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PRESENTED BY BLOCKFINEX
16 - 11 - 2018

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Blockfinex stands for “Blockchain Financial Exchange” meaning integrating Blockchain assets, digital technology with finance. Once launched, this exchange platform make a fiat-crypto section  available to all Nigerians to deposit funds and trade all tokens of their choice without having to incur extra fees transferring from one exchange to another. As a new user, you would be getting a demo trading platform and 1 month of zero-trading fees for the First Month. Learn more HERE.

Kenyan startup Twiga Foods has raised $10 million in funding from the IFC and venture capital firm TLcom Capital. Other investors include the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, Wamda Capital, DOB Equity, 1776 and Adolph H. Lundin. As part of the deal, the IFC's Wale Ayeni, and Maurizio Caio, Managing Partner at TLcom will join the board.

Kenyan informal job placements startup Netwookie has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from the Germany-based VC GreenTec Capital. It recently finished a successful pilot in Nairobi, per Disrupt Africa, and will use the funding to further develop its product to offer HR and recruitment services.

Nairobi-based Farm.ink has won the $150K grand prize after it took top spot in the "Feed the Future Fall Armyworm Tech Prize" organised by USAID and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. Farm.ink has integrated a "Fall Armyworm Virtual Advisor" into its Africa Farmers Club mobile service as a chatbot providing more than 150,000 farmers across Africa with farming information. The Fall armyworm is estimated to cause $2-6 billion in maize losses alone every three years.

There's a new entrant into the battle for ride-hailing market share in Africa, this time from Russia, Quartz Africa reports. The service is called inDriver and it just launched in Tanzania to vy for a piece of the African ride-hailing market already being divvied up by major players like Uber and Taxify, as well as over 50 other ride-hailing startups.

At least two Nigerian startups, Hotels.ng and Paylater, are looking past Lagos for certain operational needs, call centers in this case. Founders Mark Essien (Hotels) and Ngozi Dozie (co-founder Paylater/OneFi) tweeted today about the availability of talent in other parts of Nigeria with Mark noting that business have to be willing to look past Lagos for various needs as they scale.

Nigeria's Venture Platform and Asset & Resource Management (ARM) Holding Company have partnered to launch a fintech accelerator called Labs By ARM. The accelerator is a 12-week program "designed to help early & growth stage FinTech startup's commercialize & massively distribute their innovations." Applications are open now so click here if you are interested.

South African fintech AI startup, FinChatBot, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from SA-based VC firm Kalon Venture Partners and Mauritius-based Compass Capital. The startup will use the funding to increase growth and expand its client pipeline.

Ventureburn has released its 2018 Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey which took a look at 153 South African startups to gauge the state of the South African tech landscape. Some numbers: Majority of South African startups are concentrated in the Gauteng area with 65% of founders among the startup in the survey being male and just 16% being female. 42% of startups have single founders, 41% have White founders and 35% have Black founders. 18% of the startups are SaaS companies and only 3% raised funding when starting out. They've published an infographic version of the report here.

MTN and Ericsson have partnered to launch the first 5G customer trial service in South Africa, per MyBroadband. The service will operate on the 28GHz band with a total operating bandwidth of 100 MHz, using Ericsson trial antenna integrated radio units and Intel’s 5G Mobile Trial Platform to provide access. Vodacom launched the first commercial 5G service in Africa in Lesotho back in August.

Egyptian farm-to-door fresh produce ecommerce startup, Fakahany, has raised $700K in seed funding in a round led by Endure Capital and angel investors, per MENABytes. Its platform allows users in Cairo and Giza to order fresh fruits and vegetables through its online platform or mobile apps.

WHO AFRO has announced the launch of the WHO Africa Innovation Challenge. The challenge will source, select and support innovators, researchers and community-based initiatives, including youth and women that are working on novel solutions to improve health outcomes in Africa. Applications are open now so learn more here and apply here. Deadline is December 10, 2018.

Eleanya Eke, co-founder and former business lead at Nigerian cryptocurrency exchange, BuyCoins, has left the company to launch  Cashestate, a platform that allows users to invest naira into US Dollar denominated assets and earn decent, consistent dollar returns, from Nigeria. He wrote all about it here.

Nigeria's CcHub is holding it's Breakfast Chat this month with Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli. She is the co-founder of AACE Food Processing & Distribution, the managing partner of Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition Ltd and the founder of LEAP Africa. It's open to tech entrepreneurs and seats are limited so if you are in Nigeria, register here for an invite now.

You are invited to TC Townhall, Fintech 2.0, holding in partnership with Softcom on November 30. The forum will take a look at the next generation of financial technologies in Nigeria. Speakers include Adia Sowho (MD, Mines.io), Gbenga Agboola (CEO, Flutterwave), Titi Odunfa (MD, Sankore Investments), Dr. Yinka David West (Academic Director, LBS), Yvonne Johnson (fintech angel investor) and Yomi Adedeji (CEO, Softcom). Registration is now live, and seats are limited. See you there!

EFInA has announced its ninth request for proposals (RFP 9) for the Fintech Challenge Grant which focuses on supporting new concepts to enhance the uptake and usage of financial services by the low-income population in Nigeria. Apply here for a chance to win up to $500k in funding.

CcHub is looking to hire a Monitoring and Evaluation Manager with a background in research to join its re:learn team. Apply here if you're interested.

Harvard Business School's Africa Business Club is accepting applications for the New Venture Competition for early-stage ventures focused on serving African markets. Learn more and apply here.

From TechCabalLara.ng Is Getting People Around Lagos In A Way That Google Maps Can’tAfrica’s Infrastructure Deficit & Its Impact On Innovation

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Have a great weekend! We'll see you next week.    - Akindare.
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