Startups Weekly: Lessons from a failed founder

I sat down with Menlo Ventures partner Shawn Carolan this week to talk about his early investment in Uber. Menlo, if you remember, led Uber’s Series B and has made a hefty sum over the year selling shares in the ride-hailing company. I’ll have more on that later; for now, I want to share some […]

African e-commerce startup Jumia’s shares open at $14.50 in NYSE IPO

Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia listed on the New York Stock Exchange today, with shares beginning trading at $14.50 under ticker symbol JMIA. This comes four weeks after CEO Sacha Poignonnec confirmed the IPO to TechCrunch and Jumia filed SEC documents. With the public offering, Jumia becomes the first startup from Africa to list on a major global […]

Partnering with Visa, emerging market lender Branch International raises $170 million

The San Francisco-based startup Branch International, which makes small personal loans in emerging markets, has raised $170 million and announced a partnership with Visa to offer virtual, pre-paid debit cards to Branch client networks in Africa, South-Asia and Latin America.  Branch — which has 150 employees in San Francisco, Lagos, Nairobi, Mexico City and Mumbai — […]

Boomplay, a Spotify-style music and video streaming service for African music and Africa, raises $20M

While Spotify dukes it out with Apple and other big tech names to target high-end users in mostly developed markets, a startup out of China has raised some money to expand its music streaming business in the massive but still nascent market of Africa. Boomplay, a service founded by Transsnet — a joint venture between […]

Africa Roundup: Jumia files for IPO, OneFi acquires Amplify, FlexClub expands in Mexico

Less than a decade ago IPOs, acquisitions and global expansion by African startups were more possibility than reality. March saw all three from the continent’s tech scene. Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, per SEC documents and confirmation from chief executive Sacha Poignonnec. In an updated filing, […]

Dakar Network Angels begins startup investments in francophone Africa

The Dakar Network Angels group launched this month, making its first investment in francophone Africa to cleantech venture Coliba. The Ivorian startup — which uses a mobile app to coordinate waste recycling — will receive mentorship and a minimum of $25,000 in seed funds. The deal is part of Dakar Network Angels’ mission of convening […]

African e-commerce startup Jumia files for IPO on NYSE

Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange today, per SEC documents and confirmation from CEO Sacha Poignonnec to TechCrunch. The valuation, share price and timeline for public stock sales will be determined over the coming weeks for the Nigeria-headquartered company. With a smooth filing process, Jumia will become […]

Nigeria’s Gloo.ng drops consumer e-commerce, pivots to e-procurement

Nigerian startup Gloo.ng is dropping consumer online retail and pivoting to B2B e-procurement with Gloopro as its new name. The Lagos-based venture has called it quits on e-commerce grocery services, shifting to a product that supplies large and medium corporates with everything from desks to toilet paper. Gloopro’s new platform will generate revenues on a […]

The other smartphone business

With the smartphone operating system market sewn up by Google’s Android platform, which has a close to 90% share globally, leaving Apple’s iOS a slender (but lucrative) premium top-slice, a little company called Jolla and its Linux-based Sailfish OS is a rare sight indeed: A self-styled ‘independent alternative’ that’s still somehow in business. The Finnish […]

BRCK acquires ISPs EveryLayer and Surf to boost Africa’s public Wi-Fi

Jake Bright Contributor More posts by this contributor Africa Roundup: Zimbabwe’s net blackout, Partech’s $143M fund, Andela’s $100M raise, Flutterwave’s pivot Partech is doubling the size of its African venture fund to $143 million Kenyan communications hardware company BRCK has acquired the assets of Nairobi based internet provider Surf and its U.S. parent EveryLayer in a purchase deal of an undisclosed […]