Sama, a startup that trains data for AI algorithms, will employ 2,100 Kenyans in the next two weeks, according to Kenya’s trade cabinet secretary, Moses Kuria.
The first batch of 600 employees has already started working, while an additional 1,500 will be hired in the following weeks. This will increase Sama’s headcount from 3,400 to 5,500, with a leadership team that is entirely Kenyan.
The new hires will work in Sama’s computer vision artificial intelligence (AI) arm and will be tasked with labelling images and videos for machine learning algorithms.
ICYMI: Sama was formerly involved in content moderation services for Meta in Kenya. The company discontinued it to focus on computer vision AI work in March after it fired 184 content moderators, who have since sued the company for unfair dismissal. However, the company added that it left that line of business as a strategic business decision and not in relation to the ongoing case.
Zoom out: Sama’s new move signifies a promising future for AI development in Kenya, with the potential to influence the global AI landscape.
Get a working card from Moniepoint
With the Moniepoint personal banking app, you get reliable payments every time and a card that always works. Enjoy seamless payments powered by the infrastructure that 1.5 million businesses trust. Download the app.
Nestcoin raises $1.9 million
Image source: TechCabal
Nigerian web3 startup, Nestcoin, has raised $1.9 million in a strategic round. The startup will use the funds to support the growth of its Onboard product. This round of funding was led by Hashed Emergent. Alter Global, Magic Fund, CMT Digital, and 4DX Ventures are among the existing investors that took part. Adaverse and Base Ecosystem Fund also participated in this round.
ICYMI: Nestcoin, which was launched in 2021 to build, invest, and operate web3 and non-custodial products for customers lost a significant portion of its $6.45 million pre-seed investment in the FTX collapse last year. The startup laid off some employees as a result of this.
The company recently announced that it had pivoted to Onboard, a secure self-custody wallet for managing digital assets with no middlemen. Before this pivot, Nestcoin was home to a number of web3/crypto products Breach, a media platform; Brunch, a cryptocurrency-based group messaging tool; and Metaverse Magma (MVM), a gaming DAO. MVM operates independently after being spun off. Nestcoin also invested in over 13 African crypto and Web3 products including the now-defunct Lazerpay.
Kenya considers regulatory sandboxes
Image source: TechCabal
Kenya’s Communications Authority (CA) is addressing the regulatory challenges of emerging technologies.
How? The CA has suggested establishing regulatory sandboxes to oversee new technologies like digital currencies. A regulatory sandbox is used to assess technological services under supervision before they are fully integrated into the regulatory framework to ensure compliance and assess potential risks.
This new suggestion comes as WorldCoin, owned by Tools for Humanity, recently faced scrutiny for collecting sensitive biometric information from Kenyan citizens in exchange for a token worth Ksh7,000 ($50).
This has raised concerns about data privacy and compliance with existing laws. Initially registered as a data processor in Kenya, WorldCoin’s activities were called into question when it became apparent that their license did not grant authority to collect personal data.
What now? WorldCoin has since halted its activities in Kenya, leaving questions about the fate of the collected biometric data.
The search giant announced on Wednesday that all verified election advertisers are to tell people if their ads use artificial intelligence (AI) in campaign content.
The requirements: Starting mid-November, election advertisers must tell people if their ads use artificial intelligence (AI) to create images, videos, or audio that look real. This disclosure must be clear and obvious, and it must be placed where people are likely to see it. This policy will apply to all ads that are created or manipulated using AI, including ads that appear on Google’s search engine, YouTube, and other platforms.
However, ads that use AI to create images, videos, or audio that are not important to the claims made in the ad do not have to disclose that they use AI. This includes editing techniques such as image resizing, cropping, colour or brightening corrections, defect correction and background edits that do not create realistic depictions of actual events.
Zoom out: Google’s interest in developing AI policies has expanded to its other platforms, including YouTube, which recently unveiled its guiding principles for AI collaboration with the music industry.”
Image source: TC Insights
This week, Okra Solar, a Pan-African clean energy company, raised $12 million in series A funding; the round was led by At One Ventures; other participating investors included FMO, Susquehanna Private Equity Investments LLLP, Autodesk Foundation, and King Philanthropies.
Here are the other deals this week:
Nigerian fintech company Anchor raised $2.4 million in seed funding; the round was led by Justin Kan’s Goat Capital. Other participating investors included FoundersX, Rebel Fund, and some existing investors, including Y Combinator and Byld Ventures.
Kotani, a Kenyan crypto platform, raised $2 million in a pre-seed funding round. The round was led by P1 Ventures, with participation from other investors, including DCG/Luno and Flori Ventures.
Egyptian Healthcare Company Sehatech raised $850 K in an undisclosed round from A15 and Beltone Venture Capital.
Moroccan Edtech startup Smartprof raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Fuze, a prominent player in funding Francophone African startups.
Elevate your business with One Liquidity’s seamless integration. Choose from 10+ services to craft a custom solution. Join Obiex, Wewire, and others in providing trading, liquidity & compliance services. Start now with zero upfront fees. One integration. One solution. One Liquidity.
The Moonshot Conference
Early bird tickets are still selling out fast for Moonshot by TechCabal!
If you’re an international fan eager to be part of this incredible event, the time has come for you to secure your seat and get an exclusive discount.
Be part of the gathering of the most audacious players in Africa’s tech ecosystem and get your early birds ticket now.
Want to build a successful tech business? Sign up for this 5-week training programme and gain access to resources worth over $15,000. Apply by September 10.
If you are an aspiring economist entering your first year of undergraduate studies in the 2024 academic year, the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) Economic Research Department in collaboration with the SARB Academy, invites you to apply for competitive SARB bursaries in the field of economics, economics and econometrics, economics and mathematical statistics and economic science. Apply by September 30.