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Social media giant Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly known as Facebook, Inc., faces prosecution in South Africa for unfairly trying to block local startups from using its WhatsApp Business Application Programming Interface (API), a government agency said Monday. It comes after the country’s competition regulator, the Competition Commission, said in a statement that it has referred Meta Platforms and its subsidiaries WhatsApp Inc and Facebook South Africa to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution for abusing its market dominance. According to Anadolu Agency, the commission alleges that Facebook in July 2020 threatened to

Last week, Yep!, a “financial super app” with payments, remittance, and banking features, announced that it has raised $1.5 million in a pre-seed round led by pan-African VC Greenhouse Capital. The San Francisco- and Lagos-headquartered startup was started by Olaoluwa Awojoodu, who then teamed up with Airende Ojeomogha and Garry Ottosen to start Yep!. The startup plans to go live across the five markets where E-Settlement is present, serving digital financial services to consumers, small business owners, and merchants. They also have a mission to enhance financial inclusion by leveraging PayCentre Africa — the startup’s agent banking platform, to

TechLit Africa redistributes recycled technology to build computer labs in African schools. With 4,000 students and 20 teachers, the organization has built 10 computer labs in rural Kenya and is working on the next 100 computer labs. Nelly Cheboi, who grew up in a poor rural village in Kenya, landed a full scholarship to study computer science at Augustana College in Illinois and later built a school in Kenya, Zawadi, where she then started TechLit Africa. The program is unique because it teaches relevant classes; they hire local teachers to make

Curacel, the YC-backed startup developing insurance infrastructure for the African market, has launched a new interface that allows digital businesses like those in retail, fintech, e-commerce, and logistics to add insurance to their core products. Dubbed Curacel Grow – the new product is an embedded insurance product that empowers technology companies to seamlessly offer insurance as part of their existing products and services. The Nigerian insurtech startup is launching Grow to support insurance distribution to millions of Africans through partners like Barter by Flutterwave, Float, Payhippo, and other leading technology companies. Insurance

Google, working with historians from West Africa, has worked to digitize contemporary art, cultural and historic sites about Mali, and the digital library went live on Google Art & Culture (GAC) earlier this week, making these items available for exploration by the world. The library is available online and via Google and Apple stores apps. Launched in 2011 as a digital platform that collects the treasures, stories, and knowledge of over 2,000 cultural institutions from 80 countries, Google Arts & Culture has been documenting museums and heritage sites from across the world.

Bloom — not to be confused with the Robinhood-like app for teenagers in the US — is a fintech firm that offers a “high-yield” savings account, free FX, and adjacent digital banking services so customers can save in a stable currency, the dollar, and spend as they go in local currencies. The company, which was founded by Ahmed Ismail, Youcef Oudjidane, Khalid Keenan, and Abdigani Diriye in late 2021, today, announced that it is part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2022 startup batch after receiving early admittance last July. Bloom, which only launched last week from stealth, raised a pre-seed

DrugStoc, described as Nigeria’s leading health tech platform, is focused on improving access to quality and affordable pharmaceuticals for healthcare providers and professionals on the continent.  Africa’s pharmaceutical market is primarily known for its broken supply chain and chaotic distribution channels, which affect the delivery of quality medicines, affordability of pharmaceuticals, and efficient healthcare delivery for health workers. Each year, at least 150,000 Africans die from substandard and counterfeit medications and an even more significant number due to lack of access to affordable medicines.  Launched in 2017, DrugStoc currently has

Karl Olutokun Toriola, a telecommunications engineer who is currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, announced that in an effort to aid the citizens of Ukraine, MTN Nigeria has announced that they have made all the calls to and from Ukraine free. MTN Group Limited, formerly M-Cell, is a South African multinational mobile telecommunications company, operating in many African and Asian countries. Its head office is in Johannesburg. “We understand that some of our customers in Ukraine have experienced challenges to contact their loved ones. As a result, we

Microsoft announced plans today to support 10,000 startups in Africa over the next five years through a series of initiatives including partnerships with accelerators and incubators across the continent. The global tech company is also partnering with venture capital investors to facilitate access to $500 million in potential funding and has launched the Startups Founders Hub in Africa. Microsoft will enable digital transformation powered by Africans for Africa through the Africa Transformation Office. Microsoft said that it is already working with Banque Misr, Global Venture Capital, and Get Funded Capital. On top of that,

Sudo Africa, an API platform that enables you instantly issue physical and virtual cards with more control and flexibility at scale, has raised $3.7 million in pre-seed funding. What makes the startup different from others? While banks take weeks or months to give cards, Sudo Africa claims to just take days. In partnership with licensed card issuers, the company’s infrastructure allows itself and any developer or merchants that come on its platform to issue virtual and physical cards to their customers. And on the platform lets businesses control and program cards to

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