Nigerian online-only bank startup Kuda raises $1.6M

Nigerian fintech startup Kuda — a digital-only retail bank — has raised $1.6 million in pre-seed funding. The Lagos and London-based company recently launched the beta version of its online mobile finance platform. Kuda also received its banking license from the Nigerian Central Bank, giving it a distinction compared to other fintech startups. “Kuda is […]

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 […]

What is Andela, the Africa tech talent accelerator?

As someone who covers Africa’s tech scene, I’m frequently asked about Andela. That’s not surprising, given the venture gets more global press (arguably) than any startup in Africa. I’ve found many Silicon Valley investors have heard of Andela but aren’t exactly sure what it does. In a bite, Andela is Series D stage startup―backed by […]

Tastemakers raises $1M to sell Africa experiences to the world

New York-based startup Tastemakers has raised a $1 million seed-round — led by Precursor Ventures — for its business that connects Africa adventures to global consumers. Tastemakers’ platform curates, prices and lists African travel and cultural experiences — from paragliding tours to wine-tasting to concerts. The startup generates revenues by taking a 20% commission on […]

African incubator MEST has a new MD and 11 fresh startup investments

Pan-African incubator MEST announced investments in 11 startups from its 2019 cohort that will each receive $100,000 in financing. The $1.1 million backing for a graduating class is the largest to date for the Accra-based organization — which operates as a training program and seed fund for African innovators to build successful commercial tech companies. […]

Nigerian logistics startup Kobo360 raises $30M backed by Goldman Sachs

Nigerian freight logistics startup Kobo360 has raised a $20 million Series A round led by Goldman Sachs and $10 million in working capital financing from Nigerian commercial banks. The company — with an Uber -like app that connects truckers and companies to delivery services — will use the funds to upgrade its platform and expand […]

Africa Roundup: Canal+ acquires ROK, Flutterwave and Alipay partner, OPay raises $50M

In July, French television company Canal+ acquired the ROK film studio from VOD company IROKOtv. Canal+ would not disclose the acquisition price, but confirmed there was a cash component of the deal. Founded by Jason Njoku in 2010 — and backed by $45 million in VC — IROKOtv boasts the world’s largest online catalog of Nollywood: a Nigerian movie […]

China’s Vivo is eyeing smartphone users in Africa and Middle East

Africa’s mobile phone industry has in recent times been dominated by Transsion, a Shenzhen-based company that is little known outside the African continent and is gearing up for an initial public offering in China. Now, its Chinese peer Vivo is following its shadow to this burgeoning part of the world with low-cost offerings. Vivo, the […]

Flutterwave and Alipay partner on payments between Africa and China

San Francisco and Lagos-based fintech startup Flutterwave has partnered with Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba to offer digital payments between Alipay and African merchants. Flutterwave is a Nigerian-founded B2B payments service (primarily) for companies in Africa to pay other companies on the continent and abroad. Alipay is Alibaba’s digital wallet and payments platform. In 2013, Alipay […]

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 […]