Thursday, February 22

Tag: Funding

Google sets up $50M fund to invest in African startups
Africans in Tech, Start-ups

Google sets up $50M fund to invest in African startups

Google plans to invest up to $50 million in African early and growth-stage startups via its Africa Investment Fund, ramping up efforts to support more businesses on the continent. Google made known its plans today in a virtual event where CEO Sundar Pichai announced the tech giant’s intentions to commit $1 billion over the next five years in tech-led initiatives in Africa. These initiatives range from improved connectivity via Google’s subsea cable Equiano to investments in small businesses and startups. Until now, Google had fulfilled its obligations in the latter through its Google for Startups Accelerator Africa program and the recently launched Black Founders Fund. Continue reading Image: Getty Images
SoftBank sinks $200M into Andela, propels company into unicorn territory
AI

SoftBank sinks $200M into Andela, propels company into unicorn territory

Andela, a fully remote company that helps tech companies build remote engineering teams (initially from Africa but now a global market), is currently valued at $1.5 billion following a $200 million Series E round led by SoftBank’s Softbank Vision Fund 2, the $30 billion venture fund of SoftBank Group. Joining SoftBank in the investment was new investor Whale Rock and existing investors including Generation Investment Management, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Spark Capital. After closing this Series E round, Andela has raised a total of $381 million since being founded in Lagos, Nigeria in 2014, according to Crunchbase data. Its last valuation of $700 million came when the company raised a $100 million Series D in 2019. Continue reading Image: Unsplash
Zola Electric closes $90M funding round to scale technology and enter new markets
Africa, Start-ups

Zola Electric closes $90M funding round to scale technology and enter new markets

Millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa and emerging markets continue to live without access to electricity. Some reports peg these numbers between 500 million and 2 billion people despite the prevalence of renewable energy providers in these regions. Zola Electric, one such provider, is announcing today that it has closed $90 million in new funding to enter new markets and drive distributed renewable energy. When Zola Electric was launched in 2011 by Erica Mackey, Xavier Helgesen and Joshua Pierce, the company provided solar home solutions to off-grid rural communities in Tanzania. Continue reading Image: ZOLA
Jumuisha – A startup helping Kenyan churches receive donations secures funding to scale
Fintech, Start-ups

Jumuisha – A startup helping Kenyan churches receive donations secures funding to scale

Jumuisha, a Kenya-based fintech startup that helps churches and non-profit organisations receive donations through multiple payment channels, has secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding for product development and team expansion.  The investment in Jumuisha came from SprintX, a venture studio for early-stage startups based in the United States. In addition to the funding, Sprint will also provide the startup with business strategy, marketing, and technology expertise. Using Jumuisha, churches and NGOs can receive donations via USSD, bank transfer, mobile money, online payment, or credit cards, and also make payments to contractors, suppliers, and employees. The platform provides a real-time overview of and generates financial reports for all transactions. Continue reading...