Connect with us

Tech

Ethiopian low-carbon startup Kubik gets $5.2m for its pan-African expansion project

Published

on

Ethiopia’s low-carbon building startup, Kubik, has announced raising the sum of $5.2 million in seed funding which will enable it carry out its pan-African expansion drive.

Co-founder and CEO of the startup, Kidus Asfaw, who made the announcement, said the expansion plans will allow the company which specialises in the transformation of hard-to-recycle plastic waste into affordable, low-carbon building materials, take its offering to a larger market.

“We turn hard-to-recycle plastic waste into low-carbon, low-cost building materials. Our initial product set includes an interlocking set of bricks, columns and beams that make walls. Our aim is to build clean and affordable living for all,” Asfaw said.

“Our product costs close to 40 per cent less per square metre than traditional cement-based development, is two or three times faster to build with, and requires low-skill labour to build with,” said Asfaw.

“We are seeing growth in sales and continue to find opportunities to use our products in different contexts.

“The uptake so far has been very good, with a clear demand for our solution. We are now focused on increasing production capacity to keep up with demand.”

Asfaw said the plan was to expand into strategic markets in Africa next year and so far, things have already been going well for the startup.

The funding round, he said, follows an exciting growth period for Kubik, during which, among other things, it has launched a new plastic upcycling factory in Ethiopia’s state-of-the-art Adama Industrial Park, and secured several stellar clients including Pharo Ventures and Cornerstone Development Group.

Founded in 2021 by Asfaw and Penda Marre, Kubik produces low-carbon, affordable building materials from plastic waste to tackle Africa’s housing and waste crises.

Kubik recently raised a US$5.2 million seed funding round to help scale operations, making it the first Ethiopian company to raise a multi-million-dollar investment in climate and sustainability solutions. Investors in the round include African Renaissance Partners, Endgame Capital, and King Philanthropies, and the startup will use the funding to help it pursue its pan-African growth strategy

Kubik, whose clients are real estate developers and contractors that have active projects in affordable housing, public infrastructure, and commercial buildings, is addressing the costliness, variable quality, and lack of speed builders currently face using regular cement.

Tech

American risk management solutions provider Archer opens business in Egypt

Published

on

American risk management solutions provider, Archer, has announced expanding its operations to Africa with Egypt as the first point of call.

While opening the Archer Integrated Risk Management (IRM) office in New Cairo, Egyptian Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat, said the company couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate location for its business than the North African country.

The opening ceremony witnessed the presence of key dignitaries including Ahmed Elzaher, CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), Sarah Kahler, Senior Director of Business Operations at Archer IRM and a member of the company’s Executive Leadership Team, Matt Tinsley, Senior Director of Global Services at Archer IRM, Rasha El Kaliouby, Director and General Manager at Archer IRM in Egypt, alongside officials from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), Archer in the United States (US), and various markets.

The Minister said the inauguration of the Archer IRM office at Cairo Festival City Business Park aligns with the company’s expansion strategy to bolster its presence in the Egyptian market.

Archer had last year, earmarked Cairo as the location for Archer’s first office in the Middle East.

The company said it aims to expand its operations from its Egyptian base into other countries in the continent and currently, the office boasts a team of over 140 talented employees specializing in engineering, research and development (R&D), technical support, sales, pre-sales, marketing, and customer services in more than nine languages, among other professional services.

In his remarks, the Egyptian ICT Minister emphasized that the efficiency and ability of Egyptian youth to harness technology contributed to making the ICT sector the fastest-growing state sector nationwide for five years in a row and an attractive destination for investments by ICT multinationals.

He underlined that Archer IRM office opening and planning to expand its operations in Egypt come as part of the efforts to develop Egypt’s capabilities in the outsourcing industry and attract multinationals to establish their outsourcing centers, run by Egyptian youth specializing in various ICT disciplines.

Continue Reading

Tech

How Nigerian online connection hub Workjeje helps with access to quality service providers

Published

on

A Nigerian online connection hub, Workjeje, has revealed how it is connecting individuals and corporate bodies to quality service providers in their vicinity, while catering to urban dwellers that prioritise quality and convenience in the services they seek.

The startup which was founded in 2021 by the trio of Fortune Nwankwo, Collins Onyebuchi and Ejike Anthony, who were students at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, has evolved into one of the most sought after hub in major cities in the country.

According to Nwankwo, Workjeje, unlike other competitors in the Nigerian market, focuses on quantity of artisans with a strong focus on quality.

“It was really hard to get service providers, let alone reliable ones. They were so unserious, they’d tell you they would come in the afternoon and show up four days later, and worst of all might deliver mediocre services,” Nwankwo said in an interview.

“Collins called me one day into his house to share his proposed solution to me, so I called my friend Wisdom – who is a programmer – to build it, and that was how Workjeje started.

“We had customers asking if the artisans were pre-vetted, which of course is a pain point for them, especially for women who would love to feel safe when a stranger is in their home.

“We pre-vet our artisans by onboarding them ourselves, and still monitor their contracts and ratings to maintain optimum quality.

“Customer feedback has been really important to us. At the test phase, some customers believed our vetting process was not very thorough, and some artisans did not look the part.

“We listened, we churned a lot of unserious artisans, we made sure we vetted the artisans ourselves, and we prioritised service companies because they have more to lose,” he added.

Workjeje is currently operating in Abuja and Enugu as test markets, and is taking its growth plan seriously and slowly, he stated.

“We were funded twice by friends – first at the building stage and the second at the marketing phase.

“Getting 10 successful transactions was a major booster for us even though we were still in the testing phase. It showed us people actually were ready to pay for the convenience we provide. Right now we have processed over 70 transactions.”

Recently, Workjeje completed a new feature that its artisans had been asking for – an escrow service, primarily designed for delivery services to protect themselves against unpaid bills.

On how the platform makes money for survival, Nwankwo said:

“The startup collects between five and 10 per cent from its artisans as fees, depending on its agreement with them, Workjeje also plans to incorporate advertisements on its platform in the near future.

“We plan on expanding to major states and cities across Nigeria, and in time Africa to limit the macro influence on our business.”

Continue Reading

EDITOR’S PICK

Culture10 hours ago

How South Sudanese singer John Frog moved from child soldier to Afrobeats star

John Frog may be one of South Sudan’s most successful musicians at the moment, but a little over 10 years...

Tech10 hours ago

American risk management solutions provider Archer opens business in Egypt

American risk management solutions provider, Archer, has announced expanding its operations to Africa with Egypt as the first point of...

Sports10 hours ago

South African Akani Simbine beats Omanyala to pick 100m gold at Atlanta City Games

South African sprint sensation, Akani Simbine, on Saturday at the Atlanta City Games further put a dent on Kenyan 100m...

Metro13 hours ago

Church in Northern Province cautions against cyberspace abuse, supports cyber security law

The church in Northern Province has issued a warning to Zambians regarding the misuse of cyberspace in the guise of...

Metro19 hours ago

Nigeria kicks as South African police torture citizen to death

The Nigerian Union South Africa (NUSA) has condemned the killing of another of its citizens, Prince Muoka Ebuka, who was...

Politics1 day ago

Nigeria 2027: Opposition party chieftain Atiku vows to support Obi if …

In Nigeria, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has hinted that he would support the...

VenturesNow1 day ago

Nigeria: Court insists Binance executive can face trial on behalf of firm

In an ongoing tax evasion case, a Nigerian court decided on Friday that Binance executive, Tigran Gambaryan, may go to...

Tech2 days ago

How Nigerian online connection hub Workjeje helps with access to quality service providers

A Nigerian online connection hub, Workjeje, has revealed how it is connecting individuals and corporate bodies to quality service providers...

Sports2 days ago

Egyptian midfielder Elneny announces departure from Arsenal after eight years

Egypt and Arsenal midfielder, Mohamed Elneny, has announced his departure from the club at the end of this season after...

Culture2 days ago

Nigerian moviemakers Funke Akindele, Mo Abudu, Jade Osiberu named in Hollywood Reporter’s Powerful Women in Film list

Foremost Nigerian moviemakers, Funke Akindele, Mo Abudu, and Jade Osiberu have been named in the Hollywood Reporter’s list of the...

Trending