Funding/Investments +Startup Expansions +Web3corner + ChatKJV +Accelerators doing the most +ATS
Funding and Investments🤑💰
➥VC and accelerator firm StartupWise Guys has secured a fresh $26.7million to scale African operations.
Startup Wise Guys, a VC and accelerator firm, has closed the first $26.7 million of the US$48 million that will be used to support its new strategy that focuses on international regions that are currently underserved by capital investment.
Startup Wise Guys is an organization that was started in Tallinn, Estonia in 2012. It also runs programs in Cosenza and Milan for cybersecurity and SaaS accelerators.Startup Wise Guys has recently expanded to a global organization thanks to investments in nations like South Africa, Spain, and Ukraine.
➥ Identity Verification Platform, Smile Identity, Raises $20 Million in Series B Funding for Pan-African Expansion.
Smile Identity, Africa’s leading KYC onboarding and identity verification platform, has announced the successful completion of its Series B funding round, raising $20 million. The round was led by Costanoa and Norrsken22, with participation from Commerce Ventures, Courtside Ventures, Two Culture Capital, Valuestream Ventures, Intercept Ventures, Latitude, Future Africa, and 500 Fintech. Lexi Novitske from Norrsken22 will also join Smile Identity’s Board as part of the Series B.
Smile Identity will use the funding from its Series B round to expand its product and engineering team, accelerating the development and specialization of its AI-powered biometrics, document verification, anti-fraud and compliance solutions tailored for African markets.
➥ Global venture capital firm PartechPartners has closed the largest Africa-focused fund in the world at $263 million.
This is great news for the African startup ecosystem.Partech intends to invest in more than 20 African startups from the fund.Partech’s first African fund invested in 17 startups at Series A and B stages across nine countries that operate in 27. According to Deme, that fund’s strategy was to back particular startups going after deep economic sectors that are usually highly fragmented and informal in Africa “with many inefficiencies where bringing a tech platform with robust operations can build something that creates a lot of value.”
➥ TreepzNG one of Africa's leading mobility startups, has launched its operations in Kenya.
Formerly known as Plentywaka, Treepz is on a mission to build Africa's largest shared mobility platform.Founded in 2019 and known as Plentywaka until its September 2021 rebrand, Treepz operates a digital platform allowing passengers to book daily rides along fixed routes. It also serves as an aggregator for bus travel companies across dozens of cities in Nigeria, allowing transport operators to replace manual servicing and ticketing with digitalized offerings and services.
➥NALA Money to Inject $5 Million into its Kenyan Operations.
NALA Money, the financial technology company based in Tanzania, is set to invest $5 million (KES 636 million) into its Kenyan operations.The firm intends to expand its local presence to take advantage of the rising influx of remittances from overseas, coinciding with the investment. Additionally, the Tanzanian global payments company expresses optimism about the potential for fintechs in Kenya.
➥Nairobi-based accelerator The baobab network has announced its latest cohort of five African startups, which will receive US$50,000 in funding each.
The accelerator has been accelerating African startups since 2019.Two Kenyan startups, Vutia and Tripitaca, and two Tanzanian startups, Medikea and Swahilies, were selected to receive a $50,000 cash injection and bespoke venture support. Vutia is a B2B cosmetic marketplace that connects retailers with suppliers, while Tripitaca helps accommodation providers increase revenue and access financial services. Medikea offers telemedicine services, and Swahilies is an SME bookkeeping platform.
➥Microsoft Plans to Expand Internet Access in Africa.
Microsoft has partnered with Liquid Intelligent Technologies to expand internet access to an additional 20 million people in Africa by 2025.Through this collaboration, Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, which aims to provide high-speed internet to people who lack it, will be extended to reach unserved and underserved areas, including LDCs such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia.
The tech giant is also partnering with the International Organization of Employers and Synapse to train 20,000 youth, women, and entrepreneurs in digital, business, and employability skills in four LDCs. Additionally, Microsoft is focusing on growing the cybersecurity talent pool, particularly in Africa, as access to the internet expands and the digital ecosystem grows.
➥Ethereum ERC-4337 'smart Accounts' Launch At WalletCon: Account Abstraction Is Here.
Ethereum Foundation security researcher Yoav Weiss made a surprise announcement at WalletCon in Denver on Wednesday that the core contracts for ERC-4337 — known by blockchain developers as “account abstraction” — have passed an audit by Open Zeppelin and will be made available on every Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible network including Polygon, Optimism, Arbitrum, BNB Smart Chain, Avalanche and Gnosis Chain.
New users will no longer need to learn about complicated seed phrases or the technical process of setting up a wallet to onboard into the decentralized world of crypto, Weiss told Cointelegraph.
Account abstraction also enables the unique cryptographic keys used for cryptocurrency to be stored on standard smartphone security modules, upgrading them to de facto hardware wallets. However the screen remains a security issue compared with traditional hardware wallets and gas costs could be prohibitive on mainnet initially although other EVM chains and Layer 2s have low enough fees to make it viable.
It also enables the use of two-factor authentication; signing transactions on your phone using a fingerprint or face-scan; the setting of monthly spending limits on an account; and the use of session keys to play blockchain games without constantly having to approve transactions.Users who lose their phone or device can use time-locked social recovery of their account via a group of trusted friends or even a commercial service, Weiss said.
➥Andrew Miracle and his game-changing creation, ChatKJV!
Meet Andrew Miracle, the creator of ChatKJV, an AI that responds with a bible verse based on how you feel.Andrew Miracle, from mastering website manipulation to revolutionizing the world of blockchain and product entrepreneurship with his innovative creation, ChatKJV.
Did You Know🤔
➥More than half Africa’s funded ventures in 2022 had taken part in an accelerators.
The annual African Tech Startups Funding Report released claimed that more startups raised more funding than ever before, in spite of a global downturn in investments. In all, 633 startups raised a combined US$3,333,071,000 in 2022. This represented incredible growth. The number of funded startups increased by 12.2 per cent to 564 in 2021, while the total secured funding jumped 55.1 per cent to US$2,148,517,500 in 2021.
Acceleration appears increasingly key to fundraising success. A total of 330 (52.1 per cent) of the funded African tech startups from 2022 took part in some form of accelerator or incubation programme either prior to raising, or as part of their raise.
Highlight Of The Month🎉😉
In February, NGENI LABs had a chance to participate in the second edition of Africa Tech Summit in Nairobi,Kenya. The event took place between 15th and 16th of February and brought together tech leaders from the African ecosystem and international players under one roof.We had an opportunity to Network with key stakeholders including tech corporates, mobile operators, fintechs, DeFi & crypto ventures, investors, leading start-ups, regulators and industry stakeholders driving business and investment forward. As usual, we thought we’d share some of our insights from this week.😉
With 5 representatives in attendance, Yvonne Kagondu and Dauglaus Omambia, two of our members, were invited to speak in two different panels👏 Yvonne spoke in a panel called "Building the future of Web 3," alongside Wilfred Odero from Metaversal, Toffene Kama from Mercy Corps Ventures, Harrison Obiefule from Bitget, Christian Duffus from Fonbnk, and Sarah Idahosa from Women in DeFi. Dauglaus spoke in a panel titled "The NFT opportunity," sharing a panel with Mutembei Kariuki from Fastagger, Sarah Idahosa from Women in DeFi, and Jessica Colaco.
Generally, the event was a valuable experience for ngeni labs ,it was an opportunity to network with big companies in the technology space and showcase ngeni's products and services to a wide audience and and make important connections that could lead to future partnerships.
Thanks for reading👌
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NGENI is Kenya and East Africa's first pure-play and largest Blockchain & Web3 development engineering Studio with a 80-plus-person team. The studio recruits and trains recent graduates from STEM Universities across Kenya and today has fourty one (41) talented developers, at our Kilimani Headquarters.
All engineers have successfully taken on complex coding challenges, and hackathons and have ultimately delivered on complex multi-Blockchain applications, bots, and dApps for international projects.