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Ivory Coast-based fintech  Anka secures $1.7 million funding from IFC for expansion

New Investments

Ivory Coast-based fintech Anka secures $1.7 million funding from IFC for expansion

Anka, an Ivory Coast-based financial technology company, has received $1.7 million in funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to expand its operations.
 

The funding will be used to develop Anka’s digital lending platform and to increase its reach to underserved borrowers in Ivory Coast.

Founded in 2016, Anka is on a mission to provide affordable and accessible financial services to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Ivory Coast.

Anka’s digital lending platform allows businesses to apply for loans online and to receive funds within 24 hours.

The IFC funding will help Anka to expand its reach to more MSMEs in Ivory Coast.

The company plans to use the funding to develop its digital lending platform and to hire more staff.

Anka also plans to use the funding to research the needs of MSMEs in the Ivory Coast and develop new products and services to meet those needs.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, provides loans, equity, and technical assistance to private companies in developing countries.

The IFC’s investment in Anka is part of its commitment to supporting Africa’s financial sector growth.

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Esoko: The Ghanaian Agritech Startup Empowering Farmers One Text At a Time

StartUp Spotlight

Esoko: The Ghanaian Agritech Startup Empowering Farmers Through Tech

Agriculture is the largest sector of the Ghanaian economy, contributing to 54% of GDP and employing about 56% of the workforce.

Ghana’s agricultural sector is predominantly smallholder, with about 80% of farms being less than 2 hectares in size.

Ghana’s government has implemented several policies to promote agricultural development, including the Planting for Food and Jobs program, which provides farmers with subsidized fertilizers and other inputs.

Despite the government’s efforts, Ghana’s agricultural sector faces several challenges, including low productivity, poor infrastructure, and climate change.

However, tech startups are using various technologies to solve agriculture challenges in Ghana.

One such startup is Esoko.

Who is Esoko?

Esoko is a dynamic and innovative agritech startup based in Ghana, Africa.

Founded with a profound commitment to transforming agriculture through technology, the company has quickly become a symbol of innovation and empowerment within the agricultural sector.

What Do They Do?

At its core, Esoko is a platform that bridges the gap between farmers, markets, and vital agricultural information.

Established in 2005, Esoko offers up-to-the-minute data on market prices, along with three-day weather forecasts and valuable agricultural advice, all delivered through text messages.

Catering to a user base of a million farmers, with a fifty-per cent concentration in Ghana, the remaining farmers are distributed across 19 other African nations.

Agents within Esoko’s network diligently track market price changes throughout various African markets, subsequently inputting this information into their centralized database.

Leveraging the power of mobile technology and data analytics, the platform provides farmers with real-time information on market prices, weather forecasts, agricultural best practices, and more.

This information equips farmers with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions, maximize yields, and improve their productivity.

Mission and Vision

Esoko’s mission is straightforward yet transformative: to empower African farmers with timely and relevant information that leads to improved productivity and economic prosperity.

They envision a future where technology facilitates a thriving agricultural ecosystem, fostering sustainable growth, and reducing poverty across the continent.

Esoko’s impact stretches beyond Ghana’s borders, extending to other African countries facing similar agricultural challenges.

By scaling its solutions and partnering with local organizations, Esoko is contributing to a continental transformation in the way farming communities access information and resources.

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Owen Omogiafo

Owen Omogiafo

Owen is a seasoned business leader and executive known for her achievements and contributions in various sectors.

She has held prominent roles in the corporate world and has garnered recognition for her leadership skills and impact. She is currently serving as the Group Chief Executive Officer of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp Group), a diversified conglomerate with strategic investments in the Power, Hospitality and Oil and Gas sectors.

She previously served as the Chief Operating Officer of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, a leading philanthropy empowering young African entrepreneurs across all 54 African countries.


Owen is a passionate advocate for women’s empowerment and economic development and a mentor to young women. She is a recipient of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG)’s Young Business Leader of the Year Award.

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Kakembo Galabuzi Brian

Kakebo is a Ugandan entrepreneur and environmental activist championing the transition from using firewood to using eco-friendly briquettes in Africa.

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Verone Mankou

Mankou is widely recognized for his contribution to the development of Africa through smart innovations.

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Asmau Ahmed 

Asmau Ahmed

Asmau Ahmed is a Nigerian-American entrepreneur, technology advocate, and beauty expert.

She is the founder and CEO of Plum Perfect, a mobile app that helps users find the perfect shade of makeup for their skin tone. Ahmed was born in Nigeria and raised in the United States. She studied chemical engineering at the University of Virginia and business administration at Columbia Business School. After graduating, she worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company.

In 2014, Ahmed founded Plum Perfect after being frustrated with the difficulty of finding the right shade of makeup.
The app uses artificial intelligence to match users’ skin tone to the perfect shade of makeup. Ahmed is also a passionate advocate for women in technology and entrepreneurship. She is a mentor to young entrepreneurs and has spoken at various conferences and events on the topics of technology and entrepreneurship.

In 2016, Ahmed was named one of the “Top 26 Women of Color Diversifying Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley, Media, and Beyond” by Vanity Fair.
She was also recognized as a “Top Woman in Digital” by Cynopsis Media and “Black Business and Tech Professionals Changing the Game” by The Huffington Post. Ahmed is a role model for women and entrepreneurs around the world and an inspiration to many.

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Diene Keita

Diene Keita is the Deputy Executive Director for Programmes for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), appointed in June 2020.

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Oyin Solebo 

Oyin is one of the remarkable figures making significant contributions to the tech and startup ecosystem in Africa.

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Whispa Health: The Nigerian Healthtech Startup Breaking the Stigma Around Sexual and Reproductive Health

StartUp Spotlight

Whispa Health: The Nigerian Healthtech Startup Breaking the Stigma Around Sexual and Reproductive Health

Nigerian health-tech startup Whispa Health has emerged as a pioneering force, redefining how healthcare services are accessed and delivered.

Whispa Health is using technology to break the stigma around sexual and reproductive health (SRH).

The startup offers various services, including anonymous consultations with doctors on sexual and reproductive health topics.

Its platform also offers delivery of sexual health products and educational resources on sexual and reproductive health.

Whispa Health is committed to providing young people with the information and services they need to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.

The company is also working to break down the stigma around SRH by creating a safe and supportive space for young people to ask questions and get help.

Whispa Health has already had a significant impact on the lives of young people in Nigeria.

The company has helped to reach over 100,000 young people with its services.

The company is currently working to expand its services to reach more young people in Nigeria and beyond.

By breaking down the stigma around SRH and making it easier for young people to get the information and services they need, Whispa Health has emerged as a force for good in Africa’s health tech world.

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Ghanaian agri-tech startup Oyster Agribusiness raises $310,000 in funding to accelerate its growth

New Investments

Ghanaian agri-tech startup Oyster Agribusiness raises $310,000 in funding to accelerate its growth

Oyster Agribusiness, a pioneering agricultural technology startup based in Ghana, has raised $310,000 in funding in its latest investment round.
 

The funding will further enhance and expand the company’s innovative agri-tech solutions, enabling increased productivity and sustainability within the agricultural sector.

The investment was in the form of grant and debt funding.

Founded in 2018, Oyster Agribusiness is on a mission to empower farmers through cutting-edge technology.

The startup has developed a range of digital tools and services that address critical challenges faced by farmers, including access to real-time weather data, crop monitoring, pest prediction, and market insights.

These solutions aim to improve crop yields, reduce losses, and ultimately increase farmers’ income.

The new investment will enable Oyster Agribusiness to accelerate its product development, expand its market reach, and further invest in research and development to refine its solutions continually.

The startup also aims to establish strategic partnerships with local agricultural organizations, cooperatives, and government agencies to foster knowledge exchange and collaborative initiatives.

As Oyster Agribusiness embarks on this exciting phase of growth, it holds the promise of transforming how farmers approach agriculture in Ghana, potentially serving as a model for innovation in agri-tech across the continent.

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Ed Partners secures $1.5 million funding from Oikocredit to enhance access to quality education in Kenya

New Investments

Ed Partners secures $1.5 million funding from Oikocredit to enhance access to quality education in Kenya

Ed Partners has raised $1.5 million in debt funding from Oikocredit to enhance access to quality education in Kenya.
 

Ed Partners received the funding by partnering with the renowned international social impact investor.

This collaboration has been strategically designed to amplify educational opportunities for marginalized communities in Kenya and empower them through enhanced access to quality education and cutting-edge technology.

Oikocredit, distinguished for its unwavering dedication to fostering positive social and economic transformations, has established its position as a trailblazer in impact investing.

This partnership with Ed Partners is a testament to Oikocredit’s commitment to driving change within the educational sector and, by extension, the lives of individuals living in underserved communities.

Ed Partners’ focus on leveraging technology and forming strategic partnerships underscores its commitment to overcoming the multifaceted challenges faced by students in low-income areas.

The primary objective of Ed Partners is to ensure equitable access to high-quality education, effectively dismantling the barriers that often hinder educational progress.

The substantial $1.5 million investment from Oikocredit will be strategically allocated across several key initiatives, all poised to drive tangible change within the Kenyan education landscape.

A considerable portion of the funding will be dedicated to infusing technology into the learning experience.

With plans to equip schools with computers, tablets, and internet connectivity, Ed Partners envisions a future where students can seamlessly access online educational resources and platforms.

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SA medtech startup VitruvianMD raises $1.25 million for innovative healthcare solutions

New Investments

SA medtech startup VitruvianMD raises $1.25 million for innovative healthcare solutions

VitruvianMD, a promising South African medtech startup focusing on innovative healthcare solutions, has raised $1.25 million in funding.
 

Social impact venture capital (VC) fund, The Nebula Fund, led the funding round.

The investment is set to catalyze the growth and expansion of VirtruvianMD’s cutting-edge medical technologies, with the potential to revolutionize healthcare services in South Africa and beyond.

The startup’s achievement follows a growing trend of African startups securing funding for groundbreaking initiatives.

The funding injection is expected to accelerate VitruvianMD’s efforts to address critical healthcare challenges by leveraging advanced technologies.

The company’s core focus lies in developing innovative solutions that enhance patient care, diagnostics, and medical data management.

These endeavors align with the global shift towards technology-driven healthcare solutions.

VitruvianMD’s flagship products include state-of-the-art medical devices that integrate artificial intelligence, data analytics, and user-friendly interfaces to improve patient outcomes and streamline medical processes.

As part of its expansion plans, VitruvianMD aims to further collaborate with medical institutions, research centers, and healthcare providers to integrate its technologies into existing healthcare systems.

The MedTech sector in South Africa has witnessed significant growth over the past few years, driven by a combination of factors, including an increasing demand for advanced healthcare services.

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VC firm Founders Factory Africa secures $114 million to support African tech startups

New Investments

VC firm Founders Factory Africa secures $114 million to support African tech startups

Founders Factory Factory, a renowned venture capital company, has secured $114 million in funding to support and accelerate the growth of tech startups across Africa.
 

The substantial investment underscores the confidence in the continent’s burgeoning tech ecosystem and its potential to drive innovation and economic progress.

Founders Factory’s funding will be strategically distributed across a diverse portfolio of startups spanning various sectors, including fintech, health tech, agritech, edtech, and more.

This approach reflects the company’s commitment to nurturing innovation across multiple industries, focusing on harnessing technology for positive societal impact.

The significance of Founders Factory’s approach extends beyond monetary investment.

Selected startups will receive financial support and access to a network of seasoned mentors, industry experts, and successful entrepreneurs.

This comprehensive support system aims to accelerate the growth trajectory of these companies and position them as leaders in their respective fields.

“We are excited to have new and dynamic funding, which follows on from previous investments into Founders Factory Africa by Standard Bank Group, Small Foundation and Netcare Group,” Founders Factory Africa co-founder Alina Truhina said.

The Ksh.16 billion funding milestone marks a significant leap forward for Founders Factory and the African tech ecosystem, emphasizing the value of strategic investment in nurturing innovation and fostering sustainable development on the continent.

Since its inception in 2018, Founders Factory has catalyzed over 55 African tech startups.

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