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LATEST TECH NEWS: Kenyan agri-tech startup Twiga Foods raises $29.4M. 2 other things and a trivia you need to know today, November 2, 2020



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

1. Kenyan agri-tech startup Twiga Foods raises $29.4m

Kenyan agri-tech startup Twiga Foods has announced raising KES3.2 billion (US$29.4 million) in debt funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The funding is expected to support more than 300 irrigated medium-scale contract farmers to complement Twiga’s seasonal smallholder farmer supply base. The 6 year old Twiga Foods, which is a business to business food distribution company, builds fair and reliable markets for agricultural producers and retailers through transparency, efficiency and technology. Analysts have noted that the startup is one of the best-funded on the continent, securing a US$10.3 million Series A funding round in 2017, a further US$10 million in November 2018, and US$34.75 million across two rounds in 2019.

The new raiser comes from the IFC’s Global SME Finance Facility through unfunded risk sharing facilities (RSFs) with tier 1 commercial banks, with the first phase being led by Kenya Commercial Bank. Speaking on the development, the board stated that the round would stabilise year-round fresh fruit and vegetable volumes in line with Twiga Foods’ mission of supplying readily available safe, affordable, and high-quality food to Kenya’s urban markets. Peter Njonjo, Twiga’s chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder, said the initiative lines up strategically with the Government of Kenya’s Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy, which aims at boosting food security in the medium term through the modernising and scaling of commercial farming for the domestic market.

Tech Trivia

Which tech platform’s mission statement is summarised thus: our motivation is addressing the biggest challenges facing information professionals today: discovery and access.

A. Twitter
B. Google
C. LinkedIn
D. Wikipedia

Answer: See end of post.

2. Tencent hits 100M daily users on mobile game Honor of Kings

In marking its five-year anniversary, Tencent’s mobile game Honor of Kings has crossed 100 million daily active users. According to press, the title has not only broken user records but also generated other unprecedented accomplishments along the way. For a while now, the game has consistently ranked among the top-grossing mobile games worldwide, reportedly jostling with PUBG Mobile made by another Tencent studio Lightspeed & Quantum. Analysts further commented that gaming has long been the cash cow for Tencent, the company better known for its WeChat messenger.

Read also: LATEST TECH NEWS: Egyptian deliveries entrepreneur emerges 2020 Anzisha Prize winner. 2 other things and a trivia you need to know today, October 30, 2020

Speaking on the brain behind Honor of Kings, Tencent cited TiMi Studios, which ramped up hiring in the U.S. this year to further global expansion. The game is credited for popularizing the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) category in China using clever designs like short sessions, friendly controls, esports integration, and social networking leverage. Controversy has steamed amid Honor of Kings’ fervor. A state newspaper chastised it for hooking young users and misrepresenting historical events. Tencent has since tightened age verification checks for players, as new standard practice in China’s gaming industry.

3. MTN announces 2020 business app of the year awards winners

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Telecommunication giant, MTN, has unveiled winners of the 2020 MTN Business App of the year awards. EasyEquities, an online platform in the investment sector has emerged as the MTN business app of the year along with first place in the Best Consumer Solution category, claiming the grand prize of an international trip to a tech-related destination valued at R200,000. The announcement was made at the 2020 MTN Business App of the Year Awards ceremony held virtually on 29 October.

EasyEquities, which is an online platform, allows anyone to purchase shares in the brands and companies, making it safe and easy to help new and existing investors sustain their investment portfolios with detailed account overviews and personalised reporting.

Speaking on the development, Kholo Magagane, Head of Marketing at MTN SA Business, noted that the MTN Business App of the Year was designed to encourage innovators to create services that benefit South Africans. He said: “Since its inception, the MTN Business App of the Year Awards has remained a highlight on the annual ICT calendar. It has unleashed apps that are now household names and provide services to millions of South Africans. They have impacted positively on virtually all aspects of life from financial services, to healthcare and education.” During the award ceremony, three top performing apps were awarded R100,000 in a new category called Best Youth App, where developers between the ages 18 and 26, can compete for the title.

Tech Trivia Answer: Wikipedia

With the above adapted mission statement, Wikipedia today is the 5th most visited website on the entire internet; has 500 million monthly visitors; records 8000 views per second; has become the #6 top-referrer to all scholarly articles online with millions of citation clicks per month; contains over 29 million citations on the English Wikipedia alone.

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