These 5 latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.
1. Nigeria’s Mobihealth wins AfricaTech Healthcare Challenge
Nigeria’s Mobihealth International has emerged alongside 4 other startup winners in the just concluded, online-based, AfricaTech Healthcare Challenge organised by Sanofi, a global pharmaceutical company. The announcement was made by Sanofi after an online finals took place in form of a pitch session.
According to reports, a shortlist of 11 was initially filed from 268 applications from 34 African countries to compete in the round. Emerging amongst other winners, Mobihealth, an innovative telemedicine and digital healthcare platform, brings affordable, quality healthcare within the reach of everyone particularly Africa and undeserved communities globally. Aside Mobihealth from Nigeria, other winners hail from Senegal, Kenya, Uganda and Cameroon.
2. Robotics software startup Wandelbots raises $30 million
With increasing appreciation of artificial intelligence (AI) across the globe, more robotics companies are expanding their portfolios. Germany-based Wandelbots, a startup, which is dedicated to making it easier for non-programmers to ‘teach’ industrial robots how to do specific tasks, has raised a $30 million Series B funding round. The round was reportedly led by 83North, a global venture capital firm with over $1B under management.
The round saw the participation of Next47 and Microsoft’s M12 venture funding arm. Following the closing of the investment, Wandelbots disclosed that it would use the funding to help it speed the market debut of its TracePen, a hand-held, code-free device that allows human operators to quickly and easily demonstrate desired behavior for industrial robots to mimic.
Before being known as PayPal, the company went by what name?
B. The X-Change
Answer: See end of post.
3. Amazon leans on AR to encourage employee social distancing
E-commerce giant Amazon, on Tuesday, showcased a new “Distance Assistant” designed and developed to assist Amazon workers maintain the WHO-prescribed social distance of six feet. The use of this technology comes after queries from attorney-generals, senators and other lawmakers, demanding information about working conditions, infection rates and the alleged firings of multiple whistleblowers by the digital merchant company.
In a detailed statement, Amazon’s VP and robotics head, Brad Porter, noted that the augmented reality system is already in place in a smattering of the company’s fulfillment centers. According to the VP, “The standalone unit uses machine learning models to differentiate people from their surroundings. Combined with depth sensors, it creates an accurate distance measurement between associates. As people walk past the camera, a monitor displays live video with visual overlays to show if associates are within six feet of one another.”
4. Planet42 raises $2.4M to democratise access to mobility
While many startups in South Africa are struggling to survive the pandemic-inflicted challenges that has swept a sizeable number at the mercy (for rescue) of the government, fintech startup Planet42 expands its portfolio as it records a new 2.4M raiser. The company, which focuses on providing access to mobility to the underbanked, raised US$2.4 million in funding to see it grow its enterprise.
Although, initially launched as CarGet 3 years ago, Planet42 partners with dealerships across South Africa to offer access to a personal car to its largely underbanked clientele. According to industry review, the startup uses an automated scoring algorithm to process client applications based on credit bureau, affordability, and alternative data.
5. TransferGo launches in 11 new markets after raising $10M
London-based international money transfer service, TransferGo, leaped its game as it raised another $10 million in funding. The money firm disclosed this while announcing the success recorded by the jump in its customers numbers, now surpassing two million counts. According to TransferGo, the round was co-led by Seventure, and Vostok Emerging finance.
However, company’s log indicated participation of Hard Yaka, Revo Capital, and Bootstrap Europe in form of follow-on funding. Among its 11 new markets include Japan, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Ghana. The new development sees TransferGo scaling up on South East Asia and African market expansion, which is out-rightly beyond its original focus on Europe.
Tech Trivia Answer: Confinity
Founded in December 1998 by Max Levchin, Peter Thiel and Luke Nosek, the payment platform that would later become PayPal began as a Palm Pilot cryptography company called Confinity, which was named after a combination of the words “confidence” and “infinity.”
By 2000, Confinity merged with X.com, an online bank started by Elon Musk in 1999, and the fusion of these two companies became PayPal as we know it today.
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