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Elon Musk buys 9.2% of Twitter shares for $3bn

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Billionaire Tesla founder, Elon Musk, has expanded his tech business empire by snapping up 73,486,938 of Twitter shares worth $3 billion, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to a US Securities filing on Monday, Musk is now the owner of 9.2% stake in Twitter, and based on Twitter’s closing price on Friday, his current stake is worth $2.89bn (£2.20bn), and still growing.

The stake makes Musk the largest shareholder in the company, even more than four times the 2.25% holding of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.

Musk is a regular Twitter user with more than 80 million followers and his regular tweets have brought him to the attention of financial regulators.

Before buying the shares, Musk had tweeted that he was giving “serious thought” to building a new social media platform.

In March, Musk had asked his followers whether they thought the social medial platform encouraged free speech.

“Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” He had asked.

In another post, he said:

“Is a new platform needed?”

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Kenya’s agri-tech startup Pula raises $20m funding for farmers’ insurance

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Kenyan agri-tech and insurance startup, Pula, has announced raising $20 million Series B funding round which will be used to help thousands of smallholder farmers in emerging markets gain access to insurance against floods, droughts, and other climate-related events.

The funding round, according to the company’s co-founder and CEO, Rose Goslinga, was led by BlueOrchard, a global impact investment manager and member of the Schroders Group, via its InsuResilience strategy, while fundraising also came from IFC and the Private Sector Window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP).

“Partnering with this group of like-minded investors to boost the growth of Pula globally is a very exciting milestone in driving our triple 100 vision, through which we intend to bring insurance to 100 million smallholder farmers,” Goslinga said.

“What started nine years ago as an unconventional idea that many deemed un-scalable is now a proven solution that has solved real needs for millions of smallholder farmers across 22 countries.

“What sets Pula apart is the innovative business model, leveraging artificial intelligence, on the ground data collection mechanisms, mobile-based registration systems, remote sensing, and end-to-end automation tools.”

Co-founder of the startup which was launched in 2015, Thomas Njeru, said “Pula designs and delivers innovative agricultural insurance and digital products to help smallholder farmers endure climate risks, improve their farming practices and bolster their incomes over time.”

“Since its inception, Pula has partnered with over 70 insurance, 20 reinsurance companies, and 100 distribution partners across the globe to deliver their innovative insurance solutions,” Njeru stated.

“This has also helped develop the capacity of local insurance and reinsurance players to understand and underwrite agricultural insurance for smallholder farmers.

“Currently, Pula’s main markets span across Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, and expanding our presence in Asia and Latin America. These markets are managed from Switzerland and coordinated from the Kenya service centre,” he added.

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Africa’s largest tech hub AfriLabs welcomes 16 new additions

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The largest network technology hub in Africa, AfriLabs, has announced the admission of 16 new hubs into its fold, thereby expanding its network to 478 hubs across 260 cities in 53 African nations.

The Director of Community at AfriLabs, Mayssa Mrabet, who made the announcement on Friday, the new intakes were carefully selected and considered worthy out of thousands that applied.

“We’re thrilled to extend a warm welcome to our 16 newest members joining the vibrant AfriLabs innovation and technology family,” said Mrabet.

“The addition has now taken the number of tech-hubs on AfriLabs to 478. From North Africa, we welcome REDSTART TUNISIA, ILEY’COM, Impact Partner, Future Islands, and EgyptInnovate.

“From West Africa, we have has added COUVEUSE PAPRICAI, EarlyFounders Labs, ACity Technology & Entrepreneurship Foundation, ZEBOX West Africa and OnlineHubNG.

“From East Africa, AfriLabs has added C4DLab-Computing for Development Lab, Agri Frontier Growth Hub, and JASIRI.

“Finally, from South Africa, Silulo Foundation, UWC Future-Innovation Lab, and Entrepreneurial Planning Institute – DigBiz Network, have joined hands with AfriLabs.

“AfriLabs is a network organisation that is committed to driving innovation and entrepreneurship on the continent by bringing together technology hubs, startups, investors, and other key stakeholders in the ecosystem,” he said in a statement.

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