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Pan-African VC Firm EchoVC Launches $2.5 Million Pre-Seed Climate-Focused Fund

New Investments

Pan-African VC Firm EchoVC Launches $2.5 Million Pre-Seed Climate-Focused Fund

EchoVC, a leading pan-African venture capital firm dedicated to empowering underrepresented founders and underserved markets, has announced the launch of its latest pre-seed fund, EchoVC Eco Pilot Fund I.

This $2.5 million fund will focus on identifying and investing in the most promising early-stage startups with innovative solutions for climate, energy, and agriculture.

EchoVC, driven by the vision to become the Sequoia Capital for underestimated founders and markets, has established its presence with offices in Lagos, Nairobi, New York, and London.

The firm currently has a portfolio of nearly seventy companies, spanning a diverse range of sectors, including smart planet, healthcare, education, agriculture, climate, energy, AI, financial services, mobility, commerce, media, and connectivity.

The EchoVC Eco Pilot Fund I is designed to serve as a catalyst for very-early-stage enterprise development and innovation in climate, energy, and agriculture.

By targeting these critical sectors, the fund aims to foster sustainable solutions that not only address environmental challenges but also empower communities and contribute to an income uplift for all.

Through this pre-seed fund, EchoVC intends to identify and support the most promising startups with the potential to revolutionize climate, energy, and agriculture.

The firm’s investment strategy will focus on early-stage ventures that are poised to disrupt traditional industries and propel sustainable development across Africa and beyond.

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Endeavor Kenya Launches ScaleUp Program to Support High-Growth Founders

New Investments

Endeavor Kenya Launches ScaleUp Program to Support High-Growth Founders

Endeavor Kenya, a non-profit organization that supports high-impact entrepreneurs, has announced the launch of the ScaleUp Program, its inaugural cohort-based initiative for high-growth founders in East Africa.

The program aims to identify ten high-potential ventures and provide them with the necessary resources and network to accelerate their growth trajectory.

Over the course of 28 months, selected entrepreneurs will gain access to the Endeavor ScaleUp methodology, which encompasses expert mentorship, immersive business development training, fundraising support, and a strong peer network of seasoned entrepreneurs.

This comprehensive approach is designed to empower founders to overcome the challenges and seize the opportunities that come with scaling their businesses.

“Scaling high-growth companies is crucial for fostering a vibrant and thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in East Africa,” stated Maryanne Ochola, Managing Director of Endeavor Kenya.

“The Endeavor ScaleUp Program is a catalyst for ambitious local founders to leverage our global expertise and curated services to propel their businesses to new heights.”

To be eligible for the first cohort, early-stage businesses must be headquartered in East Africa, operate with a tech or tech-enabled business model, and have a demonstrable track record of success.

Applicants must also have achieved a minimum of $500,000 in annual recurring revenue, demonstrate year-on-year growth of at least 50%, and be actively contributing to job creation or providing responsible financial services at scale.

The Endeavor ScaleUp Program is a testament to Endeavor Kenya’s unwavering commitment to fostering a thriving entrepreneurial landscape in East Africa.

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Saviu Ventures Secures $13 Million in First Close of Second Fund

New Investments

Saviu Ventures Secures $13 Million in First Close of Second Fund

Saviu Ventures, a leading venture capital firm dedicated to investing in promising startups across Francophone Africa, has successfully reached the first close of its second fund, Saviu II.

The fund, backed by private investors and family offices, will continue to support innovative early-stage ventures driving growth and transformation in the region.

Established in 2018 under the leadership of Benoit Delestre, Samuel Touboul, and Cynthia Mandjek, Saviu Ventures has emerged as a pioneer in the Francophone African VC landscape.

With a team of seven experienced investors and operators strategically positioned across Abidjan, Dakar, and Paris, Saviu Ventures has established a deep understanding of the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and investment opportunities.

To date, Saviu Ventures has invested in 12 promising startups, primarily from Francophone Africa, including Anka, Julaya, Zanifu, Lapaire, and Paps.

With the first close of Saviu II, reaching EUR12 million (US$13 million), the firm is poised to continue its mission of nurturing and empowering the next generation of Francophone African entrepreneurs.

Aligned with its predecessor, Saviu II will focus on seed to Series A investments in early-stage African startups, with a strong emphasis on Francophone Africa.

The fund’s sector-agnostic approach allows it to identify and support innovative tech or tech-enabled ventures across diverse industries such as fintech, e-health, edtech, climate-tech, and e-commerce.

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South African Logistics Startup GoMetro Raises $11.4M in Series A for Global Expansion

New Investments

South African Logistics Startup GoMetro Raises $11.4M in Series A for Global Expansion

GoMetro, a pioneering South African tech company specializing in fleet management solutions, has successfully secured $11.4 million in its Series A funding round.
 

This substantial investment will fuel GoMetro’s ambitious plans to digitize heavy-duty commercial transport operations and refine its advanced fleet management platform across its key markets in the United Kingdom, European Union, United States, and South Africa.

The funding round was spearheaded by Zenobē, a renowned strategic investor specializing in financing and operating electric buses.

FutureGrowth Asset Managers also played a significant role in the round, demonstrating their confidence in GoMetro’s innovative approach to fleet management.

Joining the investment were existing investors 4 Decades Capital, Hlayisani Capital, Tritech Global, Kalon Venture Partners, ESquared Ventures, and Greg Fury, who have consistently backed GoMetro’s transformative vision.

This infusion of capital will serve as a catalyst for GoMetro’s mission to empower fleet operators with data-driven decision-making capabilities, enabling them to optimize resource utilization, reduce operational risks, and enhance customer satisfaction.

In the highly competitive transportation industry, where fleet owners face constant pressure to stay ahead of the curve, GoMetro’s solutions provide a decisive edge, propelling companies towards growth and sustainable success.

GoMetro’s Bridge, a cloud-based platform, plays a pivotal role in the electrification of buses and trucks, a sector poised for significant growth in the coming years.

With GoMetro Bridge, fleet operators gain access to a comprehensive suite of telematics-driven features, tailored to support their transition to all-electric fleets. Utilizing their own telematics data, GoMetro Bridge provides fleet owners with a comprehensive assessment of their readiness for EV adoption.

GoMetro’s Series A funding marks a significant milestone in the company’s journey, solidifying its position as a leading innovator in the fleet management industry.

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Egyptian Startup Nawah Scientific Becomes First African Entity to Receive US-FDA Accreditation for Food Analysis

Key Developments

Egyptian Startup Nawah Scientific Becomes First African Entity to Receive US-FDA Accreditation for Food Analysis

Egyptian startup Nawah Scientific has become the first African entity to receive US-FDA accreditation for food analysis.

This accreditation signifies the company’s remarkable achievements in the field of food safety and testing, placing it among the top global laboratories.

Established in 2015, Nawah Scientific operates an online platform that facilitates high-quality research by scientists, regardless of their location or access to laboratory facilities.

The company receives experiment requests, collects samples, conducts thorough testing, and delivers results electronically.

This accreditation from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a groundbreaking achievement for Nawah Scientific and for the African continent as a whole.

Previously, this accreditation was primarily granted to European companies.

Dr. Omar Sakr, the founder and CEO of Nawah Scientific, expressed his pride in this accomplishment and acknowledged the significance of this accreditation for the company’s growth and impact.

“Now, Nawah Scientific is firmly positioned on the map of global laboratories and research centers, impacting the company and the Egyptian food market. This opens up collaboration opportunities with international organizations such as the UN World Food Programme, saving costs and time for Egyptian exporters seeking to export to the US market by analyzing samples abroad before export,” he stated.

This accreditation is not only a testament to Nawah Scientific’s expertise but also holds immense potential to revolutionize the food safety landscape in Africa.

It will streamline the export process for Egyptian and African companies, eliminating the need to send samples abroad for analysis, thereby reducing costs and expediting export procedures.

Nawah Scientific is poised to leverage this accreditation to expand its reach into key African markets such as Nigeria and South Africa.

The company has already demonstrated its ability to attract investment, having secured a US$1 million pre-Series A round in 2021 and additional funding from the Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund in 2022.

With this groundbreaking accreditation, Nawah Scientific is poised to play a pivotal role in enhancing food safety and quality across Africa, contributing to improved health outcomes and economic prosperity for the continent.

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TomorrowNow Secures $5 Million to Impact 20 Million Farmers in Africa With Weather and Climate Data Services

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TomorrowNow Secures $5 Million to Impact 20 Million Farmers in Africa With Weather and Climate Data Services

TomorrowNow, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing climate resilience in Africa, has secured an additional $5 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
 

This funding will expand the organization’s anchor program, Osiris, which aims to foster and unlock advanced weather and climate data services across the continent.

In 2021, TomorrowNow received a $2 million grant from the Gates Foundation to assist one million African farmers in adapting to climate change.

This initiative demonstrated that enhanced access to localized weather information is crucial for applications within the food system, as much as the quality and precision of the data itself.

With this additional funding, TomorrowNow aims to impact 20 million smallholder farmers over the next three years.

The organization will deliver value-added weather intelligence services across Africa to research organizations, non-profit organizations (NGOs), multilateral organizations, private service providers, farmer cooperatives, and government agencies serving Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs).

The Osiris project utilizes improved historical datasets, observations, and short-term and seasonal weather forecasts from global technology companies such as Tomorrow.io, Salient Predictions, and Arable.

Additionally, it collaborates closely with local government entities and private or non-governmental partners to transform agricultural practices significantly within the region.

The initiative also aims to make next-generation weather and climate information accessible to frontline organizations that support farmers and scientists who are pioneering innovations for the food system.

This enhanced accessibility will improve crop simulation for climate-resilient seed breeding and contribute to the adoption of regenerative farming practices.

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Kenyan Agritech Startup Twiga Secures Funding Amidst Workforce Restructuring

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Kenyan Agritech Startup Twiga Secures Funding Amidst Workforce Restructuring

Twiga Foods, a Kenyan agritech startup that connects farmers to food vendors, has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from a group of investors, including Creadev and Juven.
 

This funding comes at a time when the company is undergoing a significant restructuring, including a reduction of its workforce by nearly 40%.

Twiga CEO and Co-Founder Peter Njonjo stated that the funding round is the culmination of a strategic transformation that has enhanced the company’s cost efficiency and improved service delivery to its customers.

“We have made significant progress in streamlining our operations and optimizing our cost structure without compromising the quality of our services,” he said.

Njonjo acknowledged the impact of the workforce reduction, expressing gratitude to both current and departing employees for their contributions to Twiga’s success.

He explained that the restructuring was necessary to align the company’s staffing levels with its current business needs and ensure long-term sustainability.

The funding secured by Twiga will support the company’s ongoing operations and enable it to adapt to the dynamic market conditions.

Njonjo emphasized the company’s commitment to providing affordable goods and services to its customers despite the challenging economic environment.

Twiga’s recent moves reflect the resilience and adaptability of the agritech sector in the face of global economic shifts.

The company’s focus on cost optimization and service improvement highlights its determination to remain one of the leading players in the Kenyan agribusiness landscape.

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Nyakeh Bio

Artist Profile

Nyakeh Baio

I’m Nyakeh Baio, 3rd year student at the University of Sierra Leone Fourah Bay college. Studying Architecture.
Was born in Bo and raise up in Freetown…
Painting has been more than a hobby for me, it my way of telling my story

Exhibition Portfolio

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Abob Kamara

Artist Profile

Abob Kamara

Artist Name: Bob's Art

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Exhibition Portfolio