Solar-based ISP startup Tizeti launches 4G LTE network in Nigeria

Nigerian internet service provider Tizeti has launched its first 4G LTE network. The Y Combinator-backed startup — which uses solar-powered towers to deliver net connectivity — has built its premier 4G-capable tower in the city of Port Harcourt, where Tizeti will offer its first 4G and ISP services. The company operates primarily in Lagos, Nigeria’s […]

China’s growing digital influence in Africa

There’s been a heap of China in Africa coverage over the last decade, but very little of it is focused on tech. In part, because the country’s engagement with African startups is light compared to its deal-making on infrastructure and commodities. Now, that all looks to be shifting. TechCrunch has tracked moves by a number […]

Africa’s top mobile phone seller Transsion lists in Chinese IPO

Chinese mobile phone and device maker Transsion has listed in an IPO on Shanghai’s STAR Market, a Transsion spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch.  Headquartered in Shenzhen, Transsion is a top seller of smartphones in Africa under its Tecno brand. The company has also started to support venture funding of African startups. Transsion issued 80 million A […]

Voter manipulation on social media now a global problem, report finds

New research by the Oxford Internet Institute has found that social media manipulation is getting worse, with rising numbers of governments and political parties making cynical use of social media algorithms, automation and big data to manipulate public opinion at scale — with hugely worrying implications for democracy. The report found that computational propaganda and […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

VertoFX raises $2M for its African and EM currency trading platform

VertoFX, an Africa and emerging markets-focused currency trading and payment startup, has raised a $2.1 million seed round, led by Accelerated Digital Ventures. The London-based company, with a subsidiary in Lagos, Nigeria, has created a platform that allows businesses and banks to exchange and make payments in exotic foreign currencies that don’t often convert or […]

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 […]