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 […]

Streetwear marketplace Bump raises $7.5M

Bump, the Y Combinator-backed marketplace for streetwear, is announcing that it has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. Bump’s Jack Ryder told me that even before starting the company, he and his co-founder Sam Howarth were active in buying and selling streetwear and sneakers — but he admitted that it took several tries before […]

Southeast Asia’s Carousell snags $56M from Naspers-owned OLX

It’s taken some time to come around, but Naspers — the early Tencent investor that’s also behind the world’s top listings service — finally has a piece of Southeast Asia’s Carousell. TechCrunch broke news of talks between the two sides last year, and now Carousell has confirmed that it has raised $56 million from Naspers’ […]

ShopBack, a cashback startup in Asia Pacific, raises $45M from Rakuten and others

ShopBack, a Singapore-based startup that offers cashback and consumer rewards in Asia Pacific, has closed a $45 million round led by new investors Rakuten Capital and EV Growth. Founded in 2014, the startup had been relatively under-the-radar until late 2017, when it announced a $25 million investment that funded expansion into Australia, among other things. […]

Travel activities platform Klook raises $225M led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund

We recently noted that SoftBank’s Vision Fund has stepped up its deal-making in Asia this year, and today it added a new company to its roster: travel services platform Klook. Hong Kong-based Klook announced today that it has raised a $225 million round led by the Vision Fund with participation from existing investors. The deal […]

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 — […]

Snap is channeling Asia’s messaging giants with its move into gaming

Snap is taking a leaf out of the Asian messaging app playbook as its social messaging service enters a new era. The company unveiled a series of new strategies that are aimed at breathing fresh life into the service that has been ruthlessly cloned by Facebook across Instagram, WhatsApp and even its primary social network. […]

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, […]

Clearbanc plans to disrupt venture capital with ‘The 20-Min Term Sheet’

Raising venture capital isn’t easy; for some, it’s impossible. Clearbanc offers startups a fundraising alternative — despite itself being well-capitalized by VCs — and is today launching a new campaign to back 2,000 businesses with $1 billion in non-dilutive capital by the end of 2019. “Everyone is watching this flurry of tech IPOs this year, […]

Fleksy’s AI keyboard is getting a store to put mini apps at chatters’ fingertips

Remember Fleksy? The customizable Android keyboard app has a new trick up its sleeve: It’s adding a store where users can find and add lightweight third party apps to enhance their typing experience. Right now it’s launched a taster, preloading a selection of ‘mini apps’ into the keyboard — some from very familiar brand names, […]