26 JANUARY, 2022


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Good morning 🌄

Substack wants to move into videos

Recently, the newsletter platform announced it’s testing a video feature that will allow newsletter writers share videos in their newsletters.

Writers will be able to make the videos free to watch or hide them behind paywalls. They’ll also be able to share teasers to boost paid subscriptions. 

In today’s edition

  • How to float your startup with little funding
  • Norebase’s plan for African businesses
  • Revolutionising real estate in Togo
  • Event: Moneyrise Conference 2022
  • Opportunities


2021 brought a lot of good news for African startups, most notably, raising over $4 billion in venture capital funding.

While this feat is laudable, many startups don’t make it to the stage where they can attract external funding before folding up. According to a 2019 World Economic Forum report, only 8% of African startups make it to the Series B stage of funding.

Across Africa, startup failure rates range from 61% in Nigeria and 75% in Ethiopia to 74% in Ghana and 58.7% in Kenya.

This trend has raised the important question of how startups can keep the lights on with limited funding. To answer this question, our Managing Editor, Koromone Koroye spoke with Vivian Nwakah and João Pinheiro, the CEO and CTO of Medsaf—a startup that’s successfully bootstrapped and raised capital.

Here are highlights from their conversation:

  • Startups need to get people interested in their work. By rallying people around Medsaf’s single cause, Vivian explains that the startup was able to move past bootstrapping into getting angel funding. 
  • “Keep it simple, and use tested and tried technology,” is what João thinks can ease bootstrapping. 
  • Attend events and meet people who are in popular startups. 
  • Define and understand your startup’s goals first before breaking them down into processes. This way, you expend resources on processes that matter. 
  • Finally, as you invest in processes, also invest in your employees. Offer them independence, and the opportunity to grow.


In 2019, a few months after the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) was signed, some African tech and creative industry players were hosted by CcHUB in Kigali, Rwanda, to discuss how the tech and creative ecosystem could leverage the newly signed agreement.

The questions from that discussion gave birth to Norebase. 

Norebase is a one-stop-shop digital platform for African businesses to expand, file trademarks and patent an Intellectual property (IP) across the continent.

Founded by Tola Onayemi and Tope Obanla in 2021, the startup handles everything it takes for a business to launch in a new African country. It’s a 360-degree business launchpad: business registrations, opening of business bank accounts, compliances, license acquisition, and further legal requirements—all from one dashboard.

At the core, the company is helping African companies expand, but as they take on more businesses they realise they need to do more than just help companies to start in a new market.

Zoom out: Expansion across Africa can be tedious. Even though there are similar problems across the continent’s countries, there are just too many impediments that frustrate the process. There are issues of legal frameworks, language barriers, smug policies, cultural disparities, and other nuances. It’s great that startups like Norebase are helping founders navigate these barriers.


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In Togo, a newly launched startup, Togohome, is aiming to digitise how stakeholders in the country’s real estate industry carry out procedures and transactions.

What Togohome offers

The platform, which is validated by the Togolese Real Estate Federation (FTI) and the Ministry of Urban Planning, displays real estate ads from across the country offered by agents accredited and affiliated with the Federation. 

The aim is to address issues of transparency, reliability, and compliance with ads. Togohome also simplifies other services, including home insurance, land regularisation, and other real estate-related procedures.

“The digitisation of announcements and operations in the real estate sector is nothing new in Togo,” notes Edmond Messan, Togohome’s general manager. “But this is the first time that a platform has brought together all the approved real estate agents and players in the country.”

The “Google of real estate” in Togo

Based in Lomé, Togohome’s services are available to both residents in the country and Togolese in the diaspora and can be accessed via a website, a mobile application, or through a WhatsApp portal.

The platform has branded itself as “The Google of real estate in Togo”.



Quidax makes it easy to buy, sell, send, and store bitcoin (BTC), USDT, ethereum (ETH), and other cryptocurrencies. You can also use Quidax’s API to offer cryptocurrency services to your customers.

Get started by creating a free Quidax account here.

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If you have questions about investing well, avoiding scams, growing your money and achieving your financial goals in 2022, Risevest is hosting an event to answer them all. 

On Saturday, 29 January, at the first-ever Moneyrise Conference, attendees will learn investment and wealth management strategies that can help them understand how to invest safely and successfully in 2022. 

The conference will host several great speakers including Rise CEO Eke Urum, Kola Aina Founding Partner of Ventures Platform; Sola Oyeneye founder of WealthMotley; Dalu Akabugo, VP at Platform Capital; Solafunmi Sosanya; Yewande Thorpe and Mayowa Owojaiye. 

Find out more and register here.


  • The Urban Innovative Challenge for Emerging Cities is now open to applications from entrepreneurs building real-world urbantech solutions. Early-stage startups and teams based in Lagos, Nairobi and Kigali can apply to get the opportunity to become Technology Pioneers at the World Economic Forum, and $25,000 worth of AWS credits. Build here
  • The L’Oreal African Hair and Skin Research Grant is open to African researchers and dermatologists studying hair and skin physiology. The €20,000 ($22,000) grant will be awarded to one researcher who is pursuing research that serves the African community, raising awareness and providing guidelines for hair and skincare. Hair them out
  • The Digital Transport for Africa (DT4A) Innovation Challenge is now open to enterprises focused on improving and implementing sustainable mobility of the transport sector on the continent. Selected applicants will be awarded $30,000 to implement new initiatives. Race to the finish line.


Fincra is a payment infrastructure that provides fintechs, online platforms, and global businesses with reliable payment solutions for quick collections and payouts in different currencies. You can gain access to Fincra’s payments platform or integrate their APIs for seamless payments processing. 

Learn more.

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What else we’re reading

  • Google is being sued over claims that it tracked users despite opt-outs. 


Written by – Timi Odueso & Michael Ajifowoke

Edited by – Kelechi Njoku


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