Fintech Appzone closes US$10m Series A round for its expansion drive

NIGERIA – Appzone, a Pan-African fintech software provider building proprietary solutions for the continent’s banking and payments industries, has announced the close of its US$10 million Series A round. The new round will bolster investment in Appzone’s core technologies and kickoff a wave of new country expansions in a drive to build out a financial operating system intended to completely digitise and automate the delivery of financial services on the continent. The round was led by CardinalStone Capital Advisers with participation from V8 Capital, Lateral Investment Partners, Constant Capital and…

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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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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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Fintech Ukheshe, Infobip partner to create South Africa’s first WhatsApp payment gateway

SOUTH AFRICA – Transaction platform Ukheshe, in collaboration with a global cloud communications platform Infobip, has developed a WhatsApp payment gateway for use by Telkom South Africa customers. The companies say in addition to being South Africa’s first digital wallet platform, the solution is the first WhatsApp channel to enable payments using QR codes. In a statement, Ukheshe says the solution allows Telkom customers to send money quickly and securely to anyone with a mobile number, with no need for another app or additional software. The digital wallet platform’s service offering will…

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Microsoft partners Tech4Dev to train girls and women in deep tech skills

NIGERIA – Microsoft has partnered with Tech4Dev, a non-profit social enterprise, on the Women Techsters Initiative to train girls and women in Nigeria and across Africa in coding and deep technology skills. This partnership aims to bridge the digital and technology divide and ensure equal access to opportunities across the continent. The Women Techsters initiative, which is aimed at girls and women between 16 and 40, across 54 countries in Africa, was launched in a virtual roundtable today, hosted by Microsoft Philanthropies and Tech4Dev. The training provided through the initiative…

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Automotive dealer Motus acquires stake in tech firm Synapt Proprietary to fast-track online vehicle sales

SOUTH AFRICA – MOTUS Holdings, a diversified (non-manufacturing) business in the automotive sector, has acquired a 49 percent shareholding in tech firm Synapt Proprietary, which in turn owns 100 percent of GetWorth, a technology and pre-owned vehicle business that uses its own patented technology. Getworth’s technology and products are used to assist customers “to buy right and sell smart,” a statement from Motus said. However, he value of the acquisition was not disclosed. GetWorth uses Artificial Intelligence and smart products to drive customer offerings and these, coupled with a professional…

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Global Ventures secures investment from Capria Ventures for technology companies

MEA – Capria Ventures, a Seattle-based global investment fund-of-funds, has invested in Global Ventures, a UAE-based venture capital firm that provides capital and value creation for start-ups in the Middle East and Africa (MEA). Capria has approved its investment in Global Ventures’ second fund. It represents the first investment Capria has made in the MEA region. The second fund is focussed on technology companies addressing critical needs and demands in recently accelerated industries. “Capria has always backed fund managers across the globe with aligned interests and incentives. Our collaboration is…

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US tech firm MOOVN enters Kenya’s taxi hailing, e-commerce arena

KENYA – US base technology firm Moovn Technologies has entered the Kenyan market by venturing into the taxi-hailing and e-commerce arena as it seeks to cement its position in the East Africa region’s economic hub. The ‘MOOVN App’ launched in Nairobi few days ago sets the company’s commission at 15% flat rate, giving drivers a take away of 85%, a move that could see a shift in the current market where the local drivers have been decrying low earnings. Its e-commerce platform ‘Noobea’ also falls under the App, allowing users to make sales…

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Digital media company Wee Media raises US$400K in seed round to strengthen their technology

AFRICA – Wee Media, a multi-brand & multi-channel media company in Africa with offices in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria, has raised US$400,000 in a seed round. Japan’s Samurai Incubate, Hong Kong-based Grenfell Holdings, and a pair of US-based investors; Knarrs Ventures and Jim Waltrip, participated in the seed round. Wee Media is the publisher of fast-rising African publications and the creator of several digital products churning out top quality content revolving around tech, businesses, startups, gadgets, and the African economy in general. “With support from our diverse group of…

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