Remitly raises $220M to expand from money transfers to financial services, now at ~$1B valuation

When it comes to financial services in emerging markets, remittances — people sending money to each other across international borders, often not to established bank accounts — continues to be one of the biggest, with the World Bank estimating that $529 billion was sent in and out of lower-income countries in 2018, up 9% over […]

Airbnb launches ‘Adventures’ for tourists seeking more thrills

[embedded content] Airbnb has debuted a new extension of its growing business in providing travel experiences in addition to temporary housing. Called Airbnb Adventures, it’s effectively a collection of tours and trips lasting between three days and a week that go beyond the usual city walking tour. One such trip, for example, is a wildlife […]

Africa Roundup: Jumia’s post-IPO earnings, Gokada’s $5.3M raise, Facebook’s fake-news purge, Joe Montana’s fintech investment

Jumia held its first post-IPO earnings call and weathered a short-sell assault in May, with Wall Street showing confidence in the Pan-African e-commerce company. On the numbers, key takeaways were that Jumia’s Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) — the total amount of goods sold over the period — grew by 58% to €240 million. Marketplace revenue […]

Diving deep into Africa’s blossoming tech scene

Jumia may be the first startup you’ve heard of from Africa. But the e-commerce venture that recently listed on the NYSE is definitely not the first or last word in African tech. The continent has an expansive digital innovation scene, the components of which are intersecting rapidly across Africa’s 54 countries and 1.2 billion people. […]

Nigeria’s Gokada raises $5.3M round for its motorcycle ride-hail biz

In many large cities across Africa, motorcycle taxis are as common as yellow cabs in New York. That includes Lagos, Nigeria, where ride-hail startup Gokada has raised a $5.3 million Series A round to grow its two-wheel transit business. Gokada has trained and on-boarded more than 1,000 motorcycles and their pilots on its app that […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]