[Column] Patrick Ndegwa: Celebrating startups and digital businesses that are uplifting African communities
The digital economy has opened up many opportunities for global businesses. Large enterprises and small businesses have seen increased profits and enhanced productivity due to digital innovation.
Biometrics startup Levels raises $12m seed round to mainstream Biowearables, improve metabolic health
Levels, the first biowearable system to provide real-time feedback on how your diet impacts your health announced a $12 million seed round led by a16z, one of Silicon Valley's top venture capital firms.
New manufacturing startup JTEC Energy announces the close of its initial seed round
New manufacturing startup JTEC Energy announced it closed on an initial seed fundraising round, to hire additional scientists and engineers in order to accelerate the development of the the company.
CerraCap Ventures, Exfinity Venture Partners join forces for new growth
CerraCap Ventures and Exfinity Venture Partners announced their global strategic partnership integrating CerraCap's unique Sales & Scale model with Exfinity's stated vision helping develop global enterprise startups leveraging the Indo-US corridor.
25 African tech startups qualify for Seedstars regional competition
25 African tech startups have qualified for the Seedstars World Competition 2020. The startups are among the 94 from emerging markets that were selected to advance to the regional stage of the competition.
South Korean AI startup lululab secures Series B funding led by Netmarble
AI startup lululab, a member company of Born2Global Centre, has successfully attracted Series B funding from Netmarble, Korea's leading game developer, as well as from other companies.
South Korean startup Autonomous a2z raises $1.9m for autonomous driving solution
Autonomous a2z, a member company of Born2Global Centre and Sejong Technopark, received a seed investment of $1.9 million from angel investments by individuals and partner corporations.
Tech startup Nestlings raises $1.5m to help international students through college application process
Nestlings, an online portal that guides international students through the process of applying to colleges in the US, Canada, and the UK, has raised $1.5 million in a Seed Round of funding from Candid Ventures.
SEED SPOT wins $300k EDA grant in partnership with Canyon Angels
SEED SPOT and Canyon Angels will train 180 angels to grow the robust investing community in Arizona and create more access to early-stage funding for entrepreneurs with a focus on EdTech, MedTech, and CleanTech.
Genomic medicines startup Metagenomi closes $65m led by Leaps by Bayer and Humboldt Fund
Metagenomi, a next generation gene editing company launched by UC Berkeley scientists in 2018, successfully completed a $65 million Series A financing round and emerged from stealth mode.
ITIDA, AUC Venture Lab kick off Startup Launchpad to enrich Egyptian entrepreneurship ecosystem
ITIDA (IT Industry Development Agency) and AUC Venture Lab announced their collaboration on Startup Launchpad, a capacity-building program that empowers entrepreneurs as they launch their technology startups.
Nigerian mobility startup Plentywaka expands car-hailing service in Delta State
Nigerian mobility startup Plentywaka, announced the launch of a new car-hailing service, Wakacab in Asaba and Warri Delta State, borne out of the need to expand and improve on the limited transport links in southern Nigeria.
Life science startup Correlia Biosystems closes $7m Series A to enable product launch
Correlia Biosystems, a Berkeley, CA based life science startup, announced it has closed a $7 million Series A financing round with select global investors.
Early-stage venture firm MGV Capital announces initial closing of its new Capital Fund
Early-stage venture capital firm, MGV Capital Group, announced it has held an initial closing of its new fund, MGV Capital Fund, to invest in early stage software technology companies.
Equinix invests $55m to build its third data center in Osaka, Japan
Equinix, the world's digital infrastructure company, announced an initial investment of $55 million to build its third International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Osaka, Japan.
Contour Venture Partners closes oversubscribed $82m fourth seed fund
Contour Venture Partners, a New York City based seed stage venture capital firm, announced the closing of Contour Venture Partners IV with $82 million of capital commitments, exceeding its target of $75 million.
Food & beverage e-commerce startup Feast & Fettle raises $1.2m to expand into Massachusetts and Connecticut
Feast & Fettle, a premium, fully-prepared meal delivery service based out of Rhode Island, announced the closing of a $1.2 million Seed round led by Salem Capital Management.
Singapore-based Plano wins world's most innovative healthtech startup
Up against 64 global healthtech startups, Plano has emerged as the winner of Galen Growth's World's Most Innovative Healthtech Startup 2020 Award.
Biotech startup Mekonos raises $4.6m for its gene engineering platform
Mekonos, a biotech company launching the first-of-its kind system-on-a-chip (SoC) for targeted ex vivo gene engineering, announced it has completed a $4.6 million financing round.
Israeli consumer intelligence startup Konnecto closes $3.5m seed round, launches 'Reveal & Disrupt'
Konnecto, the consumer intelligence platform enabling brands to gain visibility into the earliest stages of the consumer journey, announced the completion of a $3.5 million seed round, led by TPY Capital.
Fintech startup Credit Key closes $33m Series A financing, expands footprint in B2B payments
Credit Key, the B2B e-commerce payments solution, closed $33.85 million in total series A financing to support growth with participation from Greycroft, Bonfire Ventures, Loeb.nyc and other investors.
African fintech startup Chipper Cash raises $30m backed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
African fintech startup Chipper Cash has secured a $30 million Series B funding round led by Ribbit Capital with participation of Bezos Expeditions, the personal venture capital fund of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
South African fintech startup Ukheshe to acquire Oltio, strengthens partnership with Mastercard
South African fintech startup Ukheshe announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Oltio, a mobile technology company that developed Mastercard’s QR payment service Masterpass in South Africa.
Kwik Delivery startup partners with Total on e-commerce fulfilment and delivery service in Nigeria
Nigerian e-commerce startup Kwik Delivery has partnered with Total Nigeria, to develop an e-commerce fulfilment and delivery service in Nigeria.
Venture Noire announces second fundraising cycle to support minority owned businesses
Venture Noire, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Black and minority entrepreneurs, announced the completion of its initial program funded by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation.
South Korea's StradVision joins NVIDIA Inception program as premier partner
StradVision has joined NVIDIA Inception, a virtual accelerator program designed to nurture companies that are revolutionizing industries with advancements in AI and data sciences.
GR0 launches SEO studio for direct-to-consumer startups
Digital marketing agency GR0 has officially launched a startup studio located in the Playa Vista area with a main focus in organic growth for direct-to-consumer startups.
Bamboo Capital, Government of Madagascar, World Bank launch $40m energy access fund for Madagascar
Bamboo Capital Partners has been appointed by the Government of Madagascar and the World Bank as the international fund manager for the Off-Grid Market Development Fund, a $40 million renewable energy access fund.
African tech startups secure funding from Orange Ventures MEA Seed Challenge
Six African tech startups and one Jordanian startup have secured funding from Orange Ventures Africa & Middle East.
Dakota Johnson joins sexual wellness startup maude as Co-creative Director & Investor
Sexual wellness startup maude announced that Dakota Johnson will be joining the category-defining sexual wellness brand as co-creative director and investor.
Porsche Ventures invests in AI startup Drivably's breakthrough inventory technology
Drivably, an advanced AI company that helps dealers acquire private party inventory from the right markets at the right price, has received an investment from Porsche Ventures to help Drivably further develop its technology and expand its footprint.
South Africa's MetroFibre Networx completes new capital raise from AIIM and STOA
African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), Africa’s infrastructure-focused private equity fund managers, has acquired a minority equity stake in MetroFibre Networx, a South African open access fibre network operator.
Ibnsina Pharma acquires 75% stake in Egyptian health and beauty products startup 3elagi
Ibnsina Pharma signed an agreement to acquire 75% stake in Egyptian health and beauty products startup 3elagi Tech, a platform that links pharmacies with patients to order medicines and cosmetics online.
Readout Health startup partners with Apollo Health for management of neurodegenerative disease
Readout Health, a digital biomarker startup, announced partnership with Apollo Health, a health technology leader in neurodegenerative medicine.
Berlin startup DigiWhat launches international B2B case studies standard
Berlin startup DigiWhat launched international B2B case studies standard to simplifiy marketing, matchmaking and lead generation efforts for tech companies, venture builders and events.
UAE fintech startup Sarwa unveils next gen Sarwa X, announces partnership with Saxo Bank
Sarwa, online investment advisory platform for young professionals has unveiled its next-generation Sarwa X, a new product powered by a strategic partnership with Saxo Bank, a Fintech and Regtech specialist focused on multi-asset trading and investment.
Burges Karkaria joins AI startup Censia as CTO
Burges Karkaria, former Chief Technology Officer of Enterprise at Intel Corporation, has joined Bay Area startup Censia, a provider of talent intelligence, recruiting and workforce management technology, as CTO.
[Startup Interview] Jon Cooper, CEO, Life.io, USA
Life.io is a US-based startup that helps companies accelerate the development of their end-to-end digital client experience with the Life.io Solution Suite: Grow, Engage and Empower. Jon Cooper the startup’s co-founder and CEO elaborates.
Swiftarc Ventures invests in biosafety startup R-Zero to fast-track its UV-C disinfecting device
Swiftarc Ventures, an early and growth stage Venture Capital firm focused on the next generation of Consumer and Consumer Health disruptors, has made its first portfolio investment in biosafety startup R-Zero.
Chinese autonomous truck startup Inceptio Technology raises $120m to accelerate volume production
Inceptio Technology, an autonomous truck company, announced a $120 million funding led by Contemporary Amperex Technology, developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries.
Bridge for Billions launches Global Investors Network to connect entrepreneurs with investment opportunities
Bridge for Billions has launched its Global Investors Network, which aims to help make the investment ecosystem accessible to all promising purpose-driven ventures.
Africa-focused VC fund Outlierz Ventures invests in three Nigeria startups
Africa-focused Morocco-based B2B VC fund Outlierz Ventures has announced new investments into three Nigerian startups - Bamboo, Youverify and Healthlane.
AI Media Group launches Africa’s first AI-focused free investment matchmaking service for African startups
The AI Media Group has launched The Deal Room, Africa’s first artificial intelligence (AI) focused, free investment matchmaking service which aims to connect African AI focused startups to interested investors and venture capitalists (VCs).
Bentley Systems commits $100m venture funding to accelerate infrastructure digital twins
Bentley Systems, the infrastructure engineering software company, announced the establishment of Bentley iTwin Ventures to invest in promising technology companies addressing the emerging opportunity for infrastructure digital twin solutions.
Dairy snack startups compete for $200,000 in Real California Milk Snackcelerator
Ice cream infused with vegetables, to-go premium cheese snacks, decadent chocolate mousse and flavored paneer make up the finalists announced in the Real California Milk Snackcelerator product innovation competition.
Blackbaud Social Good Startup Program supports emerging companies to drive innovation
Blackbaud, cloud software company powering social good, is accepting applications for the Blackbaud Social Good Startup Program, a unique, yearlong program designed to drive innovation.
Digital investment platform Clim8 smashes target for latest funding campaign by 600%
As interest in sustainable investing continues to grow apace, Clim8 Invest (Clim8), a digital investment platform that help consumers invest exclusively in companies focused on tackling the climate crisis, has raised a further £2.4 million in funding.
British fintech startup ilumoni raises $450,000 to transform borrowing behaviours, help people repay debt
ilumoni, the fintech startup helping people to borrow better, save on unnecessary interest and time in paying off debts has raised $450,000 pre-seed investment backed by Move Ventures.
Tech startup Roots Automation secures $3.2m to expand AI capabilities, accelerate customer acquisition
Roots Automation, the NYC-based Digital Coworkers as a Service company, has raised a $3.2 million seed round led by Vestigo Ventures.
October Startup Sentiment Index shows three-month trend in advancing startup timelines
The number of respondents agreeing that now is a good time to start a business reached a three-month high at 60.6% in October.
Medtech startup Immertec partners with Orthopaedic Foundation to demonstrate effectiveness of VR surgical training
Orthopaedic Foundation has partnered with medtech startup Immertec, to conduct research to evaluate the effectiveness of VR for remote surgical training.
Peer-to-peer solar leasing startup Sun Exchange announces African expansion in Zimbabwe
South African peer-to-peer solar leasing startup Sun Exchange marked its official expansion into sub-Saharan Africa with the first of three crowdsales for a multiphase, 1.9 megawatt (MW) solar-plus-storage project for Nhimbe Fresh.
Remote selling startup Demoflow secures $1.6 m seed round to build additional key product features
Collaborative remote selling platform Demoflow announced its Seed Capital raise of $1.6 million led by FirstMile Ventures with other major participants including Slack Fund, RTP Seed, Next Frontier Capital and Heroic Ventures.
Nearly 60% of startup founders say operating costs are their top spending priority in the first quarter
While the long-term economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is still unknown, the remote work period has forced startups to adjust their spending priorities, according to a new survey from Clutch, a B2B ratings and reviews platform.
Social podcasting startup Bitcast partners with Podcast Notes for joint launch of new iOS clipping app
Los Angeles based social podcasting platform Bitcast has partnered with Podcast Notes, a publisher in the podcast space, for the launch of a new iOS app that lets listeners 'Magically Clip, Collect and Share the best moments in Podcasts'.
Chicago startup qReveal launches affordable QR code menu and price list solution
Responding to the challenging scene of a myriad of health and safety protocols facing restaurants and other businesses, Chicago startup qReveal has launched a platform that builds easy to use QR code menus and price lists.
Former Bitcoin.com CEO launches Sonic Capital, Asia's first tokenized venture investment fund
Former Bitcoin.com CEO Stefan Rust announced the launch of Sonic Capital, Asia's first venture capital and impact investment fund to be tokenized on the blockchain.
[Startup Interview] Almasi Ndangili, Founder, Imarisha East Africa Productions, Kenya
Almasi Ndangili is the founder of Imarisha East Africa Productions Ltd, a Kenya-based talent academy promoting education through edutainment. The startup has invested in TV Shows, event organization, book launches, talent development, TV Script writing, Africanized animations, digital publishing and branding.
Tech startup Cellwize secures $32m Series B financing to expand its global footprint
Cellwize, a global leader in mobile network automation and orchestration, announced a $32 million Series B funding round in its parent company, Cellwize Wireless Technologies, led by Intel Capital and Qualcomm Ventures.
Israeli cybersecurity startup ReSec Technologies raises $4m Series A funding for expansion
ReSec Technologies, a cyber security company that protects organizations from file-based malware threats, announced the completion of its $4 million Series A round of financing.
Mastercard co-innovates with 10 new fintechs to reshape the future of commerce
Mastercard has welcomed 10 fintechs from around the world to participate in its startup engagement program, Start Path, to scale the future of commerce.
Kenyan fintech startup Kwara launches Customer Success Traineeship Program for university graduates
Kwara, a digital banking platform in Kenya announced the launch of a Customer Success Traineeship Program. The program is part of the company’s broader agenda to build capacity for rising young Kenyan professionals.
Swedish fintech startup Payer launches beta test program to revolutionize customer registration in B2B e-commerce
Financial Services startup Payer has developed a new registration product that revolutionizes how customer relationships are made between companies online.
Nigerian HR startup SeamlessHR raises seven-figure funding to expand across Africa
Nigeria’s HR startup SeamlessHR has closed a seven-figure deal as it seeks to expand across other African markets.
African startups more investible now than ever
Africa’s startups have never been more investible than now. There is a growing number of professional ‘super angels’ involved in record-breaking deals, and private equity investments have doubled since last year.
Mohammed VI Polytechnic University partners with Plug and Play to launch accelerator programme in Morocco
Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), an academic and research institution, has partnered with global innovation platform, Plug and Play, to launch an Open Innovation Hub in Morocco, with the support of OCP Group.
Swiss biotech startup Memo Therapeutics raises €13.9m to support clinical development of potent antibodies
Swiss biotech startup Memo Therapeutics AG, an innovator in the field of antibody discovery and immune repertoire analysis, announced it has raised €13.9 million in Series B financing.
Kenyan agritech startup Farmers Pride raises $220k funding from Gray Matters Capital’s coLABS
US-based impact investor Gray Matters Capital announced its funding in Kenya's agritech startup Farmers Pride, a one stop e-commerce platform that connects village level farmers to quality inputs, services and information.
Dublin-based travel tech startup TripAdmit secures €500,000 funding for international expansion
TripAdmit, Dublin based travel tech startup that provides sales and distribution solutions for tours and activities, has secured €500,000 funding from investors, including the backing of Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start Up unit.
Dutch biotech startup Salvia BioElectronics receives FDA Breakthrough Device Designation for innovative neurostimulation solution
Salvia BioElectronics, a neurostimulation platform targeting chronic migraine, announced that the U.S. FDA has granted Breakthrough Device Designation for its implantable neurostimulation system to address chronic migraine.
Armenian AI startup Podcastle raises $1.75m seed round to create next-gen podcast platform
Podcastle, a company developing podcast creation tools for amateur and professional podcasters and a streaming platform for listeners, announced a $1.75 million seed funding led by Sierra Ventures.
Paxful partners with African fintech startup Uhuru Wallet to ease money transfers
Crypto marketplace Paxful announced it is adding Uhuru Wallet as a payment method to its platform, to help provide easy access to the crypto economy for users in Southern Africa.
Human API startup raises over $20m funding to scale consumer-controlled health data ecosystem
Human API, company empowering consumers to connect and share electronic health data with companies they trust, announced it has raised over $20 million in Series C funding, to scale consumer-controlled health data ecosystem.
Travel booking startup Tripbnb.com uses AI to link travelers and accommodation quickly
Taiwanese travel booking startup Tripbnb.com is helping domestic accommodation providers draw up new business strategies and the country's travel industry had to enhance their technical standards with AI-based systems.
AI startup ATLAN Space raises $1m Series A funding from Maroc Numeric Fund II for expansion
Aerial vehicle Artificial Intelligence startup ATLAN Space has raised $1m Series A funding from Maroc Numeric Fund II with participation from Hilmi Law Firm and Cadex Group, for business expansion.
Nigerian CcHUB acquires Kenyan edTech startup eLimu
Kenya’s technology Incubation and Accelerator space iHub owned by Co-creation Hub (CcHUB) has announced the acquisition of edtech startup and digital educational content provider eLimu.
Imperial partners with Kenyan logistic startup Lori Systems to expand e-logistics technology solutions across Africa
Imperial, an African and European-focused provider of integrated market access and logistics solutions, announced an investment in and partnership with Lori Systems to expand its cutting-edge e-logistics technology solutions across Africa.
Nigerian rental financing startup Kwaba secures funding from Ingressive Capital for expansion
Ingressive Capital, a $10 million VC fund targeting early-stage startups across Sub-Saharan Africa, announced its investment in Nigerian rental financing startup Kwaba.
German startup 4tiitoo launches NUIA Full Focus, smart software for natural eye contact in video calls
Munich-based startup 4tiitoo (forty two), which specializes in gaze control of computers, launched NUIA Full Focus, a software that creates natural eye contact with conversation partners in video calls intelligently and without artificial image adjustments.
Procter & Gamble Ventures brings Innovation Challenge online for CES 2021
Following the success of its first-ever Virtual Innovation Challenge in June, P&G Ventures, the early-stage startup studio within P&G, is now accepting submissions for its next virtual pitch competition.
Cleantech startup Skeleton Technologies joins European Clean Hydrogen Alliance
Estonian cleantech startup Skeleton Technologies has joined the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, an initiative of European stakeholders who want to engage and contribute to the deployment of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen.
Estonian cleantech startup Skeleton Technologies raises €41.3m from European entrepreneurs
Skeleton Technologies, global cleantech 100 company and largest European manufacturer of ultracapacitor-based energy storage, has completed a €41.3 million financing round.
[Startup Interview] Joris van Lierop, founder, The Content Exchange, Netherlands
The Content Exchange is a Dutch startup that targets editors, publishers and freelancers by offering them a content market place where they can do business with each other directly. The startup’s founder Joris van Lierop explains.
Next-generation consumer products startup The Naked Market closes $6m seed funding round
The Naked Market, San Francisco-based CPG brand, has closed $6 million seed funding round, with participation from several investors.
Fintech startup ORSNN launches whole-loan trading platform to beta
ORSNN, a fintech startup that builds end-to-end solutions for managing and trading loan portfolios, launched a private beta platform that provides financial institutions with a low-cost, transparent, and automated loan-trading system.
Nestlé USA acquires food delivery startup Freshly
Nestlé announced it has acquired food delivery startup Freshly, fresh-prepared meal delivery services in the U.S. The deal values Freshly at $950 million, with potential earnouts up to $550 million contingent to the successful growth of the business.
MENA healthtech startup Vezeeta expands into Kenya
Middle East and North Africa (MENA) healthtech startup Vezeeta has expanded its footprint into Kenya by launching a platform that will enable Kenyans access doctors from their smart phones.