#Africa Insurtech startup Bluewave wins Seedstars Kenya

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Insurtech startup Bluewave has been named winner of the Kenyan leg of the global Seedstars World competition, earning a place at the global final and the chance to pitch for US$1 million in equity investment.

Seedstars, which has already picked African winners in Egypt, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Ghana, Rwanda, Libya, Uganda, Senegal and the DRC, partnered Nailab to holds its Kenyan event last week.

The overall winner was Bluewave, which has developed a robust microinsurance system that offers users easy access to an array of insurance products. The startup partners with insurance companies and large aggregators such as MNOs, banks and microfinance institutions to distribute their products.

Bluewave will now head to the global final in Switzerland in April next year, where it stands the chance of securing US$1 million in equity investment and other prizes.

Salesforce automation startup Optimetriks was second, while digital learning platform Angaza Elimu came in third.

The other startups that pitched were agri-tech startup Bitshamba, blockchain-based ID service Gravity.earth, health chat app Lily Health, sports facility booking app PataGrao, and back office automation platform Paybobby.

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#Africa Ivory Coast-based ticketing startup mTick expands to Senegal

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Ivory Coast-based ticketing platform mTick has expanded its operations into Senegal after witnessing strong uptake in its home market.

Founded in 2015, mTick issues e-tickets for customers, with providers taking payment through mobile money and receiving real-time updates on sales.

Initially focused in inter-urban transportation ticketing, mTick has scaled into other kinds of ticketing such as events and sports, and has more than 2,800 users in Ivory Coast. Since launching in Senegal, it has already had 150 users.

Founder Abdoulaye Bill Diara told Disrupt Africa mTick is self-funded, but pleased with its growth.

“The activity is growing quite well but not as fast as it could because lot of people aren’t aware of the existence of this strong and easy way to buy tickets,” he said.

Regardless, mTick is already in discussions about launching in another new market, and is interested in securing investment and partners in countries like Mali and Nigeria.

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#Africa First developer cohorts complete Andela Fellowship

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Nigerian software engineer training startup Andela has celebrated the first set of developers to have completed its four-year Fellowship, with these graduates now expected to start their own ventures, join global and local companies, or take senior developer roles at Andela.

Andela hosted over 300 attendees at an event last week to mark the occasion, with the developers having completed the rigorous four-year technical leadership programme, which saw them acquire management experience and technical expertise in software languages such as Ruby on Rails, Javascript, Python, Ruby, and React Native.

They have worked as full-time team members with global companies such as Viacom, Github, InVision and Wema Bank’s ALAT via Andela’s distributed work model, and will now move on into full-time positions or launch their own startups.

“Andela has cemented its position as the company that invests in Africa’s most talented software engineers, and I am proud to be celebrating the Fellows’ commitment and successes after four years of hard work,” said Dr Omobola Johnson, board member of Andela and senior partner at its investor TLcom.

“The 18 developers who have completed their Fellowship should be really proud of themselves; I’m excited and eagerly looking forward to seeing them flourish in their tech careers. You are the proof of the Andela narrative that brilliance is evenly distributed.”

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#Africa Nigeria’s Fibre takes hassle out of property management

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Nigerian startup Fibre is taking the hassle out of property management by helping people invest in property and then rent it to tenants.

Launched in Lagos in 2016 and venture-backed last year, Fibre partners with landlords and helps them rent out their properties via its online platform.

“For our partner landlords, we offer guaranteed income on their rental property and take control of all tenant relations and maintenance,” co-founder Demilade Ademuson told Disrupt Africa.

Fibre is now expanding its operations to create an end-to-end platform for residential real estate with the launch of its latest product, Secure. The new platform helps property investors make purchases, with Fibre handling the entire conveyance process.

“For buyers that purchase for investment purchases, we will help them list their property on our rental platform and remit rental income to them quarterly. We aim to launch the product in the next few months, however, it is available for early access right now,” said Ademuson.

The reason for Fibre’s existence is to establish a greater level of trust within the real estate market.

“Landlords do not trust that tenants will adhere to their contracts and pay on time. We decided that if we could become a trusted intermediary between landlords and tenants we could solve some of the most pressing issues for both parties,” Ademuson said.

The startup competes against property listing sites and classifieds, but Ademuson said Fibre is different because it focuses on both the discovery aspect of property and convenience of payment.

Since its launched, Fibre has housed around 250 members all over Lagos, and the platform has a swaitlist of almost 5,000 people. It hopes to increase its members four-fold in the next year. It also plans to expand elsewhere in Nigeria, with Abuja being its first target.

“We are also exploring an expansion into Ghana but want to make sure we are covering our bases in Nigeria first. We plan to take Fibre to Abuja, the rest of Nigeria and Ghana by 2019,” said Ademuson.

Fibre, which takes a commission from rental fees, has made over US$1.5million for its partner landlords since its inception.

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#Africa SA deliveries startup Droppa launches retail gateway

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South African on-demand delivery startup Droppa has launched Droppa Retail, a gateway for retail stores, warehouses and distribution centres to make deliveries to their customers.

Launched in April 2016, Droppa makes it easier and safer to transport household goods and furniture, with customers accessing its screened drivers through its website and mobile apps.

Droppa Retail, a new feature on the Droppa online platform, has access to over 100 delivery vehicles, aiming to make it easier for retailers to have goods delivered to the homes of customers immediately after purchase. Retailers can now register with Droppa and have this value added to their supply chain.

“With our affordable delivery rates customers can rest at ease while the retailer manages the delivery. Droppa Retail customers can track their delivery from the retail store to the drop off point,” Droppa said.

The service is currently only available in Gauteng, but Droppa told Disrupt Africa last year it had plans to expand to Cape Town and Durban in due course.

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#Africa Ed-tech startup wins Seedstars Kinshasa

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Ed-tech startup Labes Key has been named winner of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) round of Seedstars World, and will progress to the global finals in Switzerland standing the chance to win US$1 million in funding.

Seedstars has already picked African winners in Egypt, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Ghana, Rwanda, Libya, Uganda and Senegal; before returning to the DRC last week to host the Kinshasa-based round of the contest with the support of local host Ingenious City.  

Local ed-tech startup Labes Key was crowned winner on the night for its solution Schoolap, which aims to improve the quality of teaching by providing access to digital lessons online.

The startup will now compete head-to-head against other winners from around the world at the Seedstars Summit, which is set to take place in Switzerland in April 2019. Contestants will participate in a weeklong training programme, culminating in a pitch day in front of an audience of more than 1,000 attendees, at which startups can win up to US$1 million in equity funding.

“We did not expect this victory, and we would like to say a big thank you to Seedstars for the impact it is making every time on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in DRC,” says Pascal Kanik, co-founder of Schoolap.

“We are very happy to see the progress of the Congolese ecosystem. While efforts are still to be made with the support of the state and incubators, but the process is ongoing,” says Paul Emmanuel, associate for the West Africa Region at Seedstars.

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#Africa Lagos to host Africa Fintech Summit in November

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The Africa Fintech Summit will be held for the first time in Lagos, Nigeria, on November 8-9, on the heels of the earlier edition in Washington DC, which featured leading policymakers, C-suite business executives, startups and investors.

The summit, organised by Dedalus Global, gathers innovators, investors, policymakers and other key stakeholders in the fintech sector to discuss technologies transforming finance on the continent, debate regulatory policies, compare best practices, and forge new ventures.

Summit chairman Leland Rice said Lagos was an ideal host city, as an epicentre of Africa’s fintech revolution and the “driving force behind the continent’s entrepreneurial spirit”.

“The successes of companies such as Paga, Flutterwave, Mines, and Paystack have strategically positioned Lagos as the destination of choice for investors,” he said.

“The first edition of the Summit in DC was a launchpad for several milestone fintech deals struck among its delegates in the months after the event. We plan to build on these successes in Lagos, with a focus on bringing innovators and policymakers together to move the needle on fintech regulation and bringing founders and investors together to facilitate further capital raises.”

The two-day event will feature investor missions from the US, UK, and UAE, an Alpha Expo featuring the most exciting startups and entrepreneurs in Nigeria, a half-day blockchain masterclass, and an awards ceremony.

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#Africa Egyptian bus-booking startup Buseet raises seed funding round

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Egyptian bus-booking startup Buseet has raised a seed funding round to increase its product offering and expand to other markets in the MENA region.

Founded by Amr El Sawy, Khaled Mahmoud and Mohamed Emad in 2016, Buseet provides an easy to use tech solution to help people book buses for their everyday commute.

The startup expanded operations to Dubai earlier this year, and has now raised a seed funding round from investors including 500 Startups, Cairo Angels and other angel investors from the Gulf and Singapore to scale to new markets and expand its offering.

“We’re excited about this round that will help us expand our team and strengthen our tech to offer a high-quality service for everyday commuters,” said Amr El Sawy, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Buseet.

“Moving forward our focus is to shift more car owners to save time and effort wasted in driving to ride Buseet, hence improve their daily commute experience while reducing number of cars and traffic.”

Aly El Shalakany, chairman of Cairo Angels, said his organisation was pleased to have closed the Buseet deal and to have co-invested with 500 Startups and other angels.

“We are very confident that Buseet can compete and continue to deliver a compelling solution to a very real problem that is clearly identifiable across emerging markets and beyond,” he said.

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