These latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.
1. Agri-tech startup Farmers Pride raises $220k funding
Led by Gray Matters Capital’s coLABS, Kenyan startup Farmers Pride, has raised US$220,000 funding. The startup, which is a one-stop e-commerce platform that connects village level farmers to quality inputs and services, also connects these farmers to information through women-owned DigiShops powered by technology. Since its inception, Farmers Pride has been operating as a last mile online-to-offline marketplace platform linking farmers with everything they need to succeed by leveraging on technology and franchise. This, according press, has in the longrun improved the capacity of women-owned agro-dealer stores to ensure increased farm production and improved family income and food security.
Commenting on the advantage of the startup’s DigiShop, industry analysts noted that it has created new agriculture opportunities to village level farmers to access trusted and dependable information, inputs and services. Hence, it plans to scale its offering after raising funding from Gray Matters Capital via GMC coLABS, another early-stage, sector-agnostic investment portfolio that looks to support innovative and scalable startups that improve the lives of women and girls around the world. Farmers Pride seeks to use the US$220,000 funding to help it reach 500,000, mostly female, rural farmers to boost their income and productivity through access to quality inputs and services.
2. ITU Innovation Challenge announces 2020 award winners
EQUALS and INPUT Hungary, being the host of the second edition of the ITU Innovation Challenge, has announced its 20 shortlisted winners. According to press, a long list of innovators had earlier presented solutions designed to accelerate national development priorities and ecosystem builders who have practices dedicated to nurturing innovators. Twelve women and eight men were chosen as top innovators in the three category challenges. Reviewing the list, the winners were selected across three categories titled, Digital Change-maker challenge, Ecosystems Best Practice Challenge, and Women in Technology Challenge.
According to the host, the ITU Innovation Challenge had 12 members on the jury consisting of six external experts and six ITU experts. The challenge allowed entrepreneurs to participate in the Global Innovation Forum which ran during the last week of October, and a boot camp that featured 25 mentors from 18 countries. On the level of participation, the ITU Innovation Challenge received numerous submissions from 26 countries. The Digital Change-maker Challenge took into consideration innovators who aim to make an impact on communities via digitisation. However, the Ecosystem Best Practice Challenge seeks to recognise ecosystem builders that practices, protects, and nurtures the environment for innovators within their communities. Lastly, the Women in Technology Challenge was sponsored to award individual women tech innovators and startups, that create digital projects, to positively impact women in the tech industry.
Identify the odd company on the list.
Answer: See end of post.
3. Ventures Platform Foundation opens applications for Nigerian Startups
Nigerian startups have been invited to participate in the Ventures Platform Foundation programme. The programme, which is an incubation scheme, seeks to support early-stage companies building innovative tech solutions for communities hit by the crisis in North-East Nigeria. According to estimates from the United Nations (UN), more than two million people have, since 2009, been displaced from their homes due to conflict in the region, and more than seven million depend entirely on humanitarian aid to survive. However, Ventures Platform Foundation, which is a social impact arm of Ventures Platform Hub, has launched the programme with support from the US Embassy, and will offer funding, mentoring and support for startups.
The initiative hopes to pioneer robust tech solutions, going forward to solve the current inefficiencies around aid distribution and data management in relief efforts across the region. With the entire programme conducted virtually, however, six successful startups will receive exclusive support for four months as they build, deploy and drive strong traction for solutions which mitigate the operational risks faced by development agencies. Commenting on the development, Mimshach Obioha, executive director at Ventures Platform Foundation, noted that “Since 2009, we have witnessed vulnerable communities ravaged by malnutrition, a lack of hygiene and sanitation, and poor healthcare in one of Nigeria’s deadliest crises since the new millenium.” Hence, “We cannot allow this to slip off our radar – even in the midst of a global pandemic.”
Tech Trivia Answer: Tencent
Tencent Holdings Ltd. is a global multinational conglomerate holding company founded in 1998, whose subsidiaries specialise in various Internet-related services and products, entertainment, artificial intelligence and technology. in globally.
Unlike other listed companies in the trivia post, Tencent is the only Chinese company, standing it odd in a list of American companies. Tencent’s twin-skyscrapers headquarters Tencent Seafront Towers (also known as Tencent Binhai Mansion) are based in Nanshan District, Shenzhen.
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