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All posts by Staff Reporter

  • Outlierz Ventures to represent Morocco at MENA TechCrunch Startup Battlefield

    Casablanca-based African focused seed investment fund Outlierz Ventures is set to represent Morocco at the Middle East and North Africa's (MENA) first TechCrunch Startup Battlefield. Outlierz Ventures founder and managing partner Kenza Lahlou (pictured above) is among the confirmed main-stage speakers set to attend the event taking place in Beirut, Lebanon on 3 October. The venture capital (VC) fund, which Lahlou founded last year, invests ticket sizes ranging between $50 000 and $200 000 in tech-enabled companies solving a real problem in a key sector with an innovative approach and a scalable business model. At least two African VCs, Fla6Labs Cairo and Outlierz Ventures are set to...

  • ADB fund pumps close to $2m into two Jobs for Youth in Africa initiatives

    African tech entrepreneurs -- as well as those in the agriculture and clothing sector -- have been given a boost, with the announcement that the African Development Bank (ADB) has invested close to $2-million in two initiatives. The development bank announced on Friday last week (21 September) that the investment will be made via the development bank's Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA). It will go to the development bank's Fashionomics Africa Digital Marketplace initiative an ecommerce platform for fashion and textiles entrepreneurs and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lab programmes (eLab) programme. The two programmes form part of the ADB's Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy --...

  • Seedstars World announces the 10 startups set to pitch at Seedstars Maputo

    Seedstars World, one of the world’s largest startup competitions, has announced the 10 Mozambican startups that will pitch at Seedstars Maputo on Friday (28 September). The 10 startups are set to pitch in front of a panel comprised of Standard Bank Mozambique head of investment banking Joao Guirengane, Savvy Venture Partners managing partner Thabo Ncalo, UX Information Technologies co-founder Borges Coelho, and Seedstars associate Maryam Mgonja. The winner of the pitch event will win an all-inclusive trip to attend the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland in April next year where they stand to win up to $1-million in equity investments. The 2018 edition of the Seedstars Maputo pitch event is...

  • Kenyan insurtech Bluewave takes top honours at 2018 Seedstars Nairobi

    Nairobi-based insurtech startup Bluewave Insurance Agency has come out tops at Seedstars Nairobi pitch event. At an event held on Friday (21 September), the startup out-pitched six other contestants to win the coveted title of Nairobi's best startup of 2018 and for an opportunity to represent Kenya at Seedstar's Worlds regional and global summits. The insurtech startup was placed first ahead of salesforce automation platform Optimetriks and edtech company Angaza Elimu, which came in second and third, respectively. Bluewave Insurance Agency uses a USSD platform to sign on clients -- which enables the company to serve those with the simplest mobile devices. The startup -- which was founded in 2015 by...

  • Edtech solution Schoolap lands Labes Key Seedstars Kinshasa 2018 win

    Congolese software development startup Labes Key has been selected as the winner of the 2018 edition of the Seedstars Kinshasa pitch competition. The Kinshasa-based startup was crowned the winner of the Seedstars Kinshasa pitch event after its edtech enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution Schoolap was selected ahead of 10 other solutions at an event held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's (DRC) capital last Friday (21 September). The pitching event is only the second such annual pitch that Seedstars has hosted in the DRC. Labes Key's Schoolap platform aims to improve the quality of teaching in the central African country by providing users with access...

  • Prodigy Finance raises over R14bn in new debt financing round

    UK-based fintech Prodigy Finance -- founded by SA entrepreneur Cameron Stevens -- announced today that it has raised R14.39-billion in the last 12 months in debt financing. The company lends to students globally via an Irish Stock Exchange listed bond. In a statement today, the company -- started by Stevens (pictured above) in 2007 -- said the financing primarily consists of R12.95-billion in institutional debt facilities from American, European and Asian lenders. These include Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, M&G Investments and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. Other investors include schools, family offices and high-net-worth individuals participating in Prodigy Finance’s international bond programme distributed by Credit Suisse. The company...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [24/09/2018]

    The biggest startup events taking place on the continent this week are in West Africa. The first is the Lagos Startup Week which since 2015 has brought together the ecosystem of technology agents driving business innovation. Organisers expect over 5000 attendees will attend this year's edition which takes kicks off today (24 September) and ends on Sunday (30 September). The Ghana STEM Conference, the flagship event of Africa Science Week, is a full-day event incorporating keynote addresses, panel discussions and exhibition opportunities for several businesses under the theme "Accelerating Growth and Development through STEM”. The conference takes place this Friday (28 September). In South...

  • Financial inclusion never something you can declare victory over – Tugende CEO

    Over the past decade the progress made within financial inclusion has emerged as one of Africa’s great success stories. According to the World Bank Global Findex survey, released in April, the percentage of Africans with access to banking products in Sub-Saharan Africa increased from 23% in 2011 to 43% in 2017. The increase has largely been driven by the uptake in mobile money products. Findings published in May by the International Finance Corporation show that Africa is home to more digital financial services deployments than any other region in the world -- with almost half of the nearly 700 million individual users worldwide. 'Financial inclusion...

  • MEST launches Nairobi incubator and tech hub, its fourth in Africa

    The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) has launched an incubator in Nairobi, Kenya. The incubator was officially opened at an event last night in the Kenyan capital. It's the organisation's fourth hub in Africa and adds to its network of incubators in Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. Commenting on the launch of the Nairobi incubator in a statement today (21 September), MEST managing director Aaron Fu said the organisation is "thrilled" to officially establish its presence in East Africa. The Nairobi incubator is MEST's fourth such tech hub in Africa "A truly Pan-African tech hub, we now have a presence across all corners of...

  • Share of $750k in grants up for grabs in open challenge on AI and news

    Innovators from across the world can get a share of up to $750 000 in a new open challenge that covers the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and news. The challenge is run by the Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative --  a philanthropic fund and joint initiative of the MIT Media Lab and the Harvard Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society -- that aims to advance the development of AI and machine learning in the public interest. Through the AI and the News Open Challenge the initiative is seeking solutions to four specific problem areas found at the intersection of AI and news. These problem areas are around governance of...