Top 5 Startups Creating Tech Employment in South Africa

Top 5 Startups Creating Tech Employment in South Africa

According to a World Economic Forum report in 2019, Africa’s industrialization and tech employment prospects were in danger. According to estimates, 41% of all job activities in South Africa, 44% in Ethiopia, 46$ in Nigeria, 48% in Mauritius, 52% in Kenya, and 53% in Angola are amenable to automation.

Technology has more often served as an enabler. It has expanded the employment opportunity market for Africans. People can now work anywhere on the continent, flattening the world. There have also been new jobs generated to replace every job that has been lost.

South Africa outperforms several developing global markets. According to Harvard Business Review, the nation outperforms several economies in the Latin American and Asian/Southeast Asian areas in terms of the ease of creating digital jobs, supported by strong consumer demand for digital firms and a supportive institutional environment. Moreover, to be on the cutting edge of innovation, South Africa also leads the area in adopting several emerging technologies, including using payment cards and biometric information for social security and mining.

South Africa’s persistent efforts to reinforce the strength of its tech sector have been reflected in the tech employment growth in the country. For example, the 490 startups analyzed in South African Startup Ecosystem report showed that more than 11,000 people had been employed in the country’s tech sector. This figure makes it a respectable contributor to employment in the nation.

The average number of employees per company is 23. However, certain startups have contributed more to employment:

Valenture Institute

Valenture Institute was established in 2019 by Rob Paddock. The London-based Edtech startup provides high school students with aspirational learning opportunities. In our opinion, it believes that students should open the doors they select, not the ones that are pushed upon them.

tech employment
Rob Paddock

Valenture Institute is based on the science of online learning. It offers a breadth of knowledge in learning design, robust learning technology, sophisticated learning analytics, and excellent support services to help our partner schools have an impact and achieve student results at scale.

Valenture Institute collaborates with the top educational institutions in the world to evolve what it means to “attend” school by converting physical constraints into digital opportunities. By providing fully supported online high school programs and pre-college credentials, the startup aims to give students new possibilities to select an ambitious online learning experience.

Valenture Institute offers comprehensive scholarship programs and blended learning micro-schools in underserved communities. The startup currently employs 486 South Africans.


The Cape Town-based fintech startup is currently employing 484 South Africans. Bradley Wattrus, Carl Wazen, Katlego Maphai, and Lungisa Matshoba founded Yoco in 2013 to function as a market leader for small business payments in Africa.

South African payments startup Yoco secures $83M in a Series C round, backed by Dragoneer

Yoco raised $83 million in a Series C funding round last July. As a result, Yoco has become the preferred payments partner for over 150,000 small businesses across South Africa, processing more than US$1 billion in card payments annually.

In March this year, Yoco acquired one of Africa’s leading fintech and Web3 software development agencies, Nona Digital. This was Yoco’s third acquisition of a software company, having acquired Cobi Interactive in 2019 and Dado in 2021. In addition, Yoco’s aggressive talent acquisition has made it a considerable provider of tech employment in South Africa.


Clickatell is a leading name in chat commerce and mobile communications that facilitates business-to-consumer messaging via mobile devices. Casper de Villiers, Danie Du Toit, Patrick Lawson, and Pieter de Villiers founded the startup in 2000.

By enabling chat commerce for everyone, anywhere, Clickatell uses technology to improve the world. For example, consumers may now communicate with brands via text or chat to find products and services, make purchases, follow orders, and address problems.

Clickatell’s Chat Commerce platform has strengthened customer connections for businesses. The startup’s international clients utilize chat to manage millions of conversations and transactions each month efficiently—no need for cash, phone calls, in-person interactions, or apps. Clickatell is powering the digital commerce transformation.

Clickatell raised $91M series C funding in February this year and currently operates in Nigeria and Canada. The startup is now responsible for 335 jobs in South Africa.


Yoyo launched in 2013 and has since gone on to employ over 300 South Africans. The platform’s wallet is a cutting-edge mobile wallet created to assist customers in making purchases using their smartphones.

tech employment

With the aid of a QR code scan, it is a simple application that takes advantage of the most recent advancements in mobile payment technology to enable digital receipt collection, online payments, and automatic loyalty programs.

The platform provides dependable features that enhance the shopping experience for customers in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Alain Falys, Daniel Maurice-Vallerey, Dave Nicholson, and Michael Rolph launched the U.K.-based mobile wallet startup that currently processes over 150,000 monthly in-store transactions.

Prodigy Finance

At 229 employments, Prodigy Finance is the 5th highest startup providing tech employment for South Africans. Cameron Stevens and Ryan Steele launched the platform in 2007 to provide postgraduate student loans to international students to attend a top school.

Prodigy Finance is a London-based company that provides postgraduate international students with community loans. Student borrowers are given access to higher education that they might not otherwise be able to afford—the investing community benefits from their investments in financial and social returns.

Banks review student loan applications utilizing customized lending templates, historical earnings, and cross-border risk analysis to lend to students from over 150 countries. The community of alumni, institutional investors, and eligible individual investors contribute to funding these loans. The company was established in 2007 and had its headquarters in London, United Kingdom.

ICYMI: Many startups doing tech employment in South Africa are foreign-based. Save Yoco, the top 5 startups providing tech employment, are based in Europe. The southern African nations (Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, etc.) are relatively new democracies compared to other African countries. Their economic policies have driven the adoption of more liberal economic policies that support private domestic and foreign investment in tech, thereby creating employment.