28 JULY, 2021


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Good morning ☀️ ️

Piggyvest has added another feather to its cap. 
Yesterday, the Fintech company announced that it had completed the acquisition of Savi, a wealth management app launched in 2018.

The team also shared that there will be more acquisition announcements in 2021.

In today’s edition:

  • Yoco is dedicating its $83 million to SMMEs
  • Ecobank and Microsoft wants to equip African SMEs with digital skills
  • Nigeria’s medical diagnostics problem is getting solved
  • The finalists for the 2021 Future is Female Mentorship Program

Yoco is dedicating its $83 million to SMMEs

The largest single investment raised by a payments company in South Africa has just been made.

How much are we talking about here?

$83 million. South African payments and software platform, Yoco, has secured $83 million in Series C funding, bringing the total funds raised to date by the startup to $107 million. It’s also the largest investment ever by a small business-focused payments platform in the Middle East and Africa (MENA).

The company plans to deploy the funds to develop more tools that will enable small micro and medium businesses (SMMEs) thrive in the digital economy. It also plans to expand beyond South Africa as the demand for digital payments among African small businesses grows. 

How Yoco got here

At launch in 2015, Yoco made waves with its portable card machines. At the time, it was difficult and expensive for businesses in South Africa to get POS machines from banks. 

Yoco changed the game with its portable card reader which could be attached to phones or tablets. 

Since then, it has reached at least 150,000 small businesses in the country and processed $1 billion in payments. 

How far Yoco is going

There are 6 million small businesses in South Africa alone, about 100 million in the MENA region, and most of them still transact in cash only. 

Yoco wants to reach one million of them within the next four years. 

In Michael Ajifowoke’s feature, CEO Katlego Maphai shares how Yoco plans to achieve this.

Read South Africa’s Yoco raises $83m to extend digital payments to 1 million SMEs


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Ecobank and Microsoft want to equip SMEs with digital skills

Ecobank is partnering with Microsoft to upscale its capability development centre, Ecobank Academy, and provide Small and Medium-sized Enterprises with digital skills. 

Backstory: Online business models are rapidly growing in Africa. There are online storefronts, marketplaces, and apps to help sell anything. And the proliferation of mobile phones, as well as the pandemic, plays a large role in this. 

By 2025, there will be 614 million unique mobile subscribers in Africa, according to GSMA, up from 477 million in 2019. Smartphone adoption is projected to reach 65%. This means a lot more people will be digital, looking for digital means to do business. 

Are African SMEs prepared to compete in this new e-realm? 

Enter EcoBank Academy

In 2014, Ecobank’s development centre, Ecobank Academy, became functional. The academy is a corporate university focused on providing digital financial and leadership courses to Africans. 

This month, however, EcoBank has announced its partnership with Microsoft to include training for SMEs as part of its Academy’s programme. The free virtual training will provide SMEs with digital skills and resources needed for success in the digital era. 

Read more: Ecobank and Microsoft want to prepare more African SMEs to be digital businesses


Big Brother Naija is officially in full swing and If there is one thing technology and reality TV shows have in common, it is the ability to keep a very demanding audience entertained. Here is a deep dive into why BBN and Tech are the perfect couple.

Nigeria’s medical diagnostics problem is getting solved

Lack of access to quality healthcare equipment is a prevailing healthcare problem in Nigeria and Medical Devices as a Service (MDaaS) is steadily addressing it.

Let’s look at some numbers

Many people as a result of watching medical shows have heard of terms like CT scanners, MRIs, and ECGs.

Well, only 11% of the countries in sub-saharan Africa have at least one MRI scanner per one million people. Nigeria has 58 to service its population of 200 million. For CT scanners, Nigeria has 183 and more than half of that is owned by private hospitals.

How is MDaaS going to change this?

MDaas installs and operates modern, tech-enabled diagnostic centres where small and medium healthcare facilities in underserved areas can access quality medical equipment at affordable rates.

In 2016, founder Oluwasoga Oni and his classmates at MIT started MDaaS with plans to sell and lease secondary medical equipment to hospitals, starting with Nigeria. That plan failed because most of the hospitals couldn’t afford the equipment. Olusoga and his co-founders then switched tactics and began providing the hospitals with access to quality diagnostic services instead.

Five years later, MDaaS has successfully raised $3.5 million and is steadily reaching its dream to build the largest network of physical and virtual diagnostic and primary care facilities in Africa. 

Read more: From MIT to MDaaS: Meet the couple solving Nigeria’s medical diagnostics problem.


The Best Kept Secret in the World?

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Egmarkets is celebrating its 5th year anniversary and you stand a chance of winning a Playstation 5, iPhone 12, or Samsung S21. To learn more on how to win, click the link here.

The Future is Female Mentorship Program announces finalists

The Future is Female Mentorship Programme has announced 25 finalists for its 2021 edition. 

In 2020, C. Moore Media International Public Relations set out to support female tech founders in Africa with communications and PR expertise to help grow their businesses. In that year, it received 139 applications from 18 countries, selecting 12 finalists from Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya. 

On Wednesday, CMM announced the finalists of the second edition of its programme. From an application pool of 180 tech startups across 26 countries, this year’s applicants include startups from Tanzania, Senegal, Guinea, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

On the list are startups doing innovative things in fashion, skill-building, energy, health care, and agritech.

Learn about the finalists here.


Written by – Timi Odueso

Edited by – Daniel Adeyemi


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