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

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Ventures Platform, African Blockchain Lab, Trove, Edukoya, Flourish, BTrust, Bento, and Co-creation Hub. These are some of the names that made the headlines this week.

Ventures Platform, one of Africa’s most active early-stage tech investors, during the week, closed of a US$40 million pan-African fund.

Nigeria-based startup, African Blockchain Lab, also secured a US$6 million pre-Series A investment to fund the launch of its crypto wallet VIBRA.

Let’s get into details.

Ventures Platform, one of Africa’s most active early-stage tech investors, announced the first close of a US$40 million pan-African fund.

The fund, according to the startup, is expected to help expand its portfolio and double down on winners.

The startup was founded in 2016, and has since then been acting as a partner and conduit for international funds.

African Blockchain Lab, a Nigeria-based startup, during the week, secured a US$6 million pre-Series A investment to fund the launch of its crypto wallet VIBRA.

The startup was founded by blockchain venture studio, Everest Ventures Group, operating as a blockchain technology company and the builder of African crypto app VIBRA.

The startup, since inception, offers an easy way for beginners to learn, and make trades with a community of experts, which enables Africans to effortlessly go from zero to crypto master.

Trove, a Ngerian global share dealing app, was named winner of the fourth edition of the Ecobank Fintech Challenge.

The development saw the startup to secure a US$15,000 prize and a place in the bank’s Fintech Challenge Fellowship programme.

Ecobank Group hosts its Fintech Challenge each year, with the five finalists of this year’s edition emerging from over 890 entrants from 44 countries.

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Edukoya, a Nigerian online learning platform, secured US$3.5 million pre-seed funding.

The round, described as the largest preseed by an African Edtech, was led by Target Global.

According to Edukoya, the fresh investment will be used to transition from beta to live launch and build its team and customer base.

Same week, the Flourish Africa Grant opened call for applications for Female Entrepreneurs.

The grant, which is a N1billion fund to support and promote African female-owned businesses, is expected to run for over a 5-year period.

The programme will empower the entrepreneurial activities of at least 2,500 female business owners through funding and structured training over a five-year period by providing cash and organized training.

Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey, appointed three Nigerians and one South African to act as the board of his Bitcoin Trust (BTrust) fund which will be disbursed for development in Africa and India.

In February, Dorsey, who resigned as Twitter CEO late November, had announced a BTrust [with the ‘B’ carrying bitcoin symbol] in collaboration with American rapper, Shawn “Jay Z” Carter.

BTrust is a fund with 500 BTC capital base worth N10,014,265,775.40 ($24,426,230), when pegged to late Monday’s market price $48,815.35, and will be managed by four Africans, without oversight from Dorsey or Jay Z.

Bento, a Nigerian digital payroll and HR management platform, launched into three new markets, establishing a presence in Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda.

The development comes as the startup seeks to grow the company’s reach across the continent.

Bento was founded in 2019 to address many of the challenges African businesses face by automating salary payments, tax, pensions and other statutory remittances.

Meanwhile, Co-creation Hub has launched a security command centre in a bid to provide digital resilience capability to the African ecosystem.

The hub disclosed this in a press release forwarded to Ripples Nigeria.

According to the statement, the security command will provide actionable intelligence, security awareness, and advisory on the latest threats targeting vulnerable individuals, civil society, media organizations, and at-risk groups across Africa.

SendChamp, a Nigerian startup, has secured US$100,000 in funding to build new products for businesses in Africa.

The funding comes as the startup looks to bridge the communications gap for African businesses.

SendChamp was founded by Goodness Kayode and Damilola Olotu, to improve customer relations for technical and non-technical business owners.

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