Context and Thoughts
Africa Tech Summit London 2017 finished up on April 20th: see the event writeup by African Business Review for details. I hadn’t planned on attending this year, but after reading the event’s writeup and seeing the speakers list (I see many people I know and respect on the list, and many more whom I’d like to meet/hear for the first time), so I’m adding attending the 2018 event to my plans for next year.
It’s going to be a busy spring/summer for startup accelerators in the “Mother City” (Cape Town): XL Africa is launching an acceleration program for African startups offering 20 startups up to $1.5mm funding, Startupbootcamp is launching in Cape Town and offering 10 startups up to €15k funding (demo day: November 30 2017), and Techstars Africa / Barclays Accelerator’s 13-week accelerator program (demo day: August 2 2017). Looking forward to checking these out in person!
American financial services giant Mastercard’s movements are increasingly visible in Africa, in what appears to be an increasing focus on African payment technologies and startups. In April, I’ve noted that that Mastercard is trialing their first fingerprint-reading credit card in South Africa (coming soon as an EMV global standard), and Mastercard Start Path Global 2017 class opening to global startups and being promoted through African tech news. And over the last few months, they’ve also invested in payments service Zoona (via their foundation) and launched MasterPass QR with merchant services startup Kopa Kopa.
Industry and Ecosystem News
Seedstars World returns to Africa in May 2017, expanding from 20 to 23 African cities link
South Africa’s Financial Services Board (FSB) announces that they will rule by June 30 on whether or not they will create equity crowdfunding rules for South Africa link
Europe’s CrowdfundingHub releases a report on the potential for crowdfunding in Nigeria link
MENA startup network RiseUp brought 6 startups on their RiseUp Explore tour of Silicon Valley to visit top companies and events, including Google, Facebook, 500 Startups link
Deals, Startups, and More
Barclays announced the 10 fintech companies participating in their 2017 Barclays Accelerator program in Cape Town run by Techstars: Flexpay [KE], Howler [ZA], Spatialedge [ZA], Abe.ai [US], The Sun Exchange [ZA], Byte Money [ZA], Avenews-GT [IL], FOMO Travel [ZA], Kapitalwise [US], eCOIDA [ZA] link link2
3D printing startup Metal Heart [ZA] raises $1.23mm from South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to build ZA’s “first production-ready 3D metal printer” link