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Africa’s tech ecosystem has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, with 2021 seeing a record number of investments. The year 2021 was a great one for startups globally and Africa in particular. The continent saw total venture funding exceed two and a half times what it was in 2020. This figure amounted to an impressive $4.77 billion. As far as distribution is concerned, 30 African nations raised at least $100,000 in funding across the year. The ‘Big Four’ countries, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, and Kenya, received 81% of the investments. Five of the eight

Award-winning African spirits group, Spearhead, has raised $3 million in investment from venture capital firm Pendulum to help deliver their products to the world’s bars.  Spearhead, co-founded by UK-based entrepreneurs Chris Federick and Damola Timeyin in 2021, is a multi-award-winning business with an extensive portfolio working with premium brands. The company launched to challenge the cultural basis and the lack of African representation in the spirits industry. Their award-winning Premium African Spirits, Vusa Vodka and Bayab Gin, are made solely from African products and capture Africa’s premium craft and creativity.

Some of you might have heard about Antler, an early-stage VC firm that invests in some of the most “exceptional” (their words, not mine) founders worldwide. Well, the firm founded by Mark Zuckerburg’s classmate Magnus Grimeland, has a 3-month accelerator program each year. Did Mark and Magnus work together? Not exactly. Magnus might have worked for Mark at TheFacebook, as it was then known, if he weren’t also juggling classes and athletics and caring for his infant son, according to Forbes. Antler, launched in 2017 in Singapore, is striving to combine

Flutterwave, a Nigerian tech giant under immense heat due to several allegations by former staff, will cease its offering of virtual dollar card services. It comes a week after a Kenyan court froze more than $40 million in accounts belonging to fintech firm Flutterwave under the country’s anti-money laundering laws. And while the latest announcement may be unrelated to the freezing of assets – the startup is struggling to stay out of the headlines as of late. Other fintech startups, including crypto exchange Busha, Rwanda-headquartered Payday, and Ugandan Eversend also

Does Y Combinator invest in Black-owned companies? A question asked back in 2011 by online user prime0196. A time when diversity in tech was awful. It was also the year CNN published a long piece on how Silicon Valley was fighting to keep its diversity data secret. CNNMoney had filed a Freedom of Information request in August seeking EEO-1 data from 20 companies: The tech industry’s 10 biggest firms by annual sales and 10 smaller but influential firms, including Facebook and Twitter. The EEOC denied the request in full, saying

Ebay UK is launching a new hub on its website called Black in Bloom to connect consumers to Black-owned SMEs. The new initiative comes sometime after a report by the major marketplace revealed that one in five Gen Z consumers want to purchase from a business that supports people from underrepresented groups. It also follows a series of collaborations between Ebay and Black Girl Fest (BGF), a festival and platform designed for Black women, girls, and non-binary people. Back in April, the two launched an academy to nurture entrepreneurs with

On July 12, New York City Hall launched the first-ever Digital Games Industry Council to discuss supporting talent in that space. Participants included Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer and several members of the mayor’s office.  The council came together to discuss how to expand the city’s digital games industry. The digital committee, designed to build a robust talent pipeline for talent in the digital games industry, aims to attract game development studios across five boroughs and help businesses operate and thrive in New York City.  The meeting occurred following the announcement

Universal Pictures’ “NOPE,” directed and written by Jordan Peele, is one of this year’s most anticipated movies, and it has expanded into virtual reality. The multi-verse VR experience, which has premiered ahead of the film’s release this July, allows viewers to take an adventure in a virtual reality video game based on the horror film.  Starring Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer, the movie follows the story of two siblings residing in an isolated town that just witnessed a mysterious and abnormal event. In the most recent trailer, they discover that

Connection. That’s all we need to thrive as a community, and Plain Sight’s recent partnership with the City of Miami is a prime example of that.  Black-owned networking startup Plain Sight recently announced the launch of their inaugural Black Founders Demo Day. The networking event will take place on December 1 as a featured event at this year’s Art Basel. The annual event will allow attendees to connect with prominent angel investors and venture capital groups worldwide to showcase, inspire, and invest in Black and Brown wealth. This year’s event

Kenyan and Canadian-based solar energy platform, Solar Panda, has raised $8 million in Series A funding. The funding round was led by investors Oikocredit and Electrification Financing Initiative. The pay-as-you-go solar home system was founded by Andy Keith in 2016, to help provide clean, affordable solar energy to rural communities in Africa. The platform has already provided more than 200,000 solar home systems to households across Kenya from its 37 retail branches. “We are excited to partner with leading global impact investors Oikocredit and EDFI ElectriFI and thankful that this

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