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Africa

Kuda, a digital bank based in Nigeria and the U.K., has confirmed via email to media that it has laid off less than 5% of its 450-strong workforce, equivalent to about 23 people. There have been other startups, especially those that have raised vast sums of venture capital within the last year or two, that have laid off hundreds of staff; for instance, Swvl laid off 400 people; Wave, approximately 300; 54gene, 95; and Vezeeta, 50. The layoffs come a year after Kuda, which provides zero to minimal fees on cards, account maintenance and transfers,

Nigeria-based fintech startup, Anchor has received over $1M in investment to help expand its workforce and services.  The startup fund program is backed by fund program, Y Combinator, and other venture capital firms, including Byld Ventures, Luno Expeditions, Niche Capital, Mountain Peak Capital, and angel investors such as the founder of SeamlessHR, Emmanuel Okeleji.  Co-founded in 2021 by Segun Adeyemi, Olamide Sobowale, and Gbekeloluwa Olufotebi, the banking-as-a-service platform, allows consumers to embed accounts, cards, payments, lending, and other financial features to their products within minutes.  “We’re now seeing a new development where businesses want to

According to Insider Intelligence, there are currently over 2 million podcasts and 424.2 million podcast listeners worldwide in 2022, a 10.6% increase from the previous year. As of 2020, the global podcasting market size was valued at $11.46 billion. It grew to $13.785 billion in 2021 and is expected to be a massive $153.07 billion in 2030, according to Acumen Research and Consulting. This growth has been spurred by a number of factors – from the proliferation of new celebrity shows, investments from companies like Spotify, and the increased affordability and availability of tech such as smartphones

Nigerian B2B e-commerce platform Omnibiz has secured $15 million in pre-series A funding.  The funding round, led by Timon Capital, included Ventures Platform, Lofty Inc, Chapel Hill Denham, Chandaria, and Musha Ventures.  Omnibiz, founded by Deepankar Rustagi, is a distribution platform that works to create a more revolutionized approach to distribution.  The platform aims to completely change how the retail ecosystem in developing markets operates by eliminating the disorganization of traditional trading and digitizing the retail chain.  “We believe the smart informal retailer – not shopping malls – is the

African-based agri-tech startup iProcure has closed a $10.2 million Series B funding round to further expand its services to Uganda and Tanzania.  The funding round led by Investisseurs and Partenaires included participation from Novastar Ventures, British International Investment (BII), and Ceniarth.  iProcure, founded in 2013 by Stefano Carcoforo and Nicole Galletta, has grown to become one of rural Africa’s most significant agricultural supply chain platforms.  Not only has the platform revolutionized agriculture supply chains in Africa, but it has also helped connect manufacturers and distributors with local retailers. Additionally, iProcure

Black-owned renewable energy platform, Koolboks, announced the close of its $2.5 million seed funding round.  The funding round, led by Nigeria-based growth equity fund Aruwa Capital Management, also included participation from Acumen, Blue Earth Capital, All On, GSMA, and other investors.  Koolboks, founded in 2018 by Ayoola Dominic and Deborah Gael, has provided a solution to Africa’s inconsistent and erratic power supply. The company has designed generated refrigerators without power to offer accessible cold storage solutions to businesses and citizens across Africa.  The company also offers 24-hour refrigeration sourced from

Last Friday at the State House in Nairobi, Kenya’s outgoing president, Uhuru Kenyatta, announced the addition of coding as a subject into its primary and secondary schools curricula. With this new breakthrough, Kenya reportedly becomes the first African government to recognize coding as a topic of study in the two early schools. “I congratulate the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development for guiding our country to this historic milestone by including coding as a crucial ability inside our new Competency Based Curriculum,” Kenyatta announced. Kodris Africa, an online publishing company specializing

Black-owned digital bookkeeping platform, Pastel, has raised $5.5 million in a seed funding round. The round led by pan-African venture capital firm TLcom Capital also included other VC firms such as Global Founders Capital, Golden Palm Investments, DFS Labs, Ulu Ventures and Plug and Play, and Soma Cup.  Pastel, co-founded in 2020 by Abuzar Royesh, Olamide Oladeji, and Izunna Okonkwo, is a platform designed to help build digital tools to provide a solution to issues small businesses across Africa face. The platform’s primary goal is to unlock the potential of

Black-owned African integrator system, Bluechip Technologies, has announced its expansion to Europe amid growing demand.  Bluechip Technologies, co-founded in 2008 by Kazeem Tewogbade and Olumide Soyombe, is a software company that works to provide business solutions and strategies to companies. The Nigeria-based organization focuses exclusively on assisting companies in planning, designing, implanting, and operating business application solutions.  The organization gathers data from multiple sources and translates it into information that can help organizations understand trends. This process also allows them to assist businesses with understanding data to make better decisions

Lagos-based utility company, Beacon Power Services, has closed a seed round of $2.7 million. The funding round led by Seedstars African also saw venture capital firms Keeple Africa Ventures, Factor[e], and Ordiun Capital Management participate in the funding round.  Beacon Power Services, founded in 2013 by Bimbola Adisa, is a leading provider of data and grid management solutions for Africa’s power sector. The platform, established to address Nigeria’s inadequate electricity supply, aims to enhance energy access for Africa’s cities significantly. Beacon Power’s primary goal is to improve the quality and duration of electricity

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