Africa Roundup: Lori Systems wins BFX Africa, Andela raises $40M, Jumia lends to SMEs, Safaricom launches incubator



Logistics transportation firm Lori Systems received better of present at's Startup Battlefield Africa after incomes majorities of the occasion's 15 judges . The Kenyan based mostly enterprise pitched its platform to optimize all factors of the cargo supply provide chain-from the vans, to the suppliers, to invoicing and prices. Co-founded by South African Josh Sandler and Kenyan Gichini Ngaruiya Lori Techniques will now compete within the flaganship occasion, Disrupt San Francisco 2018.

Lori was not the one winner at Startup Battlefield Africa, the place 15 finalists introduced earlier than a full home and international viewers by way of dwell stream. Agtech firm Agrocenta -which helps small holder farmers enhance their worth chain-won the competitors's social good class. SynCommerce took honors within the gaming and leisure class, which additionally included trend. The Ghana based mostly startup helps sellers checklist and synchronize product stock and gross sales throughout a number of websites, similar to Shopify, eBay, and Etsy.

Startup Battlefield Africa additionally included a panel lineup that mentioned all the things from investing in startups to fixing Africa's web connectivity equation. A few of October's larger African tech headlines dropped round speaker associated firms.

The know-how coaching and job placement firm Andela raised $ 40 million in Sequence C funding. The financing got here from CRE Enterprise Capital, a Pan-African enterprise agency, with further participation from DBL Partners Amplo Salesforce Ventures and Africa-focused TLcom Capital .

Earlier buyers, together with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, GV, and Spark Capital, additionally joined in funding.

Andela says it’ll use the cash to fund aggressive enlargement plan-including the launch of places of work in two further African international locations.

E-commerce firm Jumia, Africa's first unicorn, is expanding a small business loan program into each nation the place the corporate operates.

Working with the San Francisco-based lender Branch Jumia started providing small companies start-up loans in Could. The loans had been pegged to distributors gross sales historical past with Jumia and future efficiency projections.

In Kenya, sellers obtained loans of as much as 30,000 Kenyan shillings (roughly $ 290), with a six-month time period and rates of interest of 1.2 % monthly.

Beneath the expanded program, Jumia sellers throughout the continent will be capable to entry credit score at phrases no increased than 12 % per yr. Credit score choices will probably be made inside two days.

To use for this system sellers can fill out a web-based utility type. To this point, 200 distributors have utilized for and obtained loans from a beta model of the brand new program, in line with the corporate.

Safaricom – Kenya's largest telecom firm and supplier of the nation's cellular cash service M-Pesa – launched a brand new innovation heart in Nairobi.

Named Safaricom Alpha, a precedence of the incubator is to establish spending patterns on M-Pesa and switch these insights into further Safaricom products-Chief Innovation Officer, Kamal Bhattacharya told at Startup Battlefield Africa.

“We'd actually like to move beyond M-Pesa by leveraging its power as a social network to connect people to other product solutions,” he mentioned.

Bhattacharya sees one of many innovation heart's first merchandise “as a messenger solution with full payment integration to better support the kind of social patterns that our customers are already using informally.”

Some management positions have already been named. Former African Growth Financial institution know-how lead, Dr. Shikoh Gitau will probably be Head of Merchandise Innovation. Safaricom's Veronica Ogeto-Tchoketch will head the innovation heart's Strategic Partnerships unit and David Nyamai will handle a Enterprise Intelligence and Huge Information workforce.

The product incubator will finally hook up with a VC operate, together with Safaricom's Spark Enterprise Fund, to help investments and partnerships, in line with Bhattacharya.

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