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12 African startups lined up for $120, 000 ARM Labs Lagos Techstars accelerator programme



The ARM Labs Lagos Techstars has selected 12 African tech startups for its inaugural accelerator programme with a $120,000 prize money in equity funding and other forms of support.

The accelerator programme which was launched by Techstars, a global investment business that provides access to capital as well as one-on-one mentorship, and customised programming for early-stage entrepreneurs, is in partnership with ARM Labs, a Lagos-based innovation programme focused on helping fintech startups.

The accelerator programme, according to Techstars Managing Director, Oyin Solebo, in a statement on Tuesday, will run for three months and is aimed at early-stage African fintech and prop-tech startups, with the first cohort made up of 10 Nigerian and two Kenyan ventures, half of which have female CEOs.

“Each selected startup banks up to $120,000 in equity funding, as well as access to training and a vast investor network. The programme concludes with a demo day on March 16,” the MD said.

“The selected Nigerian startups include, a platform that makes customers buy items on social platforms through the use of payment protection.”

“Others are CDcare, which is making it easy for Africans to own gadgets, appliances, cars and more at zero interest, through smart installment plans;”

“Flick, which enables users to connect multiple bank accounts and pay directly from one source;”

“Keble, which enables Africans at home and abroad to purchase fractional shares of global real estate; and Keza, which enables people to buy new and pre-owned smartphones on a flexible payment plan.

“Also selected from Nigeria are Salad, which provides employees with access to financial services and benefits beyond their monthly paycheck;”

“Sidebrief, which simplifies the process of starting and scaling a business across borders and Towntalk, which provides shippers with real-time location and behavioural analytics, vehicle tracking, and access to insurance providers.”

“Also selected are Vittas, a digital lender for healthcare providers and Oystr Finance, which provides lenders with an infrastructure to help them launch low-risk micro-loan products.”

“The two Kenyan startups taking part in the programme are alphabloQ, a real estate investment platform, and Cladfy, which provides microfinance lenders with credit profiling, digitised loan management, and access to affordable, reliable financing,” Solebo said.


Critical digital-skill gap hindering Morocco’s drive to be Africa’s Tech destination hub, experts say



Participants at the ongoing Huawei Talk currently ongoing in Casablanca, Morocco, has blamed a 15-year gap in the country’s digital strategy as an hindrance to its ambitions of becoming a regional tech hub.

The keynote speaker at the event, Nabil Ouchagour, Huawei’s Chief Brand Officer, in his speech, argued that the lack of qualified labor is one of four major challenges facing Morocco on its journey to becoming a digital nation.

“While Morocco is currently on the run to become a regional tech hub, the country lags behind in terms of qualified labor,” the Huawei executive said on Saturday.

The event which tech brings experts to deliberate on key issues facing Morocco’s transition to a digital economy, are deliberating on Morocco’s critical digital-skill gap which is seen as an emerging core challenge facing the country’s ambitions to host tech-related business activities.

“In many universities, the skills that are being taught will be obsolete soon,” Ouchagour noted, suggesting that Morocco’s digital-skill gap is the core challenge facing the country’s ambitions to host tech-related business activities.

“Developing connectivity, data treatment capability, decarbonization are equally crucial to support this transition,” he added.

Citing research commissioned by Huawei in 2021, the executive argued that Morocco needs to focus on adapting its education system to the fast-moving digital world.

“The country should equally focus on training individuals capable of adapting and acquiring new skills as they enter the job market.”

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Egypt’s ed-tech startup, Almentor, secures $10m funding to accelerate expansion into MENA region



Egyptian ed-tech startup, Almentor, a leading online video Arabic learning platform, has announced securing a $10 million pre-Series C round funding to help it accelerate growth into other MENA regions.

The CEO and co-founder of Almentor, Ibrahim Kamel, who made the disclosure on Friday, said with the funding, the platform is on the verge of achieving its goal of serving 10 million learners in the MENA region.

“Almentor aims to serve 10 million learners across the MENA region, and with the a $10 million pre-Series C funding from e& capital, the tech investment arm of e&. e& capital, and other investors like Partech, Sawari Ventures, Egypt Ventures, Sango Capital and Endure Capital, we are on the verge of getting there,” Kamel said.

“Empowering 10 million learners is a key milestone in Almentor’s broader vision of creating hope and development opportunities for the people in MENA.”

Founded in 2016, Almentor has worked with more than 950 prominent experts to create over 1,000 online courses for individuals, corporations, and government entities, combining a personalised learning experience with high-quality Arabic content.

With a choice of monthly or annual subscription, learners get unlimited access to a library of over 700 courses on topics as diverse as health, humanities, technology, entrepreneurship, business management, lifestyle, drama, sports, corporate communication, and digital media.

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