Nigeria’s Rensource raises $20M to power African markets by solar

Nigerian startup Rensource Energy has raised a $20 million Series A round co-led by CRE Venture Capital and the Omidyar network. The renewable energy company builds and operates solar-powered micro-utilities that provide electricity to commercial community structures, such as open-air trading bazaars. Launched in 2016, the startup has shifted its operating strategy. “We’ve pivoted away […]

Reliance Industries acquires a majority stake in SaaS startup NowFloats for $20M

Reliance Industries, one of India’s largest industrial houses, has acquired a majority stake in NowFloats, an Indian startup that helps businesses and individuals build online presence without any web developing skills. In a regulatory filing on Thursday, Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Limited said (PDF) it has acquired an 85% stake in NowFloats for 1.4 billion Indian […]

Latin America roundup: Neobanks raise $205M+; Softbank backs VTEX

Argentina’s Ualá became the most recent Latin American fintech to receive a growth-stage funding ($150 million) from Asian investors, Tencent and Softbank.  This marks Tencent’s second round of investment in Ualá, the first coming in April 2019. Tencent also invested $180M in Brazil’s leading neobank, Nubank in 2018. With Ualá, Tencent and Softbank will join a […]

India’s ZestMoney raises $20M to grow its digital lending service

Fintech is very much still hot in Asia. ZestMoney, a startup that helps consumers with no credit history get loans to buy online, announced today it has raised a $20 million Series B. The round is led by Quona Capital, a stealthy Washington-based fund that invests in emerging market fintech and has an office in […]

Flipkart co-founder and other top names join AngelList’s first investment syndicate in India

A little over a year after it introduced Syndicates to the India market, AngelList — the U.S. service that helps connect companies with investors — is rolling out its own fund in the country with the backing of some stellar names. Dubbed ‘The Collective,’ the syndicate includes money from Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal — Flipkart, […]

CEO of Rappler, a media company critical of the Philippines government, is arrested

There’s serious concern around press freedom in the Philippines after Maria Ressa, the CEO of independent media company Rappler, was arrested last night. Ressa, who was CNN’s bureau chief in Manila and then Jakarta prior to starting Rappler in 2011, was arrested on cyber libel security charges for an article published in 2012, according to […]

Ne-Yo wants to make Silicon Valley more diverse, one investment at a time

Dressed in a Naruto t-shirt and a hat emblazoned with the phrase “lone wolf,” Ne-Yo slouches over in a chair inside a Holberton School classroom. The Grammy-winning recording artist is struggling to remember the name of “that actor,” the one who’s had a successful career in both the entertainment industry and tech investing. “I learned about all […]

The Ken raises $1.5M to grow its subscription journalism business in India

The Ken, a subscription news startup from India, is moving through the gears after it raised $1.5 million in fresh funding to build out its media business. We first profiled the company in March 2017 and now, nearly 18 months later, the startup has raised its Series A round led by Omidyar Networks, which has […]