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

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OpenAI, ColisMa, Yellow, SVC, InstaShop, Prembly, Ecobank were some of the names that made the headlines in the tech ecosystem this week.

OpenAI, the non-profit research company known for its creation of the popular ChatGPT chatbot and powerful language model GPT-4, is making waves with its upcoming project—a dedicated app store for AI software.

Also, ColisMa, a logistics startup based in Morocco, has announced securing a funding of US$50,000 from The Baobab Network, an African tech accelerator based in Kenya.

Let’s get into details.

OpenAI, the non-profit research company known for its creation of the popular ChatGPT chatbot and powerful language model GPT-4, is making waves with its upcoming project—a dedicated app store for AI software.

In an effort to streamline the AI development process, OpenAI aims to provide a centralized marketplace for developers to sell their AI models built on the foundation of OpenAI’s technology.

The concept of an AI app store has the potential to revolutionize the way AI is utilized. According to the team, the OpenAI app store aims to enforce responsible AI practices.

 

In a bid to bolster the growth and influence of startups, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has declared unwavering support for the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Egypt.

This support comes in the form of a significant advantage for startups, where a  five-year tax exemption is aimed at fostering their development and expansion.

Mohamed Ehab, CEO of Entlaq, emphasized the crucial role played by partnerships between the government, private sector, and startups in driving growth.

 

ColisMa, a logistics startup based in Morocco, has announced securing a funding of US$50,000 from The Baobab Network, an African tech accelerator based in Kenya.

As part of an acceleration program, ColisMa, along with four other startups, has received an investment of US$50,000 each.

The Moroccan startup specializes in digitizing the tracking process for parcel transportation, providing customers with a personalized experience through their app.

 

Three recent graduates from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, have collaborated to design an innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) Wardrobe.

Promise Ijalade, Ogonifoluwa Paul, and Aslem Emmanuel, who studied Physics and Electronics, presented their project to the public as a a groundbreaking invention.

The invention comes on the heels of their 2021 invention when they developed a robotic dog as part of their final-year project.

 

Yellow, a tech startup focused on off-grid solar asset finance in Africa, has raised $14 million in its Series B funding round.

This latest investment brings Yellow’s total capital raised to an impressive $45 million.

The round saw participation from new investors such as Convergence Partners and the Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund, managed by Triple Jump, as well as follow-on investment from Platform Investment Partners.

 

In a significant move to bolster the growth of Saudi Arabia’s venture capital ecosystem, Saudi Venture Capital (SVC) has announced a substantial investment of $30 million in Bedaya Fund II.

Managed by renowned investment firm Shorooq Partners, the fund primarily focuses on providing crucial support to early-stage startups across multiple sectors.

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

The momentous subscription agreement was formalized during a signing ceremony attended by prominent figures in the industry.

 

InstaShop, an online marketplace for supermarkets, pharmacies, pet shops, and other businesses in the Middle East, has announced its acquisition of GroCart, a B2B wholesale marketplace renowned for its exceptional customer experience and extensive product selection.

The startup made the announcement in a statement seen by Ripples Nigeria on Tuesday, June 20, 2023.

The strategic move underscores InstaShop’s commitment to expanding its market reach and enhancing convenience for both customers and businesses.

 

Prembly, a Nigerian startup known for its Y Combinator-selected Identitypass product, is making significant strides in the African startup space as it seeks to expand its offerings to new and emerging markets.

The company, which was formed in 2021, has built a strong reputation by providing security products tailored to the needs of businesses in emerging markets.

Recognizing the growing demand for enhanced digital security services, Prembly recently expanded its focus beyond KYC, biometrics, and data verification.

 

Ecobank Group, a Pan-African banking group, has announced the launch of the 2023 edition of its Ecobank Fintech Challenge.

The challenge, according to the company, aims to bring together innovative fintech entrepreneurs from across Africa to collaborate and scale their solutions within Ecobank’s extensive network.

The Fintech Challenge offers a unique opportunity for fintechs aligned with Ecobank’s strategic objectives to partner with the bank and expand their reach across 35 African markets and international operations in France.

 

Saudi Arabia and South Korea have announced the establishment of a joint fund worth US$160 million to invest in startups from both countries.

The initiative comes as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for investment cooperation and startup support signed between the two nations.

The joint fund, initially invested with US$10 million from an existing US$150 million fund in which Saudi Arabia is a key investor, aims to strengthen bilateral economic ties and create new opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs from Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

 

Three lecturers at the University of Ibadan have developed a locally- made hearing device.

The “Chord Hearing Device,” an innovative, affordable, and self-programming hearing aid was developed by Dr. Adebolajo Adeyemo, Associate Prof. Bolanle Oladejo and Dr. Oluwasola Adeniji under the supervision of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund Alliance for Innovative Research (TETFAIR).

The TETFUND’s Acting Director of Public Affairs, Abdulmumin Oniyangi, said in a statement on Saturday the device has been chosen for exhibition at the prestigious Sheba ARC (Accelerate, Redesign, Collaborate) Global Entrepreneurship Programme.

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