Latest Tech

LATEST TECH NEWS: Five female-owned African startups win $9k from Standard Chartered. Four other things and a trivia you need to know today, June 17, 2020

These 5 latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.

1. Five female-owned African startups win $9k from Standard Chartered

From over 300 applicants in the Women in Tech programme, five female-owned startups in Kenya have emerged as winners of this year’s edition of the Strathmore University business incubator, iBizAfrica, sponsored by Standard Chartered. Emerging as winners and carting home KES1 million (~US$9,400), each of the 5 startups is expected to leverage on Standard Chartered influence to grow their businesses.

iBizAfrica and Standard Chartered Bank run the Women in Tech programme in a bid to help more than 40 small and medium sized businesses through mentorship, advisory, coaching and networking opportunities. Thriving beyond the challenges of the global pandemic, the organising partners hosted 380 companies, applying for support, in a virtual pitch session. Reinstating its commitment to support women, Standard Chartered noted that it would “continue to give women in Kenya access to business opportunities, credit, tutoring and mentoring.”

2. Africa-niched Chipper Cash closes $13.8m Series A round

Chipper Cash, a fintech with market interest in Africa, has, on Wednesday, announced closing a $13.8 million Series A investment round. Although operating from its base in San Francisco, fintech startups serve several African markets. The investment round was led by California-based Deciens Capital.

With the new investment closed, Chipper plans to hire 30 new staff globally, to ease its operations and expand its workforce. The investment comes on the heels of an earlier $6-million December 2018 raiser, which was equally led by Deciens Capital. According to the company’s financial log, Chipper Cash has now raised $22m since it was founded in 2018.

Tech Trivia:

Google Chrome has a hidden mini-game that involves what?

A. T-rex hurdling cacti
B. ASCII Tetris
C. Flappy Bird with a penguin
D. A typing game

Answer: See end of post.

3. Salt Security secures $20M Series A funding to scale

AI and big data company, Salt Security, Wednesday, secured a $20 million Series A funding. The Palo Alto-based company secured the new funds from Tenaya Capital, bringing its total capital raised to around $30 million. With Salt Security’s business, its league of engineers helps customers defend against API attacks, and finds API-related vulnerabilities.

With an impressive traction, the firm doubled its revenue in the first half of 2020 from the end of 2019 despite COVID-19. However, as the firm just secured a Series A funding, its 2019 end-of-year revenue tally likely wasn’t huge, but the company’s pace of topline expansion has moved north. Lately, the firm has recorded significant increase among industry players. Commenting on this surge, the firm confirmed that it had “seen an increase in the use of third party APIs and more companies are opening new APIs for partners to share data.”

4. South Africa solar startup targets Namibia, Zimbabwe for expansion

In a bid to expand its service market, South African peer-to-peer solar leasing startup, Sun Exchange, is targeting its neighbouring countries, Namibia and Zimbabwe. While these are the immediate targets for expansion for Sun Exchange, the firm has also expanded its portfolio by raising US$4 million in a Series A funding round to strengthen its finance.

The 5-year-old solar firm enables almost anyone, anywhere in the world, to buy remotely-located solar cells that power schools, businesses and other organisations. According to a press release from the company, the startup, after its business launch, has built a community of more than 17,000 members across approximately 160 countries and brought solar power to 24 South African schools, businesses and organisations, and is now set for further growth after closing its US$4 million Series A investment round.

5. Spain’s CounterCraft nets $5M in Series A funding round

Spain-based CounterCraft has announced netting a $5M Series A investment. The firm, which builds b2b tools for gathering counterintelligence on evolving security threats, revealed that the all-cash round was led by Adara Ventures, with eCAPITAL and Red Eléctrica Group joining as new investors.

Listing other investors who participated in the round, the b2b firm acknowledged receiving capital from Evolution Equity, ORZA, and Wayra. The 5-year-old startup, according to its blueprint, aims to help security chiefs take a more proactive defense stance. In 2016, the founders went through Telefonica’s Wayra Madrid accelerator, and went on to raise $1.1M in a seed funding round.

Tech Trivia Answer: A T-rex hurdling cacti

Google added a T. Rex side-scrolling mini-game to Chrome Canary in mid-2014 and eventually introduced it to the browser’s stable build. The game is playable by hitting the space bar or up arrow when you come across a connection error screen with the dinosaur.

Its mechanics are simple, involving jumping and ducking oncoming cacti and pterodactyls, and although it displays your progress and high score, both are lost when the window is closed or refreshed.

You can, however, play the game without waiting for your connection to fail by opening the following address in a Chrome tab:
chrome://network-error/-106

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