How was the weekend? Welcome to a brand new week and today's edition of TC Daily! If this mail was forwarded to you, please take a moment to subscribe. Also, join us on Telegram! Below are some important tech happenings you should know about today:
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An innovation lab in Senegal, in partnership with a UK-based laboratory, is developing a hand-held test kit to help diagnose the rapidly spreading COVID-19 in as little as 10 minutes. Known as Pasteur Institute, samples from the tests are proving that results can be ready within 24 hours if laboratories have the capacity to complete them. While visiting the UK-based lab, Mologic, UK PM, Boris Johnson committed US$1.3 million to support the work of both laboratories.
According to Patrick Vallance, UK Government chief scientific officer, rapid testing is going to be key to managing the outbreak, which has been officially termed a pandemic by the World Health organisation.
Over 150,000 cases have now been confirmed across 146 countries.
Kigali-based startup, Ampersand, is converting the city's motorcycle taxis into environment-friendly electric bikes. Launched in May 2019, the company now has 20 electric motorcycles in Kigali and is raising money to build 500 more this year. Drivers will be able to save up to US$ 700.00 a year on fuel alone by switching to the electric bikes which they can charge at stations made from containers.
Just before a change of heart by the Lagos State government sent them packing, bike-hailing company MAX had begun building out its own electric motorcycles by converting the gas engines of its fuel-powered bikes to electric engines.
Ampersand is offering drivers leasing as well as upfront purchasing options for the electric motorcycles.
Field Intelligence,a health tech company based in Nigeria announced its first institutional funding last week; a $3.6 million Series A round. Per our Nigerian health tech report and funding tracker, this makes its second largest known funding round for any health tech startup only behind 54Gene. Before its latest round, Field Intelligence raised a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that brings its total funding to date close to $4 million.
Field Intelligence is using technology to improve the supply chain and logistics needs of pharmacies in Africa. Other players in the space include DrugStoc, Medsaf and Pronov. Our research uncovered 9 startups offering similar solutions. Get our report here to learn more.
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Countries are shutting down, closing borders and restricting movement to address the spread of COVID-19. Apple is shutting down its stores around the world; France and Spain have since announced restrictions on public gatherings. Twitter's entire workforce are now working from home, one of many organisations now having to enforce remote work with the spread of COVID-19.
Muyiwa explores what working remotely is like for Africans during this period, where issues like power and data availability/costs still make the idea of remote work hard to fully embrace.
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