Nedbank, Mastercard and Ukheshe partner to launch WhatsApp payments in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – Nedbank, Mastercard and fintech firm Ukheshe, have joined hands to launch Money Message, a payment platform that lets small and micro businesses receive in-chat payments from their customers via WhatsApp. In a statement, the big-four bank says a first in South Africa, the solution will enable merchants to send an invoice requesting payment from any customer through WhatsApp and their customers, in turn, can quickly settle a payment directly from the platform, it added. “The need for a diverse range of contactless payment methods is more important today than we…

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Allied Electronics Corporation acquires information security specialist Lawtrust from tech firm Etion for US$17m

SOUTH AFRICA – Allied Electronics Corporation (Altron). has revealed that it has acquired digital trust services and cyber information security solutions company Lawtrust from Etion for US$17 million, to position itself as a one-stop-shop for all that its digital and information security. The acquisition was still subject to South Africa’s Competition Commission approval. Altron chief executive Mteto Nyati said security was one of their key growth areas, in addition to Cloud, Data and Automation. “What differentiates Lawtrust is the level of intellectual property they own and an annuity base of…

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Fintech Ukheshe and startup Tanda partner to offer affordable digital banking to price-sensitive East African payments market

EAST AFRICA – In a region still dominated by cash and mobile money options, like M-Pesa, operated by mobile phone company Safaricom, new collaborations between fintechs are looking to capture the price-sensitive market with innovative, open-loop digital payment solutions in East Africa. According to Mark Dankworth, President International, Ukheshe Technologies, the region is poised for a surge in digital banking growth, with the likes of MCQR and virtual cards likely to make the biggest impact. This follows the Kenyan retail-tech startup, Tanda, leveraging Ukheshe Technologies’ cutting-edge Eclipse API to increase their digital…

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Tech company SHYFT Power Solutions raises US$3.1m to expand its offering

NIGERIA – SHYFT Power Solutions, an IoT and software developer, has announced an additional US$3.1 million in funding to bring its total seed round to US$3.8 million. The funding round was led by the SoftBank Vision Fund’s Emerge Program and Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures with participation from other investors including Lofty Inc, Samurai Ventures, and Urban US Ventures. SHYFT plans to use this new funding round to double its team in West Africa over the next year with a focus on developing AI capabilities to use its data and algorithms…

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Fintech startup Flutterwave partners Forter to eliminate fraudsters

NIGERIA – Forter, an e-commerce fraud prevention company, has announced a partnership with Flutterwave, Africa’s payments technology company to enable merchants accurately identify legitimate buyers from fraudsters. The partnership, the first of its kind in Africa, will result in increased transaction approvals and reduced friction in the purchasing experience, all without the fear of fraud. Servicing more than 290,000 businesses and processing over 140 million transactions worth over US$9 billion worldwide since inception, Flutterwave is Africa’s largest payment service provider. “We are excited about this partnership and our entry into…

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Tech startups Keiwa and Legafrik benefit from seed funding and strategic support from I&P

CÔTE D’IVOIRE – Two Ivorian start-ups operating in the tech sector Keiwa and Legafrik have joined the portfolio of the I&P Acceleration Technologies program, a program aimed at financing and supporting around fifteen digital start-ups in Sub-Saharan Africa. Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) is an impact investment group dedicated to African Small and Medium Enterprises. These two companies will benefit from seed funding and strategic support, provided by I&P Acceleration Technologies and the Comoé Capital team, an I&P partner in Côte d’Ivoire. Keiwa and Legrafrik are two young Ivorian companies, having…

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Vodacom, AUDA-NEPAD to roll out digital tech for Covid-19 vaccinations in Africa

AFRICA – South African mobile telecommunication company Vodacom Group, part of Vodafone Group, will work with AUDA-NEPAD to build digital infrastructure to manage vaccinations across up to 55 countries, following successful deployments in South Africa – to manage Covid-19 vaccinations – and in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Nigeria – to manage infant inoculations. According to a statement released to the media, the roll-out of mVacciNation, developed by Mezzanine, a member of the Vodacom Group, is the first project in a public-private partnership that has been formed between Vodacom Group and AUDA-NEPAD “to…

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Data analytics firm IDinsight appoints Frida Njogu as East Africa regional director

KENYA – Data analytics, research, and advisory firm–IDinsight has picked Frida Njogu-Ndongwe as its regional director for East Africa amongst other changes at the regional office.   Frida will oversee IDinsight’s projects, partnerships, and collaborations in East Africa, enabling decision-makers to use high-quality evidence to further their goals of improving lives. Frida is a medical doctor, public health specialist, entrepreneur, and development and management consultant. Prior to IDinsight, she was the director of programmes at the Centre for Health Solutions – Kenya and a consultant at McKinsey & Company’s Africa Delivery Hub. She served most recently…

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Virtual labs startup PraxiLabs to enhance science education through 3D simulations

TUNISIA – PraxiLabs, a virtual labs startup, is working to provide people with equal opportunities to obtain an enhanced science education by providing 3D interactive virtual simulations that are safe, affordable and accessible anytime, anywhere, for educational institutions and students alike. Launched in 2016, PraxiLabs is an online learning platform providing interactive science labs for students, even enabling scientific experiments that are not doable in the real lab. “While a lot of educational areas have benefited and progressed through ed-tech, the labs situation remained “as is”. It is important to…

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Tech investment group Prosus to sell 2% stake in Tencent for increased flexibility

SOUTH AFRICA – Technology investment group Prosus, a unit of consumer Internet company Naspers, has announced its intention to sell more than 191 million shares, or 2 percent of its shares in tech behemoth Tencent  valued at about US$15 billion  as it seeks further acquisitions for growth amid Covid-19. Prosus will reduce its stake to 28.9 percent from 30.9 percent in Chinese tech giant Tencent and intends to use the proceeds of the sale to increase its financial flexibility to invest in growth sectors and for general corporate purposes. Naspers…

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