This Week In African Tech
The African technology landscape never sleeps these days, and this week is no different. This is a quick round up of major happenings in Africa’s tech scene between June 18 and June 23, 2017.
- Jos-based c-commerce startup (c stands for chat), Terminus.ng has raised seed funds from Northern Nigeria’s biggest technology hub, nHub (where the startup is currently incubated). At the moment, not much has been disclosed about the deal (I’ll update this post as soon as I find out more). Link.
- Y Combinator’s inaugural Online Startup School came to an end recently with 5 Nigerian startups presenting on Virtual Demo Day. The startups are Stutern, ChowHub, Thrive Agric, BuyChat and Adroyte. Link.
- Remember the EcoBank Fintech Challenge? It came to an end on the 21st of this month with Nigeria’s IroFit Technologies emerging winner (out of 20 startups across Africa that made it to the finals), receiving US$10k in the process. In second and third place were also Nigerian startups — Kudi.ai and Paylater — who both scooped US$7,000, and US$5,000 respectively. Link.
- MasterCard has partnered Nigerian tech startup, NetPlus to launch a simple and secure digital payment solution for consumers, e-retailers as well as delivery services in the country. The solution will make cash payments a thing of the past. Link.
- Nigerian tweetstorming app, WriteRack now wears a new look and feel, and spots new features. It now has a new logo and nimble UI. The big one is the subscription feature, which ensures subscribers can change the numbering style of their tweetstorm, add images to their tweets, have intervals between tweets, et al. Link.
- Some time back, US-based 500 Startups launched its Series A program in the MENA region. It now announced the startups selected for the program and it included four Egyptian startups. They are Eventtus, Edfa3lycom, Taskty and GetMumm. Link.
- South Africa’s WhereIsMyTransport has raised US$810,000 from Goodwell Investments and Bombardier. The startup will use the funds to map the public transport system of more cities in the country and across Africa. Link.
- Another South African startup raised funds this week. Marketing startup Xineoh raised US$2 million from foreign investors to launch a personal shopping assistant for video streaming. Another South African startup raised funds this week. Also, Ghana’s Inclusive, and Kenya’s Pula and Pezesha raised funds from early-stage startup incubator, Digital Financial Services Lab (DFS Lab).
- In more fund raising news, South Africa’s Domestly also raised a substantial amount of funds from Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to expand across the country and grow its in-house technology team. In faraway Tunisia, game startup Polysmart was also in the news for raising US$600k from CDC Gestion. The funds will be used to to complete and release its "Veterans Online" game.
- Nigeria’s leading and probably the largest event venue booking portal, Ogavenue has launched a new service known as Savingz. It let’s you book a venue & pay only 15% deposit upfront, with the rest paid over time. Link.
- Max Go is an on-demand motorcycle hailing service from the stables of Nigerian on-demand delivery service, MAX. The service let’s you book a motorcycle to take you to your destination — just as you would an Uber or the other on-demand taxi hailing services. It was officially launched today with a fleet of 100 bikes to serve would-be customers in Marina, Victoria Island, Yaba, Ikoyi and Lekki Phase 1. Link.
- London-based Venture Capital firm TLcom has raised seed funds of $40 million to invest in African startups. Link.
- Finally for the week, Nigerian Fintech startup, Payant is now live in Ghana and Kenya. This means businesses in both countries will be able to use the startup’s product to create beautiful invoices and automatically send payment reminders, and accept instant online payments from anyone, anywhere. Link.
So, there you go. Interesting news right?? I’ll end this round up with a statement from a Director at nHub Nigeria, who was speaking to Fellows participating in the hub’s inaugural Fellowship Program.
The difficulty isn’t in knowing what to do, it is in rolling up your sleeves and doing something with what you know.