Yesterday, the platform announced that it’s expanding its AR feature to let users virtually try on clothing, including glasses and shoes.
Image source: The Verge
AR shopping isn’t new though. US-based brands like Home Depot, Sephora Target, and IKEA have had these features for a while to help customers pick out furniture or even cosmetics that fit.
All that’s yet to be done now are AR filters to show us how successful we could be if we could just stay off social media. 🥺
In today’s edition
Eden expands to Kenya
Ventures Platform adds 10 startups to its portfolio
TC Insights: Funding Tracker
Event: TechCabal Live on Proptech
* Data as of 09:00 PM WAT, April 28, 2022.
QUICK FIRE 🔥 WITH LEWAM KEFELA
Lewam is an Investment Director at Village Capital & Co-Founder at The Africa Playbook.
Explain your job to a five-year-old
I help people with big ideas turn them into something real.
What keeps you up at night??
Haha, honestly a lot of different things – but they all boil down to economic growth in Africa and how to facilitate it. Currently obsessing over how local capital can be reallocated to fund local entrepreneurs, and catalyse our economic growth. An Africa funded and built by Africans – that’s the dream.
What’s something you wish you knew earlier in your career/life?
An existential crisis here and there is healthy and completely normal. Also, mental health is extremely important, and therapy can be really helpful.
What are you currently reading?
Brand New Nation: Capitalist Dreams and Nationalist Designs in Twenty-First-Century India by Ravinder Kaur
A genie gives you one wish for the African tech ecosystem, what would yours be?
Frictionless movement across borders for everything (workforce, capital, etc) – think of the economies of scale! I’d happily spend my only wish on that!
Lynk is a platform that matches artisans to employers. Launched in 2015, the platform has facilitated over 150,000 jobs, transferring $4.5 million to more than 2,000 workers who offer services in Beauty & Wellness, Cleaning & Care, Installation, Repair & Maintenance, and Furniture & Decor.
Eden’s life in Nigeria
Since its launch in 2019, Eden Life has delivered more than 150,000 services in Nigeria through its app. On the app, users have access to a subscription service that delivers chef-cooked meals, laundry services, and home cleaning. Trained professionals called ‘Gardners” oversee the service providers and end-users to ensure a seamless service.
Nairobi gets an additional service
Thrilled about Eden Life’s prospect due to the acquisition of Lynk, Nadayar Enegesi, Co-Founder at Eden Life and Co-founder at Andela, said, “Combining our platform with the knowledge and market experience of Lynk is a real dream matchup.”
Lynk’s established customer base will give Eden life a head start on building on its success in Lagos—where the service had an 80% retention rate in the past twelve months with Month on Month growth at 15%.
Eden Life will extend its operations to Nairobi offering its users there a new additional beauty & wellness service.
VENTURES PLATFORM ADDS 10 STARTUPS TO ITS PORTFOLIO
Ventures Platform, an early-stage pan-African VC firm, has announced the addition of 10 new African startups to its portfolio.
In a statement released on its blog this afternoon, the firm shared that it had invested in the 10 startups through its newest $40 million fund.
Since its launch in 2016, Ventures Platform has backed almost 70 startups including Seamless HR, PiggyVest, Mono, and Paystack.
Ten new startups have joined the firm’s portfolio, originating from Nigeria, Zambia, and Kenya.
There’s Topup Mama, a Kenya-based restaurant management platform for African restaurateurs to unify and optimise Africa’s fragmented food and beverages supply chain.
B2B SaaS treasury management and financing platform Fluna was selected because the firm believes that the founders are “leading the charge to close the $5 trillion total credit gap in developing and emerging economies.”
Shekel earned Ventures Platform’s support because of its goal to redefine the urban mobility sector. The startup is a dealership management system enabling auto dealerships to access financing, and helping more Africans own vehicles.
There’s also Catlog, a social commerce platform that enables merchants on social media platforms to reach massive audiences with cutting-edge sales and marketing tools.
The other 6 startups—all fintechs—include Blochq, Traction, Moni.Africa, Plumter, Vendy, and Union54.
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This week, Ghanaian Agritech startup Farmerline secured a $6.4 million pre-Series A investment plus another $6.5 million in debt to help it expand. The $6.4 million equity investment was led by Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF) and FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, and also features Greater Impact Foundation. Lenders of the $6.5 million debt include DEG, Rabobank, Ceniarth, Rippleworks, Mulago Foundation, Whole Planet Foundation, Netri Foundation and Kiva.
Here are the other deals for the week:
OnePort 365 , a Nigerian logistics startup, raised $5 million in seed funding in a round led by Mobility 54, the VC arm of Toyota Tsusho and CFAO Group. Participating investors include SBI Investment, Flexport, ODX, a Singaporean syndicate fund, and other angel investors. Samurai Incubate also followed on after participating in OnePort 365’s previous round.
Nigerian fintech startup Syarpa closed $500,000 in a pre-seed round of funding to help it expand across Europe and Africa. The round was led by CrossFund and FirstFounders and also featured Yolo Investments and a strategic angel investor.
Malagasy startup SAYNA, an education and freelancing platform, raised a $600,000 funding round from Orange Ventures, Launch Africa Ventures and MAIC Investors Club.
Are you a developer, designer, product manager, or a tech professional building payment products?
Join Fincra Hub, a community of skilled techies where you can get resources to build reliable financial products, connect with techies from all over Africa, get firsthand information about job openings at Fincra and its partners, and get exclusive event invites and more.
Getting an apartment in Nigeria can be quite a hassle. Some of the problems plaguing Nigeria’s housing sector range from exorbitant agent charges, the duplicity of sales, lack of disposable housing income, high construction costs and more.
Do you think proptech can solve these issues?
Although we’re seeing more startups that are using technology to address the different challenges in the space, there’s still some scepticism on how effective these solutions will be in the long term.
On Friday, May 6, at 11 AM (WAT), join us on TechCabal Live, where we’ll be speaking with Dapo Eludire, COO of PropertyPro, and other experts on the growth of Nigeria’s proptech sector and how close the industry is to addressing Nigeria’s housing challenges.