PayU, Naspers’ global fintech firm, enters Southeast Asia with acquisition of Red Dot Payment

PayU, the Naspers owned fintech firm that specializes in emerging markets, is broadening its global reach into Southeast Asia after it announced a deal to buy a majority stake in Singapore-based Red Dot Payment. Naspers is best known for its payments and fintech business in markets like India, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe, but […]

African fintech dominates Catalyst Fund’s 2019 startup cohort

African fintech has taken center stage for the Catalyst Fund, a JP Morgan Chase and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-backed accelerator that provides mentorship and non-equity funding to emerging markets startups. The organization announced its 2019 startup cohort and three out of the four finance ventures — Chipper Cash, Salutat and Turaco — have an […]

Ethiopia’s bid to become an African startup hub hinges on connectivity

Ethiopia is flexing its ambitions to become Africa’s next startup hub. The country of 105 million with the continent’s seventh largest economy is revamping government policies, firing up angel networks and rallying digital entrepreneurs. Ethiopia currently lags the continent’s tech standouts — like Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa — that have become focal points for […]

Canada’s True North conference is not your typical tech event

From the venue and the flashy event website, Waterloo, Ontario’s True North conference (in its second year) doesn’t seem all that distinct from a laundry list of other major tech events that take place each year across North America. But from the moment its main stage programming kicked off on the first day, it was […]

Why is Andreessen Horowitz (and everyone else) investing in Latin America now?

Investments by U.S. venture capital firms into Latin America are skyrocketing and one of the firms leading the charge into deals is none other than Silicon Valley’s Andreessen Horowitz. The firm that shook up Silicon Valley with potentially over-generous term sheets and valuations and an overarching thesis that “software is eating the world” has been […]

Fintech platform Synapse raises $33M to build ‘the AWS of banking’

Synapse, a San Francisco-based startup that operates a platform enabling banks and fintech companies to easily develop financial services, has closed a $33 million Series B to develop new products and go after international expansion. The investment was led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from existing backers Trinity Ventures and Core Innovation Capital . Synapse […]

Google offers new treasure trove of air quality data to researchers

Google has employed its network of street-view vehicles to also measure street-level air quality in recent years, through an initiative it calls “Project Air View.” Today, it’s making available to scientists and researcher organizations more of the resulting data from that ongoing initiative. The company is releasing an updated version of its air quality data […]

Africa Roundup: Jumia’s post-IPO earnings, Gokada’s $5.3M raise, Facebook’s fake-news purge, Joe Montana’s fintech investment

Jumia held its first post-IPO earnings call and weathered a short-sell assault in May, with Wall Street showing confidence in the Pan-African e-commerce company. On the numbers, key takeaways were that Jumia’s Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) — the total amount of goods sold over the period — grew by 58% to €240 million. Marketplace revenue […]

Diving deep into Africa’s blossoming tech scene

Jumia may be the first startup you’ve heard of from Africa. But the e-commerce venture that recently listed on the NYSE is definitely not the first or last word in African tech. The continent has an expansive digital innovation scene, the components of which are intersecting rapidly across Africa’s 54 countries and 1.2 billion people. […]

The Crunchbase Unicorn Leaderboard is back, now with a record herd of 452 unicorns

We are very pleased to announce that the new and improved Crunchbase Unicorn Leaderboard re-launched today after nearly a year’s absence from TechCrunch. Venture investors did a lot of handwringing in the past year over rising valuations, but that did not slow the unicorn juggernaut, as 2018 outstripped all previous years in terms of the number […]