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Nigerian agri-tech startup Zowasel secures $100k. 2 other things and a trivia

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This line-up of stories will help you discover the latest happenings around the tech world, today.

1. Nigerian agri-tech startup Zowasel secures $100k.

Zowasel, a Nigerian agri-tech startup, has announced securing US$100,000 at the UN World Food Programme, Zero Hunger Sprint, that was held in Lagos.

The funding round, according to the startup, comes from Guinness Nigeria and Promasidor Nigeria, both leading pan-African consumer packaged food manufacturers.

Zowasel received two investments worth US$100,000 from available $250,000 investment commitment from five corporate organisations.

Zowasel is an agricultural technology startup developing a sustainable and nature-positive value chain across communities, people, and the planet.

The startup works with over 1.5 million smallholder farmers aggregated across its network in Northern Nigeria, and recently launched operations across Nigeria’s Niger-Delta region to support smallholder farmers across the oil palm and cocoa value chains.

Since launch, the startup works with national and multinational crop processors to provide a platform for both local crop sourcing and global export of commodities.

On the UN’s programme, venture analysts familiar with the initiative explained that the United Nations World Food Programme developed the “Zero Hunger Sprint” as a platform to enable innovators to put their ideas into action to end hunger by 2030.

The funding from Guinness and Promasidor will see Zowasel take part in a six-month support programme while also providing customer acquisition opportunities, and partnerships with Guinness and Promasidor to join its list of marketplace off-takers and users of its traceability and sustainability software across the supply chain.

Tech Trivia: When and where did the first helicopter made it into the air?
A. Lagos, 1967
B. Stratford, 1939
C. Liverpool, 1874
D. Japan, 1939
Answer: See end of post

2. Nigeria’s MVXchange closes $1.3m seed round

MVXchange, a Nigerian logistics startup, has closed a seed funding round of US$1.3 million.

The new raiser will help the startup continue building solutions for the African trade and logistics sector.

The startup was founded in 2019 as a maritime trade and logistics platform with platforms that match demand for offshore support vessels in the energy industry.

The startup is also in big in areas of providing digital freight forwarding, customs and in-land logistics services.

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Launching its debut product, the energy sector-focused MVXenergi, in March 2019, it later rolled out a digital freight booking and management platform, MVXtransi, in March 2020.

Today, MVX has helped over 400 businesses across Africa to move freight and provide trade finance.

The round comes from Kepple Africa Ventures, Launch Africa Ventures, Founders Factory Africa, The Continent Venture Partners, Century Oak and Oui Capital.

3. SA startup launches new platform to connect auto part dealers

South African startup, My Car Guide, has launched a new online platform, allowing car parts and accessories manufacturers and wholesalers to list their products for purchase by consumers and small business owners.

The Johannesburg-based My Car Guide aims to help cut out middlemen, in a bid to reduce costs and save time.

Split into B2C and B2B sections, founder Innocent Matlala stated that the goal was to become a full fledged digital service value chain disruptor.

He said: “We also aim to become a full digital service value chain where we provide digital repair guides, location-based services, online finance, road assistance services, insurance and a social platform for the car community to share their experiences.”

Speaking further, the found noted that he launched the startup because he saw that small business owners found it difficult to access manufacturers and wholesalers, making it difficult for them to start or grow their auto businesses.

He said: “Consumers on the other hand are always comparing prices; they can’t find certain products because they have been discontinued by retail shops; they can’t afford to fix their cars so they look for finance.”

Tech Trivia Answer: Stratford, 1939

On September 14, 1939, the VS-300, the world’s first practical helicopter, took flight at Stratford, Connecticut. Designed by Igor Sikorsky and built by the Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft Division of the United Aircraft Corporation, the helicopter was the first to incorporate a single main rotor and tail rotor design.

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