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27 - 06 - 2019

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Nigerian startup Farmcrowdy is currently facing some controversy following allegations that its business model is unsustainable. Farmcrowdy is a crowdfunding platform that allows anyone invest in Nigeria's agricultural sector and earn some profits. But according to some Twitter users, Farmcrowdy's business is unsustainable. They alleged that the startup suffers too many losses investing in farmers that it now relies on grants, to pay investors their returns. This issue has generated a controversy online, with some important tech industry leaders expressing their surpirse over the allegation. Meanwhile, in response, Farmcrowdy’s CEO, Onyeka Akumah posted a series of tweets explaining what the company does and how it has grown over the years. But it is not yet clear if his response has quelled the controversy.

In South Africa, ATM card frauds grew by 18% in 2018, an industry statistic has shown. According to South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric), credit card fraud in the country rose by 18.4%; while debit card fraud rose 17.5%. Sabric says it is concerned about the issue and is urging users to take every precaution to remain safe.

Still on fraud, Kenyan telecom company, Safaricom has launched a new anti-fraud API for use by financial services providers. The company which operates the mPesa mobile money service says the API will help provide more information to financial agents anytime a transaction is flagged as suspicious. Precedent for this move was set in January 2019, when financial services providers were blamed for not flagging suspicious terrorist financing.

On the 11th of July, Techcabal is convening African governments, regulators, investors, development agencies, multinationals and entrepreneurs at TC Townhall: Renewable Energy to discuss "The Future of Africa’s Energy". We will be attempting to answer the question “How do we quickly build a modern energy infrastructure, that is affordable and provides last-mile access, using abundant renewable energy resources, in a friendly policy environment?” Register here to attend.

Zambian renewable n energy provider, Widenergy has received secured new investment from GreenTec Capital Partners. Created to support women, Widenergy works with over 80 female sales agents to provide affordable renewable energy to homes in Zambia. It aims to electrify over 1,250 homes in the country end of July 2019.
Despite recent unrests in Ethiopia, Lions@Africa and Gebeya have announced the first edition of Pitch Ethiopia, a startup competition. The event is slated to hold on July 6, 2019. Pitch Ethiopia will feature pitch contests, startup exhibitions, among others things. Winners of the competition will receive a cash prize, as well as a free trip to Silicon Valley sponsored by Lions@Africa.

Earlier this week, Nigerian solar energy startup, Arnergy announced in a press conference that it had closed a $9 million Series A round. The round was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures with participation from All On Energy, ElectriFI and Norfund. What's interesting about Arnergy's story is that the company is built by local founders who have achieved this milestone, attracting an impressive cohort of global investors, in an industry that is dominated by international companies with foreign founders that typically raise millions of dollars. Read all about it here.

Vidr, a South African on-demand video production platform, has raised new funding from two angel investors. Vidr founder Sean Wilson-Smith recently announced the new investments from Mike Joubert and Roy Ingle, a former managing director of international clothing line, Levis. The financial arrangements of this transaction was not disclosed.

Can social media help anti-corruptiondrives? A Nigerian case study

Two Kenyan teams, Solar Freeze and Illuminum Greenhouses, have emerged as first and second runners up respectively at the 2019 Cisco Problem Solver Challenge. Both teams developed their innovations at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. For finishing first runnerup, Solar Freeze won $75,000, while Illuminum received $25,000 for its innovation.

South African fintech, Lulaland has closed $6.5 million Series A funding in a round co-led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Quona Capital. Investors such as Accion and Newid Capital also participated in the round. Lulaland, which provides quick loans online, says the new funding will be used to scale the platform.

How giving young people basic financial skills helps them find jobs

Applications are open for the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize for innovations in the food industry. GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize will award $50,000 cash prize to the winner and the award is divided into male and female categories. Winners are selected based on the innovation, originality, scalability and environmental sustainability of their business ventures. Click here to apply. The deadline is July 21.

From TechCabal  +  Max Wants to Introduce Electric Bikes After Raising $7 million Funding +  How Truckr Won Pitch2Win’s One Million Naira Equity Free Funding

That's it for now.

We'll see you tomorrow   - Abubakar
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