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25 - 07 - 2019

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German GreenTec Capital Partners has signed a Memorrandum of Understanding with the Senegalese General Delegation for the Acceleration of Entrepreneurship for Women and Young People (DER), to provide investments between €10,000 and €500,000 for entrepreneurs in their growth stages. Last year, the innovation fund invested in 44 Senegalese startups and is targeting more than 150 entrepreneurs in 2019. Created in 2017 and operational since March 2018, DER has been provided with a budget of $5 million per year, until 2023 to provide funding and create enabling environments for startups to scale.
Ernst & Young (EY) says it has finalised arrangements with Open Banking Nigeria to develop and advocate for a standard Application Programming Interface (API) for the country’s financial services industry. The introduction of a unified API across financial institutions creates a foundation upon which data can be effortlessly accessed and securely shared, real-time which in turn would result in the development of modern payment services, cost savings for operators and increased innovation while also guaranteeing information security and privacy.
Singapore's CredoLab is set to launch in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya after signing up three new banks on its platform. CredoLab employs artificial intelligence and mobile device data to develop customised digital scorecards to predict the creditworthiness of users. CredoLab has developed scorecards for over US$ 1 billion in loans issued by more than 50 lenders across 15 countries. CredoLab, with this planned expansion, hopes to improve lending services and drive financial inclusion.

Nigerian agritech startup, EZFarming, has been selected to participate in the 25th batch of 500 Startups' accelerator programme in San Francisco, California. The 500 startups accelerator programme will provide US$150,000 in funding, mentorship and hands-on training to the 35 startups selected to join the highly competitive 4-month accelerator programme. 500 Startups says the batch comprises 33% women-led startups and 40% startups led by Black or Latinx founders. EZFarming is the only Nigeria startup in this cohort.

10 African startups employing deep tech and hardware in solving some of the continent's  challenges, have been selected from a pool of over 200 applications to tour Asia with Co-Creation Hub in partnership with Google for Startups. During the PitchDrive II tour, selected startups will engage in pitch events, community meet ups, investor meetings and much more as they journey through 5 Asian cities known for their advanced technology communities and rich cultures. We here, at Techcabal, will be curating this journey as production partners. Go sign up now on the PitchDrive Tour Stories website so you can come along with us from August 21, 2019.

Egypt's platform for blue-collar jobs, Forasna and online marketplace for home services, Taskty, have been selected as regional finalists for the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC). Both are the only organisations from the MENA region joining 58 others for MIT’s 2019 Global Future of Work Prize. The regional finalists will proceed to pitch their solutions live to a panel of regional innovation experts from where US$250,000 each will be awarded to four grand prize winners.

Startups in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia are invited to apply to MedUP! a growth funding initiative for entrepreneurs in the MENA region co-funded by the European Union and implemented by Oxfam. Startups from Egypt can apply here, Morocco here and Tunisia here.

Kenyan B2B e-commerce platform, Sokowatch is launching operations in Kigali, Rwanda and Kampala, Uganda. There are also plans to launch in Mombasa and Nakuru in Kenya. The startup raised a US$2 million seed round led by 4DX Ventures last July, and in February took in a second US$2.5 million tranche of seed funding from all major existing shareholders, alongside a handful of new investors including Breyer Labs, the investment arm of Breyer Capital, and Helios Investments managing partner Babatunde Soyoye.

Google hosted its third Google for Nigeria event yesterday where they announced a sludge of new products for the Nigerian market and across Africa. Navigation instructions will now come in a Nigerian voice for both motorcycle and car driving modes, a new more panoramic Street View feature of  more cities in Nigeria, a Nigerian culinary experience from Google Arts and Culture and an online safety curriculum available to all primary and secondary school students in the country. Having committed to providing digital skills training to 10 million Africans in 2017 and having achieved 40% of this goal, Google says it is committing an additional $4 million to support youth empowerment, gender equality, agriculture and initiatives promoting research on the future of work.

Are you between the ages of 18 and 35 and have an innovative development idea that addresses South Africa’s infrastructural needs across various sectors? Then apply for the  DBSA Youth Challenge before August 31. Submit your entries here or post it to DBSA, PO Box 1234, Halfway House, 1685, Midrand.

From TechCabal + Multichoice is officially launching a localized version of its video on-demand service, Showmax for the Nigerian market. Abubakar Idris explains what this entry portends for video-on-demand services in Nigeria especially after Canal+ acquisition of IROKOtv's ROK Studios. +  Wole Olayinka takes a look at how Nigerian startups are creating programmes to feed their own supply chain in the face of talent shortage in its rapidly growing tech ecosystem.

That's it!

See you tomorrow.   - Kay
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