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Google announces 15 promising startups for Accelerator Africa Class 7

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Tech giant, Google, on Monday announced fifteen participants for its 2022 Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Class 7 with Cote D’Ivoire joining for the first time.

A representative of Google and Head of Startup Ecosystem, Africa, Folarin Aiyegbusi made the announcement in a statement made available to newsmen

– “We’re thrilled to be starting off our seventh cohort with such a diverse and inspiring group of companies who are harnessing technology to tackle the problems that many people on the continent face every day”.

The class, which was selected from thousands of applications, with final selection based on product stage, programme alignment and market fit is aimed at lifting African companies who are committed to providing tech solutions to challenges, particularly problems that are peculiar to Africa.

“Startups in Africa are solving some of the region’s most pressing issues -from employment to logistics, banking, healthcare, and education. This is a journey that we’re happy to be on.”

The Google for Startups Accelerator Africa programme has supported 82 startups from 17 African countries over the past four years. Collectively, they have raised $112 million and created 2800 direct jobs. In this time, Google has invested $5 million through a combination of equity free funding and product credits for Google services.

“Google is committed to Africa’s growing startup and developer ecosystem,” adds Aiyegbusi.

“Providing end-to-end support and investment to startups pays off for everyone in the long run. As these startups grow, they advance their local economies, create jobs and opportunities, and provide solutions in their communities. A stronger African economy is great for everyone, and Google is committed to helping African businesses thrive,” he concludes.

One of the selected participants, Zita Agwunobi, CEO of iVerify.ng, expressed enthusiasm towards highly coveted opportunity and thanked the tech giant for “validating our dream”

“As a digital identity onboarding platform based in Nigeria, iVerify.ng is extremely delighted to have been selected for Class 7 of Google for Startups Accelerator Africa amidst our need to deploy more robust technology infrastructure and scale our operations across Africa. We’re looking forward to the workshops, mentoring and inestimable value we’ve heard so much about” Zita Agwunobi added

Another selected Start-up, Balqis  Chepkwony CEO of Kenyan Fleetsimplify says: “Fleetsimplify is thrilled to have been selected for the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa! We’re looking forward to working with the Google team to bring sustainable shared mobility solutions in Africa.”

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Ex-Jumia executives set to launch new e-commerce platform, Kapu

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A couple of former executives of e-commerce giant, Jumia, have teamed up to float a new company to be known as Kapu which will be launched next week in Kenya.

In a statement on Friday, leader of the team, Sam Chappatte, who was Jumia’s CEO before leaving the firm in November last year, the new e-commerce platform which will be launched in the east African country before expanding to other countries on the continent.

Other top former Jumia executives who have teamed up with Chappatte who is the founder and CEO of Kapu include Cyrus Onyiego who served as Jumia Travel MD and Jumia Food COO, who is now Kapu’s COO, as well as Stanislas Barth, ex-Jumia Head of Offline Sales who will serve as Head of Supply and Marketing at Kapu.

The new platform, according to Chappatte, is coming at a time Kenya continues to record steady growth in e-commerce.

“According to statistics, e-commerce user penetration is above the regional average, with revenues expected to have a positive annual average growth of 16.4% by 2025.

“With revenue of US$1.1 billion and a share of 76.1%, e-commerce generated the highest digital revenues in 2020. Kenya is also ranked among the top drivers of e-commerce volumes in Sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.

“Just last year, a report by digital payments firm, Visa, revealed that the country’s e-commerce transactions are mainly driven by cross-border merchants.

“This means two things, firstly there is potential for the local e-commerce market to develop, and a need to examine if sufficient acquiring infrastructure exists domestically to enable these players.

‘The growth is driven by both digital payments and cash-on-delivery showing the potential to convert more customers to digital payments through CNP, such as card-on-file and CP SoftPOS or mPOS activities,” he added.

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Kenyan smartphone reseller startup, Badili Africa, secures $2.1m funding to scale up operations

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Kenyan smartphone reseller startup, Badili Africa, has secured $2 1 million in pre-seed funding to enable it scale up its operations beyond its country of origin.

Founded in March 2022 by the duo of Rishabh Lawania and Keshu Dubey, Badili enables customers to trade in their old phones for new ones at friendly prices, according to Lawania who is the CEO of the company.

The seed finding was led by Venture Catalysts, V&R Africa, Grenfell holdings and SOSV with participation from family offices and angel investors from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and India, Lawania said in a statement on Friday.

“We are launching in Uganda and Tanzania and have established strong partnerships with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

“Within the next six months, we will be expanding to a few West African markets to get our foot in the door of some of the major markets in Africa,” he said.

“We are a young startup but since our launch in March this year, we have expanded to over 37 towns in Kenya with about $2M in annual revenue.

“The seed funds are meant for the expansion of our operations across the continent which is one of the fastest growing in the world,” he added.

According to its website, Badili Africa has a platform where sellers express interest to sell their phones and then get an evaluation and a quote before determining the final price.

The company then refurbishes and repackages the phones before selling them with a one-year warranty.

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