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Happy pre-Friday ☀️

The argument that Internships are just about fetching coffee or running errands are no longer valid. Today’s internships, especially in tech, have become valuable learning experiences that offer real work value and contribute to career development. 

Entering Tech,—TechCabal’s newsletter for aspiring tech professionals—dives into using tech internships as a launchpad to success.


Inside Verod-Kepple’s vision for African startups

As funding levels across the continent return to pre-pandemic levels, growth-stage startups are finding it increasingly difficult to raise funding. Verod-Kepple hopes to change that. The venture capital firm that has backed 11 growth-stage startups in two years with ticket sizes ranging between $1 million and $3 million, 

The $45 million fund is a successor to Kepple Africa Ventures, the early-stage investment firm that backed over 100 pre-seed and seed startups in three years with cheques worth between $50,000 and $150,000. 

Now, it has shed the seed-stage investing and speed that Kepple Africa was known for as it looks to increase its portfolio. The fund’s leadership team—Ory Okolloh, Ryosuke Yamawaki, and Satoshi Shinada—are looking to back “market-creating startups”. They also invest in startups that solve friction for businesses and the general public. 

In an interview with TechCabal, they shared their investment thesis and what they have learned from investing in more than 100 African startups across multiple sectors and countries. 

Here’s how Verod-Kepple is thinking about investments on the continent.

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CBK grants licences to 19 digital lenders

Before 2021, operating a digital lending business in Kenya was easy. Registration was all it took, leaving customer data protection and lending practices largely unchecked. This lack of oversight led to a chaotic market with predatory lenders.

After defining new regulations in October 2021, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) decided to tighten its grip on the digital lending industry in September 2022, and issued a strict 3-day ultimatum to digital lenders to either comply with the new standards or face closure.

Digital lenders were required to re-register with the CBK and submit to their oversight. By March 2023, a total of 32 licences had been granted from a pool of over 400 applications.

One year later: The CBK has granted licence to 19 more digital lenders, bringing the total number of licenced Digital Credit Providers (DCPs) to 51.

The new regulations aim to bring order, in response to issues such as high costs, unethical debt collection practices, and misuse of personal information by unregulated providers. Since March 2022, CBK has received 480 applications from entities seeking licensing as digital credit providers. However, many applicants are still in the process, awaiting the submission of required documentation.

Zoom out: Another country taking its digital lending seriously is Nigeria. In August 2022, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) implemented a new regulatory framework that requires all digital lenders to obtain a licence and register with the FCCPC before operating within the country. As of April 2023, Nigeria had approved 173 loan companies.


OpenAI fires back at Elon Musk

Last week, we brought you news of Elon Musk suing OpenAI, makers of ChatGPT for towing a for-profit route for the company.

Now the fight seems to be heating up. 

Round two, fight: Musk who invested more than $44 million in OpenAI between 2016 and 2020, claimed the ChatGPT maker had derailed from its founding objectives of making AI free for the use of all. However, new email evidence from OpenAI shows that Musk was in on the for-profit mission. 🙀

A hypocrite? Yesterday, OpenAI released a blog post detailing an email correspondence in which Musk had agreed with other chief executives at the company to go a for-profit route in 2017.

That’s not all. 

The blog post also claimed that Musk proposed a merger with his startup, Tesla. 

Before the release of the blog post, Jason Kwon, an executive at OpenAI, sent out a memo that contained a rebuttal to one of Musk’s claims that the company was acting as a subsidiary of Microsoft. “We decide what to research and build, how to run the company, who our products serve, and how to live out our mission,” Jason Kwon, wrote in the Memo. 

Open AI’s revealing blog post puts Musk as a subject of scrutiny in the legal battle. It remains to be seen whose version of events holds water. 

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Ring Capital launches Africa-focused fund

In June 2023, French VC firm, Ring Capital successfully closed its Ring Mission impact fund—a fund that focuses on early-stage tech ventures in Europe—at €66 million ($71.9 million), exceeding their initial target of €50 million ($54.4 million). 

Following this achievement, Ring Capital has unveiled its latest venture—Ring Africa, another impact investment fund targeted at French-speaking West Africa.

In addition to launching Ring Africa, Ring Capital has bolstered its leadership team with the appointment of Elisabeth Moreno as President of the Board. Moreno previously served as the French Delegate Minister for Gender Equality, Diversity, and Equal Opportunities.

Investing in Sustainable Solutions: Ring Africa seeks to address pressing issues like climate change, transition to a formal economy, and improving agricultural productivity. They’ll partner with Mstudio, a startup studio based in Abidjan, to identify and support impactful ventures, with plans to establish a local investment team in the city.

Mstudio, a firm with the ambition to build multiple sustainable companies across the francophone region launched in March 2023, and has already invested in over eight startups including Tajiri and Djoli, with a focus on sectors such as fintech, edtech, and social commerce.

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Crypto Tracker

The World Wide Web3


OneLiquidity  logo

Coin Name

Current Value



Bitcoin $66,748

+ 5.88%

+ 57.56%

Ether $3,853

+ 11.34%

+ 68.53%

Tether USDt


+ 0.10%

+ 0.15%

BNB $427.45

+ 10.43%

+ 40.94%

* Data as of 10:15 PM WAT, March 6, 2024.

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The Africa eGovernance Conference is set to hold from the 12th to the 14th of March 2024. The conference and exhibition will feature plenary and deep-dive, networking and dealmaking sessions featuring relevant technology solutions tailored for the urgent transformation of Africa. Join strategists and policymakers like Bak Barnaba Chol, Minister for Finance South Sudan; Cina Lawson, Minister for Digital Economy and Transformations, Togo; and Paula Ngabire, Minister of ICT and Innovation, Rwanda to create the pathways into the future of digital governance. Register here

Written by: Mariam Muhammad & Faith Omoniyi

Edited by: Timi Odueso

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