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22 - 10 - 2019

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Timon Capital is an early-stage venture firm that's been active in Africa for the last 18 months, closing over six investments in Sub-Saharan Africa in that time. This week, they've released a compensation survey with 50 participating companies across Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa as a tool for entrepreneurs, hiring managers, investors, and job seekers. You can find more about the survey at: | @timoncap
Seedstars has partnered with GrowthLab, formerly known as Starta, a membership platform for educating entrepreneurs in Africa, to launch Seedspace GrowthLab. The new hub will be an exclusive growth hub for entrepreneurs and executives in Africa to access a global network. The hub, located at Circle Mall, is the second Seedspace in Lagos and will launch on November 8, 2019. On the same day, Seedstars will host an Investor Forum in partnership with the Angel Business Network and the Lagos Business Network as well as the Seedstars World Lagos pitch competition. Startups can apply here before October 28th while interested investors can apply here to be part of the Investor Forum.
TechCabal is holding a fireside chat with Funke Opeke, CEO of MainOne Services, on the 31st of October at the #StartupSouth conference in Uyo. She will share thoughts about deepening broadband penetration within Nigeria’s South-South/South-East region and beyond. What questions would you like us to ask her about broadband penetration in the region? Click here to ask your question.
A Bloomberg reports says Netflix is offering US$2 billion of bonds between dollars and euros to drive content acquisitions, production and development, and potential acquisitions. As competition stiffens from companies like Disney which is about to launch its streaming service Disney+ and Apple who have launched Apple TV+, Netflix, this year committed US$3.5 billion in cash to acquire and create content. The company last borrowed US$2.24 billion of junk bonds in April, and said that it would reduce its reliance on debt financing at the time. Turns out the need to keep viewers glued to their devices is dire.
In Ghana, a 3-year-old startup, Cowtribe, is providing subsistence livestock farmers with the vaccines and veterinary services they need to reduce losses from disease outbreaks and epidemics. In this article, Abubakar Idris unveils how the company operates and its long term plans in the agricultural sector.
Join innovators, thought leaders, founders, investors, policymakers from across South-South/South-East (and from the wider Nigerian Startup/Tech Ecosystem) in Uyo (South-South Nigeria) as the two regions meet to network, have startup & tech conversations and have fun. With over 60 parallel sessions (spread over 4 days) and over 5,000 participants, #StartupSouth is reputed as the biggest Startup/Entrepreneurship conference in the South-South/South-East. Attending the conference is free but registration is required. Register to attend here. There's an opportunity for exhibitors here.
Toke thinks Liberia/Liberians and Nigeria/Nigerians are very much alike. The onslaught of generators, resilience and dark humour, she shares more in this new journal entry. The # JollofRoad trip is still underway. Follow Fu'ad, Toke, Kayode, Tosin, Captain Taiwo and Black on their journey through 14 mainland West African countries. Visit every day to catch up on all the stories from the road!
The United Arab Emirates' sovereign wealth fund Mubadala has launched a US$250 million fund to invest in the startups in the Middle East & Africa. In addition to the fund of funds, Mubadala has also announced the launch of its US$100 million direct fund that will invest in early-stage technology startups that are “committed to being part of Hub71 ecosystem.” Abu Dhabi-based tech hub, Hub71 will receive a US$150 million fund of funds. Mubadala is one of the biggest backers of the SoftBank Vision Fund, manages a US$400 million Mubadala Ventures Fund 1 which makes direct investments in US-focused early-stage startups, and a fund of funds program targeting US-based established and emerging fund managers.
Rwandan ed-tech startup BAG Innovation has raised a US$150,000 seed round from an undisclosed local VC firm to help it expand locally and internationally. Launched in 2017, BAG Innovation uses gamification and artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionise the future of career development. More than five percent of all Rwandan students and over 100 Kigali-based companies looking for interns now use the platform.
The United Kingdom has committed US$12.5 million to support fintech startups in Kenya especially those working to increase financial inclusion for low-income and underserved consumers. The funds will be channeled through the Catalyst Fund supports business development and investor opportunities for early-stage fintech companies in emerging markets. With support from the UK Department for International Development, the Catalyst Fund will help connect a further 30 local fintech companies with international investors and mentors.
Are we closer to a conscious machine as advanced AI engineers and researchers push towards this goal? But integrating the full range of consciousness of the human brain into a machine and expecting it to process the data accurately may be far fetched or outrightly impossible. Living organisms store experiences in their brains by adapting neural connections in an active process between the subject and the environment. By contrast, a computer records data in short-term and long-term memory blocks. In this article, Subhash Kak, Regents professor of electrical and computer engineering, Oklahoma State University argues why computers will never be truly conscious. 
Although no official reasons have been put to the public as to why, TechCrunch's Startup Battlefield Africa pitch competition has been suspended indefinitely. Sources say it may be a lack of sponsorship situation. Ugandan startup M-Scan won the last edition of the pitch competition, beating 14 other African startups to clinch the US$25,000 prize.
That's it for today,
We'll see you tomorrow. - Kay Remember to share TC Daily with your friends!
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