Cape Town booming IT mecca

Many of us consider Cape Town as a laid-back city boasting one of the new wonders of nature, Table Mountain and favourite tourist spot to all. Although this is true to a certain extent, this city has also become a serious player in the software and IT services sector. Since 2006 Cape Town’s software and IT services sector has been booming with more than R1.5 billion invested.

In December 2011, the City of Cape Town, as part of its broadband infrastructure project, completed a R125 million, 500km optic fibre network project, thereby increasing the City’s bandwidth by approximately 1,000 times and ensuring even further growth in this sector.

It is therefore no surprise that Cape Town gets compared to Silicon Valley. Cape Town is quite similar in culture, it’s cosmopolitan, with an offering to quirky tech intellectuals and up-and- coming wealthy entrepreneurs. The Cape architecture– combining new and old – and the coffee and wine culture is important in bringing together highly mobile, wealthy and tech savvy individuals.

Mark Shuttleworth is a household name in South Africa and to many abroad he has championed innovation and made science hip again. Since his success, a number of creative software design and development companies have been founded in Cape Town.

Fundamo is one of South Africa’s tech success stories exiting to Visa for a whopping US$110-million in 2011. It was founded by Hannes van Rensburg in 2000 in Cape Town and launched the world’s first mobile financial service for the unbanked in developing economies in 2002. Bridging the gap between the kind of un-banked and under banked customer the financial industry usually does not want to serve and the big banking corporations has been something a pre- and post-acquision Fundamo has pulled off on a large scale. It provided financial services for the very poorest people in the world through their mobile phones, especially in rural areas with poor infrastructure.

Founded in 2003 by Namibian born software developer Herman Heunis, MXit grew from humble beginnings as a mobile phone IM client to a full-scale mobile social network with about 23-24 million users in sub-Saharan Africa. The extensive reach of the MXit service, its proven robustness, support of many different handsets (more than 3 000) and high penetration of the youth market gives it an advantage over rivals. MXit is another great example of South African success in the technology industry.

Founded in South Africa, the company created the first websites for business to consumer SMS messaging and have been cashing in on the continued growth of mobile phone users – and the increasing want for companies to use SMS to their advantage – ever since. Although Clickatell moved its headquarters to Silicon Valley in the US, its roots in South Africa means it has recruited large enterprise clients in sub-Saharan Africa. Testament to its success is the backing it has received from venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, widely regarded as one of the best in the business and investors in companies including Apple, Google, YouTube and Oracle.

Cape Town’s growing start up community demonstrates the breadth and depth of the talent that calls Cape Town home. With the numerous software and IT companies based around the city it’s the perfect location to find your next career opportunity.

Communicate Recruitment have offices in Cape Town and a team of specialist recruitment consultants in the IT sector that will match your skills with the relevant job. We have career opportunities that include .Net developer jobs, Java developer jobs, Php developer jobs, IT manager jobs, DBA jobs and much more. Visit our website and apply today.

Credit: by suwatpo