These latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.
1. Japanese VC launches $15m African startup fund
Japanese firm, UNCOVERED FUND, has launched with a targeted size of US$15 million as it unveils its first five investments in African tech startups.
Earlier launched in June of last year, UNCOVERED FUND is a venture capital fund targeting early and seed stage startups in Africa.
According to the VC, the fund is expected to close at the end of June 2021, with a total size of US$15 million.
On the ambition of the scheme, the fund is designed to support the development of new businesses in the “uncovered” world, where entrepreneurial support is not yet sufficient.
The body noted that the scheme will invest between US$50,000 and US$500,000 in early and seed stage African startups.
Which tech platform’s mission statement is summarised thus: our motivation is addressing the biggest challenges facing information professionals today: discovery and access.
Answer: See end of post.
2. AURA builds WhatsApp security chatbot in partnership with Tracker
In a partnership with Tracker, South African security and medical response startup AURA has built what it describes as the world’s first WhatsApp security chatbot.
The partner, Tracker is one of South Africa’s most trusted names in stolen vehicle recovery.
On the design, AURA developed a cloud-based security and safety platform that provides on-demand, geographically-variable security responses from an aggregated collection of the best independent armed reaction companies in South Africa.
The design is a solution that allows for a shift from location-specific protection to location-independent response and support, offering a means of aggregating the supply of an otherwise fragmented industry without the need for the significant acquisitions activity that would ordinarily be associated with consolidation.
Today, the WhatsApp security chatbot connects to AURA’s nationwide network of over 1,500 armed responders.
3. Mama Money records 500% growth during the pandemic
Despite how frustrating the economy was during the pandemic outbreak, Mama Money, a South African founded digital money transfer operator reportedly recorded a 500% growth during 2020.
The unexpected growth margin was discovered when the fintech startup recorded more than a million users who paid fees as low as 3% for international money transfers.
Speaking to press, Mathieu Coquillon, co-founder of Mama Money explained that the Covid-19 conditions accelerated the adoption of digital money transfers.
She said: “We’re incredibly grateful that 2020 was our best year yet. It’s terrible to see how tough the pandemic has been for so many people and businesses.
“We’re humbled and very lucky to have added over 70 permanent team members during this time. Lockdown restrictions spurred the adoption of digital money transfer services.
“While there is a large informal network for money transfers that operates predominantly in cash, services like Mama Money make it easier for people to transfer money from the safety of their homes, which became particularly appealing during lockdown.”
Tech Trivia Answer: Wikipedia
With the above adapted mission statement, Wikipedia today is the 5th most visited website on the entire internet; has 500 million monthly visitors; records 8000 views per second; has become the #6 top-referrer to all scholarly articles online with millions of citation clicks per month; contains over 29 million citations on the English Wikipedia alone.
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