Author: Jake Bright

Lamborghini’s EV initiatives seem to lack a spark

TECHCRUNCH Jake Bright Contributor Jake Bright is a writer and author in New York City. He is co-author of The Next Africa. More posts by this contributor: It doesn’t look like Lamborghini will be joining the race for e-performance vehicles anytime soon. Even as the Italian company announced plans to work with MIT in a collaboration to create “electric super sports cars of the future” with the unveiling of its Terzo Millennio concept car; without an exact EV Lambo production date, it’s unclear when the iconic brand will leave its gas-powered days in the dust.   A company spokesperson couldn’t confirm when a...

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FarmCrowdy raises $1M round to bring Nigerian farmers online and to market

TECHCRUNCH Jake Bright Contributor Jake Bright is a writer and author in New York City. He is co-author of The Next Africa. More posts by this contributor: Bringing small scale Nigerian farmers to a broader market has netted the new startup Farmcrowdy $1 million from investors including Techstars, Cox Ventures and Social Capital. Farmcrowdy’s digital platform connects investors to farmers through sponsorship packages to fund higher yields for a share of the returns. The app allows the sponsors to “Farm Shop” screened agricultural opportunities by produce type, funding amount, contract duration, and expected returns on an investment. The profiles include details on what the sponsorship funds―farm inputs, technical advice, or logistical support―to achieve yields. Common crops are cassava, soya beans, and rice. Investors can also use Farmcrowdy’s platform to track the performance of their sponsorships. “What makes Farmcrowdy different from other platforms is it turns a complex problem into a digital marketplace,” Farmcrowdy CEO Onyeka Akumah told TechCrunch. “We’re taking care of funding for farmers, training for farmers, providing the market for the farmers to sell. We’re taking care of the logistics to move farm harvests to the market and making sure farmers earn a decent return at the end of their cycle,” he said. Farmcrowdy screens small scale farms throughout Nigeria and works with partners such as Syngenta and Africa’s International Institute of Tropical Agriculture to shape sponsorship...

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Africa’s SureRemit joins the tokenized race to win the global remittance market

TECHCRUNCH Jake Bright Contributor Jake Bright is a writer and author in New York City. He is co-author of The Next Africa. More posts by this contributor: Nigerian based SureRemit has launched a crypto token aimed at money sent home by global immigrants. The startup — which is incorporated in Mauritius — offered pre-sales of its remittance focused tokens this week, before a January 2018 ICO. SureRemit will use blockchain partner Stellar’s platform. The company is connecting its crypto product — which is not redeemable by consumers for cash — to a network of pre-approved merchants in Nigeria, Kenya,...

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Africa Roundup: ToLet Acquires JumiaHouse NG, Facebook announces NG_Hub, Interswitch IPO Update

TECHCRUNCH Jake Bright Contributor Jake Bright is a writer and author in New York City. He is co-author of The Next Africa. More posts by this contributor: Lagos based online real estate startup ToLet.com.ng acquired Jumia House Nigeria for an undisclosed amount. Jumia House is a subsidiary of the continent’s lone tech unicorn — Pan-African e-commerce giant Jumia.com. ToLet and Jumia House Nigeria will merge platforms under the new name PropertyPro.ng. The $1.2 million Series A startup was able to buy part of a $1 billion company with the help of its lead investor, Frontier Digital Ventures (FDV). While ToLet...

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Will Interswitch still be the company that brings Sub-Saharan Africa its big tech windfall?

TECHCRUNCH Jake Bright Contributor Jake Bright is a writer and author in New York City. He is co-author of The Next Africa. More posts by this contributor: In 2016 it appeared Africa would produce its first big tech IPO on a major stock market. As reported in TechCrunch, Nigerian fintech firm Interswitch — which provides much of Nigera’s digital banking and payments infrastructure — was poised for a dual listing on the Lagos and London stock exchanges at a $1 billion valuation. The company had selected investment bankers, had support of primary backer (Helios Investment Partners), and things seemed...

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Africa Roundup: Lori Systems wins BFX Africa, Andela raises $40M, Jumia lends to SMEs, Safaricom launches incubator

TECHCRUNCH Jake Bright Contributor Jake Bright is a writer and author in New York City. He is co-author of The Next Africa. More posts by this contributor: Logistics transportation company Lori Systems won best of show at TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield Africa after gaining majority votes of the event’s 15 judges. The Kenyan based venture pitched its platform to optimize all points of the cargo delivery supply chain―from the trucks, to the suppliers, to invoicing and costs. Co-founded by South African Josh Sandler and Kenyan Gichini Ngaruiya, Lori Systems will now compete in TechCrunch’s flagship event, Disrupt San Francisco 2018....

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Online real estate startup ToLet acquires Jumia House Nigeria to create PropertyPro.Ng

TECHCRUNCH  African tech can produce surprises. One this week is a $1.2 million Series A startup buying part of a $1 billion company. That’s what Lagos based property startup ToLet.com.ng has done, purchasing Jumia House Nigeria for an undisclosed amount. Jumia House is a subsidiary of the continent’s lone tech unicorn — Pan-African e-commerce giant Jumia.com. ToLet and Jumia House… Read...

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Safaricom launches innovation center to move beyond M-Pesa

TECHCRUNCH Jake Bright Contributor Jake Bright is a writer and author in New York City. He is co-author of The Next Africa. More posts by this contributor: Safaricom, Kenya’s largest telecom company and provider of the nation’s mobile money service, M-Pesa, has launched a new innovation center in Nairobi. Named Safaricom Alpha, a priority of the incubator is to identify spending patterns on mPesa and turn those insights into additional Safaricom products — according to Chief Innovation Officer, Kamal Bhattacharya. “Safaricom’s unique in that we have telco services and a financial services platform that connect nearly every household in...

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