IBM appoints Saad Toma as General Manager for Middle East and Africa regions

MEA – International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), an American multinational technology company, has named Saad Toma as General Manager in the Middle East and Africa regions. Mr. Toma succeeds Takreem El-Tohamy, who has been appointed General Manager, Global Strategic Sales at IBM. Mr. Toma brings deep industry, services and technology expertise and over 30 years of experience at IBM working across multiple geographies. He will be responsible for IBM’s overall business operations across Middle East, Africa and Turkey, driving business growth and client satisfaction. “Saad is a highly respected leader…

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Insurtech startup Pineapple raises US$5.4m Series A funding round

SOUTH AFRICA – Insurtech startup Pineapple has raised ZAR80 million (US$5.4 million) in Series A funding as it looks to expand further into the car insurance space off the back of growing by 200 percent in the last six months. Launched in 2018 and an alumnus of the Google Launchpad Africa accelerator, Pineapple allows users to get quotes and insurance on items with just the snap of a picture. The startup raised funding around the time of its launch and in 2019 banked US$1.5 million after winning the US-based VentureClash competition, and it has…

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Startup Ada Animation secures pre-seed funding from Unicorn Group to enable growth & expansion

KENYA – Ada Animation, an entertainment tech company, has announced a pre-seed capital raise from Nigerian venture capital firm Platform Capital through its technology firm Unicorn Group. The investment is set to elevate entertainment companies in Africa as potential partners in the VC investments realm. Founded in 2020, Ada Animation was born out of the desire to build capacity in the animation industry, tell animated African stories and catalyze the animation industry for growth. The company produces content in 2D and 3D animation, motion graphics, whiteboard animation, VFX, content creation, character design, voiceovers,…

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Ad-tech startup AIfluence closes US$1m in seed funding round

KENYA – Nairobi-based influencer marketing platform, AIfluence Inc, has closed US$1 million in Seed funding round led by Dubai-based EQ2 Ventures, and joined by Antler East Africa, Nigerian VC OUI Capital, ArabyAds and a European family office. AIfluence was part of Antler’s inaugural Nairobi cohort in 2020. The startup says the funds will be used to expand into the rest of Africa, the Middle East & Asia by the end of 2021, and to further invest into AIfluence’s tech and SaaS platform. AIfluence leverages advanced machine learning algorithms to match influencers with a…

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E-health startup raises 7-figure seed capital for AI-based platform

SOUTH AFRICA – E-health startup iNNOHEALTH has secured a seven-figure seed investment from an unnamed Hong Kong-based VC for its AI-based healthcare platform it hopes will position it at the forefront of digital healthcare in the country.  Founded in 2020 by medical doctors Chad Marthinussen and Wade Palmer, and chartered accountant Abdul Malick Salie, iNNOHEALTH’s focus is on providing solutions for quality,  affordable and equitable healthcare to everyone on the African continent. The start-up’s first product is the doctor-led app MyPocketHealth, an integrated patient healthcare platform that will provide comprehensive…

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Tech company Huawei appoints Terry HE as President for Northern Africa

NORTH AFRICA – Huawei, a multinational technology company, has announced the appointment of Terry HE as President of Huawei Northern Africa to strengthening Huawei’s investment in digital infrastructure and training of young talent in Africa. In this role, he will be responsible for coordinating the group’s overall operations in the 28 African countries in the region. With his dynamic approach, participatory leadership, managerial skills and constant drive for efficiency, his appointment marks an important milestone for the group as African stakeholders look to meet the challenge of the fourth industrial…

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Kenya Airways unveils innovation hub to support youth mentorship

KENYA – National carrier Kenya Airways PLC (KQ) has launched the Fahari Innovation Hub, a center for innovation that acts as a springboard for new ideas and data-driven innovations to accelerate impact-driven solutions that address some of the societal and business challenges. The Fahari Innovation Hub is part of the airline’s s strategy in contributing to the sustainable development of Africa by empowering, partnering, and co-creating innovative ideas and strategies with local start-ups and the small-medium enterprises (SMEs) ecosystem. Speaking during the launch Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Innovation and…

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Startup MarketForce raises US$2m Pre-Series A to scale its B2B retail marketplace

KENYA – MarketForce, a Kenyan B2B retail distribution platform has raised US$2 million Pre-Series A round to launch in Nigeria and to scale up its RejaReja to more towns in East Africa. The funding was raised from V8 Capital, Future Africa, Greenhouse Capital, Launch Africa, Rebel Fund, Remapped Ventures, and a couple of strategic angel investors as new investors. Y Combinator and existing investor P1 Ventures also participated in the oversubscribed round. The raise brings MarketForce’s total funding to date to US$2.5 million after it raised US$350,000 seed round last year and US$150,000…

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Digital tech startup Damanesign raises US$450,000 funding to improve its operation

MOROCCO – Damanesign, a Morocco-based digital trust solutions startup, has successfully raised MAD4 million (US$450,000) in funds led by Maroc Numeric Fund II to improve its digital products and develop its operations. Founded in 2021 by Zouhair Hamdaoui, Damanesign is a startup that is seizing new legislation opportunities on digital trust in Morocco to provide users with the utmost safety in the documentation. Damanesign provides electronic signatures, seals, and timestamps allowing users to sign and have documents signed in total security while guaranteeing their probative value. Damanesign also offers advanced…

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Data sharing start-up Omnisient gets US$1.4m funding, eyes global expansion

SOUTH AFRICA – Omnisient, a Cape Town-based start-up that specializes in secure data-sharing for businesses, has raised US$1.4 million (R19 million), as it looks to expand its global footprint. This funding marks the second round of funding for the start-up, after landing pre-Series A funding from a trio of investors – Nedbank, Investec, and Compass Venture Capital in March 2021. For the latest funding round, Omnisient reveals it has brought in international investors – Technova, Grand Bay Ventures, Tahseen Consulting, and Kepple Africa Ventures which it notes will be a “key” addition to supporting…

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