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 […]

Facebook’s latest account purge exposes Africa’s misinformation problem

Facebook last week purged a network of hundreds of pages, groups and Instagram accounts it labeled as producing “coordinated inauthentic behavior” toward Africa. The activity originated in Israel and was largely targeted toward Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger, and Tunisia. It was mostly political in nature and primarily paid for by Archemedes Group, a global […]

Chipper Cash convinces Joe Montana to invest in African fintech

The African no-fee, cross-border payment startup Chipper Cash has raised a $2.4 million seed round led by Deciens Capital. The payments company also persuaded 500 Startups and Liquid 2 Ventures — co-founded by Joe Montana — to join the round. Chipper Cash’s Ugandan chief executive, Ham Serunjogi, pitched the U.S. football legend directly. “He was […]

Thunes raises $10M to make financial services more accessible in emerging markets

Cross-border fintech continues to be an area of interest for venture capitalists. The latest deal sees GGV Capital — the U.S-China firm that’s backed Xiaomi, Airbnb, Square and others — lead a $10 million investment in Singapore-based startup Thunes. Other investors in the Series A round are not being disclosed at this point. Thunes — […]

WorldCover raises $6M round for emerging markets’ climate insurance

WorldCover, a New York and Africa-based climate insurance provider to smallholder farmers, has raised a $6 million Series A round led by MS&AD Ventures. Y Combinator, Western Technology Investment and EchoVC also participated in the round. WorldCover’s platform uses satellite imagery, on-ground sensors, mobile phones and data analytics to create insurance options for farmers whose […]

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, […]