked by Statista. Missing data entries (employee numbers, address data, etc) were researched in detail. Companies that did not fulfil the criteria for inclusion in the ranking were omitted.


The minimum CAGR required to be included in the ranking this year was 8.62 per cent.


Disclaimer


The ranking of the Africa’s Fastest Growing Companies 2024 was created through a complex procedure. Although the search was very extensive, the ranking does not claim to be complete, as some companies did not want to make their figures public or did not participate for other reasons.




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