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African startups get set for 3rd OceanHub accelerator programme

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OceanHub Africa, an ocean-impact accelerator which helps existing African ocean-minded initiatives grow, is launching the third edition of its eight-month acceleration program to support up to 10 of Africa’s most promising impact for-profit startups focused on preserving and restoring the health of the ocean.

The accelerator programme, according to the Cape Town, South Africa-based firm on its website, is meant to support ocean-minded start-ups with the express aim of nurturing an environmentally conscious and profitable economy that effectively mitigates the effects of global warming as well as the overexploitation and pollution of the oceans.

Leveraging its highly qualified network of stakeholders and facilitators, the programme will deliver to the accelerated start-ups an online program that seeks out sustainable pathways yielding stable profits and avenues for scalable growth throughout Africa, it said.

The OceanHub Africa which was launched in 2020, has supported a total of 16 African ocean-minded startups in various sectors of the Blue Economy, such as aquaculture, fisheries, shipbuilding, marine renewables and biotechnologies, coastal tourism and ocean sports, awareness and education, data.exploration, and ocean plastic circular economy, according to a statement by the organisers.

Participants in the programme which will run from mid-July until the end of February 2023, are guaranteed networking with of leading ocean experts, mentors entrepreneurs, investors, innovation experts, impact experts, scientists, lawyers, as well as impact investors and potential clients.

Participation in the programme is expected to be an in-person training bootcamp in Cape Town where tailored business skills, business coaching and personal development will be the main focus for the duration of the camping.

At the end of the programme, the selected startups will take part in an OceanHub Africa’s alumni programme through which they will benefit from fundraising, business development and networking support.

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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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