23 April, 2021

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Good morning ☀️ ️

Who has stopped burning cash? SnapChat, after Q1 reports showed that it generated real cash for the first time, while growing revenue 66% to $770 million

In today's edition:

  • Quick Fire 🔥
  • Teaming up for streaming
  • A seed round for OKO
  • TC Insights

Quick fire 🔥 with Solape Akinpelu, CEO of HerVest

Explain your job to a five-year-old.

I help women make more from their money and their skills.

What keeps you at night?

How can I contribute to closing Africa's gaping economic gender gap? Is Africa ready?

What's the best advice you've ever received in your career?

I don't know if it should be termed best or worst but they keep saying 'the reward for hard work is more work.' It sounds twisted to me.

What's something you wish you knew earlier in your career/life?

E plenty my brother. E plenty. I go need extra sheet for that one. [ It’s too much, it so much that I’ll need a lot of space to answer this one]

What are you reading currently?

Manuscript found in Accra by Paulo Coelho

What achievement are you most proud of?

Moments when women in the HerVest community say 'I wish I knew this earlier, I wish there was a platform like this 10/15 years ago. Now that I know better, I will do better.'

A genie gives you one wish for the African tech ecosystem, what would yours be?

I'd wish that the government see, embrace, and support the light of the African tech ecosystem.

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Teaming up for streaming

“Data cost [in areas of Africa] is a barrier to people streaming more, and also to the availability of the global DSPs.”

A few weeks ago, I tweeted that streaming has completely taken over after I realized that I hadn’t downloaded a song in ages. Some ten years ago, Nigerian music was available online through bootleg websites and streaming services were not very popular.

When streaming services came, it was often difficult to pay for them, and for a while, you needed to go through a lot of hurdles to pay for an Apple Music subscription. But today, Spotify is on the African continent and YouTube Music is one tap away.

There’s no doubt that music streaming is growing in Africa but it could grow even bigger if the cost of data becomes negligible.

It is why the news that Audiomack - a DSP in Africa - is teaming up with MTN to launch an unlimited music streaming data bundle caught my eye. It is the sort of thinking that could get a lot more people into streaming.

The best part is the pricing makes sense with the lower entry coming in at way less than $1. This could be a true game changer for streaming in Nigeria and it is the sort of partnership I expect that other telcos will also look to implement.

Read more: Music streaming service Audiomack partners MTN to bring music to over 76 million subscribers at Zero Data Cost

Malian Insurtech Startup raises $1.2 million

OKO, a Malian insurtech startup that uses satellite information to define risk and create insurance products for farmers in emerging markets has raised $1.2 million in a seed round.

According to the company’s website, “we create index partnership with weather data suppliers, and use it to create parametric insurance products underwritten by a locally licensed insurance company.”

But there’s even more to OKO because it offers a sort of bundles service which means that its customers can also access micro-credit across Mali and Uganda where it operates. In both countries, the company says it has 7,000 paying customers.

Who participated in the seed round? It was led by Newfund and ResiliAnce, with Mercy Corps Venture, Techstars, ImpactAssets and RaSa also participating.

Read more: Malian Insurtech startup OKO raises $1.2 million

TC Insights: Funding Tracker

Fun fact: Earlier this year, another Malian-based startup, Kabakoo Academies received a grant from Zoom.

Here are the deals in detail::

  • Kenyan e-mobility startup, Ecobodaa secured an undisclosed amount from Persistent Energy Capital.
  • Suitera, a semiconductor startup based in Egypt became the second spinoff company from the American University of Cairo (AUC), securing $230K in funding.
  • Grocery-delivery startup, Appetito raised $450K from a group of Saudi investors led by Ahmed Al Alola, Afropreneurs Fund and Jedar Capital.
  • Nigerian fintech startup, Okra raised $3.5m from Susa Ventures and Accenture
  • Payflex, a South Africa-based fintech company secured an undisclosed round from Zip Co Limited.
  • South African cybersecurity startup, Sendmarc raised an undisclosed amount from Kalon Venture Partners.
  • Peach Payments, a fintech company based in South Africa raised an undisclosed figure from UW Ventures, Allan Gray and Launch Africa Ventures.

That's it! See you next week.

Follow us on Twitter to stay updated; there just could be more today.

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Written by - Olumuyiwa

Edited by - Koromone Koroye & Edwin Madu

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