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Startup news

  • MoboFree hits 3.3 million African users, credits success to ‘social first’ approach

    MoboFree, a mobile social marketplace that allows African customers to buy, sell, rent and swap stuff with trusted parties has officially reached 3.3 million registered users after just two years since launch. The bulk of its users are based in Nigeria, followed by Ghana and Zimbabwe. "From the get-go we are a person oriented marketplace. Instead of adding in a social element to our service as an afterthought, we have focused on the social aspect of selling and purchasing from the very beginning and have made it an integral part of the MoboFree experience." – said Neringa Kudarauskiene, CEO and co-founder...

  • Tech startup scoops up impact funding to improve Kenyan farming

    Kenyan tech startup iProcure has recently secured investment from Invested Development (ID) -- a global early stage impact investment fund manager. The startup helps farmers access high-quality products using a software that enhances retailers' agricultural sales and inventory management. This move from ID comes from its BSP Fund which invests in ICT, alternative energy, and agricultural tech solutions for underserved markets. 33 million smallholder farms in sub-Saharan Africa produce 80% of the subcontinent's food. Having said that, many farmers are forced to rely on an inefficient, sparsely distributed network of "agro-vets", or agriculture retail shops, to supply their inputs...

  • She Leads Africa launches competition to empower tech savvy ladies

    She Leads Africa, an initiative empowering women in the continent's entrepreneurial tech scene, is launching a business pitch competition seeking talented women in West Africa. The platform seeks to connect promising individuals to mentors, business funding and new market opportunities. This is one of many She Leads Africa's programmes that aims to help female entrepreneurs gain business fundamentals, connect to an active business network, and increase their access to financing. With a special focus on -- but not limited to -- tech, the competition will take place in September when it will screen applications across West Africa to identify the top...

  • Microsoft is all about Moroccan women with new cloud startup academy

    Blazing through Africa and pretty much doing its thing, Microsoft 4Afrika, in conjunction with the Association of Women Entrepreneurs in Morocco (AFEM), and INWI launched a Cloud Startup Academy in Morocco. The idea around the Cloud Startup Academy is to build a project focused at female entrepreneurs in Morocco and help them launch innovative startups, based on the latest Cloud technology. According to the programme organisers, 50 Moroccan women will be selected, where they will receive training that includes, on Cloud computing and communication technology. Particular emphasis will be placed on strengthening skills related to communication, technology,...

  • SleepOut embarks on ‘Zanzibar to Lagos African Tour’ to connect with community

    Offering a digital marketplace can be a challenging endeavour -- particularly when it comes to connecting with the very users who populate your platform. With this in mind, African accomodation marketplace SleepOut, which allows users to find, book and offer accommodation, will be touching base with its community of hosts and travellers across Africa on its 'Zanzibar to Lagos African Tour' for a 12-week period starting in June. The SleepOut team, comprising CEO Johann Jenson, CTO Paul Schwarz and Ayako Bertolli (Head of Photography), will visit 10 destinations in sub-Saharan Africa accompanied by travel photographers and "local accommodation experts" to not only...

  • Meet Sw7, the latest tech incubator to take no equity, let you keep your day job

    There are times when the African incubator and accelerator space can seem like a bit of a crapshoot. One minute a new player will have a ton of press coverage and a load of backing behind it, the next it'll have quietly disappeared and its founders will be suspiciously unavailable for interviews. A new incubator and accelerator programme called Sw7 is, however, trying to change all that. Following the example of programmes like the one used by the Co-creation Hub in Nigeria, Sw7 doesn't ask any of its participants to hand over equity in their companies. Instead, participants pay...

  • DEMO Africa competition extends application deadline for startups

    Your startup still has time to enter the DEMO Africa competition. One of Africa's biggest startup pitch events is keeping its application process open for another week from 15 June to 22 June. The annual event last year saw over 500 applicants of which 40 were chosen to pitch at the conference. Executive producer Harry Hare explains why DEMO Africa has decided to extend the application deadline. "From experiences, there is always a last minute rush by start-ups to comply. By extending the deadline, we want to give more time for innovators to ensure that their efforts do not...

  • AfroCab launches mobile taxi-hailing platform in Nigeria

    This is somewhat surprising, there's another taxi app making a play on the African continent, this time specifically in Nigeria, and the app's name is AfroCab. Not dissimilar to Tranzit or EasyTaxi, AfroCab offers commuters a way to call for a cab with the push of a button on their mobile phones. Interestingly, users can set their own price prior to calling for the cab, to which the app suggests a fare that most closely matches the request. There are no payments made through the app, but rather AfroCab works on a cash-basis, so commuters simply pay the driver at the...

  • SA Cleantech Innovation Programme is calling all green startups

    The South African Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP) for SMEs has officially launched in South Africa. In collaboration with GEF, UNIDO and TIA, the programme is currently calling for applications for the Cleantech Competition and Accelerator Programme. The aim of this initiative is to tackle the planet’s most imminent environmental challenges and enable small businesses to play a pivotal role in finding local innovative solutions. Entrepreneurs sprouting from fields such as efficiency, renewable energy, waste-to-energy, and water efficiency will all be identified. Through the programme, these entrepreneurs will be geared towards commercialisation. The best cleantech startups will be trained, assessed...

  • SA entrepreneur launches world’s first bitcoin-only betting site: BetVIP

    The Fifa World Cup in Brazil is kicking off in just a couple of days, and launching just in time is a new venture from South African entrepreneur Daniel Schwartzkopff: BetVIP -- the world's first licensed bitcoin-only betting site. BetVIP's aim is not just a timely launch, but a desire to add legitimacy to the young crypto-currency. Supporting more sports than just football, the site accepts wagers, and pays out winners, exclusively in bitcoin -- only accepting bets made in regulated markets. Schwartzkopff stresses that BetVIP is not a PR stunt during the Fifa World Cup but rather a long-term bitcoin...