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



Norebase, Kwaba, Black Girls in Tech, GoMetro, The Baobab Network, Hello Tractor, Crop2Cash, Koolboks. These are some of the names that made the headlines this week.

A world rendezvous for startups, International Finance Corporation (IFC), during the week, shortlisted two Nigerian startups, Crop2Cash and Koolboks among top 45 African startups driving innovations on the continent.

Also, a Nigerian trade technology startup, Norebase, has announced securing a $1M pre-seed funding round.

Let’s get into details.

The week saw Nigerian fintech startup, Kwaba, raise an undisclosed pre-seed round of funding to help its expansion across Africa.

The founder and Chief Executive Officer of the startup, Obinna Molokwu, confirmed the development in a statement on Friday.

The startup, Ripples Nigeria reported to have been founded in January 2020.

Playing in the real estate and fintech industry, Kwaba facilitates home payments for Africans and targets Nigerians looking to pay rent in a way that reflects their financial reality.

On acquisition deal this week, we saw pan-African digital services provider, INQ, acquire a South African IT solution provider, Syrex, for an undisclosed amount.

The Managing Director of Syrex, David David Herselman, disclosed this on Friday.

Ripples Nigeria reported that the acquisition followed similar acquisition of Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Zambia in 2020.

It was gathered that the digital provider company was founded in 2013 and operates as a cloud-based digital service firm.

The point agenda to accelerate female inclusion in tech saw a boost during the week with a Nigerian women-tech community, Black Girls in Tech (BGiT), announcing a partnership agreement with a banking startup, CrowdForce, to offer more internship opportunities to women in Nigeria’s technological space.

The Chief Executive Officer and Partnerships & Growth Lead, Karen Emelu, confirmed the development in a statement on Thursday.

The community was founded by Emelu to create a colourful space in the white, male-dominated technology sector.

Another fund raiser that made it to the news is Norebase’s $1M investment.

During the week, a Nigerian trade technology startup, Norebase, announced securing a $1M pre-seed funding round.

Co-led by Samurai Incubate and Consonance Investment, the round was confirmed by Tola Onayemi, CEO at Norebase, in a statement seen by Ripples Nigeria.

According to Tola, the round also saw participation from Sahil Lavingia (Gumroad), Kinfolk VC, Future Africa, Ventures Platform, Microtraction, Boleh Venture, Voltron Capital, Wuri Ventures, Afropreneur, and angel investments from African tech ecosystem.

In South Africa, the fund raiser experience is the same as Nigeria, more equity was recorded to scale ideas.

Ripples Nigeria reported the story of South African logistics startup, GoMetro, that secured a ZAR16.3 million (approximately $1 million) seed extension to expand into the UK and American markets.

Read also :Nigeria’s fintech startup, Kwaba, raises pre-seed funding. 1 other story and a trivia

The CEO of GoMetro, Justin Coetzee, confirmed the development in a statement on Thursday.

According to Justin, the seed extension round saw participation from Kalon Venture Partners, Hlayisani Capital, Tritech Global, 4Decades Capital, and E Squared Investments.

The Cape Town-based mobility platform was founded in 2011, to enable public transport and logistics operators to boost operational efficiency, futureproof their services, and tighten their competitiveness.

Something new is hitting Whatsapp. The onstant messaging platform, Whatsapp, is set to launch in-chat reaction feature that will see users respond to chats with preferred mood options.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Meta, the parent company of Whatsapp, made the announcement in a post via his Facebook handle on Thursday.

According to Mark, the feature is expected to be available to users later on Thursday.

In a follow up statement, Mark noted that the “thank you” reaction which is depicted with praying hands was included to help users spread appreciation.

A world rendezvous for startups, International Finance Corporation (IFC), during the week, shortlisted two Nigerian startups, Crop2Cash and Koolboks among top 45 African startups driving innovations on the continent.

The shortlist was published in partnership with Viva Technology, assessing startups from Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Morocco and others.

The list covered three categories: Climate Tech, FinTech, and Health Tech. Koolboks made the cut in the Climate Tech category, while Crop2Cash made it into the Fintech category.

In Kenya, an accelerator platform, The Baobab Network, announced funding five new startups with US$25,000 worth of investment.

Arthur Chupeau, Head of Ventures at The Baobab Network, confirmed the new round of investment in a press release as seen by Ripples Nigeria.

With claims to be the fastest-growing start-up accelerator in Africa, the network focuses on early-stage technology ventures across the African continent.

Ripples Nigeria’s tech correspondent noted that the Nairobi-based tech accelerator was founded in 2015 by Toby Hanington, and Tom Fairburn.

Back home, a Nigerian based agtech company, Hello Tractor, secured a US$1 million funding to help local farmers secure tractors through loans.

Jehiel Oliver, Founder and CEO of Hello Tractor confirmed this in a statement seen by Ripples Nigeria on Monday.

The Abuja-based company is a tractor booking platform that connects tractor owners to smallholder farmers in need of tractor services.

Ripples Nigeria gathered that the new funding is a “Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) Tractor Financing for Increased Agricultural Productivity in Nigeria.

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