African incubator MEST has a new MD and 11 fresh startup investments

Pan-African incubator MEST announced investments in 11 startups from its 2019 cohort that will each receive $100,000 in financing. The $1.1 million backing for a graduating class is the largest to date for the Accra-based organization — which operates as a training program and seed fund for African innovators to build successful commercial tech companies. […]

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China’s Transsion and Kenya’s Wapi Capital partner on Africa fund

Chinese mobile-phone and device maker Transsion is teaming up with Kenya’s Wapi Capital to source and fund early-stage African fintech startups. Headquartered in Shenzhen, Transsion is a top-seller of smartphones in Africa that recently confirmed its imminent IPO. Wapi Capital is the venture fund of Kenyan fintech startup Wapi Pay—a Nairobi based company that facilitates digital […]

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Huawei employees reportedly aided African governments in spying

A new report from The Wall Street Journal could be another damning piece of evidence for a company already under a good deal of international scrutiny. The paper is reporting that technicians working for Huawei helped members of government in Uganda and Zambia spy on political opponents. The report cites unnamed senior surveillance officers. The […]

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Nigerian logistics startup Kobo360 raises $30M backed by Goldman Sachs

Nigerian freight logistics startup Kobo360 has raised a $20 million Series A round led by Goldman Sachs and $10 million in working capital financing from Nigerian commercial banks. The company — with an Uber -like app that connects truckers and companies to delivery services — will use the funds to upgrade its platform and expand […]

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Zindi rallies Africa’s data scientists to crowd-solve local problems

Zindi is convening Africa’s data scientists to create AI solutions for complex problems. Founded in 2018, the Cape Town-based startup allows companies, NGOs or government institutions to host online competitions around data-oriented challenges. Zindi’s platform also coordinates a group of more than 4,000 data scientists based in Africa who can enroll to join a competition, […]

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Africa’s top mobile phone seller Transsion to list in Chinese IPO

Chinese mobile-phone and device maker Transsion will list in an IPO on Shanghai’s STAR Market,  Transsion confirmed to TechCrunch.  The company—which has a robust Africa sales network—could raise up to 3 billion yuan (or $426 million). “The company’s listing-related work is running smoothly. The registration application and issuance process is still underway, with the specific […]

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SpaceX successfully launches twice re-flown Falcon 9 for AMOS-17 mission

SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 first-stage that had previously served two missions in July and November of 2018, today carrying its final payload, the AMOS-17 satellite for Spacecomm. SpaceX had configured the Falcon 9 in its ‘expendable mode’ for this mission, which means it made use of all available fuel on board to carry […]

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Africa Roundup: Canal+ acquires ROK, Flutterwave and Alipay partner, OPay raises $50M

in July, French television company Canal+ acquired the ROK film studio from VOD company IROKOtv. Canal+ would not disclose the acquisition price, but confirmed there was a cash component of the deal. Founded by Jason Njoku  in 2010 — and backed by $45 million  in VC — IROKOtv boasts the world’s largest online catalog of Nollywood: a Nigerian movie […]

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Startups BRCK and Swvl partner on free WiFi for Kenyan ride-hail buses

Nairobi based internet hardware and service startup BRCK and Egyptian ride-hail venture Swvl are partnering to bring WiFI and online entertainment to on-demand bus service in Kenya. BRCK will install its routers on Swvl vehicles in Kenya and run its Moja service, which offers free public WiFi—internet, music, and entertainment—subsidized by commercial partners. Founded in […]

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China’s Vivo is eyeing smartphone users in Africa and Middle East

Africa’s mobile phone industry has in recent times been dominated by Transsion, a Shenzhen-based company that is little known outside the African continent and is gearing up for an initial public offering in China. Now, its Chinese peer Vivo is following its shadow to this burgeoning part of the world with low-cost offerings. Vivo, the […]

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