Software firm Karooooo acquires Picup for US$5m as it eyes South Africa’s e-commerce space

SOUTH AFRICA – Karooooo, a global software company, has acquired a controlling stake in Picup, an on-demand delivery platform for documents, packages, parcels and incidentals, for R70 million (US$5 million). The Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Karooooo, which owns South African vehicle tracking and fleet management solutions company Cartrack, now controls 70.1% of the start-up. The firm says that Picup has strong growth prospects, given the acceleration of e-commerce transactions and the demand to digitalize logistics. The Picup platform allows enterprises and transporters to plan and allocate their loads and access real-time tracking…

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Mobile commerce platform Copia expands into Uganda, targets the burgeoning middle-class

UGANDA – Copia Global, a fast-growing mobile commerce platform built to serve middle to low-income African consumers, has expanded its operations into Uganda. Copia Uganda is built on the company’s success in its initial market in Kenya, where Copia serves more than 1 million customers and is doubling in size every year and the expansion will bring high-quality and affordable products to millions of middle-class Ugandans, regardless of location, technology access or connection status. According to a 2016/17 study by the Economic Policy Research Centre, Uganda has experienced an upsurge…

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Online marketplace Jiji acquires struggling Cars45 to diversify its business portfolio

KENYA – Jiji, one of Africa’s largest classifieds marketplaces that took over OLX Sub-Saharan Africa from the Naspers Group as Walie Holdings, has acquired Cars45, an online marketplace for people to buy, sell or swap used cars operations in Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria for an undisclosed amount. Jiji, supported by Lemma.Group, an investment company, says the deal promises a new level of trade experience for auto buyers and sellers across the three countries where Cars45’s performance was wanting. Speaking to TechCrunch on the reason for the deal, Jiji’s co-founder and board member Vladimir Mnogoletniy…

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E-commerce startup Sky.Garden raises US$4m Series A funding round to accelerate growth

KENYA – Sky.Garden, an e-commerce has closed a US$4 million round of Series A funding to accelerate its growth. Sky.Garden is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for mobile commerce that is built specifically for African businesses. Launched in May 2017, its easy-to-use online marketplace allows informal traders, SMEs and established businesses to sell their products. Its technology has been built with a strong focus on African sellers and adapted to tap into the extensive logistics network of informal and structured shipping across the continent. The startup raised a US$1.2 million seed funding round in 2018,…

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Glovo launches its first African micro fulfillment center in Nairobi, expands Q-commerce arm

KENYA – Global on-demand delivery platform Glovo, has launched its first micro fulfilment centre in Nairobi, Kenya, as the company expands its ‘Q-commerce’ division -next generation e-commerce. Q-Commerce means that consumers can use Glovo to order from their favourite supermarkets and neighbourhood stores, and from now onwards, they can additionally order from Glovo Market. Glovo Market uses the latest in in-store digital technology and dedicated resources to ensure the quickest possible delivery times with customers receiving their orders in 20 to 40 minutes. The centre is located at AEA Plaza…

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Mastercard backs female-focused e-commerce platform Kasha of Rwanda

RWANDA – American multinational financial services corporation Mastercard, has announced a new investment in Rwandan female-focused e-commerce platform Kasha. The two institutions say they will continue their shared efforts to ensure women across emerging markets have essential access to health and personal care products along with the information required to support everyday hygiene needs. Launched in 2018 in Rwanda, Kasha is a platform that allows women across rural and urban locations to make confidential personal care orders. The platform later launched in Kenya in 2019. By utilizing the full product catalogue…

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Ethiopia’s Dashen Bank partners Visa to launch an e-commerce platform

ETHIOPIA – Financial institution Dashen Bank has announced that it will launch Amole e-commerce gateway using Visa Cyber Source infrastructure to acquire Visa, Mastercard and American Express cards. The Amole e-commerce gateway will be the first e-commerce gateway in Ethiopia to accept all three major international cards with the promise to expand by acquiring and developing additional digital payment methods. The e-commerce was launched in cooperation with Moneta Technologies, a fintech company fully owned by Kenya’s Fettan Holdings Limited which operates Dashen Bank’s digital wallet system, Amole, and Visa. Speaking…

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Security solutions provider Securex launches e-commerce portal, home security solution

KENYA – Security solutions provider Securex Agencies has launched a smart home security kit targeting domestic residences in Kenya.   Branded as the ‘Rafiki by Securex’ do-it-yourself (DIY) home security kit, the solution will help curb the increasing burglary incidences in domestic homes by providing surveillance, deterrence, self-monitoring, and response subscription, all via smartphone application.  The ‘Rafiki by Securex’ solution is designed to offer affordable security solutions to all those looking for an affordable, easy to manage security system which they can access at any time, from anywhere using their home…

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ECA launches e-commerce platform to facilitate AfCFTA transactions

AFRICA – The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched ATEX, a business-to-business e-commerce platform that seeks to facilitate trading between buyers and suppliers after African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) comes into effect. ATEX’s main objective is to improve cross-border trade and provide businesses with quality products from verified African suppliers in an efficient way at reduced average trading costs based on AfCFTA rules. For the project, ECA has partnered with the Afreximbank, which will serve as broker for most of the payment systems and the logistics. According to the United…

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Nigerian e-commerce startup Pricepally secures funding from GreenTec Capital Partners

Nigeria – Pricepally, Nigerian group-buying platform aggregating consumer food demand in urban cities and matching it with supplies directly from farmers and wholesalers, has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from German firm GreenTec Capital Partners. Launched in November 2019, the start-up aims to expand its operations outside its Lagos base with the acquired funds, reports Disrupt Africa. Currently, offering one-to-two-day delivery on orders, Pricepally has seen increased demand created by the global COVID-19 pandemic. It has ambitious plans to re-imagine the food system in Africa by connecting relevant stakeholders through their…

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