Category : Science & Tech

Other News / Science & Tech - 1 week ago

African e-commerce startup Jumia’s shares open at $14.50 in NYSE IPO

Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia listed on the New York Stock Exchange today, with shares beginning trading at $14.50 under ticker symbol JMIA. This comes four weeks after CEO Sacha Poignonnec confirmed the IPO to TechCrunch and Jumia filed SEC documents. With the public offering, Jumia becomes the first startup from Africa to list on a major global exchange. In an updated SEC filing, Jumia indicated it is offering 13,500,000 ADR shares for an opening price spread of $13 to $16 per share, representing 17.6 percent of all company shares. The IPO could raise up to $216 million for the internet venture. Since the original announcement (and reflected in the latest SEC docs), Mastercard Europe pre-purchased $50 million in Jumia ordinary shares. The IPO creates another milestone for Jumia. The company in 2016 became the first African startup unicorn, achieving a $1 billion valuation after a funding round that included Goldman Sachs, AXA and MTN. There’s a lot to break down on Jumia’s going public. The company is often dubbed the “Amazon of Africa,” and like Amazon, Jumia comes with its own mixed buzz. Jumia’s SEC F-1 prospectus offers us more insight into the venture, and perhaps any startup from Africa, thus far. About Jumia Founded in Lagos in 2012 with Rocket...

Other News / Science & Tech - 1 week ago

DHL launches Africa eShop app for global retailers to sell into Africa

DHL is launching an e-commerce app called DHL Africa eShop for global retailers to sell goods to Africa’s consumers markets. The platform goes live today and brings more than 200 U.S. and U.K. retailers — from Neiman Marcus to Carters — online in 11 African markets: South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Mauritius, Ghana, Senegal, Rwanda, Malawi, Botswana, Sierra Leone and Uganda. DHL Africa eShop will operate using startup MallforAfrica.com’s white label service, Link Commerce. Payment methods will include local fintech options, such as Nigeria’s Paga and Kenya’s M-Pesa. The announcement comes as e-commerce in Africa has seen some ups and downs — with online sales startup Jumia announcing an IPO, while several Africa digital retail ventures have recently faltered. DHL Africa eShop takes advantage of the shipping giant’s existing delivery structure on the continent, able to get goods to doorsteps near and far through its DHL Express shipping, tracking and courier service. DHL’s partner for the new app, MallforAfrica, has experience collaborating with DHL and a number of big-name retailers, including Macy’s and Best Buy. Backed by Helios Investment Partners, MFA was founded in 2011 to solve challenges global consumer goods companies face when entering Afric...

Other News / Science & Tech - 1 week ago

6 things to know before you buy the Nokia 6.1 Plus

The Nokia 6.1 Plus, announced in July 2018 and released in August 2018, is one of the more recent in a line of pure Android (Android One) smartphones by HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones. Before I get to the crux of this quick review, let’s quickly run through the specifications. Specifications Screen size- […]

Other News / Science & Tech - 2 weeks ago

Partnering with Visa, emerging market lender Branch International raises $170 million

The San Francisco-based startup Branch International, which makes small personal loans in emerging markets, has raised $170 million and announced a partnership with Visa to offer virtual, pre-paid debit cards to Branch client networks in Africa, South-Asia and Latin America.  Branch — which has 150 employees in San Francisco, Lagos, Nairobi, Mexico City and Mumbai — makes loans starting at $2 to individuals in emerging and frontier markets. The company also uses an algorithmic model to determine credit worthiness, build credit profiles and offer liquidity via mobile phones. “We’ll use [the money] to deepen existing business in Africa. Later this year we’ll announce high-yield savings accounts…in Africa,” says Branch co-founder and chief executive Matt Flannery. The $170 million round from Foundation Capital and its new debit card partner, Visa, will support Branch’s international expansion, which could include Brazil and Indonesia, according to Flannery. Branch launched in Mexico and India within the last year. In Africa, it offers its services in Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania. A potential Branch customer The Branch-Visa partnership will allow individuals to obtain virtual Visa accounts with which to create accounts on Branch’s app. This...

Other News / Science & Tech - 2 weeks ago

Africa Roundup: Jumia files for IPO, OneFi acquires Amplify, FlexClub expands in Mexico

Less than a decade ago IPOs, acquisitions and global expansion by African startups were more possibility than reality. March saw all three from the continent’s tech scene. Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, per SEC documents and confirmation from chief executive Sacha Poignonnec. In an updated filing, (since the March 12 original) Jumia indicated it will offer 13,500,000 ADR shares, for an offering price of $13 to $16 per share to trade under the ticker symbol “JMIA.” The IPO could raise up to $216 million for Jumia. Since our first story (and reflected in the latest SEC docs), Mastercard Europe agreed upfront to buy $50 million in Jumia ordinary shares. With a smooth filing process, Jumia will become the first African startup to list on a major global exchange. The company is incorporated in Germany, but maintains its headquarters in Nigeria, and operates exclusively in Africa, with 4,000 employees on the continent. The pending IPO creates another milestone for Jumia. The venture became the first African startup unicorn in 2016, achieving a $1 billion valuation after a funding round that included Goldman Sachs, AXA and MTN. Founded in Lagos in 2012 with Rocket Internet backing, Jumia now operates multiple online verticals in 1...

Other News / Science & Tech - 3 weeks ago

Dakar Network Angels begins startup investments in francophone Africa

The Dakar Network Angels group launched this month, making its first investment in francophone Africa to cleantech venture Coliba. The Ivorian startup — which uses a mobile app to coordinate waste recycling — will receive mentorship and a minimum of $25,000 in seed funds. The deal is part of Dakar Network Angels’ mission of convening experts and capital to bridge the resource gap for startups in French-speaking Africa — or 24 of the continent’s 54 countries. The organization — which goes by DNA for short — will offer seed fund investments of between $25,000 to $100,000 to early-stage ventures with high growth potential. These rounds will come with the entrepreneurial guidance of DNA’s angel network. Launched in Senegal, the organization’s founder is Marieme Diop, a VC investor at Orange Digital Ventures. Speaking to TechCrunch, Diop underscored VC disparities between francophone and non-francophone Africa as the primary driver for launching DNA. She pointed to funding data by Partech indicating that 76 percent of investment to African startups goes to three English-speaking countries — Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. Of the $1.1 billion in equity funding to African tech ventures in 2019, only $54 million — or .05 percent — went to startups in French-speaking co...

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