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Tech As It Happens 👨💻
Funding/Investments +knowledgebase +Kenyan B2B e-commerce falls+expansion in Africa+netflix for devs +company shut down+VC fundings+more
➦Flat6Labs launches $95m VC fund to expand impact in Africa
Flat6Labs, MENA’s leading seed investor, has announced the launch of a new US$95 million Seed Fund to nurture the growth and development of early-stage tech startups on the African continent. Flat6Labs has a proven track record in carefully vetting out and investing in promising startups in North Africa since it was founded 12 years ago, with more than US$16M invested in startups, and over US$191M raised in follow-on funding while creating more than 2,500 direct jobs and 80,000 indirect jobs through its first two funds in Egypt and Tunisia.
The Africa Seed Fund (ASF) will focus on three main investment territories in Africa: North Africa, West Africa, and East Africa. Flat6Labs will be extending its reach into several new territories including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, and Senegal, amongst others.
➦Kenyan B2B e-commerce startup Zumi closes after failing to secure funding.
Launched in 2016, Zumi began life as a female-focused digital magazine, before closing down and pivoting into e-commerce in 2020. The end-to-end marketplace connected retailers with suppliers and facilitated the entirety of a transaction between the two, including payments and logistics.
According to co-founder and CEO William McCarren, the startup achieved over US$20 million in sales, acquired 5,000 customers, and built a team of 150 people, but it is now set to close after failing to secure investment.
“The current macro environment has made fundraising extremely difficult, and unfortunately, our business was not able to achieve sustainability in time to survive,” he said.
➦Talent accelerator programmes for VC professionals launched by Dream VC
African venture capital talent network Dream VC has opened applications for the 2023 cohort of its flagship VC accelerator programme, which helps current and aspiring investors to break into the African venture space.
Since its founding in 2021, Dream VC has trained more than 80 African and Africa-focused investment professionals, many of whom are now serving in various leadership and investment capacities for top African venture and tech companies.
With a thorough curriculum, hands-on training, and close contact with top investors, its yearly remote venture capital fellowship programs “Launch into VC” and “Investor Accelerator” offer the perfect launchpad for both aspiring and established investors to enter the African venture arena.Applications are open until April 16.
➦ Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures raises $43m for pan-African venture fund
Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures (VKAV) has raised US$43 million for its pan-African venture fund, which invests in scalable, tech-enabled, post-revenue startups addressing difficult challenges on the continent.
Formed in 2021 as a joint venture between Kepple Africa Ventures (KAV), a Japanese venture capital firm, and Verod Holdings (Verod), an African growth capital private equity firm, VKAV is led by partners Satoshi Shinada, Ryosuke Yamawaki, and Ory Okolloh.
The VKAV Fund is its first investment vehicle, and will leverage the accumulated knowledge and skills of the two companies to invest in startups across Africa, focusing on early-stage companies that are working to solve social challenges in the region.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK.
➦Pan-African Bank, ABSA, Set to Join Contour Blockchain Network to Enable a Digitized End-to-End Letter of Credit Solution Across Africa
Absa CIB is accelerating the adoption of trade finance digitisation as it accesses Contour’s trade finance network.Contour, the leading digital trade finance network, announced today that Pan-African bank, Absa Corporate and Investment Bank are intent on joining the network and are in the process of finalizing negotiations.
Absa CIB clients will be able to adopt a fully digital end-to-end Letter of Credit (LC) settlement process. Presenting digital LC documents can be done from an average of five to 10 days to under 24 hours. Currently, many of the continent’s trade transactions are manual and paper-based, which slows down trade growth by creating another layer of complexity and costs.
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The Genius Behind the Code👨💻
Our Developer of the Week.
“My development journey has had various changes and transformations in an attempt to always grow it day in, day out. I started out as an avid mobile developer using Java for logic and XML for the User Interface. I later transitioned to React Native for a short while before learning Flutter.”Renny joined Ngeni as a senior Flutter developer, and through the NGENI Indensity Developer Training Program, he has been able to shift his focus to Blockchain development.
Meet Renny Langat, a developer who's always looking to grow and evolve his skills. He started out as a mobile developer, using Java for logic and XML for UI design. Then he transitioned to React Native for a bit, before finally discovering his true passion: Flutter.🎉
“The journey so far has been quite amazing😍 from learning core concepts to bridging the gap that exists between the mobile and blockchain world. On top of that, I have expanded my knowledge to include other languages such as Solidity, React JS, and Typescript.”
Some of the projects Renny has worked on include:
1. Once App (a cross-platform application that users can mint and sell their moments in the form of NFTs)
2. Radar Wallet (a cross-platform application that lets users manage, send and receive their digital assets)
3. Edge Cards ( a cross-platform application that lets users own a virtual debit card with the ability to send, receive and make payments using the application)
4.GEMA protocol a platform for brands to issue and manage loyatly tokens in form of fiat backed stable tokens.
When he's not busy coding, Renny loves to indulge in his hobbies like gaming, photography, cooking, and traveling. With his passion for development and his diverse interests, Renny is definitely one to watch in the tech world.
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.