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Inkitt closes $37M funding led by Khosla Ventures. 2 other stories and a trivia

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This line-up of stories will help you discover the latest happenings around the tech world, today.

1. Inkitt closes $37M funding led by Khosla Ventures

A self-publishing platform headquartered in San Francisco, Inkitt, has secured $37 million in its Series C funding round spearheaded by Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures.

The round saw the participation of previous supporters including NEA and Kleiner Perkins.

The Founder and CEO, Ali Albazaz, confirmed this in a statement seen by Ripples Nigeria on Tuesday February 27, 2024.

Established in 2013 by Ali Albazaz, with a total funding of $117 million, the platform’s app empowers individuals to self-publish their stories, utilizing AI and data science to curate and refine the most captivating narratives for distribution and sale through its secondary app, Galatea.

Boasting a user base of 33 million with numerous bestsellers, the fresh funding injection will fuel Inkitt’s diversification efforts.

Ali envisions a broader content expansion strategy, aiming to construct a multimedia empire around Inkitt’s offerings. He positions the platform not merely as a competitor to Wattpad, but as “the Disney of the 21st century.”

Trivia: What is an app that runs on multiple operating systems called?

A. Multifactor
B. Open source
C. Cross-platform
D. Macro-enabled

See Answer below

2. Pakistani Raqami Digital Bank partners Codebase Technologies

A neobank headquartered in Pakistan, Raqami, has forged a strategic partnership with Codebase Technologies, a leading banking solutions provider, to facilitate the rollout of its Shariah-compliant digital banking offerings.

Umair Aijaz, CEO of the bank, confirmed this partnership in a statement seen by Ripples Nigeria on Tuesday February 27, 2024.

Under the agreement, the bank will leverage Codebase Technologies’ Digibanc platform, based in the UAE, as its primary technological infrastructure in order to introduce a range of digital-native financial services tailored for Pakistani customers.

This collaboration follows Raqami’s receipt of in-principle approval (IPA) from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to provide retail financial services in the nation, alongside four other digital banking entities, just five months ago.

Speaking on the development, Umair underscores the significance of deploying the Digibanc platform to surmount the hurdles posed by outdated technological frameworks.

He emphasizes the bank’s commitment to delivering efficient, personalized, and seamless Shariah-compliant digital financial solutions to a wider audience.

For Codebase Technologies, this partnership signifies a continuation of its expansion efforts across the Middle East and Asia.

3. Dubai’s COTU Ventures launches $54M fund

COTU Ventures, a Dubai-based early-stage venture capital firm, has announced the launch of a $54 million fund dedicated to supporting startups across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, from pre-seed to seed stages.

Founder and general partner, Amir Farha, confirmed this in a statement seen by Ripples Nigeria on Tuesday February 27, 2024.

Having achieved its final close last year, COTU Ventures, known for its approach of identifying and supporting founders from inception to post-product launch, intends to invest between $1.5 million to $2 million in startups, while also earmarking capital for follow-on investments.

Over the past two and a half years, COTU Ventures has actively deployed capital into 20 startups from various sectors, with a primary focus on the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan.

Reports gathered by Ripples Nigeria disclosed that COTU Ventures leans slightly towards fintech and B2B software, even though it remains open to opportunities across other sectors.

Highlighting the opportunities COTU Ventures is keen on, Farha said “The consumer wave happened with Careem and some other applications.

“Today, businesses are lagging a bit behind, so there’s a huge opportunity to build software to help solve many of their problems. We are also interested in high-margin industries where technology can play a massive role and capitalize on margin efficiencies”

Trivia Answer: Cross-Platform

Cross-platform software is software that is available for more than one computer platform. Each version of a cross-platform application may have slight differences in the user interface and feature set, but they are fundamentally the same program capable of opening the same files and performing the same functions. The opposite of a cross-platform app is a “native” app, developed exclusively for a single platform.

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