Well, we’ve got you covered. We’ve upped our commitment to Africa’s startup ecosystem with the launch of “My Startup in 60 Seconds”, an exciting new video series where startup founders share the unique problems they’re solving for Africa in one short minute.
Six South African and Nigerian founders tell us why they’re building Famasi Africa, Thumeza, Sycamore, Kitovu, OutWork Spaces, and HealthStack Solutions.
ANOTHER STATE TO DOMESTICATE THE NIGERIA STARTUP ACT
The Nigeria Startup Act is slowly making progress across Nigeria.
Almost four months after the Act was enacted, another Nigerian state has announced plans to domesticate the Act. This week, newly-elected governor of Osun state, Adebola Adeleke, announced a bill based on the Nigeria Startup Act as the first bill of his administration in office.
“The first bill is about Nigeria’s Startup Act. My administration wants it domesticated so we can access local and international support for our youth entrepreneurs. The bill will align Osun with federal efforts and open doors for our start-up innovators to get easy funding”, the governor noted.
Osun joins Lagos state which announced its domestication plans in June 2022. In December 2022, special adviser to the governor of Lagos state on innovation and technology, Tunbosun Alake, also announced that the state had kicked off domestication plans in a project titled Knowledge, Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (KITE).
“Lagos’ startup policy structure has been in development for some time before the Act. The regulations will assist startups in registering quicker, obtaining permits faster, and easing business for commercial organisations classified as startups. It is critical for entrepreneurs in the ecosystem to participate in the workshop review to impact the state legislation being drafted,” Alake said.
Zoom out: So far, only two Nigerian states have announced plans to domesticate the Act. The efficiency of the Act, however, is still being threatened by a new bill drafted by the country’s ICT bulldog NITDA, an Act with provisions that directly oppose those of the nascent Startup Act.
NAKED SECURES $17 MILLION IN A SERIES B ROUND
The Naked Team
South African insurance-tech startup Naked just got a boost in the funding department.
The startup raised a whopping $17 million in a Series B round led by the International Finance Corporation. The German Development Finance Institution, Yellowwoods, and Hollards also hopped on board. This brings the startup’s total funding to a total of $31.6 million.
What is Naked doing with all that money?
It’s not buying clothes, for sure.
As hinted by the name, Naked is on a mission to strip the veil around insurance and bring trust and transparency to the entire insurance process. With its app and website, purchasing insurance for your home or car can take just a few seconds. The company also claims to be approved faster than traditional insurance.
But the real kicker? Naked charges a fixed percentage on customers’ premiums, and if claims are low, the excess goes to causes chosen by the users.
The Series B round signals that Naked’s approach is paying off. Naked says it will use the funds to expand into new markets and grow its team and invest in technology that gives customers more control. The startup and its investors are certain that better access to insurance can bring greater financial inclusion in South Africa.
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Are you feeling blue because you missed out on the Africa Tech Summit in Nairobi? Don’t worry, here is a recap of what went down today at the sold-out event.
It is sold out?
Yes. It was sold out last year too. The Africa Tech Summit is attended by the cream of the crop for the tech scene in Africa and beyond. It’s like the Super Bowl of African tech, with all the tech corporates, fintech experts, mobile operators, crypto ventures, investors, regulators, and other industry bigwigs gathering in the Safari Capital of the World, Nairobi, Kenya.
Well, is it living up to its promise?
We hear that yesterday was a whirlwind of tech-tactic panel discussions moderated by active investors, tech startups, founders and tech professionals.
Catalyst Fund, a climate-focused VC fund and accelerator, led a panel discussion about how tech-enabled solutions are combating Africa’s climate change. Later on, the crowd was all ears as cleantech startup Octavia Carbon’s CEO, Martin Freimuller, shared how African innovation is tackling climate change by capturing carbon across the continent.
MasterCard spearheaded a discussion on the future of payments. On another panel, fintech startups, Paystack, Nubikay and others, talked about how regulators and fintech startups can work together to ensure growth in the sector. They also shared their insights on the future of payments on the continent, answering the million-dollar question: what’s the future of digital currencies in Africa? Despite the recent crypto-calamities, blockchain technology company Celo and some experts discussed how the future of crypto in Africa is still bright after the storm.
Law firm DLA Piper’s discussion on the future of fintech and VC unpacked a changing environment in 2023, leaving the audience excited for what’s to come in the world of digital commerce on the continent.
Other discussions ranged from AI to decentralised finance (DeFi), tech skills, and startups, leaving attendees whipped up in a tech frenzy. There were also a few live pitches from startups like fintech Glover and food tech HRVST. Startups didn’t just pitch, they also set up shop, adding storytelling to the bustling atmosphere of the event.
In summary, it was a tech-straordinary event sponsored by MoniePoint, DLA Piper, Jetro, Mastercard and tens of other organisations—and it ends today. If you are thinking of attending the next one happening in 2024, you can pre-register here.
FIVE STARTUPS JOIN THE BAOBAB NETWORK
Nairobi-based accelerator, The Baobab Network, has announced that it has invested in five new startups for its most recent cohort. The accelerator backs early-stage tech companies across Africa.
The new cohort includes companies in Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania, and takes The Baobab Network’s total portfolio size to 35, with each of the new companies receiving $50,000 in funding.
“We are really proud of this cohort. Each team is made of excellent executors who are trying to solve big problems within their markets. We have seen their ability to make exponential progress in a short amount of time and we think that with our support and funding, they are now ready to scale rapidly,” said Wanjiku Kimani, admissions lead at The Baobab Network.
The startups include:
Medikea (Tanzania), a patient-centric telemedicine platform that offers full patient autonomy via on-demand consultation, at-home tests and diagnostics enabling individuals to seek care conveniently, spend less money and save time.
Vutia (Kenya), a B2B cosmetic marketplace that seamlessly connects informal retailers of cosmetics, beauty, and personal products with top brands and suppliers.
Tripitaca (Kenya), a travel tech company building a Shopify-like product with embedded financing for Africa’s 26 million travel small and medium businesses. The platform enables accommodation providers to increase their revenue by improving occupancy rates, as well as providing them with an operating system and access to affordable financial services.
Messenger (Nigeria), a last-mile service providing end-to-end logistics and supply chain solutions for clients in cities across Nigeria.
Swahilies (Tanzania), an SME book-keeping platform that allows SMEs to record their transactions (sales, spending, debts) and manage their businesses as well as send and receive payments.
The 100x Impact Accelerator is open to applications from impact-driven social enterprises that work across eight sectors including health, climate and education. Selected enterprises will receive £150,000 grants and access to LSE’s world-class expertise, plus a 12-week programme of bespoke support from experts and social unicorn founders. Register by March 10.
Do you have what it takes to become the next supplier to leading South African enterprises in the furniture sector? Apply for the 2023 eThekwini Furniture Cluster Acceleration Programme. Apply by February 28.
The Jasiri Talent Investor Programme is looking for highly driven individuals with a history of achievement and/or entrepreneurial action who aspire to launch a high-growth venture. Apply by April 23.
The Catalyst Fund makes grants between $2,500–$15,000 to anyone, anywhere in the world who has an early-stage idea or project that addresses pressing global challenges. Apply by February 28.
The Climate Finance Accelerator is a global technical assistance programme funded by the UK government to directly support climate projects to access finance. Apply by February 17, 2023.
The Growth Africa Accelerator Programme is calling for applications from ambitious and committed entrepreneurs from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia or Ghana with the potential to grow and create impact through their businesses. Apply now.
Code for Africa is offering 4-6 month CivicTech fellowships for mid-career digital strategists, digital creators, technologists, data scientists and UX strategists/designers. Apply before February 19.
The African Development Bank’s Fashionomics Africa is seeking African fashion, textile, apparel and accessories entrepreneurs and businesses. Apply by February 22.
Applications are now open for the Nigeria Media Innovation Program’s (NAMIP’s) Sustainability Challenge. Winners will be awarded up to $50,000 for their project and join NAMIP’s innovation and capacity building program that extends up till 2024. Apply by February 28.