Context and Thoughts
In July I had an epic expedition heading out from San Francisco through South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya, meeting with entrepreneurs, VCs, and more, so this issue was delayed by a few weeks.I’ve kept my eye closely on the startup landscape in the meantime, so this issue should represent a full aggregation of the last 6 weeks of African startup and VC activity. (I’ve also heard your feedback about having an easier-to-remember URL for this blog – you can now find it easily at http://notes.africa, thanks to the new .africa TLD)
I’ve been enthused to see more public documentation covering the breadth of the African tech ecosystem: First, a new open project launched by TLcom to track early stage tech capital in Africa, available directly via an editable Google Sheet. In addition, the growth (and future) of mobile money in Africa was covered in detail by the GSMA, I recommend checking out their recent two-part series on this topic.
Finally, the interest continues to grow in regional-specific VOD offerings for Africa: Malaysia-based iflix [MY] raised $133mm (on top of the $90mm they raised earlier this year), part of which will go towards launching iflix Africa [ZA] in South Africa and 5 more African countries.
Industry and Ecosystem News
Startupbootcamp [ZA] announces the 10 startups selected for its first African accelerator program: Brownie Points [ZA], Dusu Pay [UG], Fo-Sho [ZA], Got Bot [ZA], Just Now [ZA], Khoyn [ZW], MOBicure [NG], Strider [ZA], Yethu [ZA]
ccHub [NG] and Google for Entrepreneurs [US] announce the 14 African startups chosen to participate in their PitchDrive fundraising tour: BitFinance [ZW], ClinicMaster [UG], Fashpa [NG], Firefly Media [SN], Gebeya [ET], Gloo [NG], GoMetro [ZA], Kudobuzz [GH], Lifebank [NG], Ongair [KE], Piggybank [NG], Prepclass [NG], Real Food [ZW], Tradedepot [NG]
Mastercard Foundation [CA] and Resolution Project [US] announce the 10 African winners of their Resolution Social Venture Challenge, who will receive seed funding and mentorship
Deals, Startups, and More
B2B vendor supply marketplace Twiga Foods [KE] raises $10.3mm in Series A funding led by Wamda Capital [AE] including Omidyar Network [US] among other investors, in addition to $2mm grant funding from USAID [US] and GSMA [UK]
Mobile e-commerce platform Sky.Garden [KE] raises $100k in funding from Katapult Accelerator [NO]
Fintech startup InTouch [SN] partners with Total [FR] and Worldline [FR] to launch its Guichet Unique mobile payment system to 8 African countries
Pay-as-you-go software company Lumeter [US / KE] acquired by East African off-grid solar microlease startup Mobisol [DE / TZ / RW / KE], terms undisclosed