These latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.
1. Lagos-based VC launches $3m fund for African tech startups
Pacer Ventures, a Lagos-based VC firm, has announced its new partnership with Founder Institute to launch a US$3 million fund for early-stage African startups. According to the VC, the potential startups must be solving some of the most critical problems on the continent. Press revealed that Pacer Ventures has already begun to support early-stage founders by participating in seed rounds. In addition, the VC has a strategic relationship with the Founder Institute to identify startups, and said the new fund’s focus will be on verticals expedient to development in Africa, including healthcare, financial inclusion, education and agriculture.
Speaking on the development, the board noted that the fund has an average cheque size of US$100,000 in addition to non-financial support that will be offer. In a follow up interview, Gbemi Akande, managing general partner at Pacer Ventures, assured the public of supporting founders on every step of their journey, with technical and financial skills, team building, access to markets, resources, and networks. Gbemi said: “We see a huge opportunity to support early-stage founders making meaningful contributions to their local economies and communities. We are providing much-needed funds to founders leveraging mobile penetration to solve problems at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ across the continent.”
2. Capria IFC selects 3 African firms for fund manager programme
Three African investment firms have, today, November 17, been selected to take part in the Capria Edge Plus programme. Built to advance fund managers across eight areas of fund management and capacity building, Capria’s Edge Plus programme is a fund manager advancement service delivered through the Capria Edge platform and backed by Capria’s senior partners. The programme is expected to provide an holistic view of a fund manager’s strengths and development areas across eight categories, ranging from fundraising to portfolio management to driving exits.
However, based on identified needs, Capria’s partners will provide one-on-one coaching to programme participants and offer access to digital resources for self-paced advancement in the most important areas. According to press, the current Edge Plus cohort is sponsored by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and was selected after a broad outreach. Three of those that were selected from Africa include Kinaya Ventures, a Dakar and Abidjan based innovation platform; Griot Holdings, a pan-African private equity fund focused on SMEs; and Kenya Climate Ventures, an investment management company that seeks to accelerate the development of climate smart solutions.
Who said this in 2004: “Two years from now, (email) spam will be solved.”?
A. Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft
B. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple
C. Marc Andreessen, founder of Netscape
D. Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web
Answer: See end of post.
3. Ibnsina Pharma acquires Egyptian digital pharmacy 3elagi for US$1.6M
Ibnsina Pharma has acquired local Egyptian startup 3elagi, a mobile pharmacy. The acquired startup is a digital store that allows users to order health and beauty products from their nearest pharmacy via mobile app. By model, the 3elagi mobile application links pharmacies with patients willing to order medicines and cosmetics online, allowing users to search, compare and order products online from their mobile, and have them delivered. According to review, the startup currently has 600,000 users. With the new development, it has now sold a 75 per sent stake to Ibnsina Pharma for EGP25 million (US$1.6 million).
With the cash injection to be used to expand operations, the company looks to grow its frontiers beyond Egypt. However, the company noted that the remaining 25 per cent will remain with the founders, who will continue to work for 3elagi. 9 year old Ibnsina Pharma is Egypt’s second largest pharmaceutical distribution company by market share, distributing a competitive portfolio of pharmaceutical products from over 350 multinational and Egyptian pharmaceutical companies to more than 42,000 customers including pharmacies, hospitals and wholesalers.
Tech Trivia Answer: Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft
During the 2004 World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Bill Gates — then chief software architect of Microsoft — predicted the end of email spam within two years through several potential means.
Two of the ideas involved solving puzzles while a third, and the most promising according to Gates, would have allowed email recipients to charge the sender a small fee akin to postage stamps, or waive the fee for family and friends.
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