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Africa

Black-owned health startup Ubenwa uses artificial intelligence to detect early diseases in babies and their cries.  The startup’s learning system analyzes the amplitude of a baby’s cry and uses cutting-edge AI to diagnose infants up to six months old. By analyzing the frequency patterns of a baby’s cry, the AI-powered software picks up on brain and lung conditions in young infants.  Communicating with babies Ubenwa was co-founded in 2017 by Charles Onu, Samantha Latremouille, and Innocent Udeogu. The startup combines AI techniques with medical expertise to detect breathing conditions and

Byld Ventures, a $15 million fund launched this May, has eyes for startups mainly across Egypt and Nigeria due to the partners’ experiences in those markets. Byld Ventures reached its first close almost in June and a second close at $10 million last month. It expects to achieve its final close by year’s end, according to TechCrunch. Over a dozen athletes have backed the fund as well as the Dubai government and several unnamed institutional LPs. The early-stage fund — which has made four investments: Ceviant, Apata, Thepeer and Anchor — consists of four

Lagos-based fintech, Duplo, has raised $4.3 million in seed funding. The seed funding round, led by Liquid2 Ventures, Soma Capital, Tribe Capital, Commerce Ventures, Basecamp Fund, and Y Combinator, will help Duplo launch new products and expand its business into new sectors in Nigeria.  The fintech platform, founded by Yele Oyekola and Tunde Akinnuwa in September 2021, has become one of Nigeria’s top fintech platforms, helping African organizations seamlessly collect payments from their clients and partners.   In February, the startup managed to raise $1.3 million in a pre-seed funding round led by pan-African VC firm

As Africa’s tech ecosystem grows, the demand for talent is soaring. For young Africans, digital skills have become ever-more important and attractive. In 2021, according to the Africa Developer Ecosystem Report (pdf), Africa’s developer community grew by 3.8%, bringing the total number of developers on the continent to 716,000. The average local developer in Africa is seven years younger than their global counterpart and has up to three years of experience. The pandemic drove increased adoption of remote work around the world, leading to international companies recruiting African developers at

Y Combinator’s summer (S22) batch is notably different to its previous ones. Firstly, this batch kicked off with an in-person event – the first since the winter 2020 batch. Secondly, the summer cohort includes 240 companies, significantly fewer than the 414 companies in the winter 2022 cohort. And third, only eight startups in Africa got into the accelerator this summer compared to 24 from the previous batch, representing a 60% reduction. While the region represented about 6% of the entire winter batch, it’s 3% for this batch. When YC went

Google has announced that 60 new startups would join their Black Founders Fund, specifically designed to help support Black founders in Africa.  Since launching the program in 2021, Google has invested in 50 startups from nine African countries, creating over 500 jobs and raising over $87 million to help support underrepresented founders.  The Black Founders Fund has invested $20 million in funding to help founders across the US, Europe, Africa, and Brazil. The latest cohort will receive up to $100,000 in capital, including access to the best of Google, people, products,

Founded in 2017 by Hilda Moraa, Pezesha is a Kenyan digital lending infrastructure that allows both traditional and non-traditional financial institutions to offer working capital to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Now, the startup has secured an $11 million pre-Series A equity-debt round led by Women’s World Banking Capital Partners II with participation from Verdant Frontiers Fintech Fund, cFund and Cardano blockchain builder Input Output Global (IOG). The round also included a $5 million debt from Talanton and Verdant Capital Specialist Funds. Access to finance remains a key growth constraint

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

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