Top 5 Johannesburg Start-Ups To Watch In 2019

Top 5 Johannesburg Start-Ups To Watch In 2019
Top 5 Johannesburg Start-Ups To Watch In 2019

With South African innovators focusing on various opportunities in Fintech and IoT (internet of things), the Johannesburg starting up scene is blowing up with potential. Today, the largest and wealthiest city in South Africa is the center of global diamond and gold trade. Theirs is also a seismic economic, political, and societal change in the country over the last few decades, creating a wide array of startups.

Here are the top five Johannesburg startups shaping various industries in 2019:

1. Flow

This Johannesburg-based startup has created a residential rental market app that’s highly responsive like the Betway South Africa mobile app. The app allows tenants to receive rewards for simple things like paying the rent on time, taking good care of their homes and other things.

With this startup’s app, tenants earn points every month, and they can use those points to access rewards such as Weylandts, Superbalist, and SweepSouth. This startup came to life in 2017, founded by Jonathan Liebmann, Daniel Lev, and Gil Sperling.

2. Giraffe

Giraffe operates a web-based recruitment platform aimed at matching job seekers with placements in areas like admin, security, and retail. The start-up was launched in 2015, headed by CEO Anish Shivdasani. It sticks outs its neck to help job seekers end their quest, making it among the best startups in South Africa.

Backed by Silicon Valley, Giraffe continues to embrace modern tech in the recruitment market, and it keeps an eye on the global HR trends.  It’s no wonder the company was crowned as the best Global Startup in the SeedStars World award 2016. Moreover, the company has received a funding of $500,000 this year.

3. Bank Zero

Bank Zero is a fintech startup focused on disrupting the current banking system with a new digital payment platform. Their app-driven bank offers added transparency and control while taking a fresh look on banking. Additionally, they have partnered with MasterCard to create proprietary cards that will deliver cutting-edge security and lots of unique features.

As part of its security measures, Bank Zero has developed innovative fraud detection technologies, and the Reserve Bank of South Africa fully licenses it. The company plans to launch full public operations by the second half of this year. As a result South Africans who choose to place a bet with Betway can expect to have more banking options to save their winnings.

4. Pineapple

Pineapple is a South African Insurance tech startup that allows users to insure personal belongings by taking a picture of the property with their phones. The premiums remain in a peer-to-peer wallet, making the company unique from other traditional operators in the market.

This company was launched in 2016 by a team of Ndabenhle Junior Ngulube, Matthew Elan Smith and Marnus Van Heerden to create a disruptive model in the insurance/reinsurance space. Today, the company is worth over seven million rands, and it’s still growing.

5. InvestSure

InvestSure is yet another South African startup in the insurance market. The company offers application program interfaces that enable their partners to sell insurance products to clients. This company is worth more than 10 million rands, after operating for less than two years since its launch in 2017.

The startup was founded by CEO Shane Curran, Ignatius Nkwinika and Mbulelo Mpofana. Other investors include Compass Insurance, 4Di Capital, and Lireas Holdings, to name a few.


As South African companies continue to embrace tech, the Johannesburg startup scene is teeming with potential. The wide array of startups in the market is focusing on the available opportunities by providing practical apps, security, hardware, and Fintech solutions.

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