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Africa

Two-year-old startup uLesson has just announced that it closed a $15 million Series B round. The startup first launched by providing a product pack of SD cards and dongles with pre-recorded videos for K-12 students. They can either access lessons via streaming or use the SD cards to download and store the content. But uLesson has introduced new features for an all-encompassing edtech play for this demographic. It added quizzes and a homework help feature to connect students with tutors from universities. It also launched a one-to-many live class feature with polls and leaderboards

Bento, a digital payroll and human resource management platform, is expanding to Ghana, Kenya, and Rwanda with plans to set up operations in six other markets in Africa over the next year. The startup, founded in 2019, is helping businesses automate the disbursement of salaries and other statutory remittances, including taxes and pensions. Bento said that its platform is leveraging data to extend credit solutions to third parties (employees) and other services like unemployment insurance, savings, and investments. Its proprietary credit engine, built in partnership with Israel’s Tarya, ensures the

TradeDepot, a Nigeria- and U.S.-based company that connects consumer goods brands to thousands of retailers and helps with distribution, has raised $110 million in new equity and debt funding. TradeDepot operates a B2B marketplace that connects small shops, kiosks, and retailers with wholesalers of global consumer brands that have access to food, beverages, and personal care products. The company owns its warehouses and fleets of drivers to carry out the distribution. It now plans to bring in more retail stores and expand its buy, pay later service across the continent.

Equinix has announced its plans to acquire MainOne, a West African data center and connectivity solutions provider in Nigeria, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast, for $320 million. Armed with over $200 million in equity and debt investment, MainOne was built as West Africa’s first privately owned, open access undersea high capacity cable submarine. It’s a 7,000-kilometer cable stretching from Portugal to West Africa with landings along Accra in Ghana, Dakar in Senegal, Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, and Lagos in Nigeria. Funke Opeke launched MainOne in 2010 after noticing the poor internet

MarketForce, a Kenyan B2B retail and financial services distribution startup has expanded into five additional markets across Africa to grow RejaReja — its retailer ‘super app’ that allows informal merchants to order and pay for inventory digitally. The startup has partnered with Cellulant, a pan-African payments company that makes it possible for local and international merchants to accept “locally appropriate and alternative” payment methods from their customers to expand into these new markets. Cellulant has partnerships with 46 mobile-money operators in Africa, 120 banks and serves 35 African countries with a physical

A Kenya-based community-led marketplace building the digital infrastructure for startup ecosystems in emerging markets has raised $2.85 million seed. Pariti, founded by co-founder and CEO Yacob Berhane and Wossen Ayele, had its round led by U.S.-based Harlem Capital. It’s the first deal in Africa of the VC’s diversity-focused fund that secured $134 million for its second fund earlier this year.  The other investors involved were Better Ventures, Accelerated Ventures, Diverse Angels, AVG Basecamp, and New General Market Partners. According to Berhane, who launched the company in 2019 with Ayele, the company has grown 795% this

Gozem, a super app that provides a host of services — including transport, e-commerce, and financial services in Francophone Africa — has raised $5 million in Series A financing. The firm is present across 13 cities, having moved to Gabon and Cameroon with over 800,000 registered users and more than 5 million trips completed. The company, which is based in Togo and Singapore, raised funds from AAIC, Thunes (TransferTo), Momentum Ventures (SMRT), Innoport Ventures (Schulte Group), CMC Ventures (National Express), and Liil Ventures (Mobility ADO). Costamagna, in a statement, said

Sabi, a spinoff from the African energy company Rensource, has raised a $6 million bridge round led by pan-African VC firm CRE Venture Capital. A bridge round of financing is exactly what it sounds like – a small round of funding to tide a startup over until its next larger round of fundraising. The money has come a year after it closed a $2 million seed round from CRE Venture Capital, Janngo Capital, Atlantica Ventures, and Waarde Capital. Ademola Adesina, the founder and CEO of Rensource and Anu Adasolum its COO launched the company back

The Kenyan startup has secured $2 million in pre-seed funding and is headed for its next phase of growth, which will involve extending loans to traders offering more relief to those that are often left out and regarded as high risk by the traditional banking sector. Fredrik Jung Abbou; a two-time unicorn founder and Norrsken Impact Accelerator were among the investors that funded the firm while the debt round had the participation of French Public Investment Bank (Bpifrance) and GreenTec Capital Partners. The funds include $1 million equity and $1

The recent events where Davido asked his loyal fans, friends, and colleagues for money – raising a whopping 200M Naira, which will be distributed to organizations helping vulnerable Nigerians, has shown the power of technology and how it can be used for good. On November 17 – the musician took to Instagram and Twitter and asked fans and friends who believe “I’ve given you a hit song” to send money to a bank account he detailed under his name. He asked them to send one million nairas each, and they

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