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3 – 02 – 2020

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After surviving heart trouble in 2017, Humphrey Wrey quit his job in fintech, diverting his energy into reshaping long-distance bus travel for Africa. Today, QuickBus, the company he founded, currently operates in three countries – Kenya, Uganda and Angola. It is attempting to formalize bus travel across the continent, enabling seat reservation and ratings. Following its latest funding round, the founder is now looking for a Nigerian or Kenyan operational co-founder, “someone who understands the market and will join for the right reasons and with the right skill set.” Alex has more here, for TechCabal.

Last Friday, a group of Gokada and MAX riders protested the ban on commercial motorcycles by the Lagos State government. Some of the stories shared by the drivers are disheartening. Per our research, the three major bike-hailing startups in Lagos have at least 14,000 employees including riders. “While the company is not involved in the rally, the drivers whose livelihoods are at stake want to communicate with the government,” Chinedu Azodoh, Cofounder at MAX told Muyiwa in this TechCabal report. The ban has gone ahead despite the protest with commuters lamenting the difficulty they’ve faced in moving around the city.

Jumia has officially launched its advertising services in Kenya. The platform, according to its CEO in Kenya, Sam Chappatte, will help brands to reach highly targeted segments, right at the moment of purchase. The service was first announced by Chappatte via a Linkedin post about two weeks ago. Jumia continues to seek ways to show investors and shareholders that it has a clear path to profitability. About a week ago in Lagos, the company announced that it was shifting focus to services based on its e-commerce marketplace.

The countdown to Afrobytes 2020 continues. 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

African Fashion International (AFI), a Johannesburg-based events company has acquired online art marketplace Wezart. SA-based Wezart makes it easier for Africans to sell fashion and art online. With its platform, artists can create virtual galleries, make online sales and track their monthly income. AFI has acquired Wezart as part of its plan to become a digital hub for Africa’s creative industry. The artwork from the online marketplace will be exhibited during AFI Fashion Week in Cape Town in March.

The Merck Accelerator has announced the launch of its 8th intake with 12 new startups. The cohort includes Nigerian startup Chekkit. Chekkit provides real-time verification of quality products, consumer intelligence and supply chain tracking services to producers of high-quality human-friendly products, to ensure complete product integrity. The startup alongside others will receive up to $55,500 in funding as well as mentoring and coaching.

TC Insights: Last year, motorbike-hailing startups in Africa, especially in West Africa, saw significant investment. If you count the money raised by OPay, ORide’s parent company, the major motorbike-hailing companies raised at least US$182.3 million in 2019. With regulatory challenges now facing at least 3 of these startups in Africa’s largest city, it remains to be seen how investors will assess the opportunity going forward. Noteworthy is that startups have already begun expanding to other Nigerian cities with similar transport challenges.

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That’s All
We’ll see you tomorrow

– Olanrewaju

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