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08- 10 - 2019

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Sprint, an Egyptian logistics startup, has raised an undisclosed seed funding round at a $1.25 million pre-money valuation. The one-year-old startup is using technology to provide last-mile delivery services to merchants with a focus on micro-merchants. Sprint currently operates in Cairo, but with the latest funding, it plans to expand to locations like Alexandria, Mansoura, and Port Suez.

Application is open for the Digital Solutions Exhibition organised by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) company. The exhibition is open to companies that are developing digital solutions that can create value for NLNG’s operations in Lagos Abuja, Port Harcourt and Bonny. Areas of interest include data science, artificial intelligence, internet of things, wireless solutions, automation and robotics, software development, among other solutions. Application closes in less than two weeks. For more details on how to apply, click here.

South African on-demand cleaning service, SweepSouth, has raised at least R50 million ($3.3 million) funding. The latest round was backed by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation who invested R14.5 ($1 million) in the startup. Some existing investors including Naspers Foundry, Smollan, Vumela, CRE VC, and Black Coffee, the South African artist, also invested in the round. However, one SweepSouth investor, Newtown Partner used the round to secure an exit from the startup. With this funding announcement, SweepSouth has now raised over R80 million ($5.3 million).
After an interesting stay in Ghana, the #JollofRoad team is now on its way to Ivory Coast. Nobody on the team has ever been to the francophone country, so we're excited to see what stories they will share with us. Of course, food and culture are the main attractions, but they'll also be sharing stories of how people use technology in this thriving African country. Keep up with the adventures of Fu'ad, Toke and Kayode. Go to jollofroad.com to learn about all the great things they are discovering about culture across West Africa.

Andela and Github are hosting a hackathon in Nigeria called CodeNaija 2019 on October 26th and 27th. Organised with support from Flutterwave and Microsoft, Codenaija wants to showcase the talent and work of the Nigerian developer community. The event promises to networking opportunities, resource sharing, talks and recruitment opportunities for developers. Click here to register.

At TechCabal, we’re trying something new. In 'My Life in Tech', Kay Ugwuede profiles the most interesting people in technology in Nigeria and across the continent. Her first entry is Tejumade Afonja who runs the biggest AI classes you haven't heard of.

Grant Haarhoff has joined PayCode, a South African fintech startup, as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Haarhoff joins the three-year-old startup with over a decade years of finance-related experience. Before joining PayCode, he worked at South African Reserve Bank (SARB) rising to the level of Acting Group CFO in 2017.

In another related PayCode news, the company is among the 12 finalists of the Global Fintech Hackcelerator. The other finalists include Ctrl, E4 Strategic, Emerge Analytics, Hydrogen, MindBridge Analytics, Nimbla, Sedicii, Strands, Tautona AI, Ukheshe and Wealth Migrate. Organized by the SARB and KPMG Matchi, the Hackcelerator is a combination of a hackathon and an accelerator programme. The hackathon holds at the Fintech Demo Day on October 29 in Johannesburg. The finalists will showcase their solutions at the event while judges will select the top two solutions.

Outside the posh neighbourhoods of Lagos, Nigeria, the level of care provided by pharmacies is both inconsistent and relatively poor. People want affordable drugs, better access to professional pharmacists, and proper diagnosis of ailments. But in the Nigerian pharma business, things are fragmented, with many small-time pharmacists who are unable to match consumers’ expectations and lack the resources to do so. Lifestores Pharmacy wants to change this. The young medical startup has started a pharmacy chain and is using efficient logistics and technology solutions to improve the pharmacy experience of people in the mass market of Lagos.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is investing $10 million in CardinalStone Capital Advisers Growth Fund (CCAGF), an equity fund managed by Lagos-based CardinalStone Capital Advisers. The fund targets high growth small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria and Ghana. It will provide them with long-term financing needed to scale up and spur job creation. With the IFC’s investment, the CCAGF has now secured $50 million. It aims to raise a total of $100 million and has previously secured capital from investors like the Nigerian sovereign wealth fund, Kuramo, the CDC Group and the Dutch Development Bank, FMO.

Rwandan president, Paul Kagame, has officially launched the first “made in Africa” smartphones produced by Mara Group. The company locally produced two smartphones, the Mara X and the Mara Z, making it the first “smartphone manufacturer in Africa”. To be clear, a few companies already assemble phones in countries like Egypt and South Africa, but their components are imported. Mara Group spent $24 million to build its manufacturing plant in Rwanda and will launch another plant in South Africa. Retailing between $130 and $190, Mara’s devices run on Google’s Android One, allowing it to receive updates and patches as soon as they become available. The company wants to improve smartphone adoption in Rwanda, which is currently at 15%, and will take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to enter other markets.

The police in Egypt are randomly stopping people on the streets to search their phones and laptops. The aim is to identify people who have shared social media posts critical of the Sisi-led government. The move is part of the latest government’s efforts to crack down on critics following a series of protests in major cities of the country. Over 3,000 people have been arrested since the protests started on September 20, according to the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights.

That's it for today,  
We'll be back tomorrow.   - Abubakar. If you enjoyed reading this, share it with your friends!
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