[Africa Tech Review] Nixon Kanali: African startups are still getting the attention of VCs
This has been another interesting week for tech in Africa with a number of African tech startups across different industries raising funding to scale.
In Uganda, Tugende, a fintech platform providing asset financing and digital services to small businesses raised a pre-Series B investment. On the heels of a recent $1.50 million (KSh 170 million) investment, Kenyan insurtech startup mTek secured an additional $3 million (KSh 340 million) investment. Still on startups, Digital Africa, in partnership with Proparco, announced plans to support 200 African startups at different stages of their growth with a wide range of offers at their disposal. Back in Uganda, the International Trade Centre (ITC) and Korea SMEs and Startups Agency (KOSME) launched the Youth Start-up Academy Uganda project this week. It was also revealed this week that yearly funding for Kenyan start-ups is projected to hit Sh100 billion in the next three years.Kenyan startup Empower Smart Limited launched an innovative, new and automated Digital Escrow Supervised Payments Solution for Dependents.
In Nigeria, fintech firm VeendHQ announced it has secured a $330k pre-seed fund, backed by Magic Fund, The Oak Capital, Future Africa, Berrywood Capital and other angel investors, to expand its operations and scale growth.
This week, in a bid to give youth a fighting chance in this tough economy, Vodacom launched Get-a-Gig through NXT LVL with a three-year vision of connecting 1 Million Youth to jobs or gigs by 2024.Oracle and Vodafone announced a strategic partnership to modernize the operator’s European IT infrastructure and accelerate its transition to the cloud. In Kenya, the country’s leading telco Safaricom announced the return of Nyakua 100% Data Bonus, a campaign which was unveiled earlier this year for customers to enjoy 100% bonus data upon attaining their daily data targets. Telkom Kenya also launched the Changa Bundle to enable Kenyans to share data, minutes, voice and SMSs. Google Arts & Culture partnered with Carakana, a Kenyan social enterprise and non-profit, to launch an online exhibition for cross stitch and traditional craft.
Still in Kenya, ride-hailing service Uber announced that it is expanding its presence to five more towns across the country. The company recently celebrated a huge milestone having clocked a billion rides across all its markets in Africa.
On matters of cybersecurity, ESET revealed that has recorded a sharp increase in uptake of cloud services based on the upsurge of work and study from home initiatives by organizations and academic institutions in Kenya. Kaspersky also opened three additional Transparency Centers worldwide — in Japan, Singapore, and the United States. Check Point Software a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions globally, also reminded African organisations of the importance of cybersecurity training for employees, following the recent cyber-attack on Shoprite Holdings.
Audiomack, the artist-first music streaming and discovery platform, and Universal Music Group (UMG), announced a new licensing agreement to make UMG content available to Audiomack subscribers across Africa.
Other top highlights of the week include Eaton expanding collaboration with Microsoft on grid-interactive UPS technology, Mastercard announcing the signing of a partnership with the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) to help Kenya’s tourism sector rebound to its pre-pandemic level and IT infrastructure services provider Kyndryl has announced the appointment of Andreas Beck as the company’s Managing Director in the Middle East and Africa.
Nixon Kanali is the Tech Editor for Africa Business Communities.