Google unveils US$6m funding program to support African start-ups

AFRICA – Tech giant Google has unveiled three programmes worth US$6 million which are expected to support women and young entrepreneurs and innovators in at least 13 African countries. Under the first programme, Google will grant US$3 million to the Tony Elumelu Foundation to support women-owned start-ups in the continent to upscale their ideas. The tech giant says the fund will help in providing entrepreneurship training, mentorship and coaching to at least 5,000 women as well as seed capital in the form of one-time cash grants to 500 African women…

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Co-founder of CBBE launches new crypto venture capital fund for African crypto startups

NIGERIA – The co-founder of Crypto for Black Economic Empowerment (CBBE), a coalition of 100 Black inventors and founders, Erikan Obotetukudo, has announced the launch of Audacity Fund, a new crypto venture capital fund. The Audacity Fund is a non-profit organization that to intends to invest in African crypto startups, with a special focus on decentralized finance (DeFi), a name for blockchain-based initiatives that eliminate financial middlemen such as banks, allowing people to lend, borrow, and trade directly with one another. “As exciting and interesting as blockchain and crypto is…

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Amazon Payment Services launches first global FinTech lab to support regional startups

MENA – Payment processing business Amazon Payment Services has set up its first global FinTech lab at the DIFC Innovation Hub, UAE, to support regional start-ups and companies driving innovation in digital payments. According to the company, the initiative aims to increase FinTech adoption in the region by providing a forum for discussions on digital payments and addressing challenges customers face in making payments. “The region is going from a frontier stage to an emerging stage of financial technology. Through the Amazon FinTech Lab, we work with innovators and visionaries…

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Flat6Labs announces its US$13.18m second close to support early-stage startups

EGYPT – Flat6Labs, a regional Seed Programme and Fund, has announced the second close and increase of its Egypt fund from EGP50 million (US$3.18m) to EGP207 million (US$13.18m), to support Egyptian early-stage startups. Flat6Labs has also announced that it is raising its cash seed offering for its Cairo Seed Programme to up to EGP1.5 million (US$95,510), and up to EGP3 million (US$0.19m) in post-programme follow-on funding for selected startups. The FAC fund’s existing Anchor Investors include the International Finance Corporation, the MSME Development Agency, the Egyptian American Enterprise Fund, and…

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Investment platform Pangea Accelerator’s 2021 Scale-Up Program to invest up to US$3m in East African start-ups

EAST AFRICA – Investment platform Pangea Accelerator, has launched a scale-up program to support start-ups and grow them from seed to series A to enable more African entrepreneurs to gain access to the capital they need to accelerate their enterprises. The investment platform will invest between US$0.5 million to US$3 million into East African start-ups as only 6% of local founders have raised over US$1m compared to start-ups founded by expatriates.  Pangea Accelerator aims to help bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and investors and provide them with the skills they need…

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Three Ghanian startups to receive equity-free grant funding and support from MEST

GHANA – Three Ghanaian startups; Bosea, Wegoo, Motito, have been named top performers from the beta 2020 cohort of the MEST Express accelerator programme and will receive equity-free grant funding and support from MEST and the Mastercard Foundation. MEST Express is one of three new programmes, alongside Pre-MEST and MEST Scale, that MEST is currently running in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation through Young Africa Works, a 10-year strategy of the foundation to enable three million young people in Ghana to access dignified and fulfilling work. The programme aims to…

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Four African startups selected by UNDP for its Growth Stage Impact Ventures program

AFRICA – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has vetted four African startups for transforming access to health, energy, and waste management in its Growth Stage Impact Ventures (GSIV) program. The four include Easy Solar from Sierra Leone, Powerstove and ColdHubs from Nigeria and Vula Mobile from South Africa. The 4 were part of the 12 selected finalists representing the most innovative and investment-ready ventures that are transforming access to health, energy, and waste management in developing countries. UNDP’s Growth Stage Impact Ventures (GSIV) for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiative…

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