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German investors, develoPPP Ventures, launches funding grant for startups in Kenya, Tanzania



German angel investors, develoPPP Ventures has launched a funding grant worth $102,000 for start ups in Kenya and Tanzania to scale up their impact-driven companies.

The grant which is in conjunction by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), implemented by DEG Impulse, and supported by Seedstars, aims at empowering startups with entrepreneurial support and funds.

According to Julia Stausberg-Umuerri spokesperson of DEG Impulse, the open call for the programme’s fourth cohort is open to startups in Kenya and Tanzania with innovative business models and a sustainable economic, ecological, or social impact in those countries.

“In line with BMZ’s focus on female empowerment, the programme especially encourages women-led startups and startups promoting gender equality to apply,” she said.

“Since the grant is targeted towards growth investments, startups applying should have achieved a proof of concept and are ready to scale.

“We come across so many exciting solutions to local and global challenges to leave no doubt that a social and ecological transformation is possible and already happening.

“Helping the most impactful startups walk through the valley of death and enable them to reach more people and attract other investors is at the core of our program,” Stausberg-Umuerri added.


Cameroonian crypto startup, Ejara, raises $8 million in funding to grow platform



Cameroonian crypto-fintech startup, Ejara, an investment app that lets users buy crypto and save money in decentralized wallets, has successfully raised $8 million in Series A funding to grow its platform.

Founded in 2020 by the duo of Nelly Chatue-Diop and Baptiste Andrieux, the platform provides fractional shares, bitcoin, and other low-cost investment alternatives to Francophone Africa through decentralized services, according to its profile on its website.

Chatue-Diop who is the CEO of Ejara, while announcing the breakthrough in a statement on Saturday, said the startup, in the last 14 months, has grown significantly with new users topping 8,000 from Cameroon, its first market, as well as Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, and Senegal.

“Ejara now has more than 70,000 users in nine African countries that speak French,” he said.

“The company’s revenue has also grown by 10 times, and transaction volume has grown by 15% per month since October when the crypto market crashed. But we believe there will be 100,000 users on the platform by the end of the year,” Chatue-Diop said.

He added that with the new fund injection, Ejara hopes to offer its services to more people in Francophone Africa and grow cryptocurrency use in the area.

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



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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