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YouTube gets a competitor as Facebook’s Watch is launched globally

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Facebook has finally announced the launch of Facebook Watch, their video platform which is now available everywhere.

Facebook Watch allows you to discover videos and interact with friends and creators and it seems like the company’s true competitor to Google’s YouTube.

In the past year, Facebook says they have been able to make Watch’s experience more social so that it is easy to see what videos your friends have liked or shared, watching videos from Pages or creating shows that have an audience participation at the core.

Apparently more than 50 million people have watched videos on Watch for at least a minute and the total time taken to watch videos on the platform has increased by 14 times since the start of 2018.

Read also: Facebook suspends over 400 apps that collect your data

In addition to letting you discover new videos or catch up with creators you love on Watch, you can also view videos you saved to watch later and even watch videos focused on audience participation like trivia games or Premieres.

Watch is a proper YouTube competitor and one of the ways YouTube attracts creators is being able to share revenues with them. Now Facebook says they are expanding their Ad Breaks program so more creators can make money from their videos while giving them tools like insights and best practices in Creator Studio.

Facebook also started IGTV recently which targets its now 1 billion user strong ecoystem and now they want to target their over 2 billion user ecosystem with Watch, making it a bigger player than YouTube currently.

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Mastercard Foundation launches $200 million fund to support female-centric African SMEs

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The Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund (MFAGF), has announced the launching of a $200 million funding initiative for female-centric Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.

The MFAGF, in a statement on Thursday, said the funding scheme will work through African investment vehicles to support early-stage, growth-oriented SMEs on the continent, and beside providing capital for investment vehicles, “The Fund of Funds” will offer a business development facility for its portfolio companies.

The initiative, it said, will use gender lens investing principles to help advance the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy, which aims to enable 30 million young people in Africa, particularly young women, to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.

“The program has so far identified two investment vehicles, one in East Africa and another in West Africa to help in supporting entrepreneurial growth,” the MFAGF said.

“The Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund’s goal is to provide dignified and fulfilling work for young people, particularly young women.

“The Fund of Funds is catalytic, helping to bring in additional capital for African entrepreneurs, particularly female entrepreneurs. It strengthens and de-risks African investment funds committed to advancing gender equity in entrepreneurship.

“Mastercard has a vision of enabling 30 million young people in Africa to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030. Eligible enterprises are those owned and led by African entrepreneurs and located on the African continent are often considered high-risk,” it added.

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South African venture capital firm, 4Di Capital, announces new $25 million seed funding

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South African early-stage venture capital fund firm, 4Di Capital, has announced a new $25 million seed funding few months after the company raised $8 million funds from the South African SME Fund.

Founded in 2009, 4Di Capital principal partner, Justin Stanford, said the outfit has since then played a key role in uplifting startups across different parts of the continent with the startups reaping from its hands-on experience and approach in growing and scaling new businesses in Africa.

“Having spent the past 13 years refining our investment strategy and expanding our footprint past South Africa into the East African market and beyond, we look forward to collaborating hand-in-hand with our new partners,” Stanford said in a statement on Wednesday while announcing the funding.

The new fund which was created in partnership with DotEXe Ventures in Mauritius, Stanford said, will help 4Di Capital invest in more viable startups in Africa.

“Unlike other markets globally which have become saturated, the African market still represents an opportunity for investors.

“The investment landscape is less competitive, resulting in more favourable valuations and terms, and thus the opportunity to potentially achieve higher returns,” Stanford added.

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