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03 - 07 - 2019

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ORide, a new on-demand motorbike hailing service has launched in Lagos, Nigeria. Driven by technology, the ORide service is accessible via the OPay app - a super app with features that cater to a range of lifestyle demands including food order and delivery, utility bills payment, cash access and more. Customers who download the Opay app this July on Google Play store or iOS app store will pay only N200 for every trip they take that’s less than N2000. Get started today.

African genomics company, 54gene, has closed a US$4.5 million seed round with participation from Y Combinator, Fifty Years, Better Ventures, KdT Ventures, Hack VC and Techammer, among others. According to 54gene, the investment will be channeled into building the world’s first and largest pan-African biobankinstalling electronic data capture systems in leading tertiary hospitals in Nigeria and expanding its teams in the US and Nigeria. Founded just this year, 54gene concluded the Y Combinator accelerator programme in March alongside four startups from Nigeria. This is the highest amount in funding per company received so far in the healthtech subsector in the country. Others at the top of the funding ladder include (according to findings from our Healthtech Report): EMR startup, Helium Health with US$2.1 million, MDaas Global with US$1.4 million and Reliance HMO with US$1.1 million.

A change in leadership at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), Africa will see Ashwin Ravichandran replace Aaron Fu as its new Managing Director. Aaron spent two years with MEST Africa as Managing Director. From 2015, Ashwin who joined MEST as a Technology Teaching Fellow has since served as the Incubator Manager for MEST Accra and currently is Director of Portfolio Support and Country Director of Ghana overseeing the growth and development of highly successful MEST portfolio companies such as Complete Farmer, Asoriba, Leti Arts and Kudobuzz.

Ethiopian software development training platform Gebeya is expanding into Senegal. Launched in 2016, the company has since expanded to Kenya, Silicon Valley and the UK. It hopes to produce 5,000 software developers in its home country, Ethiopia by 2021 and possibly feed them all into organisations in need of tech talent across the continent.

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.

Apply for the Joint Startup Programme, a collaboration between Merck Accelerator and tech entrepreneurship initiative Make-IT in Africa, if your startup is working towards meeting the United Nations SDGs using cutting edge technologies. Applications close on July 17.

Naspers’ $2.3bn in Indian firms since 2011 dwarfs SA tech investments. Is South Africa's biggest tech investor sidelining its home base?

Fifty pitches later, South African lending startup for small businesses, Fundrr, has finally closed a seed round of an undisclosed amount from a Capetown-based angel investor for a 15% stake in the company. Since inception in November 2017, Fundrr has lent out over R7-million (US$497, 000) to 60 small businesses across a wide range of sectors, according to the company's figures. Loan sizes range from US$1,400 to US$35,000 for 3 to 12 months terms processed in 24 hours.

The Central Bank of Nigeria says it plans to reach a 100 million Bank Verification Number (BVN) registrations by 2024 in a renewed financial inclusion drive across the country. Currently, about 38 million numbers have been registered. The BVN scheme was introduced in 2014 to interlink and create more cohesive data in the country's financial sector as a means to tackle financial crime.

Are you operating in Africa, generating revenue and looking to raise your Series A round in the range of $250K and $5 million? Apply before July 31 for the ‘VC4A Venture Showcase – Series A’ for an opportunity to pitch in front of 300+ investors at the Africa Early Stage Investor Summit alongside other perks.

Applications for Season 2 of the FbStart Accelerator has been extended to July 7. Organised by run by Facebook and Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), the programme is open to Nigerian and Ghanaian startups and students using or interested in using advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), data science, virtual reality and augmented reality (AR and VR) to build innovative solutions to local and global problems.

Dutch mobile communications startup, Talk360, has partnered with mobile top-up platform Ding, in an expansion drive that will see Talk360’s presence reach over a million retail outlets worldwide The international call platform with offices in The Netherlands, South Africa and Nigeria, rolled out 300 retail shops in Paris in the first leg of its new partnership with Ding which has over 600,000+ retail outlets worldwide and allows users top-up phone lines from anywhere across the globe on and offline.

Applications are ongoing to join the YouthConnektZim’s Startup Tour Bus, a pitching mentorship competition with a US$5,000 grand prize. The competition will take participants through ten cities in Zimbabwe including Harare and Bulawayo.

Iredumare Opeyemi, Director of Legal and Business Affairs at Transnet Music Limited (Boomplay), joins MTN as ‘Head Legal and Partnership Manager (Snr.), Music Services.’ Opeyemi spent three years at Boomplay building partnerships and ensuring the platform operated ethically. He sheds some light on digital content distribution in Africa in this podcast.

From TechCabal +  Founders Factory Africa and Netcare to Fund 35 Healthcare Startups Across Africa +  Can Nigeria’s tech community contribute to solving the country’s energy crisis?

That's it,

See you tomorrow.   - Kay
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