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Editor’s Note

  • Week 02, 2023
  • Read time: 5 minutes

Happy New Year and welcome to the first edition of TC Weekender in 2023! Before we delve in, I hope the year has started great for you and you’re on track to have a wonderful year.

In this edition, we kick the year off with news of acquisitions and successful funding rounds as BioNTech acquires Instadeep and Jetstream and Releaf raise millions. In other news, yet another talking stage comes to an end as Telkom and Rain end their merger talks. These and more news await you in this weekend’s edition.

Happy reading!

Pamela Tetteh Editor, TechCabal.

Editor’s Picks

Sama quits Meta and content moderation

Sama, Facebook’s largest content moderator in Africa, is walking away from its $3.9 million contract with Meta. Sama also plans to let go of 200 members of its staff as it is discontinuing all its content moderation services. The company blames the economic climate, but several people think it’s because of the content moderation-related lawsuits it is currently embroiled in with Facebook’s parent company, Meta.

Learn more.

Tunisia’s InstaDeep’s £582 million acquisition

German biotech company BioNTech has acquired all the shares of the Tunisian artificial intelligence (AI) startup InstaDeep for £582 million ($682 million). The deal entails an upfront payment of cash and unspecified BioNTech shares worth £362 million, with a balance of £200 million payable based on InstaDeep’s future performance.

Learn more.

Telkom and Rain terminate merger talks

Telkom and Rain have ended their talking stage and will be going their separate ways. The network operators had been deliberating on merging since the data-only network Rain proposed it in October, but it appears they couldn’t make it work. Telkom shareholders seem to be happy about the split, as Telkom’s shares increased by 11% right after the news was announced.

Learn more.

Bolt offers BNPL to Nigerians

Nigerians can Bolt now and pay later due to the ride-hailing startup’s new partnership with Nigeria-based BPNL startup Credpal. Credpal will pay for its users’ day-to-day Bolt rides and request bulk repayment by each month’s end.

Learn more.

The State of Tech in Africa Report

TechCabal Insights’ State of Tech report for Q3 2022 is still available for download.

The report entails analyses of data on acquisitions, expansions, and funding in Africa’s tech ecosystem. These insights are contexualised based on discussions with stakeholders in the ecosystem.

The report is available for download here.

Hackers steal millions from Microsoft for crypto

A South Africa-based hacker group called “Automated Libra” stole resources from cloud providers like Microsoft and Salesforce worth millions to fund an elaborate crypto mining scheme known as “PurpleUrchin”.

Learn more.

Jetstream raises $13 million

Jetstream Africa, a Ghanaian e-commerce logistics technology company, raised $13 million in equity and debt funding pre-Series A. The company stated that it ensured that its major investors have investment or operational experience with the problem it’s solving.

Learn more.

African food tech startup Releaf raises $3.3 million

Releaf, an agritech startup disrupting Africa’s oil production industry, has secured $3.3 million in a reportedly oversubscribed pre-Series A funding round. It had previously raised $4.2 million in a seed round in 2021.

Read more.

Who brought the money this week?

  • Jetstream, a Ghanaian logistics startup, received $13 million in a pre-Series A funding round from Cauris and French development institution Proparco, Octerra, Wuri Ventures, Seed9, The MBA Fund, ASCVC, Alitheia IDF, and Golden Palm.
  • Nigerian agri-tech company Releaf raised $3.3 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Samurai Incubate Africa. Other participating investors include Consonance Investment Managers Stephen Pagliuca (chairman of Bain Capital), Jeff Ubben, and Rena Yoneyama.
  • Egyptian Solar power company, KarmSolar, closed $3 million in debt funding from Ezdaher financial consultancy.

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