This Week in African Tech 🌍
Two startup shutdowns and two new funds
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Let’s dive into what happened last week in African Tech!
54 Gene, Nigeria’s genomics startup, is shutting down. Founded in 2019, they wanted to provide genetic data from Africans to help global pharmaceutical companies improve drug discovery. But even after raising $45 million in total funding, this dream has crushed and burned.
Nigeria's Olayemi Cardoso has stepped in as acting central bank governor after being nominated by President Bola Tinubu. He assumed the role on Friday, temporarily filling the position following the suspension of Godwin Emefiele in June and pending Senate confirmation.
Kenya fines three online lenders $63,500 for data breach. Mulla Pride Ltd, operating KeCredit and Faircash, faces a $20,000 penalty for using third-party contacts to harass borrowers into repayment.
Ex-MTN Nigeria CEO Ahmad Farroukh is seeking $1 million from his former employer. The dispute traces back to MTN's acquisition of Investcom in 2006 when Investcom opted for an end-of-service payment for departing employees instead of a pension plan.
Enza Capital, a Kenyan VC firm, has closed $58 million across two funds to back African startups. They’re also launching a Founder Partner program, allowing portfolio company founders to become co-owners of the firm.
Five Kenyan clean-tech startups will join the third NINJA Accelerator edition. Among them are e-bike manufacturer Mazi Mobility and clean cooking gas provider Mega-gas. They'll receive funding and mentorship across 12 weeks, including a trip to Japan as part of a roadshow.
South Africa’s P1 Ventures, has raised the first $25 million for its second fund. So far, they’ve backed 29 early-stage companies in 10 different countries, including Reliance Health in Nigeria and Yassir in Algeria.
Twelve African AI startups will join the second cohort of Microsoft’s FAST Accelerator. FAST is a program created by Microsoft in partnership with Flapmax to grow Africa's digital ecosystem. The chosen startups will head to Silicon Valley for a five-week acceleration program starting in October
Events + Opportunities
Are you building a labour migration startup in North Africa? The International Organization of Employers and Seedstars are bringing back the migration challenge. They’ll pick 10 finalists to present at the GFMD Summit in January 2024 in Geneva. The winner and two runners-up will receive mentorship through the Seedstars, with the winner getting a US$5,500 prize. Apply here by October 6th.
Hey founders! MEST Africa has launched applications for the 5th MEST Africa Challenge, and there’s $50,000 equity funding up for grabs. MEST Africa is a Ghanaian startup training program, fund, and incubator. Apply here before October 9th.
Are you curious about healthcare in Africa? The Africa Health Exhibition is coming to Johannesburg, South Africa on October 17th. They’re expecting 6000+ attendees, 2750+ delegates, and 700+ exhibitors across more than 55 countries. Register here to attend.
The 8th Nigeria Innovation Summit will be held at Lagos' Muson Centre on October 6th. It’s set to bring together government agencies, businesses, international organizations, innovators, and researchers to network and partner. Register here.
Kigali, Rwanda is hosting this year’s AfriLabs event between October 11-13th. The annual event brings together players in Africa’s tech ecosystem for workshops, panel discussions, keynote speeches, and networking. Register here to attend.
And that's a wrap for this week!
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