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11 - 06 - 2019

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Naspers has finalised its sub-Sharan Africa exit. Naspers-owned OLX Group has now been fully relinquished to Walie Holdings Ltd, a Jiji-owned company which will now fully own and operate OLX in Africa as Jiji.ng in Nigeria, Jiji.ke in Kenya as well as the Ugandan and Ghanaian entities. OLX first announced the shut down of its Nigerian and Kenyan businesses in 2018. The Jiji acquisition was announced in April consolidating the e-commerce platform's user base to over 300 million people. In its drive to exit the sub-Saharan Africa market, Naspers has shut down its online job portal, Careers24 and sold its stakes in Konga to Zinox Technologies.

Motorbike hailing company, Gokada has hinted at plans to launch a water-transport service as it continues to help Lagosians ease transportation hassles caused by incessant gridlock traffic in the city. Gokada recently closed a US$5.3 million Series A funding round led by Rise Capital. The company has said it earmarked the funds to increase its fleet and service quality to both riders and drivers. On the other hand, with new entrants like Opera's Oride and East Africa's Safeboda into the market, competition is surely growing stiff.

Spanish edtech company, Learnlife, has raised €3.1 million (US$3.5 million) in a seed funding round led by BPO Capital in partnership with 19 entrepreneurial supporters spanning 11 countries. Asides growing its community, the fund will be channeled towards the launch of learning innovation hubs including one in Kigali, Rwanda by 2020. To be overseen by Habumugisha Jean (Barack), an MBA student at the University of Rwanda, Learnlife's innovation hub in Kigali will empower individuals, schools and governments via its learner-centered educational curricula.
Ten Nigerian startups have been selected to pitch for N1M in equity-free funding at the ‘Pitch2Win’ competition. The competition is a flagship event of TechCircle, in partnership with Japan’s Freakout holdings. The ten startups are: Asusu, Gricd Frij, LendSqr, Plumter, CashBuddy, Curacel, Prodigy, Truckrtech, Driversng, and Aidahbot. A team of seasoned entrepreneurs, judges and experts from Nigeria and Japan will convene on June 12  for the grand finale and final pitching rounds at the Impact Hub, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Code for AfricaAfrica Practice and iHub have launched Takwimu, a new African data platform backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The platform will provide data and analysis on socio-political development in Kenya and some other African countries including Zambia, Uganda and Ethiopia. Takwimu is trying to bridge the data gap needed to better accurately capture the progress of socio-political developments on the continent.

We've put together some great content for healthcare entrepreneurs detailing how to develop new products and services, and the major pillars of growth. Want more? Download our report, "The State of Health Tech in Nigeria", for a sector deep dive into challenges, opportunities and recommendations compiled especially for innovators, investors and regulators. Get it here.

While venture capital (VC) spend in South Africa has grown, fintech-specific ventures make up a very small part of deals concluded. A new report profiles fintech startup founders in South Africa. 

Environmental rights organisations have sued the South African government for failing to crack down on some of the world’s worst air pollution emitted by power plants operated by Eskom and refineries owned by Sasol, a chemical and energy company. The site in question houses 12 coal-fired Eskom power plants, a Sasol oil refinery and coal-to-fuel plant owned by the company. groundWork and Vukani Environmental Justice Movement in Action are asking the courts to force the government to take action as the pollution levels reach fatal heights. South Africa is still heavily reliant on power produced from fossil fuels.

EFInA (Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access) is holding a webinar on the 17th of June about the Nigerian Fintech Landscape based on its ground-breaking report about the sector. The webinar will involve a conversation about the different sub-sectors in the space, the types of technologies fintechs use and how they enable financial inclusion. It will also discuss trends, challenges and recommendations for stakeholders. Register here.

Video games as a medal event on the world's largest sports stage? Intel is reportedly in talks with the International Olympic Committee on the potential for e-sports among the Olympic Games. E-sports is increasingly becoming popular across the globe with a projected audience of more than 557 million people by 2021. But concerns about violence, organisation and adherence to rules of the Olympics have placed a tricky bet on whether e-sporting activities will be adopted into the Olympics.
Apply for the 2019 Spring Fellowship, a 4-month acceleration program in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire open to startups operating in the food, retail, agriculture and marketing/advertising sectors. Applications close on July 7.
From TechCabalFour First-Time Founders Share Their Startup StoriesUpholding Human Rights with Low-Tech Innovation

That's it for today.

We'll see you on Thursday.   - Kay
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