1. Founders Factory Africa to support African agritech startups
Founders Factory Africa, FFA, Johannesburg-based venture development and investment company, has announced partnering with Small Foundation, a Dublin-based philanthropic foundation to create a programme aimed at supporting 18 selected innovative African agritech startups.
Small Foundation, which is focused on the rural and agricultural sector in sub-Saharan Africa, will join FFA to invest in eighteen selected African agritech startups during the prestigious businesses development programme.
Speaking on the development, Conor Brosnan, CEO, and Chair of Small Foundation highlighted the importance of growing the agritech sector in Africa
He said: “This is a pivotal time to invest in the growing area of agritech in Africa, which has transformative potential for local livelihoods.
“We are excited to see FFA’s highly-skilled teamwork with immensely talented African entrepreneurs to deliver scaled solutions to some of the biggest challenges faced by the sector.”
The partnership and investment from Small Foundation is expected to enable agritech startups to apply to take part in the Founders Factory Africa Venture Scale of Venture build portfolio.
Tech Trivia: Who invented copy & paste function on computers?
A. Larry page
B. Larry Tesler
C. Larry King
D. Laryy Whales
Answer: See end of post.
2. Paymenow adapts gamification feature to enhance service
Paymenow, a South African fintech startup, has adapted gamification to promote responsible financial behaviour and encourage saving.
The startup, which developed a financial wellness and inclusion platform that allows employees responsible early access to already-earned wages through a mobile app, was founded in 2019.
After going live in 2020 with its first customer a week before lockdown hit in March, the platform commenced the trade of allowing employees early access to their wages.
Today, with the new gamification feature, the platform take users on a journey to financial wellness, so as they complete stages their status improves, and they get rewards by way of lower service fees.
Founder, Deon Nobrega, who spoke on the development, explained that the venture model was to disburse funds to employees who are in desperate need of finance.
He said: “Paymenow benefits employers and employees through providing access to funds that employees desperately need, without them having to resort to extortionate payday loans.”
3. Smart Cities Innovation Programme to accelerate 30 African startups
Seeking to accelerate 30 African tech startups, Smart Cities Innovation Programme (SCIP) has opened call for applications.
The initiative looks to invest in tech startups in the fields of mobility, housing and fintech as they aim to shape the “African cities of tomorrow.”
The six-month accelerator is expected to support high-potential tech startups operating in the field of Smart Cities which will be divided into three tracks – Smart Mobility, Smart Housing, and Fintech for Affordability – supporting 10 startups each.
The SCIP is a joint project of the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation and “Make-IT in Africa“, which are both implemented by the GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Selected startups will benefit from individual mentoring, training as well as intensive networking and matchmaking with international business partners and investors.
In addition, startup will also be able to use Green City Kigali, Rwanda’s flagship smart city project, as a real application case to test their solutions and enter the Rwandan market.
Tech Trivia Answer: Larry Tesler
The inventor of cut/copy & paste, find & replace, and more, was former Xerox researcher Larry Tesler. The late Tesler, who died in 2020, made computing easier thanks to his revolutionary ideas.
Mr Tesler was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1945, and studied at Stanford University in California.
He worked for several leading tech companies, including Xerox, Apple, Amazon and Yahoo, devoting much of his career to the idea of making computers practical, affordable and easy to use.