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Featured image: AWS regional manager for sub-Saharan Africa Geoff Brown (Supplied)

Local startups to benefit from AWS Cape Town expansion with expertise, services

African startups are expected to benefit from Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) expansion in Cape Town with more user groups, hands-on developer labs and expert advice on technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), voice technologies and edge computing.

So, says AWS regional manager for sub-Saharan Africa Geoff Brown (pictured above), who was responding to a Ventureburn enquiry on what implications AWS’s expansion in Cape Town will have on the city’s and SA’s tech startup ecosystem.

It follows a Reuters report last month that the company planned to expand its presence in the city.

African startup will get access to more user groups, developer labs and expertise with AWS Cape Town expansion

In an email today Brown said the introduction of two new AWS Edge locations (where data is cached to reduce the latency to the end user) in South Africa, will help startups build their business and “expand locally and globally”. AWS announced in July that it had opened an Edge location in Cape Town following the establishment earlier of a Johannesburg location.

“In both Cape Town and Johannesburg, we have teams of solution architects, to help customers build their system architectures, account managers, that help customers with cost optimisation, and partner managers helping our partner ecosystem of systems integrators and independent software vendors (ISVs),” he said.

He pointed out that although these resources are available to all AWS customers, startups would enjoy “additional benefits” through AWS programmes, including AWS Activate, AWS Partner Network (APN) and Amazon Launchpad.

Brown said the company had seen “great success” with its Enterprises Meet Startups sessions where AWS connects its larger enterprise customers with its startup clients.

“This creates a strong community of developers and entrepreneurs in South Africa who are trying to solve similar digital solutions for their customers,” he added.

In all, Brown said AWS provides startups with over 125 cloud services. “Startups across the African continent have been increasingly moving their mission-critical applications to AWS,” he said.

He said AWS sees great potential for SA startups in the area of fintech, mobile, and voice technology. “In the financial technology sector, for example, startups are using AWS to develop solutions to help the unbanked save money and introduce new mobile banking services to make banking more accessible for customers,” he added.

Some of the African startups that Brown said have built their businesses on top of AWS include: Aerobotics, Asoriba, Custos Media Technologies, EMS Invirotel, Entersekt, HealthQ, JUMO, Luno, Mukuru, PayGate, Parcel Ninja, Simfy Africa, Zapper, Zanibal, and Zoona.

Read more: AWS full day Cape Town event to feature pitching, deep dives, panel discussions

Featured image: AWS regional manager for sub-Saharan Africa Geoff Brown (Supplied)

Author Bio

Daniel Mpala
Daniel's focus is on the African tech startup ecosytem. Besides that, he is passionate about online security, privacy and international affairs. He studied International Relations and Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. More