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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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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Y Combinator-backed Trella brings transparency to Egypt’s trucking and shipping industry

Y Combinator has become one of the key ways that startups from emerging markets get the attention of American investors. And arguably no clutch of companies has benefitted more from Y Combinator’s attention than startups from emerging markets tackling the the logistics market. On the heels of the success the accelerator had seen with Flexport, […]

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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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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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Africa’s ride-hail markets are hot spots for startups and VC

When it comes to VC, vehicles, and startups, Africa’s ride-hail markets are becoming a multi-wheeled and global affair. The big players such as Uber and Bolt are competing in Kampala and Nairobi—where in addition to car-service—they offer rickshaw taxis. On-demand motorcycle startups are multiplying and piloting EVs with funds from international partners. And many ride-hail companies in Africa […]

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Remitly raises $220M to expand from money transfers to financial services, now at $1B valuation

When it comes to financial services in emerging markets, remittances — people sending money to each other across international borders, often not to established bank accounts — continues to be one of the biggest, with the World Bank estimating that $529 billion was sent in and out of lower-income countries in 2018, up 9% over […]

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