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Weekend Feature: COVID-19 Highlights Digital Divide in Emerging Markets

Introduction The COViD-19 pandemic has caused the shut down of schools, airports, restaurants, entertainment venues, places of worship, offices and more locations all over the world. In emerging markets across Asia, LATAM, Africa and parts of Europe the digital divide has never been this pronounced. The Internet provides alternatives in developed markets In developed markets, the internet has helped to overcome some of the challenges. For the challenge of schools being shut down, the education sector resorted to online classes; for businesses, video conferencing has become the new normal; for shopping, ecommerce platforms and delivery services have been leveraged; for entertainment, people have been drawn to video streaming services. A...

InspiraFarms closes Series B to roll out solar powered cold storage units across Africa

Expanding the cold chain across the African continent is both necessary and hard. A better network of cold storage facilities is necessary to drive down food waste and enable wider access to fresher produce. And it’s difficult due to high installation costs and all sorts of risks, most notably those surrounding intermittent electricity supplies and connectivity in rural areas. Nevertheless, things are opening up thanks to cheaper and better solar power, and access to financing options. One company making a move here is UK-headquartered InspiraFarms. The firm designs, finances and supplies energy-efficient and solar-powered cold rooms to agribusinesses and food distributors in East and Southern Africa. Next Article: African...

Daily Digest Friday, 29 May 2020

Funding In Africa InspiraFarms closes Series B to roll out solar powered cold storage units across Africa Expanding the cold chain across the African continent is both necessary and hard. A better network of cold storage facilities is necessary to drive down food waste and enable wider access to fresher produce. And it’s difficult due to high installation costs and all sorts of risks, most notably those surrounding intermittent electricity supplies and connectivity in rural areas. Read more Carry1st Raises $2.5m Seed Funding To Create Unique Gaming Content and Expand User Base in Africa The round which was led by CRE Venture Capital brings the startup’s total...

Carry1st Raises $2.5m Seed Funding To Create Unique Gaming Content and Expand User Base in Africa

Gaming Start-up, Carry1st has raised N975 million ($2.5M) seed funding to boost its mobile gaming business across Africa. The round which was led by CRE Venture Capital brings the startup’s total funding to about N1.56 billion ($4M). The company intends to use part of the funds raised to create more unique gaming content for its platform The company’s co-founder, Cordel Robbin-Coker also revealed they intend to spend at least 1 million dollars in acquiring users and scaling its user base. Next Article: New Report Ranks South Africa, Kenya and Rwanda As Africa ’s Top Startup Ecosystems “We want to dedicate at least a million dollars to actually going out...

NextProtein closes $11.2m Series A to scale up insect production in Tunisia

NextProtein, a French-Tunisian startup working on new ways to produce insect-based animal feed and fertilizer, has raised €10.2 million ($11.2 million) in Series A funding, the company disclosed . According to AgFunder data, this is the largest early-stage agrifoodtech deal in Tunisia yet. Leading the round were a group of investors drawn together by Blue Oceans Partners, including Telos Impact and RAISE Impact. Further support came from Mirova and Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund, along with Japan’s Kepple Africa Ventures and Aucfan Incubate Inc (since its founding in 2015, nextProtein has also secured funds from investors including Kima Ventures and angels Khaled Helioui and Cyril Grislain.) Using EU-approved organic waste to raise black soldier fly larvae for animal feedstocks, nextProtein will first target...

New Report Ranks South Africa, Kenya and Rwanda As Africa ’s Top Startup Ecosystems

Although much of Africa ’s fundraising has gone to Nigeria in the past two years, a new report by the India-based global startup data firm, StartupBlink, code-named StartupBlink Ecosystem Rankings Report has ranked South Africa, Kenya and Rwanda as the continent’s top startup ecosystems.  According to the report, globally the US has maintained a substantial ranking gap from all other countries, the big four also includes the UK, Israel, and Canada. The only change that differs from 2019 in the Big 4 is between Israel (3rd) and Canada (4th).According to the report also, the highest placed country new to the top 100 is Taiwan, ranking 30th; an impressive...

Nestlé enters Asian plant-based protein market with $103m China investment

Asia’s plant-based protein space seems to be growing more competitive by the day, with a multitude of startups, investors, and major food corporates announcing plays in the region. Another giant has just thrown its hat in. Nestlé has unveiled plans to build a factory to produce plant-based meat alternatives in Tianjin, China. It’ll be the Swiss food conglomerate’s first such facility in Asia. The announcement is part of a wider CHF 100 million ($103 million) investment that Nestlé is making in the country, which also includes an upgrade to its existing pet food production facility in Tianjin as well as the introduction of new pet food product lines. Read Other:...

African AgTech: Five Takeaways

Africa is home to roughly 17% of the world’s population and is the second most populace continent on earth; the UN estimates that Africa’s share of the world population may grow to as much as 25% by 2050. According to an article on the BBC by Richard Washington, a professor of climate science at the School of Geography and the Environment at Oxford University, Africa is also the continent most vulnerable to the dangers of climate change. But danger also brings opportunity, and my impression is that there is a great deal of opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors in Africa. While some of my take-aways are Africa-specific, I found...

Daily Digest Thursday, 28 May 2020

Funding In East Africa British AgDevCo invests in grain storage bag manufacturing in Tanzania The UK-based AgDevCo, which targets agribusinesses in sub-Saharan Africa, announced it has invested an undisclosed long-term loan in Pee Pee Tanzania Limited, a company that manufactures and distributes grain storage bags. Read more Funding In Southern Africa SA insurtech Inclusivity Solutions nets $1.3m in second tranche of Series-A round [Updated] Cape Town based insurtech startup Inclusivity Solutions has secured a $1.3-million investment in the second tranche of its Series-A round, the startup announced in a. Read more Funding In West Africa Ghanaian startup mPharma raises $17m investment Ghanaian healthtech startup mPharma has reportedly raised a $17-million investment. The Accra...

British AgDevCo invests in grain storage bag manufacturing in Tanzania

The UK-based AgDevCo, which targets agribusinesses in sub-Saharan Africa, announced it has invested an undisclosed long-term loan in Pee Pee Tanzania Limited, a company that manufactures and distributes grain storage bags. Through its first 2020 investment in Africa, AgDevCo wants to build a new grain storage bag manufacturing plant, thus increasing Pee Pee’s production and helping reduce post-harvest grain losses. The Tanzanian company distributes its products in Eastern and Southern Africa, where post-harvest grain losses are valued at $1.6 billion per year or about 13.5% of the overall value of grain production. According to the investor, this situation is mainly due to a lack of storage means. “We...

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