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Africa

Africa-focused investment firm, Persistent Energy, has raised $10 million in its Series C funding to help support the renewable energy sector in Africa. The funding round, led by Kyuden International Corporation and FSD Africa Investments, also saw private investors Kotaro Tamura, BK Ventures BV, and DPI Energy Ventures participate.  Persistent Energy, founded over a decade ago, is a pioneer investor in Africa’s renewable sector. The investment firm works to support and build businesses that can “scale sustainably.” They provide financial capital for startups and allow their team members to work

Black-owned investment firm Fearless Fund partnered with Louisiana-based foundation ProSeed to renovate and rebuild schools in Ivory Coast, West Africa. The partnership aims to transform the educational system in West Africa, giving students the tools needed to succeed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Fearless Fund, co-founded in 2018 by serial entrepreneur and angel investor Arian Simone, and American actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, works to invest in women of color-led businesses seeking pre-seed and seed level investment funding. The VC firm, built by women of color for women of

Black-owned money movement, Zazuu, has raised $2 million in investment funding in a new venture round. The startup, which works to build a more robust remittance for residents in the diaspora, has quickly evolved to become the world’s first cross-border payment marketplace. Zazuu, co-founded in 2018 by Kay Akinwunmi, Korede Fanilola, Tola Alade, and Tosin Ekolie, is on a mission to ease the difficulty of sending money back home, which is currently expensive, slow, and unfair to millions of migrant customers. The platform has helped empower customers by building an

From financial impropriety and conflict of interest to operating without a license, Nigerian fintech company Flutterwave is no stranger to allegations. Most recently, the Kenyan High Court officially granted the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) permission to freeze over $50 million in 52 accounts belonging to the fintech giant following allegations of money laundering in Kenya.  According to local media reports, the ARA believes that the platform “concealed” the nature of its business by providing a payment service payment without approval from the Central Bank of Kenya. The assets recovery agency claims the accounts

Senegal-based fintech startup, Wave, raises a syndicated loan of $91.5 million from International Finance Corporation (IFC), Blue Orchard, Symbiotics, responsAbility, and Lendable. Wave Mobile Money, founded by Drew Durbin and Lincoln Quirk in 2018, has quickly grown to become the largest mobile money remittance in Senegal. In 2021, the company closed the most extensive Series A round for an African fintech at $200 million. The digital fintech platform uses technology to build a radically inclusive and affordable financial network. As a result, Wave has built a life-changing economic infrastructure for

Social media giant Facebook is on a mission to create some of the most innovative forms of technology in society today. The platform recently announced the launch of its new AI translator, No Language Left Behind (NLLB-200), the first multilingual machine that can translate up to 200 languages without relying on English data.  The NLLB-200 aims to help people better connect in society today by eliminating the language barrier. Meta’s AI model uses one of the world’s fastest AI supercomputers and is already used to translate content on Facebook and Wikipedia.

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

Uber’s rival, Bolt, has opened its first African headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The new office will serve as a regional hub for the top managers and staff running operations across the continent. Bolt, which Markus Villig founded in 2013, has more than 100 million customers in over 45 countries. The company operates in seven countries across Africa, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and Tunisia. The famous ride-hailing company decided to open its first regional hub in Africa due to rapidly growing demand. The head office will be

African-based distribution platform, Afrikamart, has raised $850,000 in seed funding. The funding round, led by Bloc Smart Africa and managed by Bamboo Capital Partners, saw a range of investors participate, including Bamboo Capital Partners, Orange Ventures, Launch Africa, and Teranga Capital.   Afrikamart, co-founded by Albert Diouf and Mignane Diouf in 2018, is a digital distribution platform that works to provide services to farmers. The brothers launched the tech platform to address farmers’ problems with poor market access and late payment from intermediaries using technology to collect products from thousands of

Black-led communication startup, Simpu, has launched its first-ever omnichannel inbox, allowing businesses to interact with customers through various social channels. The omnichannel inbox will not only enable companies to communicate with their consumers in a range of mediums, but it also allows them to diverge away from the traditional customer support channels, which primarily focus on phone, email, or chat support.  Collins Iheagwara co-founded Simpu with Kolawole Balogun and Tioluwani Kolawole in 2020, which was designed to help business owners unify all their communication channels through an automated workflow. The

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