This line-up of stories will help you discover the latest happenings around the tech world, today.
1. Kenya’s BasiGo launches with $900k funding
BasiGo, a Kenya-based electric vehicle technology and financing company, has launched operations in Nairobi.
The launch comes after securing KES100 million (US$900,000) in funding earlier this year.
The startup seeks to bring electric bus services to Sub-Saharan Africa, providing state-of-the-art electric buses along with charging and maintenance services for bus operators.
The startup makes vehicles affordable through a financing model that allows operators to pay for the battery and charging separately from the bus through a pay-as-you-go financing arrangement.
Jit Bhattacharya, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder at BasiGo, explained that the company derives joy providing “public transport operators with a new option.”
He said: “For years, diesel-powered buses have been the only viable solution for bus operators in Kenya. We are excited to provide public transport operators with a new option: state-of-the-art electric buses that are more affordable, more reliable, and reduce bus operator exposure to the rising cost of diesel fuel.
“The cost of electric bus technology has come down dramatically over the last 10 years, to the point where electric buses can offer significant savings compared to fossil-fuel buses. Our goal is to help bus owners in Kenya realise these savings, and in the process, help Kenya become a global leader in sustainable public transport.”
Tech Trivia: A video blog is also called what?
Answer: See end of post
2. SA’s Michanic launches mechanic on-demand platform
Michanic, a South African startup, has launched venture as a platform connecting customers and fleet owners with trusted, qualified and vetted mechanics in Gauteng and Cape Town.
Earlier founded in 2016, the platform allows users to request instant service and repair quotes from its online platform.
According to sources familiar with the startup, it helps save up to 35 per cent compared to dealerships and independent garages in the process.
The startup founder, Lesetja Dikgale, explained that the idea was formed after he struggled with finding a specialist mechanic for his car.
He said: “It dawned on me that other people may have similar challenges. After the chat with the mechanic to go into the partnership to find him work and share on the spoils, I put together a ZAR800 (US$50) MVP that ran for over a month, and in that month we made ZAR5,000 (US$330).
“Most car repairs companies tend to lie to customers to lure them into their shops. They would advertise a major service for ZAR795, and once the customer brings their car in the shop, a customer would then get a bill of over ZAR3,000.
“Secondly, a car service takes a maximum of two hours and we could not understand why the car has to be at the workshop the entire day. We saw a gap in the market where customers will know upfront the total cost of their service, and we understood that most customers rely on their cars to get around and could not afford not having a car the entire day.”
Tech Trivia Answer: Vlog
Vlog is short for “video blog” and is pronounced “vlog” (one syllable). A vlog is a blog, or web log, that includes video clips. It may be entirely video-based or may include both video and written commentary.
Several types of vlogs are available on the Web, including instructional videos, travel updates, and personal commentaries.
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