Kenyan telco Safaricom’s Alpha incubator faces uncertain future

Safaricom’s Nairobi-based Alpha innovation incubator may have an uncertain future, according to sources. With two high-level departures, and the passing of Safaricom’s CEO Bob Collymore, there are questions on how or if Alpha will continue to operate. The space was established in 2017 to spur new product development for Safaricom, which is Kenya’s largest mobile […]

Update on Nigerian fintech firm Interswitch and its speculative IPO

Nigerian fintech firm Interswitch has been circulating in business news around a possible IPO on the London Stock Exchange. Last month Bloomberg News ran a story—based on unnamed sources—reporting the financial services firm had hired investment banks to go public on the LSE later in 2019. The piece spurred additional aggregated press. That Interswitch—which provides […]

Africa’s ride-hail markets are hot spots for startups and VC

When it comes to VC, vehicles, and startups, Africa’s ride-hail markets are becoming a multi-wheeled and global affair. The big players such as Uber and Bolt are competing in Kampala and Nairobi—where in addition to car-service—they offer rickshaw taxis. On-demand motorcycle startups are multiplying and piloting EVs with funds from international partners. And many ride-hail companies in Africa […]

These startups are locating in SF and Africa to win in global fintech

To become a global fintech player, locate your company in San Francisco and Africa. That’s the approach of payments company Flutterwave, digital lending startup Mines, and mobile-money venture Chipper Cash—Africa-founded ventures that maintain headquarters in San Francisco and operations in Africa to tap the best of both worlds in VC, developers, clients, and the frontier […]

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 — […]

Nigeria’s Piggybank.ng raises $1.1M, announces group investment product

Jake Bright Contributor More posts by this contributor Nigeria’s Piggybank.ng raises $1.1M, announces group investment product Africa Roundup: Safaricom unveils Bonga, Africa’s Talking gets $8.6M, TechCrunch visits Nigeria, Ghana Seeking to tap into Africa’s informal savings groups the Nigerian investment startup Piggybank.ng closed $1.1M in seed funding and announced a new product — Smart Target, which offers […]

A look back at the year that the Sub-Saharan African startup scene found its stride

Jake Bright Contributor Jake Bright is a writer and author in New York City. He is co-author of The Next Africa. More posts by this contributor: African tech in 2017 was about the normalization of market events mostly absent even a decade ago. There were acquisitions, multiple investment rounds, lots of expansion, big strategic partnerships […]

Africa Roundup: Lori Systems wins BFX Africa, Andela raises $40M, Jumia lends to SMEs, Safaricom launches incubator

 Logistics transportation company Lori Systems won best of show at TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield Africa after gaining majority votes of the event’s 15 judges. The Kenyan-based venture pitched its platform to optimize all points of the cargo delivery supply chain. Lori wasn’t the only winner at Startup Battlefield Africa. Read More