MallforAfrica is the only e-commerce platform in Africa that provides access to UK stores and US directly. The platform has over 8.5 billion items for sale from over 150 UK and US stores. Some of the retailers include Amazon, Carters, Fashion Fair Cosmetics, Topshop UK, Barneys, Footlocker, Sports Direct, M&S, Bloomingdale’s, J. Crew, among others.
The Pan-African entrepreneurial training program, seed fund and tech incubator, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), has launched its fourth incubator and tech hub in Nairobi, Kenya. The incubator will provide the same on-the-ground support, access to resources and global MEST network.
Norway-based Katapult Accelerator has selected three African startups from Kenya, Egypt and Tunisia to join its third cohort of 12 start-ups from around the world. The start-ups from Africa include Kenyan cloud-based core banking system FinAccess, Egyptian low-immersion virtual reality science labs PraxiLabs, and Tunisia’s Think.iT, which helps companies build top-performing engineering teams by investing in North Africa’s future technology leaders.
Goodwell Investments has launched a new EUR 20 million fund, aiming at investing in the inclusive economy in Sub-Saharan Africa. The launch of the fund is launched as a result of the growing demand for impact investments from private investors, family offices and foundations.
Paystack, the Nigerian fintech start-up providing payments tools to businesses across Africa, has raised $8 million in Series A funding. The round was led by U.S.-based online payments software company Stripe, and includes Tencent and Y Combinator, as well as angel investors Tom Stafford, Managing Partner at DST Global, Gbenga Oyebode The Founding Partner of Aluko and Dale Mathias Co-founder at Innovation Partners Africa).
Honeywell Group has officially launched its Itanna, a new accelerator in Lagos. The accelerator program will be led by Tomi Otudeko, Head of Innovation and Sustainability in Honeywell Group. Itanna will roll out four-month innovation programme for tech-enabled Nigerian startups from its newly built Enterprise Factory in Lagos.
Microsoft Invests in Three African Start-ups Delivering Internet-connected Solutions to Rural Communities
Microsoft has invested through its Airband Grant Fund, an undisclosed amount in three African based start-ups providing internet access and cloud-enabled solutions to underserved African communities. The three start-ups were part of eight startups from the US, Africa and Asia that the company has invested. The three startups include Mesh Power from Rwanda, ColdHubs from Nigeria and Agsol; which is registered in Hong Kong and Australia and has operations in Kenya.
Sokowatch is a B2B e-commerce platform connecting African retail stores with multinational companies such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble. The start-up ’s mission is to empower the informal retail sector to join the digital economy. Launched in Nairobi in 2016, Sokowatch allows storeowners to order fast-moving consumer goods at any time through SMS or mobile app for same-day delivery.
US-based innovation and start-up consulting firm Quesnay is calling Female Founders for its second Tech Competition. The competition is backed by Farmers Insurance, CSAA Insurance Group, Liberty Mutual Insurance, RGAX and QBE Insurance. The competition aims to address the gap in female leaders by recognizing and supporting female-founded startups that impact the financial services and/or insurance technology industries.
In many West African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Togo and Benin, up to two years’ rent is often required upfront to secure renting a home. In an environment where most people have no access to credit or where the banks lack data on credit history, giving people the tools and the power to save money is an essential way of elevating people out of poverty.
Google plans to open an artificial intelligence (AI) research centre in Accra, the capital of Ghana, to explore the potential uses of the emerging technology in Africa. The centre is expected to open later this year, and will bring together top machine learning researchers and engineers who are dedicated to AI research and its applications.