These latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.
1. FoodTech Africa Accelerator selects 11 Kenyan agri-businesses
FoodTech Africa Accelerator has today announced the selection of eleven Kenyan agri-businesses. According to the board, the selected startups merited the list having been identified for tackling food security within the country. The selection will afford the startups an opportunity to access training, mentorship and the chance to secure up to US$100,000 in funding. Accelerator reviewers stated that the FoodTech initiative was aimed at addressing food security through fostering innovation.
FoodTech Africa, which is a project commissioned by GIZ Make-IT in Africa and implemented by iBizAfrica and Pangea Accelerator, runs a 10-week programme designed to support women and youth owned growth-stage agri-based companies to sustain business growth through facilitating access to financing, business support and technology adoption. Speaking on the development, the board further noted that selected businesses will receive intensive training and mentorship, B2B sales opportunities as well as the opportunity to interact with investors, with leading companies getting investment of up to US$100,000.
Which of these tech companies was founded in a one-car garage in Palo Alto, California?
B. Hewlett Packard
Answer: See end of post.
2. Cambridge Analytica’s former boss faces seven-year ban as business director
A former CEO of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, has been banned in the UK from chairing and managing limited companies for seven years. Recall that the company, Cambridge Analytica, was persecuted, under his leadership, for throwing its weight behind the 2016 Donald Trump’s campaign, leading to the company’s subsequent shut down in 2018 over a voter manipulation scandal. On Thursday, the UK government accepted Alexander Nix disqualification undertaking, an application the former CEO had earlier signed this month.
While the UK authority noted that the ban will take effect from Monday, October 5, it revealed, in a press release, that Alexander had accepted playing a key part in some of the election’s irregularities. The release read in part: “Within the undertaking, Alexander Nix did not dispute that he caused or permitted SCL Elections Ltd or associated companies to market themselves as offering potentially unethical services to prospective clients; demonstrating a lack of commercial probity.” In 2018, Nix had been grilled by the UK parliament’s DCMS committee, and in a second hearing he claimed Cambridge Analytica had licensed “millions of data points on American individuals from very large reputable data aggregators.”
3. Indonesian cloud kitchen, Yummy, closes $12 million Series B
Led by SoftBank Ventures Asia, Yummy Corporation has closed a $12 million in Series B funding. The raiser, which comes on the heels of the company’s announcement of intent to expand its frontiers, will also go into developing its tech platform, including data analytics. According to Co-founder and chief executive officer Mario Suntanu, the capital will be used to expand into more major cities of interest. Mario stated that the round saw participation from returning investors Intudo Ventures and Sovereign’s Capital, with new backers Vectr Ventures, AppWorks, Quest Ventures, Coca Cola Amatil X and Palm Drive Capital.
Since 2019, when the company was founded, the Series B brings Yummy Corporation’s total raised so far to $19.5 million. Industry insights reveal that Yummy Corporation’s network of cloud kitchens, called Yummykitchen, now includes more than 70 HACCP-certified facilities in Jakarta, Bandung and Medan. Today, it has signed partnership deals with more than 50 food and beverage (F&B) companies, including major brands like Ismaya Group and Sour Sally Group. Speaking on the major milestone of the company, Mario said Yummykitchen’s business showed “healthy growth” during the pandemic as people, confined mostly to their homes, ordered food for delivery.
Tech Trivia Answer: Hewlett Packard
The company was founded in a one-car garage in Palo Alto, California by Bill Hewlett and David Packard, and initially produced a line of electronic test and measurement equipment. The HP Garage at 367 Addison Avenue is now designated an official California Historical Landmark and is marked with a plaque calling it the “Birthplace of ‘Silicon Valley’”.
The company got its first big contract in 1938, providing its test and measurement instruments for production of Walt Disney Pictures’ hugely successful animated film Fantasia. This success led Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard to formally establish their Hewlett-Packard Company on 1 January 1939. The company grew into a multinational corporation widely respected for its products, and its management style and culture known as the HP Way which was adopted by other businesses worldwide. HP was the world’s leading PC manufacturer from 2007 to Q2 2013.
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