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TechNigeria: A weekly digest of what went down in Nigeria’s tech space

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Nawah Scientific, Dakar Mobility, Immensa, Paysend, LemFi, EchoVC, Winshot, Technext, TomorrowNow, ivendPay, were some of the names that made the headlines this week.

A pivotal step in the realization of the Nigeria Startup Act, the country has unveiled the Startup Support and Engagement Portal.

Also, Nawah Scientific, a pioneering Egyptian life sciences and biotech startup established in 2015, has become the first African entity to secure accreditation from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its food analysis services.

Let’s get into details

A pivotal step in the realization of the Nigeria Startup Act, the country has unveiled the Startup Support and Engagement Portal.

This initiative, spearheaded by the Nigerian presidency and a coalition of technology industry leaders since May 2021, aims to establish guidelines and frameworks for collaboration between startups and governmental/regulatory entities, fostering growth in the nation’s tech ecosystem.

Having received approval from the Federal Executive Council in December 2021, Senate endorsement in July 2022, and subsequent signing into law by then-President Muhammadu Buhari last October, the Nigeria Startup Act seeks to elevate the country’s startup landscape to a prominent position within Africa.

Nawah Scientific, a pioneering Egyptian life sciences and biotech startup established in 2015, has become the first African entity to secure accreditation from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its food analysis services.

Functioning as an innovative online platform, Nawah Scientific handles experiment requests, sample collection, and digital result delivery, facilitating high-quality research for scientists worldwide, irrespective of their geographical location or lab facilities.

This recent FDA accreditation for food analysis and safety positions Nawah Scientific as the inaugural African center to attain such recognition, streamlining the analytical process for Egyptian and African companies and eliminating the need to send samples abroad.

A Senegalese firm jointly owned by Meridiam and the Sovereign Strategic Investment Fund of Senegal (FONSIS), Dakar Mobility to, has announced garnering $147 million for the establishment of Sub-Saharan Africa’s maiden 100% electric Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.

The funds, according to the startup, was collaboratively sourced from Proparco, EAIF, PIDG TA, and the European Union (EU).

Given the significance of the milestone, the raiser signifies a substantial stride in the region’s dedication to sustainable urban transportation.

The MENA region’s additive manufacturing startup, Immensa, has closed a $20 million funding round led by Global Ventures, a MENA premier venture capital firm.

CEO Fahmi AlShawwa confirmed this in a press release seen by Ripples Nigeria on Friday, December 1, 2023.

The investment marks a milestone for Immensa, following its $7 million Series A round in 2021.

London-based fintech startup, Paysend, has secured $65 million in a recent funding round, garnering strategic investments from notable brands such as Mastercard and TelevisaUnivision.

The CEO, Ronnie Millar, confirmed this in a press release seen by Ripples Nigeria on Friday, December 1, 2023.

According to the startup, existing investors, including Infravia Growth Capital, One Peak, and Hermes GPE Innovation Fund participated in the round.

International money transfer service, LemFi, has suspended its operations in Ghana, responding to the recent actions taken by the country’s Central Bank.

The development comes on the heels of recent suspension placed by Bank of Ghana on multiple international money transfer companies, alleging that these entities lacked the required licenses to operate as electronic money issuers or payment service providers in Ghana.

According to a statement posted on LemFi’s official page, the company is suspending all services in Ghana, and consequently sending money to banks and mobile money in Ghana will no longer be possible.

EchoVC, a technology-focused venture capital firm led by Black entrepreneurs and with a global presence in Lagos, Nairobi, New York, and London, has announced closing its EchoVC Pilot Fund I.

This initiative, according to media sources, aims to foster innovation and bridge the funding gap for underrepresented founders in Africa.

The $2.5 million ‘pilot’ fund, established in collaboration with Shell Foundation and co-funded through UK Aid from the UK Government, is dedicated to propelling groundbreaking ideas in climate, energy, agriculture, and mobility.

A French-Tunisian startup, Winshot, headquartered in Marseille, has secured a substantial six-figure investment from 216 Capital.

The infusion of funds aims to amplify operational efficiency and elevate the in-store customer experience for brands, retail chains, and franchise leaders, capitalizing on Winshot’s technological prowess.

Winshot’s impact spans Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, where it has redefined operational strategies for businesses.

Tech news and analysis platform, Technext has joined the club of tech-focused media platforms in Nigeria that generate more than a million impressions per quarter as its traffic volume surged by 82% to over 1.8 million in the second quarter of 2023. This is according to the latest quarterly ranked report released by online media relations management solution, Squirrel PR.

The publishers featured in the technology category are those focused on news platforms with a preponderance of content on startups, the information technology industry, gadgets, etc. The report took account of 16 tech news platforms in this category within the period under review.

According to the report, only 14 platforms that met the 50,000 minimum quarterly impressions benchmark were considered. Of these, Technext took the most significant leap in the category between July and September 2023 with 1.8 million views, an 82% increase from the 977,000 it recorded in the previous quarter.

A pivotal step in the realization of the Nigeria Startup Act, the country has unveiled the Startup Support and Engagement Portal.

This initiative, spearheaded by the Nigerian presidency and a coalition of technology industry leaders since May 2021, aims to establish guidelines and frameworks for collaboration between startups and governmental/regulatory entities, fostering growth in the nation’s tech ecosystem.

Having received approval from the Federal Executive Council in December 2021, Senate endorsement in July 2022, and subsequent signing into law by then-President Muhammadu Buhari last October, the Nigeria Startup Act seeks to elevate the country’s startup landscape to a prominent position within Africa.

Nawah Scientific, a pioneering Egyptian life sciences and biotech startup established in 2015, has become the first African entity to secure accreditation from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its food analysis services.

Functioning as an innovative online platform, Nawah Scientific handles experiment requests, sample collection, and digital result delivery, facilitating high-quality research for scientists worldwide, irrespective of their geographical location or lab facilities.

This recent FDA accreditation for food analysis and safety positions Nawah Scientific as the inaugural African center to attain such recognition, streamlining the analytical process for Egyptian and African companies and eliminating the need to send samples abroad.

501(c)3 non profit organization that connects next-generation weather and climate innovations with communities in need, TomorrowNow, has announced closing a $5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Given the fresh capital injection, the nonprofit is poised to spearhead climate adaptation initiatives benefiting 20 million farmers across Africa.

This substantial funding injection is earmarked to enhance TomorrowNow’s flagship program, Osiris, which focuses on harnessing advanced weather and climate data services uniquely tailored for the African context.

Cryptocurrency payment technology firm, ivendPay, has announced introducing a cutting-edge crypto payment system leveraging near-field communication (NFC).

In a press release seen by Ripples Nigeria on Tuesday, the company highlighted the seamless integration of NFC technology with cryptocurrency payments, likening the experience to the ease of using traditional cards.

According to the release, users can now tap their NFC-equipped phones to initiate direct payments from their crypto wallets.

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