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24 - 04 - 2019

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Medical product delivery company, Zipline will launch in Ghana today. The company which first launched in Rwanda in 2016, delivered its first vaccine in Ghana yesterday, about a year after it first signed an MOU with the Ghanaian health ministry. A Nigeria launch may also happen soon, last July Zipline reportedly signed an agreement with the Lagos State Government to complement the state's existing medical supply chain infrastructure. The launch may be delayed due to the impending leadership transition in Lagos or it may not happen if the new governor decides to discontinue the agreement. For its Ghana operations, Zipline will work with the UPS Foundation, Pfizer, Gavi and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to deliver essential vaccines.

Africa-focused digital health startup, Neopenda has raised $1.04 million in a seed round led by Axel Johnson Inc. Other investors include SUNU Capital and a number of angel investors. Founded by Sona Shah and Teresa Cauvel, the startup builds medical devices for emerging markets with its first product being a wearable biometric monitoring device that measures four crucial vital signs: pulse rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen saturation, and temperature. The fund will enable Neopenda transition its product to manufacturing and commercialisation, grow its team and expand clinical pilots to other markets outside Uganda where it is currently based.

South Africa's Winetech is calling for applications from innovative agritech solutions that can reduce the wine industry's impact on the environment while maintaining growth and profitability. Selected startups will get access to investment opportunities and access to market. Entries are open until June 9.

Remember the call by South African hotels for the regulation of AirBnB? Apparently, the government heeded their call and it put together a Tourism Amendment Bill. Under the amendments, the minister of Tourism can limit the number of nights that a guest can stay or even how much income an Airbnb host earns. AirBnB has confirmed that it is engaged in discussions with the government.

What makes us African is our exclusive focus on African consumers, says Jumia’s co-founder
In this New York Times articleAdam Satariano explores Bolt's journey to becoming a major Uber challenger in Africa and Europe. Bolt is on course to process more than $1 billion in total bookings this year and break even if it slowed down its expansion plans. Also, it could go public within three to five years.

The Female-Focused Fintech Prize (F3) is now receiving applications until May 3.  The prize which seeks to recognise the most innovative digital financial products that are narrowing the gender gap in financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia is being put together by early-stage fintech accelerator DFS Lab and Flourish Ventures. Apply here.

The World Bank has announced a $200 million investment in Egyptian startups to create jobs for women and youth. The project will channel US$145 million mainly through non-bank financial institutions offering loans to small businesses. It will also invest US$50 million in angel funds, accelerators, VC funds, and investment companies with the aim of building up the early-stage investment ecosystem in Egypt.
Econet has launched a music streaming service in Zimbabwe called Buddie Beatz. The subscription services which starts from as low as $0.5 per day provides access to music from a range of local artists. It is not unusual for telcos to provide such services, the MTN Group also has its own music streaming service called Music+. Such services serve two purposes, one to provide customers with more reasons to stay with their networks. Secondly, it also serves as an additional revenue stream as revenue from traditional sources continues to fall.

Matthew Buckland, the founder of South Africa-based, Ventureburn and the Burn Media Group, has passed on. Buckland founded and exited Creative Spark, a 70+person digital marketing agency acquired by UK-listed agency network M&C Saatchi PLC in 2014. Our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. May his soul rest in peace.

The State of Health Tech in Nigeria is a deeply researched report about the health tech industry and the innovative startups working to find tech solutions to Nigeria's health-related problems. The report profiles 75 active and 15 inactive health tech startups across 12 subsectors. It further examines the challenges these startups face, the opportunities in the space and makes actionable recommendations for entrepreneurs, investors and regulators to consider. Get the report here. If you are having any trouble purchasing the report please get in touch by replying to this email.

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See you tomorrow.  - Olanrewaju
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