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Loon signs deal to expand commercial internet service to Mozambique

Loon,  the Alphabet -owned company that’s using stratospheric balloons to provide high-speed bandwidth to hard-to-serve areas without strong ground infrastructure, has signed a new deal with carrier Vodacom  to expand its offering in Africa to Mozambique. This is the second commercial agreement that Loon has in place in the continent, and its close proximity to Kenya, where its first deal is in place, means that the company will be able to use balloons across both markets. The way Loon provides internet is by sending balloons to extremely high altitudes, equipped with radio equipment that effectively turns them into floating cellular broadband towers. The stratospheric positioning means they can cover a much wider...

African Crowdfunding Association probing controversial Uprise.Africa

The African Crowdfunding Association (ACfA) is conducting a review this week of equity crowdfunding platform Uprise.Africa, the association’s CEO and chairperson of the board, Elizabeth Howard said. The association, which is a non-profit organisation that receives grant funding from FSD Africa, represents African crowdfunding platforms and intermediaries. Related article: Nigerian tech entrepreneurs crowdfunding for COVID-19 relief The review, follows an exclusive exposé by Ventureburn last week, in which questions are now being asked about the crowdfunding platform, its head Qadir Tabassum and a R25-million fake pledge made to SA startup Intergreatme  The African Crowdfunding Association is reviewing Uprise.Africa and its compliance with the association’s Charter of Good Conduct In the absence of regulation, the association...

AHOY raises Seed round to disrupt with its mobility technology despite COVID-19

AHOY is the first startup, globally, to provide micro-multimodal mobility with (secure, hot, and cold) supply chain logistics for last-mile operations through its novel technology. AHOY has, so far, raised an additional seven-figure amount (AED) from a UAE-based private investor as part of an ongoing Seed round to advance its core technology and deploy it as a SaaS model. AHOY is a Dubai-based startup specializing in the development of novel technology in the form of a platform that encompasses software and IoT (internet of things) hardware technology to optimize mobility operations for both transportation and logistics using AHOY’s own take on state-of-the-art ACO (ant colony organizational) algorithms, AI...

Egypt’s QNB ALAHLI Receives $200 Million Under EBRD Solidarity Package to Help SME’s

Egyptian Bank has become the first financial institution in the country to receive the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRDs) fund under its Solidarity Package to meet financing needs of existing clients. The Package comprises of a $100 million senior loan to support local businesses in need of short-term financing, and additional US$ 100 million increase on the current trade finance limit. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is rolling out this programme in response to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic in Egypt, with a financial package for QNB ALAHLI, one of the country’s largest commercial banks, to support local enterprises. The...

Innovators With eLearning Solutions, Apply For The Design4Zim Challenge

Impact Hub together with ACT in Africa, Stimulus and TechVillage have announced the 3rd challenge in the Design4Zim competition. The challenge is titled “How might we improve access to education for primary and secondary students in the rural areas during pandemics?“ Challenge details Considering that schools have been closed since the end of March and it’s not yet clear when students will resume learning – thus the need for solutions. Whilst the government has urged learning institutions to adopt eLearning, the conditions are far from ideal. A significant number of kids do not have access to the hardware for eLearning whilst other concerns are to do...

Egyptian end-to-end distribution platform Brimore raises $3.5m

Egyptian end-to-end distribution platform Brimore has raised $3.5m in a Pre-Series A round led by Algebra Ventures, with participation from Disruptech, Vision Ventures, and returning investors, 500 Startups, and Flat6labs. Brimore was founded in 2017 by Mohamed Abdulaziz and Ahmed Sheikha (Mahmoud Refaay has since also been added as a co-founder), which has an online platform that enables local manufacturers and suppliers to have nationwide coverage through a network of individual sales agents. Related Articles: Egyptian last-mile delivery startup Bosta raises seven-figure Series A The announcement, which was made yesterday, Disruptech’s announcement last month that it had invested in the startup. At the time Abdulaziz declined to disclose how much Disruptec had invested in...

Daily Digest Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Funding In North Africa Egypt’s Beauty Startup Source Beauty Secures Investment From 500 Startups Cairo-based beauty e-commerce startup Source Beauty is defying all the odds and preferences for essential services by investors amidst the current global lockdowns to secure a sizeable pre-seed investment from 500 Startups, the most active global venture capital firm. Read more Funding In East Africa Kenya: Fanisi Capital acquires a minority stake in St Bakhita Schools for $2mln Venture fund Fanisi Capital acquired a minority share in the capital of the Kenyan school St Bakhita Schools for about KSh265 million ($2.4 million).Read more Funding In Southern Africa SA grocery delivery startup Zulzi raises R30m from JSE-listed company Johannesburg...

New Report Sheds Light On Digital Rights Across Africa

As data continually plays very prominent roles in the lives of both individuals and governments, digital rights advocates need to better team up to advance their objectives across Africa given the hard terrain in which they operate. This was contained in the findings of a new report released by Paradigm Initiative’s 2019 Digital Rights in Africa Report. The Report noted that even though the multi-stakeholder model of internet governance gave rights groups a seat at the table, their impact remained suppressed by the two other partners – government and private sector organizations. Report Basics The report titled “Violations Reloaded: Government Overreach Persists Despite Increased Civil Society Advocacy”...

Egypt’s Beauty Startup Source Beauty Secures Investment From 500 Startups

Barely two years down the line, Cairo-based beauty e-commerce startup Source Beauty is defying all the odds and preferences for essential services by investors amidst the current global lockdowns to secure a sizeable pre-seed investment from 500 Startups, the most active global venture capital firm. Source Beauty hopes to further support beauty products made in Egypt as well as and plans to expand its footprint to regional and global markets.  What are the facts? Although 500 Startups did not disclose the amount involved in this round of funding, the venture capital firm is known generally to invest $150,000 in companies that take part in its Seed Accelerator programme, with the possibility...

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