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SA’s fleet management startup, GoMetro raises $11.5 to digitize operations

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South Africa’s fleet management startup, GoMetro, has completed another round of Series A funding worth $11.5 million to enable it digitise its heavy duty commercial transport operations and further develop its platform in its key markets.

Founder and CEO of GoMetro, Justin Coetzee, said the startup, which had earlier raised a $1 million seed extension round back in May 2022, would invest the new funds into realising its “mission to digitise heavy duty commercial transport operations and further develop its state-of-the-art fleet management platform in its key markets of the United Kingdom, EU, USA and South Africa.”

According the CEO, the new round of funds was led by new investor Zenobē, with significant participation by FutureGrowth Asset Managers.

“At GoMetro, our mission is to embrace data-driven decision-making systems that empower operators to better manage fleet utilisation, optimise resources, reduce risk and enhance customer satisfaction can be a real competitive edge that catapults transport companies beyond the reach of their competitors,” Coetzee said.

He explained further that GoMetro aimed to use the funding to strengthen its software platform to provide fleet operators with even more robust tools for managing and optimising all-electric fleets.

“This includes refining existing features and introducing new functionalities that align with the evolving needs of the industry, as well as expanding the number of devices supported on GoMetro Bridge.

“GoMetro’s Bridge is a cloud-based platform that manages the data streams required for successful electrification of buses and trucks.

“With GoMetro Bridge, users gain access to a wide range of telematics-driven features specifically designed to support their transition to all-electric fleets – using their own telematics data to provide an assessment of the fit to expected EV adoption scenarios for a fleet owner,” he said.

“Getting the chance to apply our technology to the biggest single electric bus fleet in the United Kingdom will accelerate our research and development into supporting EV buses and trucks on GoMetro Bridge,” he noted.

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Applications open for 2024 Africa’s Business Heroes competition

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Applications are now open for the 2024 cohort of the Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Prize Competition in continuation of its sixth annual continental search for 10 entrepreneurs who strive to make a positive impact in their local communities.

Zahra Baitie, Head of Partnerships & Programs, Africa’s Business Heroes, who made the announcement, said since its inception in 2019, ABH had spotlighted and supported some of Africa’s brightest entrepreneurial minds, noting that this year’s edition would be no different.

In a statement on Monday, Baitie noted that the ABH top 10 finalists also known as “Heroes” have, over the last five years, created 123,000 direct and indirect jobs in Africa, while serving over 37.5 million customers in Africa and beyond and have raised over $153 million.

“As ABH enters its sixth year, it is calling on entrepreneurs across Africa to pitch on the biggest entrepreneurial stage in the continent,” he said.

Applications are open to entrepreneurs from all 54 countries, from all business sectors, of all ages and genders.

“Along with invaluable benefits such as training, exposure and networking opportunities, the top 10 finalists will also compete for their share of $1.5 million in grant money.

“Over the past five years, we’ve had the privilege of witnessing the incredible growth of our Heroes. Many of our Heroes have leveraged the grant funds to expand their geographic footprint, hire talent, grow their operations and invest in new products and services.

”It’s been heart-warming to see our Heroes collaborate with each other and to tap into the ABH network of judges and experts.

“We are motivated to continue to play our part in supporting the African entrepreneurial ecosystem. We are calling on all eligible African entrepreneurs who are creating positive impact to join us in this journey!”

Baitie added that applications for the ABH 2024 are open from until May 19, with the top 50 finalists to be announced in July.

The final winners will be unveiled at the Grand Finale in November, Baitie concluded.

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MainOne lands optic submarine cable in Nigeria’s Akwa Ibom State

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Data centre and connectivity solutions provider, MainOne, has landed Africa’s first ever
optic submarine cable in Nigeria’s Akwa Ibom State.

MainOne, a subsidiary of Equinix Company, announced the feat of the first and only submarine cable system in Nigeria outside of Lagos.

According to the Regional Business Head at MainOne, Abayomi Adebanjo, the collaboration between the company and the state marks a significant “milestone in enhancing broadband connectivity and driving economic development in the South-South, South-East and North-Central regions of Nigeria.”

The optic cable known as 2Africa, Adebanjo said, spans 45,000km in length and will be one of the world’s largest subsea cable projects which will interconnect Europe, Asia, and Africa, with a design capacity of up to 180Tbps.

“The significance of 2Africa lies in its capacity to address critical internet needs and enhance reliability across vast expanses of Africa,” he said.

“Furthermore, 2Africa serves as a catalyst for the advancement of 4G, 5G and fixed broadband accessibility, extending its impact to billions of people.

“With a commitment to consistently deploy financial capital and project resources towards infrastructure investments, MainOne is dedicated to improving internet capacity and driving various aspects of development, including economic growth, digital transformation, healthcare, security, agriculture, and increased state revenue in South-South Nigeria.

“Akwa Ibom’s selection as a landing site underscores its strategic importance in Nigeria’s digital transformation journey and by offering cable diversity and resiliency, 2Africa contributes significantly to the country’s digital infrastructure resilience and MainOne’s role as the landing partner solidifies this endeavour,” he stated.

He added that MainOne will facilitate the establishment of a terrestrial metro fiber network in the state and the entire South-South Nigeria, seamlessly connecting enterprises and people in the region to the submarine cable system.

“By hosting the submarine cable system landing and the fiber cable interconnection, Akwa Ibom State, the South-South Region and Nigeria will unlock numerous economic and social benefits, fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, job creation, and improved public service delivery,” Adebanjo said.

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