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11 - 12 - 2018

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Zambian agritech startup AgriPredict has won the startup pitch competition (and $10K in prize money) at the #Africa2018 Business Forum in Egypt, per this tweet from Zambian incubator BongoHive (AgriPredict is a BongoHive portfolio company). The startup uses AI and machine learning to reduce agricultural risk for smallholder farmers.

Egyptian VC firm Sawari Ventures has announced a $35 million "first closing" of a planned $70 million fund called Sawari Ventures North Africa Fund I (SVNFI). The fund will invest in technology and knowledge-driven companies in Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. Investors in the fund include: European Investment Bank (EIB), the UK’s CDC, the French Development Agency’s private sector financing arm Proparco and the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF)

Netflix has announced that its first original African series, titled Queen Sono, will debut next year. It will center on a complex, diverse female character, in line with similar Netflix shows like Jessica James and Luke Cage with one-man epicenters. The lead character will be played by South African actor Pearl Thusi who has also starred in popular action drama Quantico alongside Priyanka Chopra.

Raising money is tough. But it could be easier if founders knew what more about the process and what to do before engaging with investors. Ask A VC (by TechCabal) is a video series where startup founders and entrepreneurs get the opportunity to ask select VCs questions that will prepare them for their next pitch. How much money should you ask for? How much is your startup worth right now? Will they sign your NDA? The first season features Nnena Nkongho, Principal at  DiGAME, an investment company that invests in high-growth, technology-enabled businesses in Africa. Its portfolio companies include 10X Investments, Rhino Africa, GetSmarter and SWVL. Cape-Town based GetSmarter, was acquired by 2U for $103 million in 2017. What questions would you like us to ask Nnena? Fill this form to let us know!
M-Pesa users were unable to use the service certain periods over the weekend, per Techweez. Though the mobile money service is back up, Safaricom attributed the issue "to a database degradation leading to loss of service." Back in November, the service also suffered an outage after parent company Safaricom experienced an outage on its servers.

Uber has launched a 24-hour helpline for drivers and rider in Kenya and South Africa. The ride-hailing company has launched a similar initiatives in Ghana earlier this month.

TechCrunch is headed to Lagos to host its second Startup Battlefield Africa competition today! Sub-Saharan Africa’s best innovators, makers and technical entrepreneurs are invited to attend this year's TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa. Don't miss it.

Clickbait: What do you think a patois translation of the bible sounds like?

From TechCabal + How Is Technology Helping Cross-Border Logistics In Africa? + How Off-Grid Energy Startups Are Using Mobile Money To Increase Access To Electricity In Africa

That's All.

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