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Here are the 8 startups selected for the 2018 VC4A Venture Showcase

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VC4A has announced the 8 ventures selected for the 2018 VC4A Venture Showcase – Series A from industries like agriculture, healthcare, housing, transportation, and finance.

The entrepreneurs leading these companies will showcase their business in front of investors during the Africa Early Stage Investor Summit in Cape Town, November 11-12, with the aim of raising $250k – $5m in series A capital. All companies provide a technology-intensive or innovation-based product or service that is currently available in one or more African markets.

AgroCenta – Ghana

AgroCenta is an innovative online platform that empowers smallholder farmers and farmer-based organizations in rural farming communities to access a wider online market to trade fairly and equitably.

Fibre Lifestyle Inc – Nigeria

Fibre is the easiest way to find and pay for rental homes in Nigeria. By partnering with landlords around the country Fibre offers their homes to verified tenants looking to rent.

Gebeya Inc– Ethiopia

Gebeya is a fast and secure online marketplace that connects top African IT experts with businesses seeking to develop new technology solutions.

GoMetro – South Africa

GoMetro allows any business or company to design and implement a managed transport service. The flexible cloud-based technology makes transport planning, tracking, paying and reporting much easier.

Read also: Apple is first public company worth $1 trillion

Invoiceworx – South Africa

Invoiceworx is a working capital financing company aiming to provide access to inventory and purchase order of financing for small businesses.

Nawah-Scientific – Egypt

Nawah-Scientific is the first, private, multidisciplinary research center and platform in Egypt catering for natural and medical sciences.

Piggybank – Nigeria

Piggybank is a simple service that helps millennials curb their spending habits while improving their savings culture by automating deposits periodically, daily, weekly or monthly to reach a specific savings target.

Shezlong – Egypt

Shezlong is an online mental health platform that allows patients to connected with licensed therapists via video call on mobile devices or the web.

Over the next weeks, the selected start-ups will be linked to the top VC investors as mentors and receive access to the bespoke curriculum before the 1-week residency in Cape Town, South Africa. During the residency, the startups will have the opportunity to interact with and learn from their mentors, peers, and partners, before delivering their pitch on the main stage of the Africa Early Stage Investor Summit.

The program offers two days of networking opportunities at the Summit and where entrepreneurs will also engage with interested investors during their deep-dive sessions. Moreover, the participants will pitch to a wider audience of corporates, investors and tech professionals at VC4A partner events AfricaCom and AfricArena.

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Egyptian startup Potcast Productions raises funding to upscale offerings

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Potcast Production, an Egypt-based innovative company that specializes in podcast production, has announced securing an an undisclosed pre-seed funding round to help enhance its content production capabilities, scale its marketing efforts, and accelerate the development of new podcast series.

Potcast Productions which was established by entrepreneur Islam Adel in 2020, creates 15 diverse podcast programmes tailored to various target demographics, and has racked up seven million listens and over 600,000 viewing hours within the last six months.

According Adel, the pre-seed funding round comes from Innovative Media Productions (IMP), the media company behind Egypt’s Shart Tank television show, which made its first investment in Potcast Productions back in April, as well as renowned investor Ahmed Tarek Khalil.

“The funds will be used to enhance Potcast’s content production capabilities, scale up its marketing efforts, and accelerate the development of new, high-quality podcast series that cater to a diverse and growing audience,” Adel said.

“This round of investment will also support plans to produce high quality audio experiences both digitally and offline, further solidifying Potcast’s position as a leader in audio-first content production.

“The injection of funds will be directed towards enhancing Potcast’s capacity to produce high-quality content, scaling its marketing initiatives, and creating new podcast series to meet the demands of an increasingly diverse listener base.

“The investment will also support Potcast’s ambition to deliver premium audio experiences, both online and offline, thereby reinforcing its status as a pioneer in the realm of audio-first content production.

“Securing this follow-up investment from IMP and Ahmed Tarek Khalil is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team.

“Their support validates our mission to transform podcasting in the region and propels us forward as we continue to innovate and expand our reach,” Adel said.

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Kenyan marketing startup Wowzi partners Mastercard in $2m deal for content creators

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Kenyan influencer marketing platform, Wowzi, has announced a partnership with Mastercard and Masria Digital Payments which will see it disburse $2.04 million to transform the financial management landscape for content creators through innovative digital card solutions.

Co-founder and CEO of Wowzi, Brian Mogeni, who made the announcement, said the agreement with Mastercard and MDP is a five-year deal that will see Wowzi provide Kenyan content creators with access to a wide range of digital card benefits.

“Our journey has always been driven by the belief that content creators are the heartbeat of the digital age. This strategic partnership with Mastercard and MDP represents a pivotal moment in our mission to empower these creators,” Mogeni said.

“Leveraging MDP’s expertise in digital payments, these cards are designed to offer content creators a seamless and secure user experience, simplifying both online and offline transactions.

“Innovation is at the core of our values, and we recognise that the influencer and creator market is underserved when it comes to payment solutions.

“We are dedicated to being at the forefront of technology solutions that cater to the unique needs of content creators. This collaboration allows us to not only address those needs but to set new standards in financial empowerment, security, and convenience for our valued community,” he added.

Wowzi which was launched in 2020 by Mogeni, Mike Otieno and Dr Hassan Bashir, has built a self-serve online platform that allows brands of any size or industry to create and manage massive, distributed messaging campaigns utilising thousands of real, everyday customers and fans who get paid to offer authentic endorsements online for the products they already love.

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