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23 - 12 - 2019

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Nigeria’s biggest asset managers, ARM, and Ventures Platform, one of Africa’s most active early-stage investors, have launched Labs by ARM 2.0, a FinTech focused Accelerator. Selected startups will get access to distribution capabilities, $20,000+ in funding, deep industry insight, mentorship and lots more. Application ends 30th of December 2019.  Click here to apply. 

Follow @vp_fund and @armengage on Twitter to keep up with activities.
Literature lovers in North Africa (and the Gulf region) will get to read English nonfiction books in Arabic thanks to a new Blinkist-like mobile app. Launched by a Jordanian bookstore Faylasof, the app, Wamba, summarizes bestselling non-fiction English books in Arabic that the users can read or listen to, in fifteen minutes for US$4.99 and US$47.99. Faylasof recently raised a US$500k pre-Series A round and will capitalise on what the founder says is a love for condensed content in the region. The app which launched last week has over 3,000 titles and has been downloaded over a thousand times already. 
Pan-African hub network AfriLabs has launched its AfriLabs Capacity Building Programme (ACBP) which aims to build the capacity of hubs and hub managers across the continent. The programme is a US$2 million, 36-month intensive funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and will comprise 30 physical workshops in 15 convening African cities, in partnership with Afric’Innov and African Business Angels Network (ABAN).
Cairo-based e-commerce delivery and logistics startup ‘R2S Logistics’ has raised six-figure (USD) investment from MENA-based investor A15. R2S Logistics offers an array of delivery services including last-mile delivery, payment collection solutions, returns and exchange management, inventory management and fulfillment to e-commerce businesses across Egypt. The company has 11 hubs across Egypt and works with multiple fleet owners to deliver the shipments.
South Africa's Eskom is set to receive a R6-billion (US$419 million) loan from the New Development Bank to build out a new battery storage system. The bank says the project is primarily aimed at meeting peak electricity demand, increasingly through renewable energy, and avoiding emissions associated with utilization of fossil fuels. The system will comprise 360MW of energy storage at 90 sites across the country and will increase South Africa's solar and wind power in its energy mix from the current 7.2% (installed) to 25.6% in 2030.  In more Eskom news, a new report has implicated incoming CEO André de Ruyter in questionable stock sales in 2013 when he served as a group executive at Sasol. Ruyter has called the report "unsubstantiated and uncorroborated" and an intent to ruin his credibility just before he assumes his role in January 2020. 

The countdown to Afrobytes 2020 is on. Afrobytes is the premier event that brings together entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, and more to explore business opportunities between the African tech ecosystem and players in the global tech world. Here are key reasons why you should attend Afrobytes 2020:

  • Finance: pitch world-leading Africa-focused tech funds
  • Network: connect with global companies and African tech leaders
  • Scale: find tech partners at the largest startup campus
  • Feature: talk to international media covering African markets

Get your early bird ticket here

Ethiopia has launched its first satellite into space. According to Solomon Belay, director general of the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute, the satellite was designed by Chinese and Ethiopian engineers and the Chinese government paid about US$6 million of the more than US$7 million manufacturing costs. The satellite will be used for weather forecast and crop monitoring. 
South African genetics-based e-health startup 3X4 Genetics has raised US$2.5 million in Series A funding from Alethea Capital. The startup received initial angel funding in January 2018 and its current funding will be used for enhancing its current product offering and expanding the business to the US in 2020. 3X4 Genetics offers a wide range of genetic-testing that informs specific dietary and lifestyle solutions among others. In addition to its patented pathway-based genetics test, 3X4 Genetics has also developed an education platform that offers a route for practitioners to become experts in translational genomics. 
From the West: In the spirit of ending the decade and projections, researchers are saying online commerce in the U.S. is going to swing heavily in favour of booze in 2020. The volume of liquor sold online in the U.S. should more than quadruple by 2024, reaching an estimated value of US$13.4 billion, the researchers have found. Currently, only 2% of sales are said to happen online. 
Yes, we are also setting New Year's goals because we want to nail 2020! And we need your help.  As the biggest consumers of our work and the objective audience that you are, we will like you to fill this feedback form to let us know:
  1. What we did well in 2019
  2. What we need to do better in 2020
  3. What blindspots we need to bring to light as a media company documenting Africa's tech scene.
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That's all for today,  
See you tomorrow.   - Kay       Share TC Daily with your friends!
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