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Japan-based VC secures $18.4m to support African startups. 2 other things and a trivia



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

1. Japan-based VC secures $18.4m to support African startups

Samurai Incubate, a Japan-based VC, has secured a $18.4 million fund to invest as pre-seed, seed and Series A investments in African technology startups.

The fund, which has been described as oversubscribed, is the Samurai Africa 2nd General Partnership fund incorporated by the VC.

Launched only three years ago, Samurai Incubate has designed and managed six funds in Japan, through which it has backed around 130 startups.

In May 2018, the VC established the Samurai Incubate Africa and has so far invested in 26 African startups including Eden Life, Evolve Credit, Shyft Power Solutions, Oneport and Pricepally.

Commenting on the development, the company’s board noted that investors who participated in the round have experience in founding startups, expanding organisations, and growing businesses in a variety of sectors.

“Most investors are key professional with expertise in overseas investment or have experience in founding startups, expanding organisations, and growing businesses in a variety of sectors, and made the company go public or successfully made it acquired,” the VC said.

Tech Trivia: Which country has the highest number of tech hubs in Africa?

A. Ghana

B. Nigeria

C. Egypt

D. Rwanda

Answer: See end of post.

2. Egyptian delivery startup Appetito closes $.45m seed funding to expand portfolio

Cairo-based grocery delivery startup, Appetito, has announced the closing of a $450,000 seed funding round to help its expansion across Egypt and beyond.

Appetito, which is barely one year old, continues to operate through a “dark stores” a model where products are sourced from manufacturers, stored in mini fulfillment centres, and then delivered to household customers.

READ ALSO: Nigerian cryptocurrency startups lose out on deals as US, African firms position for dominance

In its first few months, the company started with a wide range of private label products serving all areas of Cairo, Giza, and Alexandria with next-day and pre-scheduled deliveries.

Today, it has expanded its product portfolio to include more than 1,000 Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) from well-known consumer brands available to customers in less than 60 minutes in selected areas.

According to reports, the funding round, which is expected to help Appetito scale nationally and internationally, was raised from a group of Saudi Arabia’ Angel investors led by Ahmed Al Alola, and the Afropreneurs Fund.

3. Ghanaian Zeepay acquires Zambian counterpart Mangwee

Zeepay, a Ghanaian fintech startup Zeepay, has acquired a major stake in its Zambian counterpart Mangwee as it expands operations into Southern Africa.

With new 51 percent stake in Mangwee, Zeepay continues to focus on digital rails to connect digital assets such as mobile money wallets, cards, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), bank accounts and digital tokens to international money transfer operators, payments, subscriptions, international airtime, and refugee payments.

According to reports, the startup has a footprint in more than 20 African markets and in April 2020 was awarded an Electronic Money Issuer (EMI) license to operate as a mobile financial services company by Bank of Ghana.

Celebrated as the first of its kind, Zeepay’s Managing Director, Andrew Takyi-Appiah, said the acquisition was strategic and opened up the Southern African corridor for the startup.

He said: “This will give Zeepay access to Mozambique, Malawi, Angola and Namibia amongst others in our efforts to capture Africa’s $70 billion remittance market and the opportunity to deploy our award winning products.”

Tech Trivia Answer: Nigeria

Africa has about 643 tech hubs playing a pivotal role in business. Nigeria has the most hubs per country, with 90 followed by South Africa’s 78, Egypt’s 56, and Kenya’s 50 in the 34 countries covered.

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