Rest Of World

Rest Of World

@Rest Of World

Rest of World challenges expectations about whose experiences with technology matter. We connect the dots across a rapidly evolving digital world, through on-the-ground reporting in places typically overlooked and underestimated.

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Dec 19, 2023
Unlocking Africa's Tech Potential: The Crucial Role of Startup Engagement in Policy Discussions
Discover why Oswald Osaretin Guobadia, managing partner at DigitA, believes that African startups must actively participate in tech policy conversations. Gain insights into the biggest challenges faced and the transformative lessons learned while shaping the Nigeria Startup Act.
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Dec 12, 2023
Kenyan Content Moderators Fight Against Meta: The Man Leading the Battle 🇰🇪
Meet Nathan Nkunzimana, the resilient leader of the Kenyan Content Moderators’ Union, fighting for justice against Meta and Sama. Discover how he's spearheading efforts to reinstate over 200 laid-off moderators, challenging working conditions, and advocating for their rights in a groundbreaking court battle.
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Rest Of World
Dec 11, 2023
🎬 Nollywood Shift: Nigerian Filmmakers Embrace YouTube Over Netflix for Control and Earnings 🇳🇬
🇳🇬 Nigerian filmmakers are making a strategic move to YouTube, avoiding the challenges of international platforms like Netflix. Controlling distribution, fighting piracy, and increasing earnings are the driving forces behind this shift, as YouTube proves to be a more democratic and lucrative alternative for the vibrant Nollywood industry.
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Rest Of World
Dec 6, 2023
🎰 Influencers Fueling Rise in Online Gambling Among Nigerian Youth, Experts Urge Government Oversight 📢💔
Discover how influencers with millions of followers are driving a surge in online gambling addiction among Nigerian youth, prompting concerns about the lack of government oversight. 😟📈
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Rest Of World
Dec 4, 2023
Nigerian Food Delivery Riders Shift Gears: Embracing Electric Bikes Amid Soaring Gas Prices 🚴‍♂️⚡
As gas prices in Nigeria surge by nearly 230%, food delivery riders are racing towards electric bikes, saving up to 60% on fuel and maintenance costs. 📈⚡ Explore how this shift is transforming the gig economy and sparking interest in sustainable alternatives.
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Rest Of World
Nov 29, 2023
Chowdeck: Transforming Nigeria's Food Delivery Landscape with Tech Innovation and Rider Incentives 🇳🇬
Discover how Chowdeck, a Y Combinator-backed startup, is revolutionizing the competitive Nigerian food delivery industry with cutting-edge technology and attractive incentives for delivery workers. In a market dominated by global giants like Bolt, Glovo, and Jumia, Chowdeck's impressive growth, user experience enhancements, and strong partnerships with major restaurant chains are reshaping the narrative.
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Rest Of World
Nov 22, 2023
Speed and Service: Johannesburg Gig Worker Delivers Groceries in Record 15 Minutes 🏍️ ⚡
Meet Mkhululi Siziba, the dynamic gig worker in Johannesburg claiming to deliver any order within an impressive 15 minutes. Working for Checkers Sixty60, Siziba navigates the competitive South African grocery delivery landscape, emphasizing speed and customer satisfaction. Despite challenges, including rising fuel costs, he thrives in the gig economy, showcasing the survival-of-the-fittest spirit in the bustling city.
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Rest Of World
Nov 14, 2023
From China to Lagos: The Rise of 'Fake Originals' and the Impact on Nigeria's Fashion Market" 🛍️🇳🇬
Dive into the vibrant streets of Lagos, where a booming market in counterfeit fashion, known as "fake originals," is fueled by Chinese e-commerce platforms. Discover the journey from AliExpress to Balogun Market, as knockoffs of popular brands find their way to Nigerian consumers, reshaping the fashion landscape. 🧵👗
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Rest Of World
Nov 7, 2023
How Regulation and Consumer Behavior Fuel Fintech Growth in Africa
Wiza Jalakasi is the director of Africa market development at Ebanx, a payment company headquartered in Brazil and focused on emerging markets. Ebanx grew fast in Latin America and has now expanded into Africa.
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Rest Of World
Nov 1, 2023
Koo's Missed Opportunity: How Nigeria's Ban on X Faded its Shine 🇮🇳 🇳🇬
Indian microblogging platform Koo gained traction in Nigeria after a temporary government ban on X in 2021. Prominent Nigerian political figures had endorsed Koo two years ago, but have now abandoned the platform. Experts believe the government’s endorsement was one reason why Koo failed to succeed in Nigeria.
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Rest Of World
Nov 1, 2023
🌍 Archivi.ng: Teaching AI About African History 📚
In a country like Nigeria, where history is no longer taught in schools, Fu’ad Lawal and his team of volunteers have created a valuable resource with Archivi.ng. The project is a digital archive and search engine for every important news story published since Nigeria’s independence in 1960.
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Rest Of World
Nov 1, 2023
Crisis Looms for African Startups as Funding Dries Up: How They're Adapting to a New Reality
VC funding in the African startup ecosystem has steadily declined in 2023, causing experts to worry about the future of the once fast-growing sector. With fewer investors willing to bet on the continent during the tech downturn, the funding crunch has triggered mass layoffs, slashed valuations, and the liquidation of several African startups. Recent news reports of mismanagement and fraud have impacted investor perception, leading to increased scrutiny and demand for credibility from local and global investors.
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Oct 30, 2023
South African Ride-Hail Drivers Clash Over Bolt's Affordable Bajaj Qute Cars 🚖 🇿🇦
Ride-hailing platform Bolt’s new Lite tier allows drivers to use the Bajaj Qute, a small car manufactured by Indian manufacturer Bajaj Auto. Bolt Lite rides are up to 18% cheaper, making it a popular choice for passengers. There have been several reported attacks on Bajaj Qute drivers, by other gig drivers who see them as a threat. South Africa is one of the first countries where Bajaj Qute has been used for ride-hailing services. The vehicle has been controversial since its launch.
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Rest Of World
Oct 27, 2023
🚀 OPay: Revolutionizing Money Transfers in Nigeria! 🇳🇬
The app that revolutionized money transfers in Nigeria OPay uses technology that doesn’t rely on the traditional banking system.
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Rest Of World
Oct 19, 2023
African Streaming Services Struggle to Compete with Netflix and Prime Video
Streaming platforms owned by local telecommunications companies struggle to compete with international players like Netflix and Prime Video. At least four telecom companies have shut down their streaming platforms in the last year. Experts believe the companies are not investing enough in their content strategy, which is the core of the streaming business.
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Rest Of World
Oct 17, 2023
🚖 Struggles of African Ride-Hailing Unions 🌍
Gig driver unions in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria have organized several strikes against what they believe are exploitative practices by apps like Uber, Bolt, and inDrive. Union representatives, however, believe their efforts have failed because they lack the capacity to fight the companies, with governments providing little support. Uber says it has engaged with drivers in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya over the past year, and is also open to hearing future concerns.
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Rest Of World
Sep 27, 2023
South African Upwork Copywriter Adapts to the Gig Economy Amid AI Threat
Busani Moyo fears AI could soon wipe out his job, so he’s been trying to learn how to use ChatGPT to his advantage.
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Rest Of World
Sep 26, 2023
Possible EVs: Changing the Game in Nigeria's Mobility Sector 🇳🇬
EV adoption in Nigeria is almost nonexistent, but a local startup is helping solve that problem. The vehicle experience center tackling EV misconceptions in Nigeria. Mosope Olaosebikan is the founder and CEO of Possible EVs, an Abuja-based mobility startup launched in 2021. The company is helping educate Africans about electric vehicles through its experience center.
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Rest Of World
Sep 14, 2023
South Africa's New Immigration Laws Impact Skilled Migrant Tech Workers 🇿🇦
South Africa’s new labor laws have slowed down skilled migrants’ visa renewal processes and restricted the pool of available jobs. Previously bright career prospects in the country have now come to an end, and migrants are turning to odd jobs to make a living.
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Rest Of World
Sep 11, 2023
Kenyan Pastor and Former Uber Driver Leads Legal Battles Against Ride-Hailing Giants ⚖️ 🇰🇪
Kenya’s Ridehail Transport Association has sued 14 ride-hailing apps, including Uber and Bolt, for failure to comply with various rules governing operations and driver welfare. The association’s acting secretary, Zakaria Johana, is at the forefront of these lawsuits. Although Johana is not a trained lawyer, he has drafted several legal cases for the association, which represents itself in court proceedings.
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Sep 7, 2023
The Politics of Africa’s TikTok Bans: Is It Really About Morality?
In August, TikTok was banned in Senegal and Somalia, with petitions to do the same in at least three other African countries. Citizens and experts believe the motive behind the ban is to suppress public criticism of the government.
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Rest Of World
Sep 5, 2023
How Zimbabwe’s biggest fast-food company became a popular fintech solution 🇿🇼
InnBucks was launched as an app to pay back loose change at popular restaurants like Nando’s and Chicken Inn, amid a shortage of small denomination currency notes. Now, it offers digital payment services and loans. The app features a wide range of financial products and services, including savings accounts, mobile wallets, microloans, mobile banking, and value-added services such as airtime. It is Zimbabwe’s most popular free financial-sector app on the Google Play store.
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Rest Of World
Aug 31, 2023
Free AI tools are killing South Africa’s web designer job market 🇿🇦 👨🏾‍💻 🧠
South Africa’s web designers struggle to stay afloat as new players using cheap AI tools flood the market. Earnings have dropped significantly as recruitment agents push to hire fewer professionals.
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Rest Of World
Aug 29, 2023
South Africa’s competition watchdog takes aim at Google 🇿🇦
A report by South Africa’s Competition Commission alleges that Google and some other large tech companies are anti-competitive and making growth difficult for small local businesses. The commission wants Google to tailor some of its products to promote the local businesses and then invest up to $17.3 million in them. Experts say the commission is putting the country’s burgeoning digital economy at risk.
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Rest Of World
Aug 23, 2023
Nigeria’s currency devaluation is a disaster for startups 🇳🇬
A new foreign exchange policy increased the rate of naira from 460 per dollar in early June to nearly 800 by August. Nigerian startups, which typically raise funds in dollars and earn revenue in naira, say the currency depreciation has led to sharp increases in costs for cloud servers and software, while their incomes remain low in dollar terms. Investors have been reviewing the valuations of startups and say the new rule could lead to some companies shutting down.
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Rest Of World
Aug 14, 2023
Nigerian tech workers are going remote, and pricing out locals in smaller cities 🇳🇬 👨🏾‍💻
Tech workers are leaving Lagos and Abuja — the country’s economic and political hubs, and flocking to cities like Ibadan, Jos, Benin City, Uyo, and Osogbo. Nigeria’s rising inflation and other economic challenges are making remote tech workers move to smaller cities, where living costs are relatively lower. The influx has led to rising rents, and increased costs of food and transportation in the secondary cities. Although locals have been seriously affected, researchers and startup developers say the development could be good for the cities’ economies in the long run.
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Rest Of World
Aug 11, 2023
Scammers are cashing in on Worldcoin’s chaotic Kenya launch
Without a cash withdrawal option, Kenyans are turning to the country’s informal crypto economy — and some are losing their coins in the process. Officially launched on July 24, Worldcoin gives 25 WLD tokens as a signup bonus to new registrants. With Worldcoin operations halted in Kenya, many are now scrambling to redeem their tokens for cash. Informal coins-for-cash trades have created a new opportunity for fraud and theft.
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Rest Of World
Aug 7, 2023
TikTokers are documenting — and monetizing — anti-government protests in Kenya
Anti-government protests in Kenya have found a digital home on TikTok. While creators are making money from livestreaming protests, protesters say the videos help them stay safe against police brutality. Mũtana Gakurũ, founder of a Nairobi-based creators collective, warns the trend may stoke political tensions and violence.
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Rest Of World
Aug 1, 2023
Why African governments must prioritize affordable internet and smartphones
Lacina Koné is the director general and CEO of Smart Africa, an alliance backed by African heads of state and governments to facilitate technological and digital innovation on the continent. In a conversation with Rest of World, Koné shared what he has learned about the digital capabilities of African countries so far and what they must prioritize in the future.
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Rest Of World
Jul 31, 2023
A Ponzi scheme targets desperate workers amid Zimbabwe’s employment crisis 🇿🇼
Several unemployed Zimbabweans were scammed by E-Creator, a platform that promised payment for writing fake reviews on e-commerce websites. In June, local reports said the company’s director Zhao Jiaotong had run off with over $1 million obtained from the scam. He has since been arrested. Experts say such schemes thrive on people’s desperation at a time when unemployment in Zimbabwe is as high as 90%, according to some estimates, and inflation is more than 100%.
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Rest Of World
Jul 31, 2023
Why are people lining up for Worldcoin eyeball scans? “Easy $50”
In Nairobi, Bengaluru, and Hong Kong, our reporters found lots of people were eager to take the deal. At Nairobi’s Imaara shopping mall on a quiet Thursday, two dozen people stood in line to have their irises scanned. It was the fourth day after the official launch of Worldcoin, a global blockchain project championed by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.
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Rest Of World
Jul 28, 2023
Six companies making it easier for Africans to send money globally
Sending money in and out of Africa is a stressful task. For starters, it’s costly: Each transaction incurs fees of up to 8.46% on average, according to the World Bank, making it the most expensive region to send money. Internet scams and regulatory bottlenecks present further challenges, leading global fintech companies, including Wise, WorldRemit, and Mercury, to often cut African users off from their services.
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Rest Of World
Jul 27, 2023
How Lagos’ bubbly internet cafe culture went flat 🌐 👩🏾‍💻 🇳🇬
In the 2000s, it seemed as if there was an internet cafe on practically every Lagos street corner. Inside, young people spent their days looking at pictures of their favorite hip-hop artists, playing online games, tapping away on pay-to-click (PTC) websites, or chatting over Yahoo Messenger. The demand for internet access was so great that eventually cafes sold internet access in bulk. More access meant faster connectivity and increased productivity.
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Rest Of World
Jul 25, 2023
Internet cafes introduced Uganda to the internet 🌐 👨🏿‍💻 🇺🇬
Uganda’s first internet cafes came to life in 1996. Now, they barely exist. The history of internet cafes is synonymous with the history of internet access in Uganda. Uganda had less than 5,000 internet users in 1999. That’s around the time when the country’s first internet cafes cropped up, catering mostly to tourists and researchers. For most Ugandans who used the internet during the 2000s and early 2010s, these cafes represented their first experience of going online.
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Jul 24, 2023
Flutterwave is a debacle. Is it really too big to fail ❓
Fintech company Flutterwave is scoring international business partnerships amid a series of controversies. It announced strategic partnerships with Audiomack, Microsoft, and Token.io in one month. Investors and experts believe Flutterwave’s size and importance in the African tech ecosystem make it almost too big to fail.
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Rest Of World
Jul 21, 2023
New visa programs spark brain drain fears across Africa 🌍 🔀 🇩🇪 🇨🇦 🇬🇧
Germany, Canada and the U.K. have launched immigration-friendly visa policies that are attracting skilled workers from Africa. Experts worry this will lead to brain drain in Africa, and entrepreneurs fear losing good talent to the West.
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Rest Of World
Jul 20, 2023
Uber Eats drivers in South Africa are unionizing
Uber Eats delivery drivers in South Africa are looking to form a union to hold the company accountable. Drivers say they lack basic equipment and benefits, and that Uber Eats has not been responsive to their grievances, forcing them to consider unionizing. Uber says it has done its best to create flexible and rewarding work conditions for its drivers, including providing insurance. But drivers say they have not received any such benefits.
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Rest Of World
Jul 20, 2023
Employees allege sexual harassment and intimidation at CCI, Africa’s largest call center company
Over 20 current and former employees of Call Center International Kenya told Rest of World they had faced sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace. The company is a branch of CCI Global, the largest business process outsourcing organization in Africa. CCI Kenya’s clients include T-Mobile, Foxtel, Spirit Airlines, Instacart, MultiChoice, and M-Kopa.
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Jul 18, 2023
How this startup bounced back from a crisis
ThriveAgric fell into a crisis when the pandemic hit. Three years later, it has found its way back up. Uka Eje is the co-founder and CEO of ThriveAgric, a Nigerian fintech providing smallholder farmers access to finance, agricultural insights, and distribution assistance. In 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the company sank into a crisis and was unable to pay out investments that users had made on its platform. Three years on, ThriveAgric has pivoted its business model and turned its fortunes around. Now, the company provides tech and value-chain support for farmers.
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Rest Of World
Jul 11, 2023
The AI startup outperforming Google Translate in Ethiopian languages 🇪🇹
Asmelash Teka Hadgu is the co-founder and chief technology officer of Lesan, a Berlin-based startup developing machine translation products for Ethiopian languages. Founded in 2019, Lesan has launched translation tools for Amharic and Tigrinya, which it says outperform Google Translate in terms of quality. The startup’s use of offline print resources to create a new benchmark data set for languages from the Horn of Africa has been key to its success.
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Rest Of World
Jul 11, 2023
Ride-hailing drivers in Nigeria are suffering after government triples fuel prices ⛽ 📈 🚕
Uber and Bolt drivers say the fuel subsidy removal has put them at risk of losing their livelihoods. President Bola Tinubu has initiated several significant policy changes since his inauguration on May 29. One change is the removal of the fuel subsidy, which has caused fuel prices to nearly triple. Institutions like the World Bank have hailed the policy as a great move for the country. Gig workers, however, are suffering under the new fuel price regime.
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Rest Of World
Jul 3, 2023
WhatsApp voice notes are revolutionizing farming in Senegal
In Senegal, a country with low levels of literacy, WhatsApp voice notes allow farmers and researchers to share information and collaborate. Farmers, researchers, and NGOs use WhatsApp as their primary source of communication, using it to spread information about techniques that help them face challenges like climate change.
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Rest Of World
Jun 29, 2023
For South Africa’s female ride-hailing drivers, customers are the biggest hazards 🚖⛔
Female ride-hailing drivers in Johannesburg describe their daily work as risky and dangerous, as they face a threat to safety from male customers. Uber and Bolt said they have introduced features to keep drivers safe. But a South African ride-hailing drivers’ association said the companies need to do more.
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Rest Of World
Jun 29, 2023
AI moderation is no match for hate speech in Ethiopian languages
New research casts doubt on multilingual language models, which are commonly used for AI moderation of low-resource languages. Two such languages, Amharic and Tigrinya, are at the center of recent violence in northern Ethiopia, where Facebook is accused of fueling the violence through poor moderation
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Rest Of World
Jun 23, 2023
Nigeria’s dating app for people who want to stop dating and get hitched already 💕💍
What started out as a matchmaking WhatsApp group has turned into a popular dating app with over 2.1 million recorded matches and 44 marriages.
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Jun 20, 2023
Nigerian engineering students’ favorite teachers are Indian YouTubers
Nigerian engineering students are increasingly turning to Indian YouTubers for supplementary academic support. Though the Indian educational channels weren’t created with the idea of catering to Nigerian students, they’re now trying to keep their lessons accessible to all.
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Rest Of World
Jun 19, 2023
As war rages in Sudan, small startups are helping people find food, money, and flee
The civil war in Sudan has severely damaged the country’s crucial infrastructure, impacting health care, telecommunications, and banking. At least six Sudanese startups have risen to the occasion, and are helping citizens get by in challenging times.
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Nov 8, 2022
Ethiopia’s ride-hailing startups face their toughest opponents: each other
In February 2022, Fraol Ibsa, who was making a living on ride-hailing apps, downloaded SunPick, the latest ride-hailing app to hit the market in Addis Ababa. Ibsa was excited, as the company was promising to bring new features for both drivers and passengers, such as enhanced security features.
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Rest Of World
Sep 18, 2022
African and Latin American tech unite
Small hints of big things to come between some of the world’s most overlooked regions. he attention of business and technology in Latin America almost always looks north to the U.S. The more sophisticated Latin American VCs and entrepreneurs take the world’s other great markets into consideration when thinking of where to scale, seek out investment, or talent — namely, Europe, China, India, and Japan.
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Rest Of World
Sep 10, 2022
Francophone Africa’s first unicorn is disrupting the region’s mobile money market. But can it last?
Wave’s rise has burst open the mobile money landscape in the West African country by fueling competition with existing players.
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Rest Of World
Aug 25, 2022
The African investor championing female founders on the continent
Eloho Omame shares what female-focused VCs can do better. Eloho Omame co-founded FirstCheck Africa after spending three years as the founding managing director of Endeavor Nigeria. In addition to her work leading a group of startup founders on the continent, Omame is known for her commitment to gender and inclusion in the venture capital (VC) sector in Africa.
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Aug 2, 2022
Egyptian Startup FreshSource uses data to get food to markets
FreshSource is an Egyptian B2B agritech platform, which streamlines the fresh-produce value chain and works directly with local farmers. It leverages data and technology to work with producers and sells fresh produce directly to businesses. In February, the startup raised an undisclosed “seven-figure” seed round to help it scale its operations across Egypt, and serve more farming communities by cutting back on food waste.
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Rest Of World
Jun 10, 2022
🚀🚀Africa's startup funding boom attracted a slew of investors.
When it comes to top valuations, venture firms have never questioned the shaky facts behind them, but with a financing slowdown on the horizon, some are.
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