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20 - 11 - 2019

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The Lagos State Government is working with corporate partners and agencies to build low-cost innovation centres across the city. The innovation centres will be located in the state's parks and gardens which are managed by the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK). The first of such centres focused on the energy sector is now live in the Alimosho area of the state. It was built in partnership with Versecom, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), IHS, Leadspace, and Cisco. Other specialized hubs planned for the future include an education hub in Jibowu, Ikeja Health and Smart City, Financial Literacy in Victoria Island, and Agriculture in Ikorodu/Epe.
Chinese-backed OPay has launched its own cab-hailing service, OCar, in Nigeria, a market dominated by Uber and Taxify. The launch happened just a day after the fintech startup announced its record $120 million Series B funding round. The service will be available in Lagos, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Benin. OCar is the company’s latest vertical in an ecosystem that already includes offerings for food (OFood), bike-hailing (ORide) etc. In his latest TechCabal article, Muyiwa asks an important question;  Does OCar realise the scope of the challenge? Should Uber and Bolt be worried? There's more here.
Fintech startup, Asimilia has raised $350,000 in funding following its participation in the SA Innovation Summit managed by the Unicorn Group. The money is part of a $500,000 target raise by the Kenyan company. It will use the money to acquire more customers and to expand beyond Nairobi. Asimilia was founded in 2017 and it allows small and medium scale businesses to make transaction free mobile money payments. It also provides access to financial services such as insurance.
Transsion's Boomplay has concluded a partnership with Sony Music Entertainment. The partnership will allow Boomplay to add music from Sony artists to its platform. Boomplay launched in 2015 and in April 2019 closed a $20 million Series A round. The app which comes pre-loaded on Transsion phones is reckoned to be the continent's largest streaming service with about 44 million active users. The company claims that its African music catalogue comprises 5 million tracks.
Final Call: TechCabal is holding an invite-only matching and networking session for investors and edtech startups at our townhall on edtech and future of work. It will take place on November 29, 2019, at the Zone Tech Park, Gbagada Expressway, Lagos. If you are an investor interested in meeting or learning about the startups that are the future of edtech, sign up here so we can get in touch. If you are a startup interested in meeting key investors, let us know here. To attend the Townhall, click here to buy your tickets. Discounts apply for companies/individuals buying at least 5 tickets. Click here to enjoy our corporate discounts.
London-based VC firm, Xecced Ventures wants to invest in AI and IoT startups through its $100 million Africa-focused 4thIRiA I Fund. The fund will also put money in startups using exponential technologies including cloud computing and cognitive computing. It will make investments between $500,000 and $5 million in these startups at any stage between pre-seed and Series B. The 4thIRiA I Fund made its first fund-raising close last month at $70 million.
Nigerian startups; Gerocare (health tech), Simbi Interactive (edtech), and prop-tech startup E-Estates have each received $30,000 following their participation in the Itanna Accelerator Programme. These startups constitute the second cohort of the accelerator programme backed by indigenous conglomerate, Honeywell Group.
Chaque Souffle Compte has been named the winner of the 2019 Orange Social Venture Prize. The Cameroonian health tech startup won the top prize money of  € 25,000. The startup was selected for its neonatal incubator which can be remotely controlled from a smartphone and works regardless of energy fluctuations. Food startup, J-Palm Liberia and Madagascan ride-hailing marketplace, Flit Ride were first and second runner-ups respectively.
Goree Island is Senegal’s own ‘Slave Island’! Fuad describes it as the farthest point of no return. "At 3.5km off Africa’s most westernmost Mainland city, Dakar (Cape Verde is the most westernmost country), it is the true finality."  Don't miss any of the stories and videos as the #JollofRoad trip draws closer to an end. There are 4 countries and 21 days to the end of the trip. For inside gist, join the conversation on Telegram and WhatsApp.
Murthy Chaganti is AirtelTigo's new Chief Executive Officer. Chaganti was previously the company's COO before the announcement of his new position this week. Chaganti has over 20 years of work experience in the telco and FCMG industries in Ghana and India. He became interim CEO in September 2019 after his predecessor, Mitwa Kaemba Ng’amba stepped down from the role citing personal reasons.
ManPro Systems, a project management platform for Kenya's construction industry, has received about $197,000 in investment from the Viktorian Business Angels Network and Pangea Accelerator. The startup will use the fresh capital to broaden its service offering as well as to acquire new customers. ManPro was one of the top 3 startups in the ShelterTech Kenya Accelerator Program demo day that held in May 2019.
Applications are now open to the fourth cohort of the Injini Edtech incubator programme. The programme is open to startups with evidence-based solutions that address key problems in African education. Startups must at least have a minimum viable product or prototype to qualify. Apply here to join the programme in March 2020.
That's all we've got,
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