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All posts by Daniel Mpala

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.
  • Lagos-based Itanna accelerator opens applications for 2019 programme

    The Itanna accelerator, a Lagos-based initiative that invests in tech startups, has opened applications for its 2019 programme. The accelerator, which was launched by Nigerian conglomerate Honeywell Group last August, plans to this year invest up to $30 000 in seed capital in each of the 10 startups selected for its programme. Itanna director Tomi Otudeko (pictured above) told Ventureburn yesterday (20 March) in an email that the accelerator will this year accept applications from outside of Nigeria too. Applications close on 19 April. Itanna will this year invest up to $30 000 in seed capital in each of the 10 startups...

  • Katapult Accelerator planning launch of African hub, programme this year

    Oslo-based Katapult Accelerator plans to launch an African hub and accelerator programme in the second half of the year, so says co-founder and managing partner Haakon Brunell. The Norwegian accelerator works with startups that use exponential technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain to solve environmental and societal problems. Startups selected to take part in the accelerator's three-month programme receive $150 000 investment, in exchange for eight percent equity. In a Skype call with Ventureburn last Thursday (14 March), Brunell said the accelerator is aiming to establish a physical office on the continent in the second...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [17/3/2019]

    Google will host a Women Techmakers Summit in Johannesburg on Saturday (23 March). Want to learn how to find clients and grow your business? There's a practical workshop covering just that on Joburg on Tuesday (19 March). For those in Zambia, an expert panel will discuss how to build and scale an edtech in Zambia and Africa on Tuesday (19 March). In West Africa, Africa Business Angel Network president Tom Davies will host an angel investor workshop in Dakar, Senegal today (17 March). This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup events, competitions, networking sessions, workshops...

  • Loss making African ecommerce giant Jumia files for NYSE IPO

    African ecommerce giant Jumia has filed with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), despite reporting losses over the past two years. Jumia was founded in 2012 by Frenchmen Jérémy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec. The company made history in 2016 when it got a valuation of just over $1-billion after it raised $326-million from investors who included US investment bank Goldman Sachs, MTN, Rocket Internet and AXA Insurance -- effectively making it Africa’s first unicorn. While the firm on LinkedIn states that it is based in Lagos, in its filing --...

  • African startups can tap up to six-digit funding with launch of Ampion Ventures

    Newly launched Berlin-based company builder Ampion Ventures is looking to provide African tech startups with "up to six-digit" funding (in dollars) its founder and CEO Fabian-Carlos Guhl has revealed. Announcing its launch, Ampion Ventures said in a statement on Tuesday (12 March) that it aims to build scalable business models in selected African countries by providing seed capital and strategic expertise support to startups. The company builder said Berlin based Plutos Ventures Holding will provide Ampion Ventures with its first seed financing. Ampion Ventures will focus on the agritech, energy and fintech verticals Responding to Ventureburn questions on Tuesday, Guhl (pictured above)...

  • Here’s what you need to know about Omidyar’s $300m fintech fund Flourish

    Philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network has spun out its financial inclusion initiative unit to launch Flourish, an evergreen venture fund that will back impact fintech startups. In a statement last Thursday (7 March), Flourish said it will back entrepreneurs with innovations that "help capture economic opportunity and achieve financial health". The evergreen fund is backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam. Flourish said it had launched with a global team of 18 professionals and has $300-million to invest over the next five years. Flourish will be managed by partners Tilman Ehrbeck, Arjuna Costa and Emmalyn Shaw Flourish will...

  • Nigerian fintech TeamApt aiming for Latin American expansion this year

    Lagos-based fintech TeamApt is working on scaling to Latin America by the third quarter of this year, founder and CEO Tosin Eniolorunda has revealed to Ventureburn. Last month TeamApt -- which develops digital banking and payments infrastructure solutions for banks and was founded by Eniolorunda (pictured above) in 2015  -- raised $5.5-million in a Series-A round led by Nigerian private equity firm Quantum Capital Partners. In a statement last month announcing the investment, TeamApt said it would deploy the funding into further product development, talent acquisition and expansion of its internal operations. The startup last month also told US tech news site...

  • Egypt’s Dsquares bags investment from Algebra Ventures, Ezdehar Management

    Cairo based loyalty solutions provider Dsquares has secured investment from two Egyptian investors, Algebra Ventures and Ezdehar Management. Dsquares was founded in 2012 by Marwan Kenawy (pictured above, left), Ayman Essawy (pictured above, right), and Momtaz Moussa (pictured above, centre). The startup's offerings include loyalty programmes, couponing solutions and interactive directory services. Neither Cairo-based venture capital (VC) fund Algebra Ventures or Dsquares were willing to disclose just how much had been invested in the startup. Dsquares was founded in 2012 by Marwan Kenawy, Ayman Essawy, and Momtaz Moussa Dsquares public relations manager Dina Biksawy told Ventureburn via email only that the...

  • Meet the top 30 finalists of the WHO Africa Innovation Challenge

    The World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) has announced the top 30 finalists of the inaugural WHO Africa Innovation Challenge. In a statement last Thursday (7 March) WHO AFRO said the finalists were selected from 2471 applications -- with more than a third of these from women -- from a total of 77 countries, 44 of them from Africa. Among all 2471 applications, 639 made it to the evaluation phase. A panel of independent evaluators selected the top 30 based on their impact potential, as well the innovation's ability to scale in a sustainable way. The 30 finalists...

  • Commonwealth initiative to explore barriers to digital trade

    The Commonwealth Digital Connectivity Agenda will explore barriers to digital trade and connectivity for business and consumers across the Commonwealth, says UK Trade Commissioner for Africa Emma Wade-Smith. The initiative -- which will be co-led by the UK and SA governments -- was announced last Tuesday (5 March) during Africa Tech Week in Cape Town. The initiative aims to explore how barriers to digital trade can be removed and how digital connectivity for businesses and consumers across the Commonwealth can be increased. In a statement the British High Commission in South Africa said the initiative is part of an aim...

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