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Africa

SunCulture, a Kenya-based company focused on climate technology, recently raised $12 million to expand its solar-powered irrigation systems across sub-Saharan Africa.  The funding is part of a larger $27.5 million Series B round. Revolutionizing Agriculture with Solar Power In many countries around the world, climate change and erratic weather have made it increasingly dificult for farmers to maintain consistent crop yields. SunCulture’s solar-powered irrigation systems aim to help farmers efficiently use water and boost their crop yields, even with unpredictable rainfall. These systems are sustainable and cost-effective alternatives to traditional,

Canadian pre-seed venture fund Panache Ventures has teamed up with Africa-focused fintech firm Kora to address funding challenges that African tech entrepreneurs face. Payments infrastructure for Africa Established in 2017, Kora is a payment gateway facilitating local and international transactions across several African markets, including Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya.  Kora opened a UK office in 2022 through a collaboration with the West Midlands Growth Company, an initiative designed to drive regional investment and stimulate economic growth in the UK. The platform is particularly known for its multi-currency transactions and recently

Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures (VKAV) has announced the closure of its first fund at $60 million.  A Pan-African Vision with Global Backing VKAV is a collaborative effort between West African private equity firm Verod Capital Management and Tokyo-based venture capital firm Kepple Africa Ventures. Notably, the fund includes backing from Japanese powerhouses such as SBI Holdings, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank. Nigeria’s SCM Capital and other institutional investors from Japan, including Taiyo Holdings also contributed. VKAV’s investment strategy focuses on digital infrastructure builders, efficiency solvers, and market creators.

In the first quarter (Q1) of 2024, Africa’s startup scene saw another year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter dip in investments – with a notable exception in the mobility and fintech sectors. A drop in funding According to Africa: The Big Deal, Q1 saw $466 million raised through $100k+ deals by 121 startups (excluding exits). This is a 27% decrease from the previous quarter and only half of the amount raised at the same time last year. Techpoint Africa’s analysis of data from Intelpoint notes a 62% drop in African tech startup funding compared

Nigerian startup Thepeer, which gained prominence for its API-based payment solutions, has announced its closure just three years after its inception.  Thepeer went from securing $2.1 million in seed funding led by Raba Partnership, with participation from Rali_cap Ventures, BYLD, and fintech giants like Chipper Cash and Stitch, to its unexpected shutdown recently announced. “We embarked on a mission to create something unprecedented, a unique method for transferring money between digital wallets and making payments for goods and services directly from these wallets,” the founders said in a statement. “Yet, we soon realized that exceptional

Visa and Mastercard are setting their sights on Africa’s fintech market. Africa’s booming fintech sector E-commerce is booming across the continent. The Wall Street Journal reports that by the end of this year, an estimated 435 million Africans are expected to shop online, a nearly twofold increase since the pandemic. However, people are less likely to make payments using cards than in other global markets, relying instead on mobile money, digital wallets, and bank transfers. Visa and Mastercard, determined to stay relevant, are pouring millions of dollars into the continent

Wasoko, one of Africa’s largest B2B grocery marketplaces, has experienced a 48% markdown in its valuation.  A B2B Grocery Marketplace Founded by Daniel Yu in 2014, Nairobi-based Wasoko has grown remarkably, expanding its operations across multiple African markets. By 2023, it boasted a significant customer base, secured agreements with major suppliers, and offered competitive pricing.  TechCrunch reports that VNV Global, a Swedish investment firm, has revised Wasoko’s value to about $260 million, a 48% reduction from previous estimates, according to its annual report for 2023. This revision coincides with Wasoko’s planned merger

Meta Platforms Incorporated recently announced that it will enable content creators in Nigeria and Kenya to monetize their content on Instagram and Facebook starting June 2024. Monetizing Instagram Content Spearheaded by Nick Clegg, President of Global Affairs at Meta, this initiative aligns with the growing recognition of Africa’s digital potential. Meta will introduce a feature on its Instagram app in June, allowing Nigerian creators to monetize their content and earn a living using it. Creators can run ads in-stream and engage with an international audience.  “Nigerian creators have global reach,” Nick Clegg, the company’s President of

Twitch streamer and YouTuber Kai Cenat has recently committed to building a school in Lagos, Nigeria. Cenat Visits Nigeria Cenat recently visited the Makoko Children Development Foundation School and Orphanage in Lagos, where he saw the dire conditions of the students and staff. Documented on his YouTube channel, the visit highlighted the school’s sinking building, limited space, and the struggle to provide a learning environment for its 385 students. The 23-year-old principal’s plea for help to rebuild and expand the school resonated deeply with Cenat.  “First of all, I want to say it’s

Amazon Web Services (AWS), a leading cloud computing platform, is expandng its reach in South Africa’s tech landscape through its Equity Equivalent Investment Program (EEIP).  The 18-24 month enablement and acceleration program supports South African Black-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who want to build their AWS business. The EEIP, launched in 2020, has already developed 27 SMEs and is looking to expand its reach to 20 more in its 2024 cohort.  AWS targets female and youth entrepreneurs, addressing the gender gap in tech startups. “These SMEs are critical drivers of our economic future,” said Chris

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