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African Women In Tech Spotlight: Hilda Moraa

As we aim to spotlight some of the best technologists, innovators, CEOs, and powerful women holding leadership roles in the technology industry in order to acknowledge and reward strong women who are advancing technology, it would be remiss to not highlight someone I truly admire and who I have had the absolute pleasure of working with, Hilda Moraa.

Hilda Moraa, CEO Pezesha

I met Hilda when she was still running Weza Tele, a startup she built and managed whilst still studying at Strathmore. Weza Tele is a mobile solution firm in the distribution, supply chain and financial services.

“The idea for the project came to me when I was working as a data analyst at a large global beverage and distribution company. I had attempted to innovate a product known as “MyOrder” together with some friends but we failed. Weza Tele won the top prize at the 2011 Mobile BootCamp and in 2015 financial firm AFB purchased it for KES 166 million. My role in this acquisition also involved designing the strategy of new channel innovations in the SME space as well as identifying the right strategic partners including the right external expertise i.e. legal, tax and compliance needed to successfully close the deal,” she recalled.

Hilda is currently the CEO of Pezesha, a digital financial ecosystem connecting and empowering the underserved in Africa through its robust value chain that entails financial education, credit decisions and connecting MSMEs with affordable financing. As CEO, she is responsible for overall strategy, innovations, talent acquisitions, resource management, partnerships and implementing the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction. She led Pezesha to be the first company to exit from the CMA regulatory sandbox and get approval, a great fete.

Her ultimate goal is that Pezesha’s digital financial platform can address the $328 billion financing gap that exists for small and medium-sized businesses in Sub Saharan Africa — and that this, in turn, will create millions of job opportunities for African youths. 

Hilda is a member of the Board of Directors at Konza City- The Silicon Savannah. In 2015, she was featured as one of the top 40 under 40 women and Quartz Africa’s top 30 innovators in Africa in 2018. She has continued to champion the local tech, innovation & Entrepreneurship scene in Kenya by supporting and mentoring other young techpreneurs through sharing her lessons, entrepreneurial knowledge and experiences in inspiring ways such as through her first book that was published when she was only 26 years old- “A Kenyan Startup Journey- 10 Key Lessons I learnt. She was a keynote speaker at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in 2015 and in 2019, she was among the few selected to be part of the Obama Leaders Program. She was named as one of the 50, Africa’s most promising innovators by Global Shaker in 2020 and in April 2020, the Loreto Limuru High School alumnus was appointed to the Covid-19 ICT & Innovations Advisory Committee for Kenya.

Hilda is truly a remarkable woman. Her dedication to discipline, structure and routine and her zeal to mentor the next generation of African entrepreneurs makes her one of the most phenomenal women I have ever had the privilege to interact with. 

It is not only our responsibility to tell these stories, to document the impact, to drive the inclusion of women in Tech, but it is the greatest honor of our lives to highlight these stories and to talk about these women. If you are a woman in Tech and you would like us to shine a spotlight on your work, please email us on [email protected] and we will be in touch!

African Women In Tech Spotlight: Dorcas Owino

We started a series to convey the tales of the many intelligent and talented women who work tirelessly to close the gender gap in technology. You can read it here. By doing so, we aim to celebrate them and encourage the next generation of female technologists. We have so far covered Nanjira Sambuli and Ruth Kaveke.

Dorcas Owino – Director Lakehub

Today we shine a spotlight on a remarkable woman. Dorcas Owino leads the technology and social organization Lakehub based in Kenya’s lakeside city, Kisumu. LakeHub, supports a community of creatives, programmers and entrepreneurs, the majority of whom are girls aged 13 to 19. Under Dorcas’ leadership, several LakeHub students have competed globally at hackathons. Dorcas had the following to say about her work at Lakehub:

“LakeHub was the first techhub in Kisumu. The reception has been really good, because for the first-time access to entrepreneurship and technology opportunities were decentralized and people did not have to travel all the way to Nairobi to get these opportunities. 

We run women-in-tech programs and an annual three-month initiative where we work with girls in high schools, teaching them how to use technology to solve problems around them. We have done this for three years now and one of the succesful innovations as a result of this is iCut, an app that connects girls affected by female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C) with legal and medical assistance.

Although LakeHub has made major strides to help close the gender gap in technology, we still have challenges— one of them being the education system. Women might be interested in tech, but in high school they miss out on important subjects that are needed to take tech courses in university. This is why we have a high-school program, and we have also tried to solve this by running LakeHub Academy, a coding bootcamp.  

Everything about LakeHub is interesting; it never feels like work. I love that I have a great degree of control and freedom within my job, which gives me a chance to keep innovating. Also, I work with young people, and love that I get a front-row seat to see their lives transformed.”

We love Dorcas. She has been active in the Africa tech and startup scene for about 9 years now. Due to her contribution to technology, she holds many awards under her belt.

The most notable ones are being a nominee and runners up in the Sakharov Prize which is awarded by the European Parliament due to her fight against FGM using technology, Mandela Washington Fellowship, and a Queen’s young leader fellow, which recognizes and awards young leaders in Africa and commonwealth countries. Dorcas was recognized as Forbes 30 under 30 in 2019 and the top 40 under 40 women in Kenya.

It is not only our responsibility to tell these stories, to document the impact, to drive the inclusion of women in Tech, but it is one of the greatest honors of our lives to highlight these stories and to talk about these women. If you are a woman in Tech and you would like us to shine a spotlight on your work, please email us on [email protected] and we will be in touch!

African Women In Tech Spotlight: Ruth Kaveke

We took a keen interest to shine a spotlight on African Women in Tech. These are women who have utilized a wide spectrum of their technological abilities and taken the initiative to drive innovation across the nation by bringing digital skills to their communities and driving disruption within their organizations.

Ruth Kaveke, Founder Pwani Teknowgalz

On today’s spotlight we feature Ruth Kaveke.

Ruth Kaveke is the founder of Pwani Teknowgalz. Ruth grew up in Isibanya, a rural village bordering Tanzania, and had limited access to computers. In high school, computer classes led her to develop an interest in technology. A few years later, she was one of six girls in her computer science program at university, and encountered hurdles in this male-dominated field. Ruth knew she had to carve out more space for people like her in the tech sector, and founded Pwani Teknowgalz in 2015 to provide skills training for adolescent girls in Kenya’s coastal region.

“As a child, the only place I had access to a computer was at a local cyber cafe. In high school, I chose computer classes and my peers wondered how long I would last because many other girls dropped out. But it was my favorite subject. I ended up studying computer science at university. I was shocked to find that I was one of six girls in my program. One of the other girls, Aisha Abubakar, became my co-founder at Pwani Teknowgalz. 

I had several internships and the first time I shared my work — a website — with my supervisor, she was shocked, asking whether I did it myself. Even the men I worked alongside thought someone else did it for me. Eventually, my supervisor became excited about my work and I was given more responsibility.

After the internship, I went back to university and reflected on my experience. I could code, but was still viewed skeptically by others. I thought it would be better if younger girls were exposed to ICT and digital skills earlier in life. I shared my idea with the other girls in my program and they were excited. We shared it on social media and the response was positive, so we started training girls in two high schools in Mombasa.

We started to notice some gaps in tech education. For example, although we learned web development in class, we were not learning enough for the job market. Pwani Teknowgalz is trying to fill this gap. Our students, who are high school graduates, learn computer essentials, web development, digital marketing and python.

Since our launch in 2015, we’ve trained over 2,500 girls. Some parents have even brought their boys for training. Many of our students struggle financially, so my hope is that they can use the skills they’ve gained from Pwani Teknowgalz to sustain themselves, support their families, and also give back.”

Ruth is particularly passionate about bridging the gender gap of women in STEM careers by providing a holistic environment for women and girls through Practical STEM training, mentorship, and workshops. She says her firm endeavors to empower them to use their creativity to develop innovative solutions to community problems in alignment with the 5th SDG to be the next generation of innovators in Kenya and Africa by enhancing the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology to promote women empowerment. This makes her a woman worth celebrating and emulating. She continues to pull up a generation of women into STEM and for that we are so proud of her efforts and shall make best effort, here at TechMoran to continue shining a spotlight on her work.

It is our responsibility to tell these stories, to document the impact, to drive the inclusion of women in Tech. If you are a woman in Tech and you would like us to shine a spotlight on your work, please email us on [email protected] and we will be in touch!

African Women in Tech Spotlight: Nanjira Sambuli

As mentioned in our Discovering African Women in Tech article, we found that despite the industry growing rapidly, women still are a minority specifically in positions of leadership and especially the software engineering positions. The industry is still male dominated despite the best efforts of many corporate and non-profit organizations to increase the number of women in the space and that as a result of that we took a keen interest to shine a spotlight on women in Tech in Africa.

On today’s spotlight we feature Nanjira Sambuli. She works at the intersection of policy and technology, leading the Web Foundation’s efforts to promote digital equality in access to and use of the web around the world. She has such an impressive profile!

Nanjira Sambuli

Nanjira is a Fellow in the Technology and International Affairs Program at The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a Ford Global Fellow. She is also President and co-Chair of the Transform Health Coalition, a board member at The New Humanitarian, Development Gateway and Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) and a Commissioner on the Lancet & Financial Times Global Commission (Governing Health Futures 2030).

Nanjira also sits on several advisory boards, including the World Economic Forum’s Technology and Social Justice Initiatives, ⟨A+⟩ Alliance for Inclusive Algorithm and the Carnegie Council’s AI and Equality Initiative. Additionally, she is a Diplomacy Moderator at the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator (GESDA) Nanjira has served as a Senior Policy Manager and previously as the Digital Equality Advocacy Manager at the World Wide Web Foundation.Nanjira Sambuli was the former Research Lead and Research Manager at iHub in Nairobi between 2013 and 2016. She has spoken at  a number of conferences and events about digital equality and digital policies, including re:publica 2019, rp:Accra 2018, Open Up 2016 and the African Summit on Women and Girls in Technology. Nanjira is a member of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation and served as a deputy on the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel for Women’s Economic Empowerment (2016–17).

Nanjira had this to say regarding women’s engagement with technology across Kenya: 

“Anecdotal evidence indicates that Kenyan women are claiming their space in the local and even international tech domains, but official statistics are lacking, which makes it harder to speak authoritatively on how Kenya fares compared to other countries. 

One space that shows the transformational potential of tech use by women is social media. It’s beautiful to watch women claim spaces for engagement, for discussing issues affecting women, specifically, and even for organizing. The evergreen issue of the two-thirds “gender rule” — on which the government continues to fall short — is frequently debated on social media, stirring the public conscience. [Editor’s note: According to Kenya’s constitution, no more than two-thirds of the members of elective bodies should be of the same gender. But women’s representation currently stands at 21% compared to the target 33%, and continues to be a polarizing topic in Kenyan politics.

It’s such an exciting perch-point to assess societies’ pasts, presents and futures, and how technologies will affect these. I engage with actors from all sectors (private, public, civil society) with all kinds of backgrounds to shape rules of engagement towards ensuring that we achieve equity and equality in this digital age. Every day brings an opportunity to learn and unlearn, and challenges the notion of who is an expert, or who gets to shape the rules going forward.”

We are in love with Nanjira Sambuli because at age 34 she is breaking the barriers women have experienced in the tech space. She was named one of New African Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Africans in 2016, and BBC 100 Inspiring and Influential Women in 2019. She is a huge inspiration to women in Africa and to us here at Techmoran. 

It is our responsibility to tell these stories, to document the impact, to drive the inclusion of women in Tech. If you are a woman in Tech and you would like us to shine a spotlight on your work, please email us on [email protected] and we will be in touch!

Discovering African Women In Tech

Women In Tech in Africa

Kenya, also referred to as the Silicon Savannah, is praised for its application of technology to solve global issues. Nairobi, the capital city, has received the most of the attention surrounding Kenya’s tech scene because other parts of the country have limited access to resources and support for technological innovation. However, by utilizing a wide spectrum of their technological abilities, many Kenyan women are taking the initiative to drive innovation across the nation by bringing digital skills to their communities and driving disruption within their organizations.

It is because of this that we took a keen interest to shine a spotlight on women in Tech in Africa. We found that despite the industry growing rapidly, women still are a minority specifically in positions of leadership and especially the software engineering positions. The industry is still male dominated despite the best efforts of many corporate and non-profit organizations to increase the number of women in the space.

Only roughly 21% of tech leadership jobs and 14% of software engineering positions were held by women in 2021. When compared to the rest of the workforce, the gender disparity in tech is astounding. Over the previous five years, little advancement has been accomplished. Even in the technology sector, and particularly in the C-Suite, gender equality is still a long way off.

We aim to spotlight some of the best technologists, innovators, CEOs, and powerful women holding leadership roles in the technology industry in order to acknowledge and reward strong women who are advancing technology. The goal of this series is to convey the tales of the many intelligent and talented women who work tirelessly to close the gender gap in technology. By doing so, we aim to celebrate them and encourage the next generation of female technologists.

We won’t just focus on women-led startups like fintech company FarmDrive, edtech app Eneza and booking platform BuuPass, who are finding creative ways to meet market needs and solve community problems. We shall also be looking at women in mid to senior management who are driving the tech revolution and innovation in the corporate world.

This group of Kenyan women is working to increase the visibility and influence of women in tech by providing the mentorship and skills that young women need to not only succeed in one of the most competitive tech markets in the developing world but have their contributions recognized as well.

Linda Kamau, a co-founder of Akirachix, a coding school founded in 2010 by a group of women who were passionate about changing the landscape of the technology field and creating a community that supports, connects and inspires women in the tech space, said “When you give women a fair chance, they thrive. Women who have gone through our program only needed someone to show them a path, and then they took it and ran with it.”

Women like Linda Kamau and Chao Mbogho, an award-winning computer science researcher and educator, who founded KamiLimu, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to bridge the skills gap between classroom learning and global competitiveness through structured mentorship in personal and professional development, innovation skills, and scholarship expertise, are challenging the status quo by encouraging and facilitating more women to take up careers in technology-related fields.

It is our responsibility to tell these stories, to document the impact, to drive the inclusion of women in Tech. If you are a woman in Tech and you would like us to shine a spotlight on your work, please email us on [email protected] and we will be in touch!

What Happened to Kune Foods?

Kune foods has been besieged by controversy from the moment the company launched in Kenya.  A couple of days after their launch their Founder and CEO Reecht said, “After coming to Kenya for three days, I asked where I could get good food for a cheap price and everyone told me it was impossible,” he told TechCrunch. “It’s impossible because you either go out on the street and eat street food, which is really cheap, but not so good quality, or you order from Uber Eats, Glovo or Jumia, where you can get quality but have to pay at least 10 US dollars.”

His statement received immediate backlash because many Kenyans argued that the startup was solving a non-existent issue given the existence of hundreds of restaurants serving and delivering affordable meals. Kune immediately issued an apology, expressing regret for how the statement came out and tried to explain it but the damage had already been done.

On the back of that initial controversy, Kune Foods raised USD $1M in pre-seed capital and once again there was uproar. This time Kenyans especially in the startup space could not figure out how a startup that did not have a clear problem statement, easily and in a short period of time, raised that much money. It is very hard for African tech innovators to raise even USD $100,000 for their budding companies. Many felt that this was just the biggest sign of racial inequality in the African tech space, where White founders get funding for “not great” ideas whilst black founders get shunned until they have a white cofounder. The waters had been muddied, but with the million-dollar war chest, Reecht had no time to waste.

Kune proceeded to expand rapidly, building a huge production Kitchen, hiring 90 members of staff, selling more than 55,000 meals, and acquiring more than 6,000 individual customers and 100 corporate customers. It, therefore, came as a rude shock to the entire continent when Reecht announced Kune Foods was shutting down, barely 11 months after launch and just four months after the startup started its commercial operations in Kenya

In his heartfelt statement, Reecht said, “With the current economic downturn and investment markets tightening up, we were unable to raise our next round. Coupled with rising food costs deteriorating our margins, we just couldn’t keep going.”

The question on everyone’s mind is, “what really happened to Kune Foods?”

Was there really a problem to be solved? Now, Kichen Urban had tried to implement this same model a couple of years ago and it does seem that despite their raging success in the 2017-2019 era, they have since closed down. Was the problem food availability or was the problem distribution? I struggle to understand what the overall objective of Kune Foods was. What is completely mind-blowing though is that this startup burned through over USD $1M of investor funds in a year as well as an undisclosed amount that was taken as a loan from a Kenyan Bank.

The loan is something I am equally struggling to understand. Kenyans do business in this country for decades and they have trouble accessing credit from their banks; leading to the proliferation of shylocks, predatory Mobi-lending apps and credit organizations. Yet, here comes a foreigner, at the height of the pandemic and one of the worst economic recessions Kenya has faced, who walks into the bank and leaves with an undisclosed amount as a loan for his business that is yet to validate its business model or even make a single shilling in profit.

Technology startups are often rewarded for a “fake it ‘til you make it” mentality by venture capital firms willing to throw money at a product until it meets expectations. Away from Reecht’s statement all we can do is speculate why they went down so quickly.

It could be that they may have raised too much, too soon. Perhaps the entire goal was to raise money and then get someone else to take it over. It does feel like their burn rate was a bit out of control, particularly for a company with barely enough revenues. According to several trusted sources close to the company, Kune’s mistake from the onset was that the problem statement was never as compelling as it needed to be, given that it was trying to disrupt the food space which already has a lot of established players. Were they a food distribution company or were they trying to produce healthy meals? Or both?

Ultimately, the only way for a startup to be successful, is to focus on acquiring new customers, upping transaction volume and increasing customer spending. Kune Food will serve as a cautionary tale of a startup overspending in hopes of finding product-market fit before running out of investor funds. Perhaps if the management had been more tight-fisted, saved cash to extend their runway and given their clients more time to become brand loyalists, they might have survived, thrived even. Sometimes having the most money, the best Public relations strategy and the most illustrious sponsors can’t save a startup from mismanagement.

Fintech Startup Ideas for 2022

In 2020/2021 I had the pleasure of working with The Worldbank to evaluate small businesses that were eligible for funding. The most heartbreaking thing is that 90% of the businesses we evaluated had no creativity to them, no innovation, no disruption of existing industries just copy-catting of existing ideas.

Ideation is not difficult. The best ideas come from the simplest of problems. You just need to look around you, see something that is a pain point for you or those around you and find a clever way to fix it either through technology or other ways. 

The Fintech space is still very new in Africa. The pie is very huge and can be shared and there is room for multiple startups. For example, mobile payments are one of the most exciting startup ideas in Africa right now. There is rising smartphone penetration in the continent with more people using their mobile phones to make payments for goods, services, and investments.

Mobile payments have then opened up other complementary industries that with great research, development and innovation, can be turned into Billion Dollar companies. These are:

  • Local & International Money Transfers: There is still a huge gap in the transfers space because there are a few players and the biggest ones, especially in Kenya are heavily reliant on the Simcard.
  • AML KYC: The current systems are mainly built for traditional banking which the world is moving away from. Robust Anti-money laundering, Fraud detection and Know Your customer systems built for digital banking and money transfers are a Billion Dollar opportunity
  • Virtual credit cards (payments) & Fully Digital Bank: Still on payments as the world moves away from traditional banking, there will be a huge demand for digital banking and management of cards. There are 44,000 banks and credit unions in the world all of which have customers, the pie is big enough for digitization!
  • Universal credit scoring platforms: There is a need to create systems that factor in all the money habits of Africans. Africa is still largely cash-heavy. It is hard to assign a credit score to someone who is unbanked. This is still a huge problem that urgently requires solutions.
  • Micro-Insurance: Current insurance processes are tedious, hard to understand, and bureaucratic and the premiums are out of reach for most people. You can create a fully digital Micro-insurance firm that caters to the uninsured market.
  • Universal Loyalty systems: It is quite annoying to get a loyalty card from each and every lifestyle business one patronizes. What if you partnered with a payments company and created a universally accepted loyalty program?
  • Last but not least is the cryptocurrency space which has so many untapped opportunities. This would require a post on its own.

Feel free to reach out if you’re pursuing any of the above ideas and I can help you think through it a bit more. Happy Hunting!

How Women Can Break Into The Tech Industry

Image Credit: Techopedia

Because technology has become so prevalent in so many industries, tech jobs are always in high demand. Though it is true that the field of technology appears to be dominated by men statistically, this should not deter you from pursuing a career in this field. To acquire a job working with computers, you don’t need a degree in this field.

There are numerous tools and resources available to assist you in gaining and developing technical skills that will be required in these very challenging careers.

If you have no technological skills, you should try coding. You can try a variety of free Coding Bootcamps available online. They could be full-time or part-time, and some of them might even offer you work. Some of them can be met in person. Instead of sending an email and waiting a day, you might ask a teacher a question and get an immediate response. There are some coding boot camps that are expensive, but they are well worth it for the hands-on experience that will help you in your future job.

If you want to get hired, you’ll have to stand out from the crowd. If you have a distinctive portfolio, you will most likely be employed as a woman in this male-dominated sector. That isn’t to say that you must possess specific abilities. You could be using the same coding abilities you learned in coding Bootcamp but in a novel and esoteric method. Businesses will be more likely to look in your direction if you can use your technical skills for mobile development, cloud infrastructure, bring-your-own-device, or BYOD, management, and much more. You might also look for an industry that is short on technological professionals yet in desperate need of them.

Apply for jobs in upper management where there are women. Even if you are highly skilled, you may experience discrimination in the workplace. Many technology company work settings have a fraternity-like vibe. That implies you could face scenarios ranging from unpleasant to sexual harassment, and higher management and human resources are unlikely to intervene. Women in top management will be more willing to fight for you if you acquire a job with them. They could, as a whole, contribute to a healthier work atmosphere where female employees aren’t subjected to discrimination on a daily basis.

Being excellent at specific job responsibilities is only half of what you’ll need to succeed. Collaboration and effective communication are only the beginning of having outstanding soft skills. You must be able to accept as well as deliver constructive feedback. Know how to read a room and identify whether someone would want to be left alone or would welcome interaction. Also, remember to be yourself. There’s no need to compete with your coworkers only to prove yourself, even if you’re the only woman in your workplace.

In terms of making their occupations more welcoming to women, the technical industry still has a long way to go. If you get a technology career, there will be a lot of things out of your control, but don’t let that deter you. In this business, more and more vocations are becoming available, and it is getting easier for everyone, including women, to obtain the necessary skills. Technology may be both entertaining and rewarding. There are numerous women who have made significant contributions to the technology field, and you could be one of them. So look for a coding Bootcamp and get started on your journey to a job in technology today.

Words that Win: Unleashing the Power of Professional Copywriting Services

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Choosing the right copywriting service is a crucial step for any business looking to enhance its communication and marketing strategy. The right service can elevate your brand’s voice, engage your audience effectively, and drive your business goals. This guide by RevvLab, a leading copywriting services provider, will help you navigate the key factors to consider, ensuring you make an informed decision that aligns with your business objectives.

The Importance of Words in Business

In the dynamic world of business, words wield an extraordinary power. They are not just mere tools of communication; they are the essence that shapes perceptions, influences decisions, and drives actions. Understanding the critical role of words in business communication is paramount for any successful enterprise.

Consider the impact of carefully chosen words in your business interactions. They can build bridges, forge connections, and open doors to new opportunities. Whether it’s the persuasive copy of a marketing campaign, the reassuring tone of customer service, or the clear and concise language of a business proposal, the right words have the power to resonate deeply with your audience.

What is Professional Copywriting?

Professional copywriting is the art and science of strategically delivering words, whether written or spoken, that get people to take some form of action. Imagine this: a website needs compelling text that gives users an idea of its brand and services. What’s the best way to present that information? Expert copywriting is a skill that blends marketing and persuasive writing aspects to produce messages that effectively reach target audiences. 

What makes a professional copywriter stand out? Here are some key skills and expertise they bring to the table:

Audience Needs

Skilled copywriters are well-versed in the demands, problems, and preferences of their target audience. They have the ability to develop messages that appeal to the audience personally and make each word have a personal resonance.

Marketing Savvy

They are more than simply wordsmiths; they know how to match their writing to the marketing plan and grasp the fundamentals of marketing. This means creating content that not only sounds good but also drives the desired business outcomes.

Research Skills

Effective copywriting is often grounded in thorough research. This could be about the product, the competition, market trends, or customer feedback. Professional copywriters know how to dig deep to find the insights that inform persuasive writing.

SEO Knowledge

In the digital age, being able to write for search engines is crucial. Professional copywriters know how to balance the art of writing with the science of SEO, ensuring content is not only engaging but also discoverable online.

Adaptability

Different projects require different voices and styles. A professional copywriter can switch between tones and styles, from formal business proposals to casual blog posts, ensuring the tone always matches the intended audience and purpose.

Storytelling

Today’s copywriting often involves storytelling, a powerful tool to create an emotional connection with the audience. Professional copywriters know how to weave narratives that make the audience relate to the message on a deeper level.

Professional copywriters are not just writing text; they are creating an experience, a connection, and a pathway to action through the power of words. Their skills and expertise are pivotal in crafting messages that not only inform and engage but also drive the audience toward a desired action or outcome.

The Impact of Professional Copywriting on Business

Professional copywriting can be a game-changer for businesses, transforming their messaging from ordinary to extraordinary. It’s like giving your brand a voice that’s not just heard but also felt and remembered. Let’s delve into how this transformation happens and look at tangible examples of its impact.

1. Enhancing Brand Image: Professional copywriting helps in crafting a consistent and compelling brand voice. This consistency across all platforms – be it your website, social media, or advertising – strengthens your brand image, making it more recognizable and trustworthy to your audience.

2. Improving Engagement: A well-crafted copy engages the reader from the first word to the last. For instance, consider an email marketing campaign. A copywriter knows how to create subject lines that stand out in an overcrowded inbox and content that keeps the reader hooked, significantly increasing open rates and engagement.

3. Boosting Conversion Rates: Effective copywriting is persuasive. It guides the reader through a journey, addressing their needs and highlighting benefits, leading to increased conversion rates. A great example is website copy. A professional copywriter can turn a static webpage into a dynamic sales tool, compelling visitors to take action, be it making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or downloading a whitepaper.

4. Enhancing SEO and Online Visibility: In the digital age, visibility is key. Professional copywriters often incorporate SEO strategies into their writing, helping content rank higher in search engine results. This increased visibility leads to more traffic, and consequently, more opportunities for conversion and sales.

5. Building Customer Trust and Loyalty: Effective copywriting does more than sell; it informs, educates, and sometimes entertains. This value-added approach can build trust and loyalty among customers. For instance, a blog that consistently provides valuable and relevant information establishes a brand as an authority in its field, fostering a sense of trust among its readers.

6. Examples of Impact:

  • An e-commerce site’s sales increased by 30% and its organic traffic increased by 50% after a professional copywriter revamped the content of the website.
  • Sales increased significantly as a result of a targeted email campaign with well-written material that had a 25% higher open rate and a 40% higher click-through rate.
  • A social media campaign with engaging and well-written content increased a brand’s followers by 20% in just three months, enhancing brand awareness and market reach.

Copywriting Across Different Platforms

Navigating the world of copywriting requires a chameleon-like ability to adapt to various platforms, each with its unique demands and audience expectations. Let’s explore how copywriting strategies differ for websites, social media, email marketing, and print media, and provide tips for tailoring content accordingly.

1. Websites

  • Focus: Clarity, engagement, and conversion.
  • Strategy: Website copy needs to be clear, concise, and directed towards guiding visitors to take a desired action, like making a purchase or signing up.
  • Tips: Use a clear structure with headlines, subheadings, and bullet points for easy navigation. SEO is crucial here, so include relevant keywords naturally.

2. Social Media:

  • Focus: Engagement, brand personality, and community building.
  • Strategy: Social media copy should be conversational, relatable, and engaging. It’s about showing the brand’s personality and connecting with the audience on a personal level.
  • Tips: Keep it short and sweet. Use compelling visuals and include calls to action like ‘Share your thoughts’ or ‘Tag a friend’. Timeliness and trending topics can greatly enhance engagement.

3. Email Marketing:

  • Focus: Personalization and conversion.
  • Strategy: Email copy should feel personal and tailored to the reader. It’s about creating a sense of one-on-one conversation.
  • Tips: Use the recipient’s name and segment your email list to provide more relevant content. The subject line is crucial – make it catchy and compelling to increase open rates.

Choosing the Right Copywriting Service

Selecting the right copywriting service is crucial for your business’s communication and marketing success. Here’s a guide to help you make an informed decision:

  • Identify Your Needs: Clearly define what type of copywriting you need – website content, social media posts, email campaigns, etc.
  • Evaluate Portfolios: Review the work samples of potential services to assess quality and style.
  • Experience and Expertise: Prefer services with experience in your industry and expertise in the type of copywriting you require.
  • Client Testimonials: Look for feedback or references from past clients to gauge reliability and effectiveness.
  • Service Scope: Determine if you need comprehensive services (including SEO, and research) or just content creation.
  • SEO Understanding: For online content, ensure the service is proficient in SEO.
  • Communication: Choose a service that communicates well and is responsive to your feedback.
  • Cost Considerations: Want to know how much to charge for content creation? The average cost lies between $90-$250.

Conclusion

Selecting the right copywriting service is a critical decision that can significantly impact your business’s communication effectiveness and marketing success. The ideal copywriting services by RevvLab play a crucial role and should not only fit your budget but also enhance your brand’s voice, engage your audience, and contribute to your overall business strategy. 

Take the time to make an informed choice, as the right words can truly make a world of difference in the competitive business landscape. So, don’t wait now and contact them now!

Aviator Online e os Seus Análogos Populares

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Comentário sobre o Aviator Moçambique

Todos os utilizadores de plataformas online já ouviram falar do jogo Aviator. Este jogo é popular em todo o mundo e também ressoa entre os utilizadores de Moçambique, que não escapou a esta popularidade. A razão do sucesso do Aviator online é muito básica: o jogo oferece uma técnica de jogo sociável que nunca foi vista antes. As regras do jogo são muito claras e justas – o utilizador tem de investir o máximo de dinheiro possível no menor tempo possível. Como resultado da sua grande popularidade e procura, muitas plataformas de apostas começaram a adicionar o Aviator à sua lista de slot machines.

Agora os jogadores têm uma escolha

Existem tantas opções que pode ser difícil para os jogadores determinar qual é o sítio perfeito para jogar Aviator. A regra mais importante ao escolher um sítio é que este deve ter uma licença de jogo, sendo também crucial que o sítio tenha uma versão de demonstração ou jogos que possam ser jogados sem utilizar dinheiro real. O Aviator é adequado para todos os jogadores, independentemente da sua experiência de jogo. Mesmo que nunca tenha jogado slot machines antes, deve experimentar o Aviator – a mecânica do Aviator é muito diferente de outros jogos semelhantes. É muito simples e fácil de compreender. Pode escolher a estratégia do jogo. Também pode confiar na sua intuição, mas recomendamos que siga a estratégia escolhida a maior parte do tempo, para ter mais hipóteses de ganhar.

Aviator e os seus análogos – novos jogos de apostas no mercado da indústria dos jogos de azar

Em 2019, a empresa Spribe lançou no mercado a novidade dos jogos de azar. Esta novidade foi o jogo Aviator. O novo produto tornou-se instantaneamente um sucesso e tornou-se literalmente famoso em todo o mundo. A essência do jogo é que os jogadores têm tempo para retirar apostas com coeficientes aumentados no ecrã antes que a aeronave que paira deixe o ecrã do jogo e traga dinheiro num futuro distante.

Seleccione a melhor plataforma online para jogar Aviator

Escolher a melhor plataforma online para jogar Aviator pode ser uma tarefa difícil, especialmente para os principiantes, e requer tempo e esforço. Para tornar o processo de pesquisa o mais fácil possível, decidimos preparar uma lista de factores a que deve prestar especial atenção ao escolher uma plataforma para jogar Aviator:

  • Fiabilidade. Este é o fator mais importante na escolha de uma plataforma de casino online. Se escolher uma plataforma não fiável, os seus dados pessoais podem estar em risco. Preste atenção à presença de uma licença de casino. Procure opiniões de utilizadores reais em vários sites online e, com base na informação obtida, poderá compreender melhor a situação;
  • Praticidade: Depende das suas preferências. Estude as características externas e internas de alguns dos sítios mais populares. Preste atenção à interface, ao design e à navegação do sítio. Compare os sítios com base nestes indicadores. Em seguida, estude os métodos de pagamento e a velocidade de levantamento do dinheiro. Tudo isto afecta a qualidade do processo de jogo:
  • Serviço ao cliente. Descubra como funciona o serviço de apoio ao cliente e como entrar em contacto com o serviço de apoio ao cliente. Normalmente, a forma mais rápida de contactar o apoio ao cliente é através do chat em linha no sítio Web. Se demorar algum tempo a obter uma resposta, mas quiser adicionar fotografias ou outros ficheiros para compreender melhor a situação, o correio eletrónico também é uma opção.

Todos estes elementos são muito importantes. Após um estudo cuidadoso, escolha o mais adequado para a sua situação.

Conclusão

Por isso, é fácil começar a jogar Aviator Moçambique – tudo o que precisa de fazer é escolher uma plataforma de apostas que seja adequada para si. Existem muitas plataformas de casino online que oferecem acesso a este jogo. Segue as instruções deste artigo para fazeres a tua primeira aposta no Aviator Moçambique e começares a ganhar dinheiro real neste jogo viciante.

Africa’s commodities platform AFEX launches digital platform for trading commodities

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Africa’s commodities player, AFEX, has launched a new digital platform dubbed Africa Exchange, aimed at trading commodities.

African Exchange platform  follows AFEX’s first foray into digital commodities trading with the launch of ComX in 20 .It further transforms the commodities space in Africa by enabling commodities market players to meet and interact both in the physical and financial markets. Data and information crucial to decision-making are readily available on the platform, offering a comprehensive and informed trading experience.

Commenting on the launch, Akinyinka Akintunde, CEO and President of AFEX Nigeria, said: “As a team, we are excited and proud to launch Africa Exchange as another step in building the digital infrastructure to facilitate trade across Africa. With this launch, our goal is to boost the commodities market in Africa and allow more investors to participate with all the information that they need at their fingertips”.

Africa Exchange provides a structured marketplace duly regulated by Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), ensuring that users can participate in various trade or investment opportunities.

Africa Exchange will replace ComX, which has served over 80,000 investors in Nigeria and facilitated trades worth over USD 200 million since it was launched in 2020. The transition further bolsters AFEX’s mission of facilitating wealth creation for a new generation of Africans by providing them with alternative investment options to enrich their existing portfolios. Additionally, AFEX aims to enhance intra-African trade by strengthening commodities trading within Africa and supporting the African Continental Free Trade Agreement’s (AFCFTA) mission to improve regional trade integration to boost economic development and food security across the continent.

Akinyinka added, “Commodities have been high-performing assets in recent years; in 2021, commodities were the third highest performing asset class, averaging about 37.1% in returns, while stocks averaged about 36.9%. The commodities market has grown in sophistication over the years with the likes of commodity brokers and other institutional players making their mark and creating opportunities for trading. With Africa Exchange, we are opening the African commodities ecosystem to more investors and players. Through the platform, users can directly trade physical commodities or invest in commodity-backed financial instruments.”

Alongside the platform launch, AFEX is also reintroducing its innovative Fair Trade ETC (FETC) product. The FETC is a commodity bundle in one contract designed to provide investors with exposure to the market in a way that maximizes the risk-return balance of the underlying commodities. The instrument has a maturity period of 270 days and historically significant returns, with both tranches in 2022 returning 31% and 20%, respectively. The FETC is set to open on the Africa Exchange platform on the 1st of December at a unit price of just N1000, and for the first time in the product’s history, it will be tradeable within the tenor period, after a 120-day hold. 

Funto Olasemo, Vice President, Financial Markets at AFEX, said, ‘For the last 8 months, we have been focused on improving our core infrastructure and delivering a better digital interface for commodities trading and investment on the continent. We have continued to also pursue product innovation, and the new tranche of our FETC product is a great example of that.”

“The FETC has been a hugely successful product since we introduced it in 2020, and we have structured a tradeable component into this tranche, giving investors even more freedom as they build wealth. The team is excited that we are facilitating wealth creation for a new generation of Africans by providing them with alternative investment options to enrich their portfolios.” 

AFEX is committed to improving intra-African trade. To achieve this goal, the company has been bullish in pursuing its strategic Pan-African expansion plan since expanding into Kenya and Uganda in 2021 and 2022. AFEX is set to expand to six other African countries within the next few years with the aim of promoting efficient trade in commodities across the continent while supporting the objectives of the AFCFTA to boost regional trade integration. 

 Dubai launches US$ 136 million venture capital fund designed to finance technology startups

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The Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ) has launched a venture capital (VC) fund worth US$136 million intended to finance technology startups.

The fund is the first investment programme launched under the name of Oraseya Capital, the venture capital arm of DIEZ specialising in venture investment operations in startups. It will play a pivotal role in supporting startups from the pre-seed stage and extending all the way to the Series B investment stage.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of DIEZ, said the launch of Oraseya Capital and the creation of a US$136 million VC fund for technology startups represents a strategic move that aligns with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to support the growth of the Dubai’s digital economy sector.

His Highness added: “This qualitative strategic initiative supports the efforts of DIEZ to enhance its contribution to Dubai’s economy and the growth of the SME sector, which is a vital segment of the economy and serves the overarching goal of achieving comprehensive and sustainable development. This will ensure the continued sustainability and progress of Dubai’s economy in the decades to come”.

“The establishment of this VC fund serves as a major boost for accomplished companies looking to build a global presence. It will play a pivotal role in strengthening Dubai’s status as a nurturing ground for the most innovative, advanced and creative enterprises worldwide,” His Highness concluded.

One of the fund’s core objectives is to address the existing gaps in corporate finance, particularly during these crucial developmental stages.

Abdul Aziz Abdulla Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chambers, said: “The launch of DIEZ’s investment fund reflects Dubai’s growing position as a leading destination for investments and a global hub for financing technology startups.”

He added: “We remain committed to achieving our strategic priorities by attracting international businesses and investments to Dubai and supporting the continuous growth of the digital economy. We greatly value DIEZ’s initiative, which represents an advanced step towards enhancing Dubai’s global competitiveness in attracting and financing technology startups.”

Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Executive Chairman of DIEZ, said: “Oraseya Capital’s core values include effective engagement, support for modern technology and the cultivation of creative ideas. The emphasis is on fostering a collaborative ecosystem for innovative entrepreneurs to exchange ideas, knowledge and resources. This initiative prioritises adaptability by remaining open to new opportunities and contemporary technologies that align with the fund’s objectives. Integrity stands at the forefront, with a commitment to upholding the highest standards of transparency, all in service of supporting and financing technology companies at the emirate’s level.

“The VC fund’s primary focus lies in the strategic investment of startups exhibiting substantial growth potential. Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs from various corners of the world to nurture and establish innovative enterprises. This endeavour is instrumental in strengthening Oraseya Capital’s standing as a premier venture investment company for startups, eagerly sought after by both entrepreneurs and investors alike, all of whom aspire to reshape the landscape and future of advanced technology sectors,” he added.

The VC fund excels at providing support to companies that are part of its investment portfolio by adopting a direct guidance approach and active participation to help companies ensure their success and growth instead of investing in assets only.

South Africa’s GoMetro secures £9m funding to digitise heavy-duty commercial transport operations

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GoMetro, a South African tech company has secured a £9 million Series A funding round led by Zenobē, with participation from FutureGrowth Asset Managers.

The investment is aimed to support GoMetro’s mission to digitise heavy-duty commercial transport operations and further develop its state-of-the-art fleet management platform in its key markets of the United Kingdom, EU, USA and South Africa.

GoMetro founder, Justin Coetzee. “Embracing data-driven decision-making systems that empower operators to better manage fleet utilisation, optimise resources, reduce risk and enhance customer satisfaction can be a real competitive edge that catapults transport companies beyond the reach of their competitors,”

GoMetro’s flagship product, Bridge, is a platform that consolidates vehicle data into a unified system. With GoMetro Bridge, users gain access to a wide range of telematics-driven features specifically designed to support their transition to all-electric fleets – using their own telematics data to provide an assessment of the fit to expected EV adoption scenarios for a fleet owner.

GoMetro aims to use this funding to strengthen its software platform to provide fleet operators with even more robust tools for managing and optimising all-electric fleets. This includes refining existing features and introducing new functionalities that align with the evolving needs of the industry, as well as expanding the number of devices supported on GoMetro Bridge.

Zenobē Energy, an EV fleet and grid-scale battery storage specialist headquartered in the UK, brings a wealth of experience and strategic value to this investment. With a global footprint, Zenobē currently supports over 1,000 electric buses, trucks, and commercial vehicles. The company is committed to supporting 4,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2026.  

The Electric Transport-as-a-Service (ETaaS) solution, offered by Zenobē, encompasses on-board battery replacement, charging infrastructure, and a sophisticated software platform for energy optimisation. 

“This Series A funding is a pivotal moment for GoMetro, and we are thrilled to have Zenobē and FutureGrowth as our lead investors in our round,” says Coetzee. “Getting the chance to apply our technology to the biggest single electric bus fleet in the United Kingdom will accelerate our research and development into supporting EV buses and trucks on GoMetro Bridge. Data-driven fleet management and telematics is entering a new golden age with EV adoption – and there is a massive opportunity in this key watershed moment in an industry transition.”

“GoMetro’s customer and data-driven approach to fleet management aligns seamlessly with our vision for the future of sustainable transportation. We are excited to support their growth into new markets as well as to provide the capital to accelerate their product development,” says Steven Meersman, Founder Director at Zenobē.

“Our investment in GoMetro aligns perfectly with FutureGrowth’s vision of fostering sustainable and technologically advanced solutions in the transport sector. We are excited to be part of GoMetro’s journey, and we look forward to the positive impacts this will bring to the industry and the environment,” comments Amrish Narrandes, Head of Private Equity and Venture Capital at FutureGrowth.

In addition to using the Series A funding to help it solidify its operations in the UK, EU and South Africa, GoMetro is further focused on expansion to the US, Latin America and Australia in the next 12 months. This includes establishing partnerships and collaborations with businesses, governments, and organisations committed to sustainable transportation solutions. As governments worldwide intensify their focus on reducing carbon emissions, the collaborative efforts between GoMetro and Zenobē aim to tackle the challenges of decarbonising road transport.

Highlights of the Kenya Innovation Week 2023 Commonwealth Edition

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Kenya Innovation Week 2023 is invigorated through a strategic collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat.

The event, titled Kenya Innovation Week 2023 – Commonwealth Edition kicked off on November 27 and will be ongoing till December 1, 2023.

Distinguished attendees include Commonwealth leaders, government officials, business and academic representatives, along with a delegation from the Commonwealth Secretariat led by the Secretary-General, the Retired Hon. Patricia Scotland KC.

This year’s edition marks the debut of the Commonwealth component, operating under the theme ‘Innovating to Unlock Our Common Wealth.’

The event, hosted at the Edge Convention Centre, delves into the key actors, linkages, growth potential, challenges, and existing opportunities within the Commonwealth innovation system.

Additionally, the week has witnessed the launch of Kenya’s 10-year Innovation Masterplan by Kenya’s President, William Ruto who expressed enthusiasm for the participation in the week’s activities, emphasizing its role in celebrating Commonwealth ingenuity and growth.

He stated, “The event will not only showcase Kenya’s brilliant innovations but also spotlight the key actors and linkages within the Commonwealth innovation system.”

During the innovation week, winners of the Secretary-General’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Awards were announced, each recipient receiving a trophy, certificate, and £3,000 in prize money.

The winners will also gain ongoing support for their work and the opportunity to engage in high-level forums.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General highlighted the significance of innovation in fostering a more prosperous, equitable, and resilient society. She underscored the Secretariat’s commitment to creating opportunities for advancement, especially in light of the progress, talent, and innovation across the continent.

The week has featured various activities, including thematic summits, panel discussions, keynote addresses, fireside chats, workshops, awards and networking events.

Exhibitions from participating organizations, groups, and countries are still running throughout the event.

Commonwealth activities encompass a Ministerial Roundtable Discussion on Science, Technology, and Innovation, as well as involvement from the Commonwealth Youth Council and the Commonwealth Businesswomen’s Network.

In an effort to enhance the skills of citizens from Commonwealth countries, applications are open for the Commonwealth Africa Cyber Fellowship program, supporting cybersecurity experts in knowledge exchange, partnership building, and policy influence until December 10, 2023.

Cabinet Secretary CS for Youth Affairs, Creative Economy and Sports, Ababu Namwamba said, “Kenya is a big leader in the space of innovation…there is a very strong commitment from government to deploy innovation as the key pivot in the economic development of our country. At the ministry, we have embraced innovation and everything is innovation driven.”

Innovation’s role in development is becoming integral across all teams within the Commonwealth Secretariat, fostering collaborations with partner organizations.

Follow hashtag #KIW2023CommonwealthEdition to engage in conversations around the tech extravaganza.

Tecno Spark 20C announced, has Dynamic Island-style notch, 50MP camera and affordable price

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Tecno announced Spark 20C, its latest entry-level smartphone meant for the affordable price segment. The company still managed to spice it up with a couple interesting features, including a Dynamic Island-style notch, a big battery and a 50 MP main camera.

The Spark 20C has a 6.6” LCD with 720p resolution, a Dynamic Island-style notch and supports 90 Hz refresh rate. The whole handset is 8.75 mm thin, with the trending flat sides look introduced by the iPhone.

Under the hood, there is an octa-core CPU with Cortex-A53 units running at 2.2 GHz but Tecno did not reveal the exact chipset, some have speculated it’s the Mediatek Helio G36. The phone comes with 128 GB storage, which can be expanded through a microSD slot. There are two RAM options – 4 GB or 8 GB.

The Spark 20C has 50 MP main cam on the back, which is rare at this price segment, There’s also an secondary camera next to it but its specifications were not revealed, usually such sensors are used to take depth info on images to help in portrait style photography. The selfie camera has a 8 MP sensor and sits inside the Dynamic Island-looking notch.

Speaking of, the Dynamic Island-like notch, it brings nice animations around the selfie camera, acting as a notification bar when the phone is plugged in, among other alerts. The rest of the device runs on Android 13 with Tecno’s custom UI on top.

The 5,000 mAh battery supports 18W charging on the USB-C port, another rare feature in the entry level segment. Other specs include an FM radio, a 3.5 mm audio jack, dual speakers and а fingerprint scanner on the side.

Tecno Spark 20C comes in Gravity Black, Mystery White, and Alpenglow Gold colors. There is also a paint job called “Magic Skin” which is Green in color and is created from a 100% recycled plastic panel. The Spark 20C being an entry level device will have prices starting from $130.

Redmi K70 and K70 pro unveiled, flagship performance for half the price

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Redmi took center stage to unveil the Redmi K70 and Redmi K70 Pro smartphones. Both have a new 50 MP main camera, fast charging and flagship chipsets.

Redmi K70

This is the more affordable version of the two devices. Redmi K70 is equipped with a 6.67” OLED with 1440p resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate. The 12-bit can show 68.7 billion colors and reach up to a blinding 4,000 nits peak brightness. That brightness level is the highest in the industry per the company claims.

The Redmi K70 runs on Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 – Qualcomm’s flagship chipset for 2022. It’s paired with a choice of 12 GB or 16 GB RAM and between 256 GB and 1 TB of UFS 4.0 storage. The device also has a 5,000 sq.mm cooling chamber that prevents your phone from quickly overheating during intensive tasks ensuring sustained high performance.  

The main 50 MP camera on the back features optical image stabilization (OIS) to even out shaky hands when recording or taking photos. There is also an 8 MP ultrawide-angle shooter and a 2 MP depth sensor. The fourth circle on the back houses the LED flash not a camera sensor. The front-facing camera has a 16 MP sensor.

Powering the Redmi K70 is a 5,000 mAh battery that supports 120W charging that enables it to fully charge in just 18 minutes.

Redmi K70 comes with the new HyperOS based on Android 14. It does have NFC, Bluetooth 5.3 and a dual nano-SIM slot. The missing bits are a microSD slot, and a 3.5 mm audio jack.

Color options are White, Black, Moonstone Blue, and Violet. Prices start from $350 for the 12/256 GB variant and reach $480 for the mightiest 16 GB/1 TB version. Sales start on December 1st.

Redmi K70 Pro

Moving on to the higher tier Redmi K70 Pro, Xiaomi went for the same screen size 6.67” OLED display of 1440p. This means it also gets the industry leading 4000 nits peak brightness.

The Pro’s main camera matches the 50 MP sensor with OIS of the Redmi K70. However, the Pro takes photography up a notch with a 50 MP proper telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom and a better 12 MP ultrawide shooter. The selfie camera remains at 16 MP though.

The Redmi K70 pro runs on the latest and greatest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3– Qualcomm’s current flagship chipset. It is the same chipset you will find on other manufactures’ flagship phones worth double the price of the K70 Pro.

The 5,000 mAh battery has 120W charging capable of 18 minutes full charge. All other specifications are similar to the non-pro K70.

Redmi K70 Pro comes in three colors – Black, White, and Blue. Despite its high end flagship performance, the K70 pro starts at $465 for 12/256 GB, $505 for 16/256 GB, $550 for 16/512 GB and $620 for 24 GB RAM and 1 TB storage.

Education PS, Belio Kipsang hails YSK for nurturing innovation from an early age and ensuring that no learner is left behind

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Today, the Young Scientist Kenya (YSK) National Science and Technology Exhibition 2023 showcased an array of groundbreaking projects, leaving attendees, including Education Principal Secretary (PS) Belio Kipsang, in awe of the remarkable talent and ingenuity displayed by young minds.

Mr Kipsang expressed deep admiration for the students’ creativity, emphasizing the transformative role that such innovation could play in Kenya’s future.

He noted that early engagement with innovation is crucial for harnessing the full potential of young individuals.

“The students’ projects exhibited incredible feats in innovation and imagination, proving that there is immense potential for young people’s involvement in shaping our technological landscape,” stated the PS during the event.

The exhibition is a platform that celebrates and nurtures the inventive spirit of young Kenyans.

The event received strong support from various partners, and the PS extended gratitude to these collaborators for their commitment to fostering innovation.

As the National Exhibition Awards and closing ceremony unfolded at the Edge Convention Center in Nairobi during the 3rd edition of the Kenya Innovation Week 2023- Commonwealth edition, the PS expressed optimism about the future development of the showcased projects.

“We celebrate what we have done, and we look forward to hearing in the future that some of the projects can move to the next level of development,” he remarked.

The event, marked by the official hashtags #YSKNationalExhibition2023 and #Leavenolearnerbehind, highlighted the significance of empowering young minds for the nation’s progress.

The YSK National Science and Technology Exhibition 2023 proved to be a testament to Kenya’s commitment to nurturing innovation from an early age and ensuring that no learner is left behind.

Virtual Reality Casinos: Revolutionizing the Online Gambling Scene

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In recent years, a groundbreaking technology has started to make its mark in the online gambling world: Virtual Reality (VR). VR technology offers an immersive experience, taking the digital gaming experience to new heights. It’s not just about playing a game; it’s about stepping into a whole new world, a virtual casino that replicates the sights, sounds, and interactions of a real-life gambling floor. With VR headsets and compatible accessories, players can now walk through virtual casinos, interact with other players and dealers, and play games with a realism that was previously unimaginable in the online domain.

The Advent of VR in Online Gambling

The gambling industry has witnessed a dramatic evolution over the past few decades. Traditional casinos, with their glamorous ambience and bustling energy, have long been the cornerstone of the gambling world. However, the late 20th century marked a significant shift with the advent of online gambling platforms.

This transition was driven by the internet revolution, enabling players to access a myriad of casino games from the comfort of their homes. Online gambling platforms rapidly grew in popularity, offering ease of access, privacy, and a diverse range of games. This digital shift not only democratized gambling but also laid the foundation for future technological integrations.

The introduction of Virtual Reality (VR) technology in the gaming industry marked a pivotal moment. VR, known for its ability to create immersive, three-dimensional virtual environments, opened new possibilities for enhancing the online gambling experience. By donning a VR headset, players could now experience a level of immersion that was previously the exclusive domain of physical casinos. This technology promised to bridge the gap between the convenience of online play and the rich, engaging experience of a real-world casino.

The early examples of VR casinos were both a technological marvel and a bold venture into uncharted territory. Companies like SlotsMillion launched the first fully functional VR casino in 2015, offering a glimpse into the potential of VR in the gambling sector. These early VR casinos allowed players to walk around simulated casino floors, learn how to win at slots and engage in various table games.

The reception was a mix of awe and curiosity, with players enthralled by the realistic casino experience and industry experts predicting a new era in online gambling. Despite initial challenges such as high equipment costs and limited VR content, these pioneering efforts were crucial in demonstrating VR’s potential in transforming online gambling experiences.

Technical Aspects of VR Casinos

At the core of Virtual Reality casinos lies a sophisticated blend of hardware and software. The hardware component primarily consists of VR headsets like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or Sony PlayStation VR. These devices are equipped with sensors to track head movements, allowing the virtual environment to respond in real-time. Additionally, hand controllers and sometimes even full-body suits are used to capture the player’s actions, enabling interaction with the virtual casino environment.

The software aspect involves the creation of immersive 3D environments. This is achieved through advanced game development platforms like Unity or Unreal Engine. These platforms allow for the design of highly detailed casino spaces, complete with realistic slot machines, gaming tables, and even NPC (non-player character) casino patrons and dealers. The software also includes user interface design, ensuring that navigation and interaction within the VR casino are intuitive and seamless.

User Experience: Immersion, Interaction, Realism

The user experience in VR casinos is profoundly different from traditional online gambling. Immersion is the key element – players feel like they are physically inside a casino. This is achieved through 360-degree visuals and spatial audio, which replicates the sounds of a real casino. Interaction is another crucial aspect. Players can use hand controllers to place bets, spin roulette wheels, or interact with objects and other players within the game. This level of interaction adds a social dimension that is often missing in standard online casinos.

Realism in VR casinos is not just about visual fidelity but also about replicating the atmosphere and dynamics of a real casino. This includes the ability to move around freely, observe games and players, and even engage in conversations with other players or virtual dealers, adding a layer of social interaction that enhances the gaming experience.

Technical Challenges and Current Limitations

Despite the advancements, VR casinos face several technical challenges. One significant issue is the requirement for high-end hardware. VR headsets and compatible PCs or gaming consoles can be expensive, limiting accessibility for a broader audience. Additionally, the concern of motion sickness in VR is not entirely solved, which can deter some users from prolonged gaming sessions.

From a software perspective, creating detailed and engaging virtual environments is resource-intensive. There’s also the challenge of ensuring these environments are stable and scalable to handle multiple users simultaneously.

The Future of VR in Online Gambling

The landscape of Virtual Reality in online gambling is poised for remarkable growth, driven by continuous technological advancements. One emerging trend is the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with VR, enhancing personalized gaming experiences. AI algorithms can tailor the virtual environment to individual preferences, creating a more engaging and user-centric experience.

Another advancement is in haptic feedback technology, which adds a tactile dimension to VR, allowing players to feel sensations like the shuffle of cards or the spin of a slot machine. Moreover, advancements in wireless and standalone VR headsets are making VR more accessible, eliminating the need for expensive and cumbersome equipment.

Cloud-based VR is another frontier, reducing the need for high-end local hardware and making VR casinos more accessible to a broader audience. Additionally, the integration of augmented reality (AR) elements in VR casinos could lead to a more blended and versatile gaming experience, combining the best of both worlds.

Predictions for the VR Gambling Landscape

The future of VR in online gambling is not just an extension of current trends but a potential paradigm shift. One prediction is that VR casinos will become more prevalent, offering experiences that are as rich and varied as those in real-world casinos. This could significantly broaden the appeal of online gambling to those who prioritize the experiential and social aspects of casino gaming.

Furthermore, live dealer games in VR could become more mainstream, combining the authenticity of live casino gaming with the immersive environment of VR. This could redefine online gambling, offering a hybrid experience that blurs the lines between online and physical gambling.

Challenges and Opportunities

With these advancements come significant challenges. The primary concern remains the digital divide – ensuring that advancements in VR gambling are accessible to a wider audience, not just those with the means to afford high-end technology. Regulatory challenges will also be significant, as the immersive nature of VR gambling raises new questions about responsible gaming and player protection.

On the opportunity front, VR casinos have the potential to revolutionize not just gambling but also online social interactions. They could become hubs for a range of entertainment and social activities, expanding their appeal beyond traditional gambling audiences.

In conclusion, the future of VR in online gambling is a canvas for innovation. It holds the promise of transforming the industry and offering unparalleled gaming experiences. However, realizing this potential will require navigating technological, regulatory, and social challenges with a focus on accessibility, responsibility, and continuous innovation.

Tunisian SaaS startup Winshot raises six-figure investment  to grow its business

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Tunisian SaaS startup  Winshot,  has raised a six-figure investment from 216 Capital aimed to enhance operational  efficiency and elevate the overall in-store customer experience for brands, retail chains, and franchise leaders.  

Founded in 2022 by Walid Mzoughi, Alaa Mokrani, Amjed Bouhouch and Hela Gabsi, Winshot is a B2B software-as-a-service (SaaS) retail operations management startup that helps retail companies digitally connect, manage, and engage their deskless workforce.

Dhekra Khelifi, partner at 216 Capital, emphasises, “A fantastic team and a product that  addresses a real need in a promising market—these are the reasons why we invested in  Winshot. Our investment reflects our confidence in their potential and our commitment to  supporting their journey to success.”

Winshot has revolutionised the operational landscape for businesses spanning Europe,  Africa, and the Middle East. It tackles the intricate challenges of distribution networks by  focusing on two pivotal elements: Empowering Internal Frontline Teams by  fostering stronger connections, deeper  involvement, and heightened engagement among internal frontline teams operating both  in the field and at the retail store.This includes roles such as merchandisers, network  animators, store managers, store associates, and area and regional managers.

It also deals with Real-time Monitoring, utilising key performance indicators which ensures the seamless  application of processes and adherence to brand standards at every retail store within the  distribution network. 

The startup recently concluded a noteworthy funding round, with 216 Capital leading the  investment charge. These financial resources are earmarked for establishing high-caliber  marketing and sales teams, solidifying a robust market presence in both France and Tunisia.  As an active member of French Tech Marseille, Winshot is poised to leverage opportunities across ecosystems on both sides of the Mediterranean.

Kenya’s IPay Adopts Visa’s Tap-To-Phone Payment Solution to simplify digital payments

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iPay, a Kenyan-based digital payment platform, has partnered with Visa to introduce Visa’s Tap-to-Phone technology aimed at simplifying digital payments for both merchants and customers.

Dubbed Tap Ulipe, the solution is integrated into a sleek, portable, internet enabled MobiGo 2 device,comparable in size to modern smartphones. It offers merchants a wide range of solutions beyond traditional payments without having to invest in clunky POS machines. In addition, merchants can also download the Tap to Ulipe app from the Google Play store on their Near-Field-Communication (NFC) enabled smartphones to accept contactless payments.

Philip Nyamwaya, CEO of iPay said, “We’re thrilled about the opportunities that Tap Ulipe brings to ourvalued merchant network. This innovative technology has the potential to unlock previously untapped revenue from customer transactions, giving them access to more money.”

With a focus on ease and security, Tap Ulipe aims to drive increased sales for iPay’s merchants, marking a significant advancement in the small business payment landscape.Serving more than 10,000 merchants across multiple sectors,

iPay has been instrumental in driving the adoption of digital payments in the country for over 13 years. The move is part of iPay’s long-term strategy to provide its merchants with the latest advancements in digital payment technology.

Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, Visa Kenya Country Manager highlighted the importance of the adoption of Tap to Phone technology as a solid growth strategy for small businesses across Kenya.She remarked, “We believe that the partnership between iPay and Visa Kenya will be a game changer for merchants.

With Tap to Phone technology, businesses can provide their customers with easy and secure contactless payments, giving them peace of mind and encouraging repeat purchases. It is a powerful tool that will elevate the way small businesses transact allowing them to thrive in the ever-changing digital landscape.”

To stay ahead in the rapidly evolving world of digital payments and unlock the full potential of their business, merchants are encouraged to register interest by applying for the device on the iPay website to access Tap Ulipe technology which has numerous benefits including;

Minimal settlement fees which allows for greater profitability, faster settlement of daily transactions which increases access to cash, simple-to-use tech with zero maintenance which enhances convenience in accepting multiple customer payment methods, free fee for applicants who take up the MobiGo 2 device during phase one of the roll-out,access to credit from iPay’s finance partners listed on the iPay websi and access to short term working capital as you run more transactions through your iPay Tap to Phone.

iPay’s CEO added, “Our collaboration with Visa Kenya marks an important milestone in the digital payment landscape and further solidifies our commitment to staying at the forefront of digital payment innovation.”

Revolutionize Your Salon Business with High-End Salon Software

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In today’s fast-paced world of beauty and wellness, staying ahead of the competition requires precision and efficiency. That’s where high end salon software comes into play. This powerful tool has the potential to transform your salon business, making it more streamlined, organized, and ultimately, more profitable. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of high-end salon software and explore why it’s a game-changer for salon owners and managers.

The Evolution of Salon Management

Gone are the days of manual appointment books and handwritten receipts. The beauty industry has evolved, and so has the need for sophisticated salon management solutions.

Why High-End Salon Software?

Efficient Appointment Scheduling. High-end salon software allows you to manage appointments seamlessly. It eliminates double bookings and helps you optimize your salon’s schedule.

Inventory Management. Keep track of your salon’s inventory effortlessly. Know when it’s time to restock products and ensure you never run out of essential items.

Client Management. Build and maintain a detailed client database. Access client history, preferences, and contact information with ease.

Payment Processing. Streamline payment processing and offer various payment options to your clients, making their experience more convenient.

Marketing and Promotions. Create targeted marketing campaigns and promotions. Reach out to your clients with special offers and keep them engaged.

Reporting and Analytics. Gain valuable insights into your salon’s performance with detailed reports and analytics. Make data-driven decisions to improve your business.

Key Features of High-End Salon Software

  • Online Booking. Allow clients to book appointments online 24/7, reducing phone call volumes and increasing bookings.
  • Staff Management. Easily manage your team’s schedules, track their performance, and calculate commissions.
  • POS Integration. Seamlessly integrate your point-of-sale system for efficient transactions and inventory management.
  • Appointment Reminders. Send automated appointment reminders to clients via email or SMS, reducing no-shows.
  • Marketing Tools. Create and launch marketing campaigns, loyalty programs, and referral incentives to attract and retain clients.
  • Security. Ensure the security of client data and financial information with robust encryption and data protection measures.

Choosing the Right High-End Salon Software

  • Scalability. Ensure that the software can grow with your salon business and accommodate your expanding needs.
  • User-Friendly Interface. Opt for software that is intuitive and easy for both staff and clients to use.
  • Customer Support. Select a software provider that offers excellent customer support and training resources.
  • Integration. Consider whether the software can seamlessly integrate with other tools and platforms you use.

Why High-End Matters

 Investing in high-end salon software isn’t just about having the latest technology; it’s about providing the best experience for your clients and optimizing your operations. High-end software offers advanced features, superior support, and a more polished user experience.

Conclusion 

In the competitive world of salon and spa businesses, having the right tools at your disposal is essential. High-end salon software is more than just a luxury; it’s a strategic investment in the success and growth of your salon. If you’re ready to revolutionize your salon business, explore the possibilities with high end salon software. Elevate your salon’s efficiency, customer service, and profitability with this game-changing technology. Your clients and your bottom line will thank you.

Unleashing the Sky: The Evolution and Applications of Drones

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In the vast expanse between earth and sky, a technological revolution has taken flight – the era of drones. These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have not only evolved dramatically over the years but have also found extensive applications across various industries. In this article, we’ll explore the ever-expanding realm of drones, shedding light on their evolution, applications, and the profound impact they’ve had on different sectors.

The Rise of Drones: A Technological Soar

The inception of drones traces back to military applications, where they were initially designed for reconnaissance and surveillance. However, as technology advanced and miniaturization became more feasible, drones began transcending their military roots, entering the civilian and commercial spheres.

Versatility in Design: From Quadcopters to Fixed-Wing Drones

One of the remarkable aspects of drone technology is its versatility in design. Drones come in various configurations, each serving specific purposes. Quadcopters, with their four-rotor design, provide stability and agility, making them ideal for tasks such as aerial photography and surveillance. On the other hand, fixed-wing drones are more adept at covering larger distances efficiently, making them suitable for mapping and surveying applications.

Aerial Photography and Cinematography: Capturing Perspectives Unseen

One of the most widespread applications of drones is in the realm of aerial photography and cinematography. Drones equipped with high-resolution cameras enable photographers and filmmakers to access perspectives that were once impractical or impossible. From sweeping panoramic shots of landscapes to dynamic aerial sequences in movies, the possibilities are as vast as the skies themselves.

Surveying and Mapping: Precision from Above

In industries such as construction, agriculture, and land surveying, the use of drones has become synonymous with precision and efficiency. Drones have contributed to the development of tools that enable professionals to create detailed maps, monitor crops, and survey construction sites with unparalleled accuracy. The ability to access hard-to-reach areas and capture high-resolution images has streamlined processes and reduced costs in these sectors.

Search and Rescue Operations: Eyes in the Sky

Drones have emerged as invaluable tools in search and rescue operations. Equipped with thermal imaging cameras and other sensors, these UAVs empower first responders to cover vast areas quickly, identify heat signatures, and locate missing persons in challenging terrains. The speed and efficiency of drones in these critical scenarios can be a matter of life and death.

Environmental Monitoring: Safeguarding Mother Earth

As environmental concerns grow, drones have found a crucial role in monitoring and preserving ecosystems. UAVs have been utilized in wildlife tracking, forest monitoring, and pollution detection. Drones equipped with specialized sensors can collect data in real-time, providing researchers and conservationists with valuable insights into the health of our planet.

Infrastructure Inspection: Scaling Heights for Maintenance

Inspecting critical infrastructure, such as bridges, power lines, and communication towers, has traditionally been a challenging and often hazardous task. Drones have transformed this field, navigating complex structures with precision, capturing high-resolution images, and identifying potential issues before they escalate. This not only ensures the safety of inspectors but also minimizes downtime and maintenance costs.

Agriculture and Crop Management: Precision Farming Takes Flight

In the realm of agriculture, drones have revolutionized crop management practices. Equipped with advanced sensors and imaging technology, drones can monitor crop health, identify areas requiring irrigation or pest control, and optimize farming practices. The data collected by agricultural drones enables farmers to make informed decisions, leading to increased yields and sustainable farming practices.

Delivery and Logistics: Drones in the Last Mile

The concept of using drones for package delivery has gained significant traction in recent years. Companies exploring drone delivery aim to overcome challenges in the last mile of logistics. Drones can navigate traffic and deliver packages quickly to remote or hard-to-reach locations. This application has the potential to reshape the future of logistics, making deliveries more efficient and reducing carbon emissions associated with traditional delivery methods.

Security and Surveillance: Unblinking Eyes in the Sky

The role of drones in security and surveillance has expanded across public and private sectors. Law enforcement agencies use drones for crowd monitoring, event security, and search operations. Private enterprises deploy drones to secure large facilities, monitor borders, and enhance overall security. The aerial perspective provided by drones offers a comprehensive view, enhancing situational awareness and response capabilities.

The Regulatory Landscape: Navigating the Skies Responsibly

As the drone industry continues to soar, regulations and guidelines have become integral to ensuring safe and responsible use. The collaboration between manufacturers, regulatory bodies, and users is crucial for maintaining the positive trajectory of the drone industry.

Challenges and Future Trajectory: Soaring Beyond the Horizon

While the applications of drones are vast and promising, challenges persist. Issues related to privacy, airspace management, and the integration of drones into existing air traffic systems require ongoing attention and collaboration. The future promises new heights of innovation and exploration as drones continue to evolve, contributing to advancements across various industries.

In Conclusion: Navigating the Horizon of Possibilities

In conclusion, the evolution of drone technology represents a transformative chapter in technological innovation. From their roots in military reconnaissance to becoming indispensable tools across various sectors, drones have unleashed possibilities that were once confined to the realm of science fiction. As we navigate the skies with these technological marvels, the horizon is limitless, and the future promises new heights of innovation and exploration. Whether capturing breathtaking aerial views, optimizing agricultural practices, or enhancing security measures, drones have become a symbol of human ingenuity and the boundless potential that awaits in the skies above.

Suss Digital Africa named the Best Agency of the Year at the Marketing Society of Kenya Awards Gala

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Suss Digital Africa, a Kenyan marketing and communication agency  secured multiple awards at the Marketing Society of Kenya Awards Gala held on Friday, November 24th, 2023, at the Kenya International Conference Centre (KICC). 

The company was named the Best Agency of the Year,a testament to Suss Digital’s dedication, creativity, and impact on the digital marketing landscape.

The team at Suss Digital Africa expressed immense gratitude to their stakeholders and clients, acknowledging the pivotal role they played in the agency’s success.

The event served as a platform for the industry’s finest to gather and celebrate outstanding achievements in marketing, and Suss Digital  stole the spotlight, underscoring its profound impact on the digital advertising and marketing landscape in Kenya and Africa.

Founded in 2021,Suss Digital Africa is a tech-enabled centre of innovation that serves brands in over 54 markets. Their products include WhatsApp bot, Onsite Messages, and App and web push notifications. The company has a team of developers who work and walk with clients to facilitate ingratiation that boosts businesses to realize their objectives.​The company’s mission is to elevate brands through strategic communication, innovation, and distribution of content across digital platforms

 Its platform Suss Ads won the Best Media Innovation of the Year award for its innovative approach to media strategies, targeting, distribution of content, monitoring, and reporting through its locally owned self-serve programmatic solution.

The acknowledgment of their groundbreaking media innovations positions Suss Digital as a trailblazer in the industry, setting new standards for innovation, creativity and effectiveness. Their self-serve programmatic solution has been making waves, serving over 50 brands across 54 global markets in the last two  years.

In the B2B arena, Suss Digital demonstrated its strategic acumen by securing the B2B Marketing Strategy of the Year award as the 1st Runner-Up. This recognition underscores the agency’s ability to craft and execute targeted, impactful strategies tailored to the unique dynamics of business-to-business marketing.

Furthermore, Suss Digital’s excellence extended to the implementation and distribution realm, earning them the 1st Runner-Up position in the “Best Distribution and Implementation of the Year” category.

This award is testament of the agency’s proficiency in translating strategic visions into tangible, effective campaigns that reach and resonate with the intended audience.

Dennis Maina, the brains behind Suss Ads, secured the 1st Runner-Up of Marketer of the Year Award. According to the company, it’s not just about marketing; it’s about a visionary leader steering the ship toward greatness.

 As the agency reflects on this momentous occasion, celebrating not only its award-winning achievements but also its second anniversary, it is evident that Suss Digital Africa is poised for continued success.

The recognition garnered at the Marketing Society of Kenya Gala Awards solidifies Suss Digital’s status as a leading force in the marketing industry, and the team looks forward to building on this success in the years to come.


  Some of the top brands that Suss Digital has served include the Government of Kenya (E-Citizen), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Bio Foods Ltd, SportPesa, Betika, Unilever, LG, Huawei, Hanaan, Girl Effect, Mozilla and Udemy, among other brands. The awards serve as a testament to the collaborative spirit and unwavering belief that clients and stakeholders have in Suss Digital’s ability to deliver exceptional results

Tanzania Angel Investors Programme launches to train angel investors

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Serengeti Business Angels Network (SBAN) has launched the Tanzania Business Angel Investors Accelerator (TAA) training programme, aimed  to train angel investors.

This groundbreaking initiative, in collaboration with Serengeti Angels, Ennovate Ventures, and the support of United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) Tanzania and the European Union Tanzania, will equip 50 first-time angel investors with the knowledge, mentorship, and hands-on support they need to kickstart their angel investing journey.

“Tanzania has a vibrant startup ecosystem, but access to capital remains a major challenge,” said Rodrique Msechu, co-founder and network manager of SBAN. “The Tanzania Business Angels Accelerator programme will help to address this gap by training and supporting new angel investors. We are confident that the programme will play a vital role in boosting the growth of Tanzania’s startup ecosystem.”

TAA is equipping aspiring angel investors with the essential skills and knowledge required to make confident investments in startups.

It offers invaluable mentorship and hands-on guidance throughout the entire investment process, ensuring new angel investors are well-prepared for their first investment deal.

The Programme is targeting senior professionals and successful entrepreneurs in Tanzania and diaspora, sector experts with relevant network and resources with the ability to demonstrate a strong interest in angel investing, and ability to invest resources, time and expertise to growing the startup companies in Tanzania and beyond.

Participants are required to commit a minimum of $1,000 before final selection into the programme. The $1,000 commitment fee will be initial investment capital for the angel investor to participate in their first deal through the programme

Among the benefits of joining the Accelerator,the participants will gain  angel Investing Knowledge,become competent in deal sourcing, due diligence, negotiation, deal structuring and portfolio management as well as hands on mentorship.

Kenya’s Startup Law to Take Effect in April 2024, President Ruto Announces at KIW 2023

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The Startup law will be operational by April 2024, President William Ruto stated.

Inaugurating the 3rd edition of Kenya Innovation Week– Commonwealth edition, 2023, which is ongoing at the Edge Convention in Nairobi County, the president noted, “Kenya will have a firm Startup law by April 2024. The Startup Law will derisk innovations and graduate them to commercial ventures.”

Dr Ruto noted that the proposed Startup Bill 2022 is currently at its final stages of discussion.

The bill aligns with the Constitution of Kenya, aiming to foster innovation, technology transfer, and collaboration between research institutions and businesses.

The objectives include encouraging innovative thinking, facilitating startup registration and connections with financial institutions, and establishing a supportive environment for their growth.

The bill emphasizes streamlined regulations, access to funding, creation of innovation hubs and incubators, intellectual property protection, education for entrepreneurial skills, and international collaboration.

The proposed legislation reflects Kenya’s commitment to nurturing a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, positioning itself as a hub for technological development on the global stage.

Key provisions include startup-friendly regulations, access to funding mechanisms, innovation hubs, intellectual property protection, education, and skills development, and international collaboration.

Nigeria is the first African country to pass law regarding startup law alias Nigeria Startup Act 2022, which aims to strengthen and enable the country’s technological ecosystem.

Italy becomes the first country to ban lab-grown meat

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Italian MPs have voted in favour of a law banning the production, sale, or import of cultivated meat or animal feed, citing a defence of Italian tradition.

According to repoirt by BBC, Agriculture Minister, Francesco Lollobrigida praised the move, declaring Italy the first country safe from the social and economic risks of synthetic food.

The parliamentary vote led to both support and opposition rallies, with a scuffle breaking out between farmers and MPs.

The law, which imposes fines for violations, currently has minimal impact as lab-grown meat is only approved for consumption in Singapore and the US.

If the EU approves lab-grown meat, Italy’s law may face challenges.

Critics argue the law is a setback for environmental efforts and misunderstands the nature of lab-grown meat, created without genetic modification.

Counterpoint Reports October Rebound in Global Smartphone Sales Following Over Two Years of Decline

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After experiencing a decline for 27 consecutive months on a year-on-year basis, global smartphone sales rebounded in October, marking a notable 5% growth in sell-through transactions, as reported by Counterpoint Research.

This positive trend was primarily fueled by a resurgence in emerging markets, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, the comeback of Huawei in China, and the onset of the festive season in India.

Developed markets, characterized by higher smartphone saturation, exhibited a slower recovery.

Huawei achieved the swiftest growth among smartphone manufacturers in China during the third quarter, boosted by the release of its Mate 60 Pro smartphone in September, which garnered significant consumer interest due to its advanced chip.

The month of October witnessed the highest monthly smartphone sales since January 2022.

The launch of Apple’s iPhone 15 series in late September played a role in strengthening global smartphone sales.

The delayed release by a week compared to the previous year meant that the full impact of the new iPhone sales was felt in October, according to Counterpoint Research.

The global smartphone market has been grappling with challenges such as component shortages, inventory build-up, and extended replacement cycles, leading to a continuous decline in sales over the past two years.

However, recent data indicates a slowdown in this decline, with third-quarter shipments falling only 1%, compared to a 10% decline in the previous quarter, according to Canalys.

Samsung maintained its position as the leader in the global smartphone market during the third quarter, commanding a 20% share of total smartphone sales.

Apple followed closely with a 16% market share, while Chinese brands Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo secured 12%, 10%, and 8% market shares, respectively.

Counterpoint Research anticipates further growth in the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter, building on the momentum from October.

The research firm projects year-on-year growth in the market for the fourth quarter of 2023, signalling a gradual recovery in the subsequent quarters.

Honor, Huawei’s Smartphone Spinoff, Unveils Plans for Initial Public Offering (IPO)

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Chinese smartphone manufacturer Honor, a spinoff of Huawei, has revealed plans to go public in a bid to raise capital and optimize its shareholding structure.

The company, which aims to compete with industry giants Apple and Samsung in the high-end market, did not disclose the specific country for its listing.

Huawei was compelled to sell Honor in 2020 due to U.S. sanctions, and the move allowed Honor to operate independently.

With the largest market share in China, Honor seeks to expand globally by entering the premium smartphone market.

The company has initiated preparations for the IPO, emphasizing adjustments to its Board of Directors for compliance with listing standards and regulatory requirements.

“As the company starts the IPO preparation process, the composition of the Board of Directors will gradually be adjusted, per the standards of a listed company, to embrace greater diversity for meeting the relevant governance and regulatory requirements,” Honor noted.

Google Awards About $94,997 to 15 SMEs from Hustle Academy, Provides Ongoing Support

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In a bid to empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, Google has announced a significant financial boost of N75 million for 15 businesses that successfully graduated from the Google Hustle Academy. Alongside the monetary support, these businesses will receive mentorship and regular assistance from Google.

The Google Hustle Academy Journey

Launched in 2022, the Google Hustle Academy has been a beacon of opportunity for SMEs, offering them access to valuable business and management education, mentorship, and networking. 

With a primary focus on enhancing the skills necessary for effectively presenting their businesses, the program aims to help these enterprises secure essential capital for advancing to the next stage of growth.

Financial Boost for Business Owners

The 15 businesses set to benefit from Google’s financial support include:

  1. Jelapetra Farms Ltd – Angela Jidechukwu Nwabueze
  2. A.A.K. Shoes – Aminu Abdulkarim
  3. Rotela Business Synergy – Anita Aletor
  4. Inyene Agro-processing factory Ltd – Blessing Akpan
  5. The Nut Place Limited – Chigozie Bashua
  6. Clozetsales – Chikere Onyinyechi Breakthrough
  7. Stance Fashion Empire – Constance Ufuoma Edesiri
  8. Ennie Wears – Eniola Robert
  9. Wauley Projects Limited – Femi Bolaji
  10. Segunfunmi foods Nigeria Limited – Funmilola Moronke Agbayewa
  11. Lead Way Family Poultry – Hussaini Aliyu Baba
  12. Rae’s Clothing – Ifeoma Augusta Anselem
  13. Kita Farm – John Samuel Andefiki
  14. Pinch N’ Dash – Nafisa Abdulrazaq Sabo
  15. Foodlane Ventures – Ojo Femi Christopher

Celebrating Resilience and Determination

Olumide Balogun, the Country Director for Google West Africa, praised the grit and determination exhibited by these SMEs. He acknowledged the transformative impact of the Hustle Academy in reshaping Nigeria’s business landscape.

“The passion and resilience shown by these SMBs are truly inspiring. The Hustle Academy is a testament to what focused training and resources can achieve. We are not just celebrating their graduation today; we are recognizing their potential to reshape and invigorate the Nigerian business landscape,” said Mr Balogun.

Milestone Achievements of the Hustle Academy

Google highlighted that over 5,300 SMEs graduated from the Hustle Academy this year, bringing the total number of graduates to more than 10,300 since the program’s inception. 

The Google Hustle Academy is supported by USAID, the South African National Youth Development Agency, the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, and the Kenyan Office of the Deputy President. 

It continues to play a crucial role in fostering entrepreneurship and economic growth in the region.

Sea Ventures (Zuri Feeds): Innovative Startup Turning Fish Waste into Quality Animal Feeds

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Sea Ventures, a Kenyan startup based in Bamburi, Mombasa County, is making waves in the blue economy with its innovative approach to addressing post-harvest losses in the fish industry.

Founded by a 27-year-old Marine Biologist, Faith Mwende, the firm focuses on reutilizing discarded fish waste to produce high-quality organic animal feeds and fertilizers under the brand name Zuri Feeds.

Tapping Into Unexplored Resources

Sea Ventures collaborates closely with the fisher folk community, including fishermen, Beach Management Units (BMUs), fish processing companies, fish vendors, and local entrepreneurs known as ‘mama Karangas.’

The startup collects fish waste from these sources, diverting it from the untargeted waste stream in the blue economy and the fish value chain.

Ms Mwende, the Founder, emphasizes the significance of their mission, stating, “Did you know that 60-70% of a fish goes into waste, and only 30-40% is utilized during fish processing or consumption? We aim to address this issue by reutilizing fish waste to produce valuable animal feeds and fertilizers.”

From Concept to Reality

The idea for Sea Ventures took shape in 2022, with the company officially established in January 2023.

Starting without products, the venture has since generated prototypes and is currently in the final stages of refining and formulating its products to meet the standards required by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).

Social Impact and Community Engagement

Sea Ventures is not just a business; it’s a venture committed to creating positive social change.

With five permanent employees and five casual workers involved in production and processing, the startup also engages 20 women who play a crucial role in collecting fish waste and other raw materials.

The techpreneur highlights the company’s community social responsibility initiatives, saying, “We provide training in chicken farming and fish farming to ensure that farmers have the knowledge to farm effectively. This addresses a common challenge we face during feed deliveries, where many farmers lack the necessary skills for successful farming.”

Awards, Funding, and Partnerships

The startup has achieved significant milestones since its inception, winning awards from organizations such as the German development agency alias GIZ, Women Social Entrepreneurship Institute (WSEI)-French scooping Sh150, 000, Kenya Red Cross, and recognition from Blue Economy summit.

The project was initially funded from personal savings, attracting additional funding from various organizations for purchasing production machinery.

The startup has also forged partnerships with organizations like Sote Hub, WSEI-French, Kenya Red Cross, Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) and WWF-World Wide Fund.
These partnerships have played a crucial role in providing training, market linkage, and support for the project.

Looking Ahead

Sea Ventures has ambitious plans for the future. The company aims to commercialize its project by maximizing production and expanding its workforce.

With a focus on creating more jobs, especially for the youth and the local community, Sea Ventures envisions collecting waste on a larger scale to further enhance production.

Sea Ventures is not just transforming waste into wealth; it is carving a path for sustainable practices and community development in the heart of Mombasa County.

Nigeria’s Fintech Grey Rebrands to bolster its Global Expansion Strategy

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Grey , a Nigerian cross-border fintech company, has rebranded its logo and website design to bolster its global expansion plans.

The rebrand is aimed at leveraging this fresh identity to reach a broader audience and solidify its international presence.

Idee Obong, The CEO and founder of Grey, shared insights into the rationale behind the rebranding, stating, “As we chart our course toward serving a global audience, we recognized the need for trademarks and related processes. We identified similarities with existing marks during this evaluation, prompting a deliberate rebrand. The new logo and website signify our forward trajectory, emphasizing global connectivity and our commitment to creating a more interconnected world. Our focus remains on being people-centric and cultivating a lasting community.”

The company’s rapid growth and expanding user base have spurred this bold step towards rebranding, symbolizing success and underlining its dedication to remaining at the forefront of global fintech innovation.

Furthermore, the previous logo was not usable in some foreign markets due to trademark conflicts with another company.

Grey’s brand evolution is occurring at a crucial juncture for the fintech industry, which is positioned for significant opportunities despite recent economic uncertainties. The fintech sector has faced challenges in the past year; notwithstanding, Grey has rapidly scaled, adeptly responding to the heightened demand for its services.

The updated brand assets visually represent Grey’s commitment to innovation, excellence, and global connectivity.

The rebranding initiative comes after the company celebrated a milestone achievement of surpassing 500,000 users

The company has also established key partnerships across both B2B and B2C sectors across Africa over the past months, solidifying its reputation as a trusted and reliable cross-border payments company.

Femi Aghedo, Co-founder of Grey, emphasized the strategic timing of the brand evolution, stating, “The timing simply felt right to evolve our brand. Our growth and evolution as a business needed to be reflected tangibly. We are dedicated to ongoing innovation, adapting our services to meet the dynamic needs of our customers. Our core mission is to provide seamless and secure cross-border payment solutions, empowering businesses and individuals in the global economy. We eagerly anticipate the future of fintech and the opportunities it presents for us to impact the industry positively.”

Furthermore, customers can expect a more innovative and interconnected user experience when engaging on their platforms. As Grey ventures into this exciting new chapter, the team remains committed to providing cutting-edge and secure cross-border payment solutions, fostering global connectivity, and contributing to the evolving landscape of the fintech industry.

Young brand Realme hits 200 million shipped smartphones joining the league of Apple, Samsung and Co

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Realme began in May 2018 when Oppo launched the Realme 1 smartphone. It has then diversified into its own brand.

Realme is owned by Chinese consumer hardware giant BBK Electronics which also owns the Oppo and Vivo brands. Sky Li, founder and CEO of Realme announced that the company has reached 200 million shipments in just over five years, which is over 40 million smartphones per year.

To put that milestone into perspective, only four companies have taken less time to ship the same number of units according to data from market analytics firm Counterpoint Research. Those companies are Samsung, Apple, Vivo and Huawei. In total, only 14 companies globally have ever shipped over 200 million phones to date.

Realme is popular with fans for its affordable devices with features that are way above the price segment. Their latest device is the Realme 11 Pro (shown below) which brings unique design, AMOLED screen, 100MP camera and super-fast 67W charging for under $300 starting price.

“We came into existence when there were over 700 smartphone brands in the world,” said Xu Qi, Realme’s chief marketing officer. “We are extremely proud that we have been able to be in the world’s top 10 brands for the past five years.”

Xu said Realme was ready to take on premium phones with its upcoming launch, the Realme GT 5 Pro, which will be among the first handsets to feature Qualcomm’s latest high-end chip the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and Sony’s LYT-T808 (OIS support included) camera sensor.

Google Messages brings Ultra HDR photo sharing but with a catch

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Shortly after announcing a new shortcut camera icon on the Messages app, Google is now working on an update that aims to simplify photo sharing, and it looks like it recently added Ultra HDR support in RCS chats.

According to reports, a minor update to the app has been made: support for Ultra HDR in RCS chats. The feature was apparently secretly introduced just before the introduction of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

HDR is an abbreviation for High Dynamic Range. It is a method of capturing photos that have a wider range of colors and tones than regular photography. This produces photos that are more realistic and lifelike, with darker shadows, better highlights, and retain more detail.

The image format is exclusive to Android 14, thus users must be using a smartphone running that OS version, such as the Pixel 8 series. Fortunately, many more manufacturers are releasing Android 14 as an update or preinstalled software in new devices.

How Kenya’s Abojani is revolutionising personal finance through economic empowerment programs

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Abojani Investment Ltd, a Kenyan digital personal finance management company is revolutionising personal finance and investment by offering training and consultancy services to busy professionals and entrepreneurs.

Founded by Robert Ochieng, Abojani Investment Ltd is a financial and investment advisory firm that champions financial conversations. The company prides itself on its ability to connect with retail investors in a relatable manner while relaying financial and investment advisory and content through digital media.

According to 2021 report by EFG Hermes, Kenya still suffers from chronic low savings rates due to financial illiteracy ,the report indicated that Kenya’s savings rate was at 13 percent, which is way below Africa’s average rate of 17 percent.

Abojani believes that everyone can benefit from independent financial advice and that personal finance should be personalised to meet the needs and learning style of everyone.

According to the company, financial awareness, micro-investing, and saving will help millions of Kenyans achieve financial freedom.

Since inception, the company says over $500K has been invested by the community members across different asset classes, with over 5,000 total number of users in Abojani Communities and those who have gone through masterclasses.

Besides, the company runs online communities with over 100,000 learners on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

Abojani also holds annual Economic Empowerment Conferences aimed to guide and empower their members.

On Saturday, the 25th, the company held its third  annual Economic Empowerment Conference which brought together stakeholders and experts in finance, investment, pension, and wealth.

Themed “Creating Long Lasting Wealth and Living in Your Generation,” the Abojani conference focused on topics such as Saccos, Money Market Funds, the Stock Market, Retirement, and Skills for the Future.

According to  Robert Ochieng’, the CEO and  Founder at Abojani, the goal has always been to empower people and ensure this goal is achieved.

Among  the keynote speakers were Mary Wangari Wamae, Executive Director of Equity Group who shared on Succession Planning and Estate Administration.

Wamae emphasized the need for individuals to plan their estates early, register their beneficiaries, and update them often to avoid being challenged in court in cases where the owner dies without a proper will.

She also encouraged participants to endeavor to live in a challenging environment and be consistent in savings.

Linus Gitahi, Chairman of Tropikal Brands Africa spoke on Building Wealth through Long-term Investments. He said,’ Whatever you are doing now or earning now is what will determine your tomorrow. Sacrifice today has to be moment by moment, week after week, month after month, and year after year.”

He added, that  people who succeed are disciplined about what they want to have. Do it like your life depends on it. Look back 10 years later and say it was worth it.”

Eunice Kinyanjui, Head of Small Businesses at I&M Bank  spoke on managing finances as an SME and an entrepreneur,she  said,’ You need funding to ensure the business continues running. Determine what option your business is ready for. If your business cannot grow profits to pay off debt, reconsider organic growth through offloading equity.’

”Entrepreneurs should ensure they move their businesses from startup/roll out stage to growth stage as banks  finance businesses at growth stage than in startup stage,” She added.

Regarding retirement preparedness which is still low in Kenya, participants were encouraged to start investing at a younger age, those not in an employed–sponsored retirement plan, were advised to take advantage of other avenues apart from pension schemes.

According to  Barack Obatsa, CEO Britam Asset Managers “When seeking a retirement product, consider what percentage of your expected final salary you seek to replace; to determine how much you need to contribute to have minimal or no inconvenience in your retirement.”

Abojan aspires to train 1 Million Kenyans on Financial awareness by 2024

Winners for Africa’s Business Heroes Prize Competition 2023 Announced

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The Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Prize Competition, a philanthropic initiative sponsored by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Philanthropy, has named Dr. Ikpeme Neto from Nigeria; Thomas Njeru from Kenya and Ayman Bazaraa from Egypt the first, second and third prize winners, respectively, of this year’s competition.

 Dr. Ikpeme Neto, CEO and Founder, Wellahealth Technologies (Nigeria) emerged the winner with  US$300,000  prize,Mr. Thomas Njeru, CEO and Co-Founder, Pula Advisors Limited (Kenya) took the second position with US$250,000  while the third position went to Mr. Ayman Bazaraa, CEO and Co-Founder, Sprints (Egypt with  US$150,000 .

“I am deeply honored to be named this year’s Africa’s Business Heroes winner. This award energizes my commitment to driving positive change through innovation. I extend heartfelt gratitude to ABH for empowering entrepreneurs like me, and I am dedicated to shaping a brighter future for our continent through entrepreneurship. I am excited for the recognition of Wellahealth Technologies’ work, and grateful for my team, family and the ABH team for making this impact in healthcare across Africa possible,” said Dr. Ikpeme Neto, CEO and Founder, Wellahealth Technologies, ABH 2023 First Prize Winner.

The top three winners were selected through multiple stages of interviews and evaluations from a staggering 27,267 applications spanning all 54 African nations. They have demonstrated exceptional ingenuity and tenacity, substantially impacting their communities and beyond.

Apart from the three final winners, the top 10 contestants will each receive US$100,000 in prize funding from ABH. An extra US$10,000 will also be allocated to each of the top 10 finalists for post-competition training programs.

“The winners of this year’s ABH competition embody bold ambition and innovation, exemplifying the true essence of entrepreneurial spirit and a deep commitment to addressing societal challenges. The judges recognized them for their remarkable ability to turn challenges into opportunities, unwavering commitment to community betterment, and innovative approaches to solving pressing issues. Their resilience, passion and impactful contributions make them not just business leaders, but true champions of change,” said Jason Pau, Executive Director of International Programs, Jack Ma Foundation.

Audiences from across the globe watched the Grand Finale both live and online, closely following the top 10 finalists as they pitched their businesses on stage to a final panel of esteemed judges: Dr. Diane Karusisi, CEO of Bank of Kigali; Ibukun Awosika, Founder and CEO of The Chair Centre Group; and Joe Tsai, Chairman of Alibaba Group.

2023 sees the 5th anniversary of ABH, marking the halfway point in the prize competition program. To commemorate this milestone, a celebratory summit spanning two days from November 23 to 24 was held in conjunction with the Grand Finale. Themed “AI: African Insight, Innovation, Impact,” the ABH Summit and Grand Finale brought together more than 1,750 entrepreneurial ecosystem players and aspiring entrepreneurs from across Africa in the largest physical event in ABH’s history. In addition to the live pitching sessions held as part of the Grand Finale, the event featured a series of speeches and workshops, a showcase of the work of past ABH heroes and an afterparty to celebrate the anniversary, among other activities.

Since 2019, grant recipients of the ABH Prize Competition have achieved remarkable milestones, collectively raising over US$153 million in investments and serving a vast base of over 37.5 million customers or users. Collectively, these entrepreneurs have received US$7 million in prize money, facilitating their operations in 52 African countries. Notably, their endeavors have led to the creation of over 123,000 direct and indirect jobs, contributing to the region’s economic development. With a combined reported revenue exceeding US$252 million, ABH grant recipients continue to exemplify the transformative power of entrepreneurship in fostering growth, innovation and socio-economic impact across the African continent.

Over the past five years, ABH has received immense support from investors, entrepreneurs and business professionals from across the globe. A total of 903 volunteers have collectively devoted over 15,280 hours to judging, mentoring and supporting thousands of contestants, underscoring the powerful spirit of collaboration that fuels the success of the competition.

Pau added, “In commemorating our five-year journey, we extend our gratitude to all the judges, volunteers and partners who have worked hand-in-hand together on this remarkable journey. Looking back, we find strength in the tenacity of the entrepreneurs we have supported together. Moving forward, our mission is clear: to continue our work with ecosystem stakeholders to identify and support even more African Business Heroes so that their stories inspire millions more.”

The Africa’s Business Heroes Prize Competition strives to foster an inclusive and dynamic entrepreneurial landscape in Africa. In its fifth year, this annual competition continues to spotlight the remarkable talents of African entrepreneurs dedicated to effecting positive change within their communities. What sets ABH apart is its grassroots orientation, coupled with its age, gender and sector-agnostic approach.

Continued Growth Of Africa’s FinTechs Can Unlock Greater Economic Prosperity

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Two new reports from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), in collaboration with Elevandi, highlight how to further advance financial inclusion on the continent and explore advancing the FinTech industry and unlocking its full potential in the years to come.

The first report, Driving Financial Inclusion in Africa, unpacks the growth of financial inclusion in Africa since M-PESA was founded in Kenya in 2007. While some large economies (South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Ghana) have made significant progress in financial inclusion, there is still a long way to go and significant opportunity which supports the continuous high investment in African FinTechs.

“The first wave of FinTechs, driven by mobile money and payment solutions have already enabled a step change in financial inclusion and trust in digital solutions. A second wave of FinTechs with a wider product offering can now leverage the platforms created to access a broader population and further accelerate financial inclusion,” says Caio Anteghini, partner at BCG, Johannesburg.

The report also explains the different business models that FinTechs can thrive in, in this context, and while many of them are disrupting the financial sector, there are several opportunities for collaboration between incumbent players and FinTechs. Forty percent of African FinTechs are focused on digitally enabling existing financial institutions instead of competing against them.

The report suggests that payments and lending will be the drivers of further financial inclusion, and the key areas of investments in the coming years.

Payments FinTechs were the first movers representing 45% of companies pre-2013. This segment is yet to reach its full potential by continuing to solve for critical African pain points such as financial inclusion and the high cost of transactions.

Local businesses need basic credit for day-to-day activities and capital investments but often don’t have the tools or credentials to go through traditional channels. For FinTechs, it makes sense to focus on this small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) segment due to the sizes of loans, broader scale, and financial transparency. One example of successful microlending is JUMO World, which is building banking infrastructure with a focus on assessing the credit worthiness of SMEs.

The report finds that FinTechs enabling financial institutions (41% of active firms) receive more funding on average (49%) than those that adopt disruptive business models (59% of active firms receive 51% of funding), indicating a shift in the ecosystem.

Additionally, the report proposes four winning strategies for FinTechs and the appropriate support governments could provide to enable them to flourish. FinTechs providing specific services via existing platforms, distributing a fully-fledged solution via existing platforms, creating a new platform starting in niche segments, and B2B solutions could lead to the next wave of growth for incumbents and new entrants.

“Policymakers can be a huge catalyst to the FinTech industry by developing the infrastructure and favourable regulatory environment,” says Pat Patel, Executive Director of Elevandi. When it comes to specific applications for improving financial inclusion, they can further support advancements by acting in four areas: Awareness campaigns to increase literacy, institutional support and investment, and launching data-sharing platforms to lay the foundation for platforms. Unlocking funding will also aid advancements in financial inclusion.

On top of the infrastructure created in the first wave, greater adoption of smartphones, better connectivity, and cloud adoption in front-running countries will be instrumental to the second wave of growth.

In the second report, Unlocking the FinTech Potential in Africa, BCG and Elevandi examine the benefits that FinTech has brought to Africa and the business models that FinTechs and investors need to create to scale up activities.

Almost half of the 1 000 FinTechs in Africa were founded in the past six years. Cumulatively, they have raised about $6-billion in equity financing since 2000, with investment growing at an incredible compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57% versus 27% for the rest of the globe.

At the same time, the African FinTech ecosystem is still nascent, with approximately 80% of rounds since 2018 at seed- or angel-level maturity. “This shows that the African market is already an attractive ecosystem to new entrants capturing a share of the unserved or underserved segment. However, to continue attracting new entrants, FinTechs must be able to scale across Africa, and not solely exist in siloed markets,” adds Patel.

Few FinTechs have been able to do so in the continent, where just 4% have reached series C funding or beyond, versus 11% for the rest of the world. The report suggests that investors and FinTechs need to address three key challenges to attract funding – identify an economically viable model that caters to African-specific challenges and is affordable, can scale beyond its home market given relatively small market sizes, and mitigates risks inherent to the developing continent.  

Current FinTechs are heavily centred in Africa’s largest economies, with approximately 63% of all companies located in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Egypt and nearly 80% of funding flowing into these markets. To successfully move across borders, these companies will need to invest in understanding regulation, procure the appropriate licenses, likely adapt their business model, and develop a team on the ground to successfully execute their value proposition in the new market.

“FinTechs have been playing an important role in driving financial inclusion and economic development in their home countries. With the development of digital infrastructure and policy clarity and harmonisation, they will be able to extend their impact both in their home country and cross-border, and benefit even more people across the continent,” says Anteghini.

This growth does depend on key changes as FinTechs and investors face several hurdles, including high costs and different regulations in each jurisdiction. The report highlights five areas in particular that require attention: digital infrastructure, policy harmonisation, policy clarity, developing local capital markets and growing the local talent pool.

In recent years, the war for talent has intensified and Africa is struggling as some of its top talent has moved overseas tempted by higher salaries. At the same time, attracting foreign talent is difficult due to long, stringent visa procedures and lower liveability scores. It is crucial to reverse these trends, however, as the African education system is likely to only produce 50% of the skilled workers it requires. FinTechs have demonstrated their ability to succeed throughout the first stages of a company life cycle, but further scalability is unfeasible with current supply.

The high unbanked and underbanked population, accelerating mobile and internet penetration, and an increasing need for financial inclusion across the region present a great opportunity for FinTech companies. If policymakers can foster the right environment for FinTechs to grow and financial inclusion to expand, it will ultimately foster long-term financial inclusion, efficiency, and quality of life, which will turn into taxes, economic growth, and capacity to reinvest.

Nigerian fintech FrontEdge raises $10m to expand its financing product across Africa

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FrontEdge, a Nigerian fintech focused on enabling the growth of African cross-border trade has raised $10 million in a seed round , both debt and equity led by  TLG capital including digital freight forwarder Flexport.

Founded in 2021 by Moni Alli, FrontEdge provides SME exporters and importers with the working capital and software tools needed to facilitate their cross-border and international transactions.

Moni Alli,chief executive  at FrontEdge said,“It’s a volume game, and we’re trying to essentially do as many trades as you can, given how tight margins are. And so what you see in Europe and other jurisdictions is like these traders are given this financial support, which means that they can give longer payment terms to their buyers offshore and be more competitive.”

FrontEdge provides upfront capital to these exporters based on transaction-based underwriting without a request for collateral.

The startup typically engages when goods are on an actual vessel or, at times, at the warehouse, with average payment terms set between 60-90 days, allowing the fintech to fund the working capital gap, thereby accelerating receivables and allowing exporters to engage in more transactions.

 FrontEdge acts as a vertical bank consisting of financing, cross-border payments and offshore accounts tailored to the needs of African traders. Meanwhile, it provides software tools, including logistics management, cargo insurance and document management, to exporters to complement its financial offerings. 

“And so, we equip the African exporter with the funding and tools needed to compete with the South American, European or U.S. exporter. For these large buyers, all that matters is the quality of goods and price. And so we can give them the financing where they can give the right terms and then have a level playing field with many of these buyers globally.”

Since its launch, the company customers, consisting of SME exporters have grown 20% month-on-month thus enabling the company to triple their sales on the platform. The company’s revenue comes from a spread of the transactions it finances.FrontEdge claims to record a zero default rate after performing over 50 contracts, each encompassing multiple trades and invoices. 

The capital which is over 70% of debt component, will be used to hire more talent, scale its financing product across Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Kenya, and launch additional products as it aims to diversify its revenue streams beyond financing. 

Johnnie Puxley, an investment professional at TLG Capital said, “TLG is proud to support FrontEdge in its mission to help African SMEs prosper, serving as a crucial conduit to provide access to capital for Africa exporters and financial empowerment. FrontEdge is strategically placed to tackle an important problem that must be solved for African traders to effectively engage in global trade, and we believe that the leadership will execute on the vision.”

Venture applications open for the Africa Tech Summit Nairobi 2024 Investment Showcase

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African tech ventures can now apply to pitch at the Africa Tech Summit (ATS) Investment Showcase taking place at the sixth edition in Nairobi on February 14th and 15th, 2024.

The annual Investment Showcase is a cornerstone of Africa Tech Summit, which aims to bring together investors, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and industry leaders from across the continent, driving business and investment forward in the ecosystem.

Edwin Lubanga, CTO and Co-Founder of Snark Health, a previous participating venture shared; “The post-event traction was remarkable. We established valuable partnerships with local companies. The pitch recording and media coverage generated significant brand visibility, leading to a surge in sign-ups and downloads for our patient and doctor apps”.

Selected ventures will showcase their ground-breaking ideas to a diverse audience of local and international investors and tech leaders, opening doors to potential funding and strategic partnerships. Additionally, they will have full access to the two-day summit including workshops and networking sessions.

Previous ATS Investment Showcase editions have enabled ventures to successfully secure funding, partnerships, and drive media awareness, highlighting the Summits aim of connecting industry leaders, ventures and investors.

To apply ventures must be African, with at least one African co-founder or headquartered in Africa, have a product or service that is innovative and designed for scale, and must be able to present in person at the summit.