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The Sophie Germain vessel

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Orange SA launches new vessel for undersea internet cable repairs

The Sophie Germain vessel
The Sophie Germain. Image source: Orange

French telecom giant Orange SA has unveiled its latest vessel to help maintain global internet connectivity. 

The telecom company launched a €50 million ($53 million) vessel, the Sophie Germain, to repair undersea internet cables across the Mediterranean, Red, and Black Seas.

Rapid response capability: The 100-metre-long ship can be dispatched within 24 hours of a cable fault report, and is equipped with an underwater robot that can dive down 3,000 metres to locate damaged cables, and swiftly retrieve, repair, and reposition them, which takes around three days.

Furthermore, the ship is slated to conduct approximately one repair mission each month, catering to clients including Meta Platforms Inc., Telecom Italia Spa, and China Telecom Corp. It will help maintain the 70,000 km (43,000 miles) of cable that allows internet traffic to flow between Europe, Africa and Asia.

Orange Marine, a subsidiary of Orange SA, with a track record in repairing undersea internet cables, possesses seven of the 50 or so cable ships scattered across the globe. Located in La Seyne-Sur-Mer, South of France, it is positioned between China, the United States, and Africa, while maintaining proximity to crucial internet cable landing points like Marseille, Genoa, and Barcelona.

Zoom out: Cable damage is most often caused by fishing activity, although sometimes earthquakes and rockfalls are to blame. In August, two undersea cables that connect South Africa to the global network broke due to a rockfall in the Congo Canyon.

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Enza Capital’s new $58 million programme

Peter Kahi
Enza Capital Team. Image Source: TechCrunch

Kenyan-based venture firm, Enza Capital, has raised $58 million to support startups on the continent. 

The VC company, which invests from first cheque, at the pre-seed level to Series B started in 2019, with an aim to back “category-defining” tech companies across fintech, logistics, health, human capital, and climate verticals on the continent.

Enza Capital has made 48 investments in 31 companies across the continent. The Nairobi-based firm also invested in Guidewheel, a Kenyan climate tech startup from its pilot phase. Enza Capital was also the first cheque investor in Autochek, SeamlessHR, Money 254, and Earthacre.

An ownership twist? The VC firm is kickstarting a new shared ownership model that allows startup founders the ability to own part of the firm. Enza capital has allocated 10% of its carry pool to founders.

Enza Capital wants to use the shared ownership to foster collaboration and alignment with the startup founders, Mike Mompi, managing partner of the VC firm told TechCrunch in an interview. According to him, the move increases the likelihood of success across all stakeholders in the venture capital structure.

Zoom out: Enza Capital’s founder partner programme is the latest of different VC firms that are raising capital and raising the hopes of startups seeking funds in what seems to be a funding winter.


Ivorian startup, Auto24, expands into four African countries

Image source: TechCabal

Auto24, the Ivorian used car marketplace, has expanded its presence into four new marketplaces.

The startup expanded into Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, and South Africa simultaneously, a year after it launched in Côte d’Ivoire.

A strategic expansion: Per the CEO, Axel Peyriere, South Africa and Morocco were chosen due to their status as the two largest car markets on the continent. The expansion into Rwanda, on the other hand, serves as an entry point into East Africa, and a promising market for electric cars, aligning with Rwanda’s eco-friendly policies. Lastly, Senegal was chosen due to its similarities with Ivory Coast, offering a natural fit for Auto24’s expansion plans. The expansion into these new markets was made possible by careful planning and preparation, initiated months before the official launch, Peyriere stated.

Additionally, customers in the newly added countries can access the platform in both international and local languages, allowing them to reserve and secure their desired vehicles before test-driving and finalising their purchases.

Zoom out: According to Peyriere, Auto24 has had a successful year, assisting “thousands of customers” in purchasing cars without any warranty-related issues. He emphasised that their business model is notably virtuous, as their pre-owned vehicles offer greater affordability compared to new ones, aligning perfectly with the principles of a circular economy.

TC Insights

Funding Tracker

TC Insights graph
Image source: TC Insights

This week, South Africa’s Revio, a payment platform, announced a seed investment round of $5.2 million. The funding round was led by fintech fund QED Investors, joined by Partech, and continued participation from Revio’s existing investors— Speedinvest, RaliCap, and Everywhere VC.

Here are other deals for the week:

  • Root Platform, a South African insurtech startup raised $1.5 million in funding in a round led by Invenfin, the venture and growth capital arm of Remgro.

That’s it for this week!

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for more funding announcements. You can also visit DealFlow, our real-time funding tracker.

Crypto Tracker

The World Wide Web3



Coin Name

Current Value



Bitcoin $27,124

+ 3.49%

+ 4.30%

Ether $1,657

+ 4.03%

+ 0.67%



+ 1.97%

– 5.14%

Cardano $0.2495


– 6.19%

* Data as of 9:47 PM WAT, September 28, 2023.

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Written by –

Mariam Muhammad & Faith Omoniyi

Edited by – Timi Odueso

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