Category Archives: africa

African fintech dominates Catalyst Fund’s 2019 startup cohort

African fintech has taken center stage for the Catalyst Fund, a JP Morgan Chase and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-backed accelerator that provides mentorship and non-equity funding to emerging markets startups. The organization announced its 2019 startup cohort and three out of the four finance ventures — Chipper Cash, Salutat and Turaco — have an Africa focus (Brazil-based venture Diin, was the fourth). Catalyst Fund, which is managed by global tech consulting firm BFA,  also released its latest evaluation report, which showed 60% of the organization’s portfolio […]

Read more

Canada’s True North conference is not your typical tech event

From the venue and the flashy event website, Waterloo, Ontario’s True North conference (in its second year) doesn’t seem all that distinct from a laundry list of other major tech events that take place each year across North America. But from the moment its main stage programming kicked off on the first day, it was clear this wasn’t your typical gathering place for the tech industry faithful. The main stage track kicked off with Communitech CEO Iain Klugman. The event is produced by Communitech, an entrepreneurial support […]

Read more

Why is Andreessen Horowitz (and everyone else) investing in Latin America now?

Investments by U.S. venture capital firms into Latin America are skyrocketing and one of the firms leading the charge into deals is none other than Silicon Valley’s Andreessen Horowitz . The firm that shook up Silicon Valley with potentially over-generous term sheets and valuations and an overarching thesis that “software is eating the world” has been reluctant to test its core belief… well… pretty much anywhere outside of the United States. That was true until a few years ago when Andreessen began making investments in Latin America. […]

Read more

Africa Roundup: Jumia’s post-IPO earnings, Gokada’s $5.3M raise, Facebook’s fake-news purge, Joe Montana’s fintech investment

Jumia held its first post-IPO earnings call and weathered a short-sell assault in May, with Wall Street showing confidence in the Pan-African e-commerce company. On the numbers, key takeaways were that Jumia’s Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) — the total amount of goods sold over the period — grew by 58% to €240 million. Marketplace revenue grew 102% to €16 million, and gross profits as a percentage of GMV grew by 6.5% in Q1 2019. Overall, Jumia’s operating losses for the period widened to €45.4 million from €34.3, […]

Read more

Diving deep into Africa’s blossoming tech scene

Jumia may be the first startup you’ve heard of from Africa. But the e-commerce venture that recently listed on the NYSE is definitely not the first or last word in African tech. The continent has an expansive digital innovation scene, the components of which are intersecting rapidly across Africa’s 54 countries and 1.2 billion people. When measured by monetary values, Africa’s tech ecosystem is tiny by Shenzen or Silicon Valley standards. But when you look at volumes and year over year expansion in VC, startup formation, and […]

Read more

These startups are locating in SF and Africa to win in global fintech

To become a global fintech player, locate your company in San Francisco and Africa. That’s the approach of payments company Flutterwave, digital lending startup Mines, and mobile-money venture Chipper Cash—Africa-founded ventures that maintain headquarters in San Francisco and operations in Africa to tap the best of both worlds in VC, developers, clients, and the frontier of digital finance. This arrangement wasn’t exactly coordinated across the ventures, but TechCrunch coverage picked up the trend and some common motives among these rising fintech firms. Founded in 2016 by Nigerians […]

Read more

WorldCover raises $6M round for emerging markets’ climate insurance

WorldCover, a New York and Africa-based climate insurance provider to smallholder farmers, has raised a $6 million Series A round led by MS&AD Ventures. Y Combinator, Western Technology Investment and EchoVC also participated in the round. WorldCover’s platform uses satellite imagery, on-ground sensors, mobile phones and data analytics to create insurance options for farmers whose crop yields are affected adversely by weather events — primarily lack of rain. The startup currently operates in Ghana, Uganda and Kenya . With the new funding, WorldCover aims to expand its […]

Read more

Startups Weekly: Lessons from a failed founder

I sat down with Menlo Ventures partner Shawn Carolan this week to talk about his early investment in Uber. Menlo, if you remember, led Uber’s Series B and has made a hefty sum over the year selling shares in the ride-hailing company. I’ll have more on that later; for now, I want to share some of the insights Carolan had on his experience ditching venture capital to become a founder. Around when Menlo made its first investment in Uber, Carolan began taking a step back from the […]

Read more

African e-commerce startup Jumia’s shares open at $14.50 in NYSE IPO

Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia listed on the New York Stock Exchange today, with shares beginning trading at $14.50 under ticker symbol JMIA. This comes four weeks after CEO Sacha Poignonnec confirmed the IPO to TechCrunch and Jumia filed SEC documents. With the public offering, Jumia becomes the first startup from Africa to list on a major global exchange. In an updated SEC filing, Jumia indicated it is offering 13,500,000 ADR shares for an opening price spread of $13 to $16 per share, representing 17.6 percent of all company shares. […]

Read more

Boomplay, a Spotify-style music and video streaming service for African music and Africa, raises $20M

While Spotify dukes it out with Apple and other big tech names to target high-end users in mostly developed markets, a startup out of China has raised some money to expand its music streaming business in the massive but still nascent market of Africa. Boomplay, a service founded by Transsnet — a joint venture between Chinese phone maker Transsion and Chinese consumer apps giant NetEase — has raised $20 million in outside funding as it looks to break into more sub-Saharan countries and continue to build up […]

Read more
1 2 3