Flutterwave, an African-based fintech company that provides a payment infrastructure for global merchants and payment service providers across the continent, and Gro Intelligence, an analytics startup deploying artificial intelligence systems for food security and climate stability solutions, were listed as pioneers on TIME’s newly released list of 100 Most Influential Companies making an extraordinary impact around the world.
These tech companies are the only African companies listed in this year’s lineup alongside companies like Twitter, Apple, and Stripe.
According to TIME, Flutterwave was selected for its efforts in powering retailers after the pandemic restricted movements in the region while Gro Intelligence was chosen for building the AI-powered decision engine across climate, agriculture, and the economy.
The list was grouped into five categories; Pioneers, Leaders, Innovators, Disruptors, and Titans.
When pandemic lockdowns hit brick-and-mortar businesses in Africa, the digital payment service was able to rapidly set up digital storefronts for 20,000 customers, throwing them a lifeline. Flutterwave hit 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.
Gro Intelligence works with thousands of clients, ranging from big food companies like Unilever and Yum! Brands to financial institutions, including BNP Paribas and Wells Fargo, providing them with a host of data and analysis on the global agricultural ecosystem.
In January, Gro raised $85 million. Backers include prominent tech investors Intel Capital and Africa Internet Ventures (a strategic partnership between TPG Growth and EchoVC).
Gro ingests and analyzes over 650 trillion data points from more than 40,000 sources—crop forecasts, satellite images, topography, reports on precipitation, soil moisture, evapotranspiration—to provide insights and forecasts into 15,000 unique agricultural products.
TIME highlights businesses making an extraordinary impact around the world. To assemble this list, TIME solicited nominations across sectors including healthcare, entertainment, transportation, technology and more from their global network of editors and correspondents, as well as from industry experts.