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Africa

African genomics startup 54gene has been at the forefront of bridging the divide in the global genomics market, where less than 3% of genetic material used in research is from the continent. This figure is quite shocking since Africans and people of African descent are more genetically diverse than any other population. But 54gene, which was first launched in 2018, is on a mission to radically change this picture, and the $25 million it secured in Series B funding will bolster its efforts. The milestone round came after founder Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong raised

The Nigerian agritech startup has just announced that it raised $4.2million through a seed round and a series of grants to scale its business across the country. Releaf, which has built a proprietary hardware and software solution to make farmers and food factories more efficient and profitable, was first launched in 2017 by Ikenna Nzewi and Uzoma Ayogu. The pair then went on to build Kraken, a proprietary patent-pending machine. But how does it actually work? Releaf buys nuts from farmers, then uses the Kraken to crack the nuts and crush the kernels into

Nigeria’s one-click checkout platform OurPass has raised $1Million during its pre-seed round to help it scale its business across the country.  The West Africa e-commerce market is still heavily reliant on cash on delivery, according to a recent survey conducted by Jumia. As of 2019, 70% of Nigerians said they prefer cash on delivery options to make online payments. But for those who do try to buy online – yearly, about 75% of shopping carts are abandoned because of how difficult the checkout experience can be with long forms and

Nigeria’s Prospa has just closed a $3.8 million pre-seed round that will allow the fintech startup to offer small businesses banking and software services. The West-African-based firm caters to freelancers and entrepreneurs acting as the “operating system” for their businesses by providing bank accounts, tax support, advice on creating a unique name, and more. The start-up, launched by trio Frederik Obasi, Chioma Ugo, and Rodney Jackson-Cole, has already had some success over the last few months – in March, it was one of the 10 African startups participating in Y Combinator’s (YC)

Nigerian automotive tech company Autochek has announced the acquisition of Cheki Uganda and Kenya from Ringier One Africa Media in what has been described as a “milestone” move. Cheki, which first launched a decade ago in Kenya, has grown into a well-known car dealer site – spearheading the industry with 700,000 users and over 12,000 vehicle lists monthly. The start-up eventually expanded its operations to Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania before ROAM was acquired in 2017. But now, according to a statement on ROAM’s website, the business where people can

Hubspot is hiring When Mohamed Gueye was six years old, growing up in Senegal, his interest in tech began when he saw a computer for the first time. His dad bought it, and he was fascinated by the images that were shown on its screen. Today, Mohamed works at HubSpot in Massachusetts as a technical lead. In this interview, he shares his path working his way up from a supermarket into tech, his experience at HubSpot, and the importance of not getting stuck into one way of thinking. Hi Mohamed,

Startup investing in Africa has come a long way, partly due to the work that angel investors do in helping startups take off. Angel investors are the individuals who provide early-stage financing for startups, helping them get off the ground, and hopefully attract bigger investments. Because they invest at the very early stages of a startup’s life, the chances of failure are really high, yet many startups may never get started without the money they invest. We spoke to Biola Alabi, an angel investor and the founder of Biola Alabi Media,

Following the first detection of the coronavirus in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, COVID-19 has reached pandemic proportions, affecting students and schooling at all levels.  In a March 2021 press release, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) claimed that the temporary closure of educational institutions affected over 168 million children worldwide who stayed home as countries worked to flatten the curve. Consequently, schools transited to online learning.  International human rights organization, Amnesty International, reported that students were cut off from schools when the COVID-19 pandemic hit South Africa, leaving hundreds and

In 2020, despite a global pandemic, a total of 89 companies gained unicorn status globally. According to CB Insights and as of January 2021, there are 537 unicorns worldwide with a total value of $1.6 billion. 2020 was a record year for investment into the African startup ecosystem. The African Tech Startups Funding Report 2020 highlights that 397 African startups have raised a fund equivalent to $701.5 million USD. Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa stand out as the main destinations of capital, with 89.2% of the total amount of funds

More new Black-owned companies were formed in 2020 than at any time in the last 25 years. However, we do know the significant challenges Black and Brown founders face trying to gain much-needed venture capital and investment for their businesses. Despite a bleak outlook, some minority entrepreneurs have found ways to attract investment during a chaotic pandemic year. In fact, Black founders are raising record amounts of venture capital funds in 2021. How are founders finding investment? Lockdowns theoretically made investors easier to reach. Many founders are now more accessible virtually through Zoom and

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