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Startup news

  • Here are the 12 startups selected for Google Launchpad Africa’s third class

    Google has revealed the names of the 12 startups selected for the third cohort of its Launchpad Africa accelerator, based in Lagos. They include four startup from Kenya, three from Nigeria, two from South Africa and one each from Uganda, Senegal and Egypt. The names of the startups were revealed in a blog post by Google Developers earlier this month, in which the tech giant also revealed the names of those startups selected for its Brazil and India accelerators. Google said its team reviewed over 1000 applications in all for its Africa, Brazil and India cohorts. Applications for the Launchpad Accelerator...

  • Meet Ridver, the ride-hailing app that has netted interest from Zambian investor

    A month doesn't seem to pass without news of the launch of another ride-hailing app. Last month it was sushi king Kenny Kunene's Yookoo Ride. This month was the turn of Ridver, launched by Opynio Media and Technology, a black women owned company, on Friday (15 March). Ridver co-founder Sam Apata (pictured above) told Ventureburn by phone today that the app has already garnered attention from a Zambian investor who wants to launch a version there. The company behind the app also has two black women directors who are not operationally involved. Apata said he and co-founder Moses Aderonmu --...

  • Women tech entrepreneurs sought as nominations open for 2019 Awief Awards

    The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (Awief) has opened a call for nominations for the 2019 Awief Awards. Now in their third year, the awards are meant to highlight and celebrate the achievements of women entrepreneurs and business leaders who contribute to the transformation and development of Africa’s economy by creating jobs and opportunities across the continent. The deadline for nominations for the 2019 Aweif Awards is 15 May Nominations for the awards can be submitted across eight categories that include the Tech Entrepreneur Award, Young Entrepreneur Awards, and the Social Entrepreneur Award. The deadline for nominations is 15 May. Thereafter, Awief will shortlist...

  • SMEasy saga: founder slams MTN’s claim that deal had no exclusivity clause

    SMEasy founder Darlene Menzies has hit back at MTN's claims that there was no exclusivity clause in a multi-million dollar distribution deal that her startup signed with the telco giant three years ago and that failed to materialise. The exclusivity clause is at the centre of a spat that has turned public, between MTN Group and SMEasy. Last week Menzies said MTN locked her accounting software business SMEasy in a three-year agreement, preventing the company from expanding by distributing its accountancy product to micro firm customers on the rest of the continent (see this story). The deal is set to expire on 1...

  • 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 --...

  • Two African startups selected for GMC Calibrator edtech accelerator

    Sierra Leone mobile learning platform for financial inclusion Mosabi and Kenyan parenting website Mums Village have been selected for Gray Matters Capital's GMC Calibrator programme. In a statement on Tuesday (12 March), US-based impact investor Gray Matters Capital said the two will join seven other startups -- from India and Vietnam -- in the second cohort of the India-based edtech accelerator. Gray Matters Capital launched the GMC Calibrator last year with the intention to make the mobile phone a device to promote "Self Learning to Earning". The accelerator aims to do this by improving user engagement, monetisation and optimisation of mobile learning...

  • Did Polish man accused of defrauding Nigerian investors lie about merger? [Updated]

    So confident was he that a deal to save his startup HotelOga by merging it with an East African entity would go through, that Polish entrepreneur Marek Zmyslowski sent out a press release and pitchdeck announcing the merger -- when it had yet to be concluded. The proposed merger fell through shortly thereafter. Nigerian investors have accused Zmyslowski of fraud (an accusation which he denies) – saying he funnelled company funds into his personal bank account and misled them about the existence of a Polish entity (Hotel Online sp. z.o.o) that housed the startup’s intellectual property (see this story), alongside...

  • Here are the 20 startups selected for the World Bank’s L’Afrique Excelle accelerator

    L'Afrique Excelle, the francophone adaptation of the World Bank's XL Africa tech accelerator, has announced the names of the 20 startups selected to participate in the first such edition of the programme. The World Bank initiative is supported by the Tubaniso Agribusiness and Innovation Center, funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and implemented by VC4A, Suguba and SahelInnov. The programme aims to connect francophone startups across the continent with mentors and investors. In addition, as part of the programme, L'Afrique Excelle will assist participants to raise up to $5-million from investors. The L'Afrique Excelle programme will kick off later...

  • SAB Foundation opens entries for Social Innovation, Disability Employment Awards

    The SAB Foundation has opened applications for its ninth annual Social Innovation Awards, as well as the fourth annual Disability Empowerment Awards. In this year's awards the SAB Foundation will hand out a total of R12-million in prize money. Winners will receive prizes ranging between R200 000 and R1.3-million. In a statement last week, SAB Foundation social innovation specialist Ntando Nodada said the foundation -- through its Social Innovation Awards programme -- aims to develop products and services which help the country's most vulnerable communities, while supporting South Africa's "innovative thinkers and brightest entrepreneurial minds". Winners of this year's SAB Foundation Social...

  • 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...

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