Here are the 11 African fintechs selected for LHoFT’s bootcamp in Luxembourg

The Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT) has announced the names of 11 African fintech companies selected for its Catapult: Inclusion Africa fintech bootcamp which takes place next month in Luxembourg.

The fully funded week-long bootcamp — which runs between 1 and 8 March — is an initiative of LHoFT and is sponsored by PWC and Luxembourg Aid and Development.

The announcement of the 11 startups was made last Wednesday (11 February) on LHoFT’s website.

LHoFT has announced the names of 11 African fintechs that will take part in a bootcamp in Luxembourg next month

LHoFT announced in December that it had 12 spots available for the second edition of the programme (see this story). In the end, only 11 startups were chosen.

The 11 startups are:

CinetPay (Côte d’Ivoire): A mobile money, credit card and other wallet payment gateway allowing e-commerce sites, e-service, companies and institutions to accept all means of payment online or offline in eight African countries.

A-Trader (Tanzania): The startup is building a robo-advisor to provide automated investment recommendations for Africa’s growing middle class through real-time access to Africa’s stockmarkets, savings and investments options, and easily understandable structured financial instruments.

Dundiza (Tanzania): The first digital wallet platform that enables young people and women living in marginalised communities to securely save and manage their money instantly while being to gain competitive interest and access credit scorings from the savings.

Esusu (Nigeria): Esusu Africa Limited is tackling the problems of informal savings schemes across Africa. It does this through Electronic Esusu, a digital platform designed to simplify thrift savings, collections and microcredit towards enhancing delivery of digital financial services to the last mile.

Eversend (France): Eversend is building a neobank for Africans, anywhere in the world. The multi-currency e-wallet allows users to exchange, spend and send money at the best possible rates. Insurance, virtual debit cards, and bill payments, and USSD channels so that anyone with a mobile phone can access financial services.

Exuus (Rwanda): Exuus aims to leverage the power of informal collective saving schemes through a digital and decentralised collective wallet for saving groups. The startup has created Save, to allow both unbanked and underbanked population to access financial services without necessarily having a bank account.

PaddyCover (Nigeria): The startup offers an insurance service aggregator, powering affordable pay-as-you-go insurance in Nigeria and Africa, working with established insurers and customer aggregators to offer a multi-channel platform that facilitates flexible and convenient payment.

People’s Pension Trust (Ghana): Offers pension products to workers in the informal sector (farmers, market woman, self-employed, taxi drivers and others) for which people can save daily, weekly or monthly, with flexible contribution amounts, done by mobile phone or other means.

Pezesha (Kenya): Pezesha is a holistic digital financial marketplace & infrastructure for underserved small firms in Africa. Offering lending, financial education, and debt counselling to borrowers, plus a proprietary credit scoring system to vet small businesses without a credit history, de-risking lending to such firms.

SympliFi (UK): SympliFi is a global online marketplace that enables diaspora around the world to easily access impactful financial solutions in their home country for self and family, at the touch of a button, because people want to do more than just send money back home.

uKheshe (SA and UK): The startup offers a unique digital payment acceptance platform that enables informal merchants and traders to accept card payments without the need of a bank account, smartphone or formal business registration. Using payments as the catalyst to access broader financial services such as lending and insurance.

Read more: Fintech startups have until 15 January to apply for Catapult: Inclusion Africa 2020 bootcamp [Updated]
Read more: Ugandan fintech wins Best Catapulter Award at Catapult: Inclusion Africa
Read more: Nine African fintech startups selected for Catapult: Inclusion Africa bootcamp

Featured image: LHoFT via Facebook

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Egyptian delivery startup raises Series-A round from France’s DPDgroup

Cairo-based delivery startup Bosta has raised an undisclosed amount in a Series-A round from French parcel delivery company the DPDgroup.

This, according to an article yesterday in tech publication Menabytes. While the publication did not disclose how much the startup raised, it said the raise was a seven-digit dollar figure.

It said Egyptian payments company Fawry, which invested in Bosta in late 2017, also took part in the round.

Bosta has raised $1.7m in investment since its inception in 2016

Founded in 2016 by Mohamed Ezzat, Ahmed Gaber and Mohamed El-Houssainy, Bosta provides different types of last-mile delivery solutions to ecommerce businesses in Egypt.

Menabytes said the startup has served over 5000 businesses in Egypt to date and has grown the number of deliveries by over 10 times in the last year, to 150 000 parcels a month currently.

According to Crunchbase, since inception Bosta has raised a total of $1.7-million in funding over four rounds.

Featured image: Bosta via Facebook

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Anzisha Prize opens 2020 applications, with $100k in shared money up for grabs

Today, the Anzisha Prize — Africa’s premier award and fellowship for Africa’s youngest entrepreneurs — is excited to announce that the 2020 call for applications is now open.

Every year, the prize celebrates 20 African entrepreneurs, aged 22 years and younger, each of whom have a chance to win a shared prize of $100 000.

The grand prize winner receives $25 000, the first runner-up $15 000, and second runner-up $12,500. Every finalist receives $2500.

Young African entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 to 22 years old, who are running job-generating businesses, are encouraged to apply before 31 March.

In addition to the cash prize, selected entrepreneurs will join 120 previous winners and become Anzisha Fellows, receiving business consulting support and coaching services by a team of industry experts.

The Anzisha Prize has launched applications for young entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 to 22 years old

They also gain access to the Young Entrepreneurs Fund — a catalytic matching fund designed to strengthen the credibility of very young entrepreneurs through investment.

“It has been an exciting 10-year journey with some of the continent’s brightest and youngest entrepreneurs.

“With the help of key partners and those who share in our vision, we’ve been able to support and celebrate very young entrepreneurs who represent the diversity of the African continent; entrepreneurs who tackle youth unemployment with vigour and courage beyond their years,” says, Melissa Mbazo-Ekpenyong, Deputy Director of the Anzisha Prize.

Five regional events planned

To celebrate the decennial, the Anzisha Prize has planned five regional events across the continent, including South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Kenya.

The events conclude in October with the Anzisha Prize Forum in Nairobi, Kenya where the 2020 winners will be announced. Each event is designed to catalyse conversations around youth entrepreneurship and to gather key stakeholders within the entrepreneurship landscape to collaborate with and support these young entrepreneurs.

“The Anzisha Prize has grown to become a holistic and comprehensive prize program that celebrates, nurtures, and advocates on behalf of Africa’s young job creators,” says Daniel Hailu, Regional Head Eastern and Southern Africa Programs, Mastercard Foundation.

“Ensuring young entrepreneurs have a clear pathway to learn and succeed is a core component of the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy, and we encourage entrepreneurs, especially young women to apply.”

2019 winner from war-torn DRC

Past winners of the prize include 2019 grand prize winner, education entrepreneur, Yannick Kimanuka from Democratic Republic Congo (DRC).

Kimanuka grew up in the war-torn North Kivu eastern province of DRC where she saw the effect that conflict had on schools in her community and vowed to empower children by increasing access to quality education.

By the age of 20, Yannick founded KIM’s School Complex – a nursery and primary school which aims to improve the education of young children in her community.

As the programme continues to influence and inspire young people to seek entrepreneurship as a career path, the road ahead is a promising one.

To encapsulate the last 10 years of the program, the Anzisha Prize has chosen the word “Sankofa” in the Ghanaian Twi language, which means “We have the capacity to revisit the past and extract knowledge and wisdom that we need to remake the future”.

Entrepreneurs are advised to download the application guide or apply for the prize at

For more information on the Anzisha Prize, to apply, and to nominate an entrepreneur, go here.

If you’d like to attend the Anzisha regional events, please email to share your interest. The first event takes place in Cape Town, South Africa on 3 March.

Featured image: Last year’s Anzisha Prize winners (Supplied)

The Anzisha Prize seeks to fundamentally and significantly increase the number of job generative entrepreneurs in Africa, and is a partnership between African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation. Through Ventureburn, they hope to share inspirational and relatable stories of very young (15 to 22 year old) African entrepreneurs and the people that support them. [learn more]

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Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [16/02/2020]

Tomorrow in Cape Town, Dazzle Angels — an angel investment network aimed at funding women-owned startups — will run a networking and information session at the American Corner at the Central Library.

For those in Johannesburg, Heavy Chef will feature three investors to a session this Wednesday (19 February).

Further afield, on Friday (21 February), Kenya will host The African Startup Innovation Summit 2020, while on Thursday (20 February) in Abidjan, Rodrigue Fouafou will share his long experience with actors of the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the Ivory Coast.

This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup events, competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences in Africa.

If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or next week’s, please let us know in the comments below or send us an email.

Not all the events are free and some will require booking in advance. Please click on the event names to find out more information.

Cape Town

Dazzle Angels: Round table

Calling all female tech founders — come meet entrepreneurs, pitch, connect and network with angel investors. Dazzle Angels is an angel investment network that invests in women-owned tech startups.

Date: 18 February, 5.30pm to 7.30pm
Location: The American Corner, Central Library, Old Drill Hall, corner of Parade and Darling St., Cape Town


Trade and Investment Forum

Join the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Trade and Investment Forum to learn more about trade negotiations and Preferential Market Access and support programmes offered by Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN).

Date: 19 February, 11am to 2pm
Location: Durban Chamber Of Commerce And Industry, 892 Umgeni Road, Lion Match office park, Durban


Heavy Chef: The Inspire Sessions

In a series of two events, in Johannesburg and Cape Town, in February 2020, Heavy Chef has invited six of South Africa’s most impressive investors to zero in on two questions.

This session will Africa Lighthouse Capital founder Bame Pule, IDF Capital founder Polo Leteka and Kalon Venture Partners founder Clive Butkow.

Date: 18 February, 6pm to 8.30pm
Location: Discovery Headquarters, 1 Discovery Place, Sandton, Johannesburg

The Future of Work

Fliptin Technologies in partnership with the French South African Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FSACCI) is proudly hosting the fifth edition of the Internet of Everything Africa (IOEA) series to talk about “The future of work: a human perspective”.

This edition aims to address the transformation of the labour market in our society impacted by technology. But also to bring together entrepreneurs, professionals, enthusiasts and decision makers for a casual networking event to discuss the changes in the world of work.

Date: 19 February 19, 5.30pm to 7.30pm
Location: French South African Chamber of Commerce & Industry, 98 Albertyn Ave, Wierda Valley, Sandton

Digital Marketing Summit

This all-day summit will cover the area of digital marketing. Speakers will talk on issues among other such as digital transformation, work life balance and high-performance athletes and what they can teach us about sales and marketing in the digital age.

Date: 20 February, 8.45am to 5pm
Location: Gallagher Convention Centre, 19 Richards Drive, Midrand

World Information Architecture Day

World Information Architecture Day is a one-day annual celebration held in dozens of locations across the globe.

We are a community of like-minded professionals and enthusiasts who share the common goal of teaching, learning, and shaping the future of Information Architecture.

Date: 21 February, 6pm to 8.30pm
Location: Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, 45 Bunting Road, Johannesburg


Startup Grind Gambia

What does the future of fintech look like for The Gambia? Startup Grind Gambia takes a look at this topic and the issue of access to finance.

Join Adrame NDione, from the Gambia Angel Investors Network and Haddy J Coulibaly the founder of Credit, Now Corp.

Date: 21 February, 6pm to 9pm
Location:Disruptive Lab, Fajara, Banjul

Ivory Coast

Afro Tech Talk Abidjan 2020

As part of his stay in Abidjan for the launch of 4IRs Days of the African Development Bank, Rodrigue Fouafou will share his long experience with actors of the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the Ivory Coast, alongside a panel of various other experts.

Date: 20 February, 6.30pm to 10pm
Location: Le Phare – Coworking, Reviera Bonounmin, Abidjan, District Autonome d’Abidjan


Not all investors are the same

Your choice of investor can either build or derail your business. Join Nairobi Garage for this workshop hosted by Patrick Ogola managing partner at O&M Law Firm and learn how to select the best type of investor for your business growth.

Date: 18 February, 7.30am to 10am
Location: NG Karen, Watermark Business Park, Nairobi

African Startup Innovation Summit 2020

The African Startup Innovation Summit 2020 aims to address the specific needs of the African startup community by providing delegates access to experts and experienced entrepreneurs who understand the African context within a global perspective.

The summit covers issues such as how to create intellectual property (IP), commercialising your invention by building a revenue generating enterprise and how to build the right team.

Date: 21 February, 9am to 6pm
Location: Azure Hotel, Lantana Road, Westlands, Nairobi

Ai Kenya Show and Tell

The first Show and Tell event in 2020 for Ai Kenya will feature a variety of speakers who will showcase the various topics they are busy with, such as social robotics and cancer detection.

Date: 22 February, 3pm to 5pm
Location: African Leadership X, Kaburu Dr, Nairobi


Startup Grind Agadir

This week’s Startup Grind Agadir will feature Soufyane Aboukad, head of accounting firm SAB Consulting. Aboukad is a chartered accountant and auditor in France and Morocco.

Date: 21 February, 6pm to 9pm
Location: Univers Startup et Entrepreneur – Incubateur et Espace Coworking Bureau 3, Etage 1, Immeuble Addrar 1, Avenue 11 Janvier, Cité Dakhela Agadir


West Africa Agribusiness Show

The West Africa Agribusiness Show is an annual exhibition which aims to provide a viable platform through which innovations in technology, equipment, procedures and processes in the agribusiness sector can be developed to further enhance the value chain throughout West Africa.

Date: 18 to 20 February
Location: Landmark Centre, Water Corporation Drive, #Plot 2 & 3, Annex, Lagos

Featured image: Participants pictured at an Antler demo day in Nairobi last Wednesday (12 February) (Supplied)

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Why you should be leveraging the power of AEM as a Cloud Service now

Original post by Conrad Wöltge via netcentric. With the launch of AEM as a Cloud Service, Adobe’s next-generation cloud solution for experience management, businesses are being handed the power to create, manage and deliver more campaigns, digital assets and experiences faster than ever before.   Specifically designed to accelerate the delivery of superior personalized experiences throughout customer […]

Antler announces names of four tech startups it invested in during Nairobi programme

Antler, a global startup generator and early-stage venture capital fund, has announced the names of the four startups it invested in during the programme’s inaugural Nairobi cohort.

The announcement was made at a demo day on Wednesday (12 February).

Through its venture builder programme, Antler selects bright and determined entrepreneurs and helps them to find the right co-founder.

The four each received an investment of $100 000 in return for a 20% stake in their respective companies, during the first six-month programme.

While Antler last month announced that it had invested in five startups (see this story), the organisation’s director Selam Kebede told Ventureburn today that Antler had in the end decided not to make one of the five investments.

Kebede did not reveal who the startup was or explain why the organisation opted to not invest in the startup in the end.

Antler has invested $100k for a 20% stake in each of the four startups that were formed in the programme

More than 1250 aspiring entrepreneurs applied to join the very first Nairobi programme. Only three percent of those candidates secured a place in the first cohort that kicked off in August last year.

The four are:

Anyi Health (Nigeria): The startup provides a point-of-need credit facility for primary health care. In Nigeria, and many other African countries, patients unable to pay their hospital bills are detained in the hospital. This leads to congested hospitals and in the worst case, patients end up sicker than when they arrived at the hospital. AnyiHealth aims to solve this through a mobile-based point-of-need credit facility, where patients can apply for credit directly at the hospital. The startup was founded by Amara Muoneke and George Mosomi.

AIfluence (Kenya): A data driven influencer marketing platform. The startup was founded by two advertising veterans Nelson Aseka, Victor Munya and Arthur Stsepanenka.

ChapChap Go (Kenya): Provides an ecommerce platform for fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) goods, cutting out the middlemen distributors, and providing deep discounts on group buying in a number of FMCG categories. ChapChapGo is founded by Soud Hyder and Amine Aboura.

Digiduka (Kenya): This startup offers digital services for the cash economy. The startup was founded by Roy Njoka and Lovell Larbie.

Antler will launch its second Nairobi programme next month. Those interested can apply here.

Read more: Antler set to announce names of five startups that netted $100k from Nairobi programme

Featured image: Participants pictured at Antler’s demo day in Nairobi on Wednesday (12 February) (Supplied)

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Will SV Capital’s lobola fund, fractional investing in cattle be the next big thing?

Johannesburg based SV Capital wants to give traditional large investment houses a run for their money — by allowing the working class and professionals to invest as little as R500 in a herd of cattle.

On top of this the startup claims to have developed the first fund of its kind that allows those looking to get married who must pay traditional lobola — to invest in cattle, in a separate fund.

With returns averaging 18.2% a year, over the last three years for its general fund, according to SV Capital co-founder Kagiso Tloubatla (pictured above, right with co-founder Ayanda Majola), it’s clear to see why investors — including those from South Africa’s big investment houses — are knocking on the startup’s door.

With the demand for beef expected to grow as the country develops, and with the current under-supply on the local market, investing in cattle seems a sure bet.

SV Capital’s lobola fund, factional investing in cattle has grabbed the attention of SA’s big investment houses

Over the last 10 years the cattle price has been fairly stable, even with the odd outbreak of diseases like food-and-mouth, points out Tloubatla, who founded the company in 2017 with Ayanda Majola. Both are former investment bankers from Investec Bank and Deutsche Bank, respectively.

Currently the company’s team consists of just three members — Tloubatla, Majola and an intern, but they’re already making a mark.

Their startup was selected in 2018 as one of 45 companies for the Orange Corner incubation programme, an initiative by the Netherlands in partnership with Shell, Philips, Royal Haskoning DHV and Vopak.

It was also a runner-up at the 2018 African Investment Forum in the category top tech startups in Africa.

SV Capital’s investment product, like a similar one offered by fellow Joburg-based startup Livestock Wealth, allows investors to invest in fractional ownership of cattle.

Buying part of a cow

Rather than having to buy an entire cow, which could set you back R15 000, SV Capital’s offering allows investors to take part in an investment pool, for as little as R500.

Whatever amount is raised by the pool is then invested in a herd, with each investor’s returns calculated from the percentage equity stake they held in the pool when the cattle were acquired.

To benefit from the offering, an investor must be part of an investment pool, which SV Capital opens every two months. Once the money is raised the company works with agents of beef cattle company Beefcor who then seek out auctions to purchase the cattle.

The cattle are then raised at a feedlot by Beefcor (SV Capital doesn’t own any farms), and fattened up for four months, after which they are sold to abattoirs. SV Capital uses the proceeds from each sale to fund the purchase of a new set of cattle. After 12 months investors are able to take their investment out or reinvest it.

Tloubatla says it means that in a 12-month period SV Capital is able to roll over investors’ funds at least three times. “So, from a risk perspective we have reduced the risk by having regular liquidity events,” he adds.

While the startup’s main partner currently is Beefcor, the company has also invested in two other farms.

Tloubatla says since 2017 the number of platform users have increase from 20 to over 1100 from across a number of countries, including Botswana and Namibia and even the US.

SV Capital’s current portfolio is R4.5-million on its general fund, while it has a further R1.8-million under investment from 15 investors in its iLobola Fund.

Those who invest in the general fund must stay invested for a minimum of 12 months, while for those who invest in the iLobola Fund, the minimum investment period is 18 months.

iLobola Fund

Investors that take part in the iLobola Fund must invest a minimum of R15 000.

Tloubatla said the idea for the lobola fund came about after requests from numerous friends who were getting married, for a product such as this.

Most of the 15 investors who have invested so far in the lobola fund are men (mostly in their twenties) who have opted to invest now for when they decide to get married at a later stage.

Two of the investors are women and Tloubatla pointed out that the women, including future brides, are increasingly stepping in to help pay for a share of the lobola.

Section 12J opportunity

SV Capital is also targeting another of its offerings at high net worth individuals who invest in Section 12J fund Fundamental VCC.

The VC tax incentive, set up under Section 12J of the Income Tax Act, allows investors who make investments in approved VCCs — that then invest in qualifying small companies — a tax deduction.

SV Capital is one of several that the Section 12J fund is expected to invest in. The fund is projected to raise R100-million which will be used to purchase cattle.

Tloubatla said the Section 12J fund has yet to start investing, as it was only launched in December last year. He said Fundamental VCC is aiming to raise R10-million by the end of this tax year, which ends on 28 February.

‘Different from Livestock Wealth’

So, how then does the startup differ from Livestock Wealth?

“We are quite different from Livestock Wealth, SV Capital owns no farms and we partner with established farmers to be able to provide this investment,” says Tloubatla, adding that unlike their competitor, SV Capital’s cattle are fed by feedlot instead of grass fed.

Initially Livestock Wealth did not allow clients to invest in only part of a cow, but Tloubatla says more recently their competitor has also introduced the option of fractional investing.

As an alternative asset class, the startup’s investment product is of “moderate risk”, he says. Ideally any investor should use their fund as just one of a number of other options (such as shares and property) when diversifying their own investment portfolio.

With the investment structured to appeal to the traditional African concepts of value, Tloubatla reckons SV Capital is perfectly positioned to capture market share with consumers who may usually avoid the complex investment instruments managed by predominately conventional fund managers.

The question now is, will there be beef with traditional investors?

Read more: Alphacode provides R23m in loans to three black-owned fintech startups
Read more: Livestock Wealth wins R1.3m at SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards

Featured image: SV Capital founders Ayanda Majola and Kagiso Tloubatla (Supplied)

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Funding female founders will add billions to Africa’s economy [Opinion]

Recently, I hosted a pan-African entrepreneurship accelerator for female founders which comprised of a week-long in-person training programme hosted in Kampala, and an eight-month virtual support programme, to train female entrepreneurs on growing their business.

It was the first of its kind on the continent as it focused on female entrepreneurs specifically in the engineering and tech industry. We received 175 applications.

I was blown away by the calibre of these founders, the businesses they were running and the revenues and opportunities they were creating in their countries.

However, in addition to having started successful businesses with potential to grow, all these women founders had something else in common: none of them had venture capital funding.

When funding female founders, we change the game and everyone wins

They lacked the funding to grow, with most of these entrepreneurs self-funding, borrowing money from family, having a separate day job, or applying to competitions for prize money to grow their business.

In a time when a new fund for entrepreneurs is announced every other day, most female founders in Africa have yet to access this critical funding.

Women have always played a significant role in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, especially in Africa. This role has largely been in the informal sector, but that is changing.

Drop in the ocean

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), there is an 8% increase in female entrepreneurship with women leveraging technology to support and scale their businesses around the world. According to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), from 2012 – 2017 only $30-million of investment went to female founders in Africa.

To put that number into context, in 2019 alone, $130-billion of venture capital was invested in entrepreneurs in the US. This means that over a five-year span, female founders in Africa received only 0.02% of what is invested in US ventures in just a year.

Data collected by the World Bank in 10 African countries shows male-owned enterprises have six times more capital than female owned enterprises. This huge capital gap is not stopping the rise of female entrepreneurs, but it does slow them and make their efforts more challenging.

Unfortunately, this is not just an African female-founder challenge. In the US, female founders received 2.2% of venture capital and in the UK, around 1%.

The challenge is compounded by female founders of colour, who since 2009 have received only six dollars for every million of the tech venture funding in the US.

Sexual harassment

The challenge for female founders is not just limited to funding. Female founders are also sometimes subject to sexual harassment where they are treated as sexual opportunities rather than investment opportunities.

The #MeToo movement has also come to Silicon Valley and shed light onto the predatory behaviour of some venture capitalists, but many African female founders have their own stories.

In our accelerator, one of the workshops requested by our female founder cohort was how to deal with sexual advances when trying to raise capital.

It has made many female founders wary of seeking venture capital funding as the costs are too high with some VC’s wanting not just a stake in an entrepreneur’s business but to exploit her body.

Even with the challenges of funding gaps, sexual harassment and difficult economic conditions all entrepreneurs face, studies in the US have shown that female founders have the same entrepreneurial success, growth revenue, and longevity.

Female founders have proven to be equally as successful. They could be more so if the barriers like funding gaps and sexual harassment were removed.

Entrepreneurship ecosystems also needs to fundamentally change the way we view and engage female founders.

A study from Harvard’s and Columbia’s business schools found that venture capitalists tend to ask male and female founders different types of questions.

Male founders are asked about potential for gains whereas female founders are asked about potential for losses. Only when female founders rephrased their responses to the potential for gains were they more likely to be funded.

These challenges have not gone unnoticed. There are a number of funds that are starting to cater for women led by women. But these funds are smaller and can’t meet demand of women founders with good ideas for businesses.

Having more women funders can also help. According to Nisha Dua, a partner at BBG ventures that invests in women-led startups, when women venture capitalists are in the room, more female founders are funded. The challenge is that only 11 percent of partners at traditional venture capital firms are female.

The status quo will only change when female founders are treated as equal and are judged on the same criteria and invested in equally as their male counterparts.

$5-trillion opportunity

The potential of equality is great. According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, if women participated equally as entrepreneurs the rise in GDP across the world could be between 3% to 6%, adding up to $5-trillion to the global economy.

The contribution women could make in Africa is substantial if more capital was invested and the barriers for female founders removed.

Venture capital funds are losing out on an opportunity to the detriment of the entire entrepreneurship ecosystem and the economy at large.

The data is there, when funding female founders, we change the game and everyone wins.

*Naadiya Moosajee is a serial entrepreneur. A civil engineer by training, she co-founded WomEng, a global social enterprise developing women and girls for the engineering and tech industry and building pan-African female founder accelerators. She serves on several boards and is an Aspen New Voices Fellow.

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Silicon Allee is one of the many tech communities in Berlin that facilitates the tech start-up scene in a way Silicon Valley in the US does it, conceptualizing ideas and connecting the community. In the last 10 years, Berlin has experienced a rapidly growing tech start-up scene alongside its arts and culture scene. Berlin’s culture, […]

Meet Afri Ride, SA’s latest ride-sharing app [Q&A]

Another day, another ride-sharing or ride-hailing app is launched. The latest is Afri Ride, which launched in December and offers travellers the ability to share a ride with drivers, wherever they go on the African continent.

Behind the app is Joe Moyo (pictured above), the startup’s managing director.

In a statement in December he described the app as simple to use. “All that users have to do is, to upload their travel details such as the start and end location, travel date and the number of empty seats that are available, this then allows travellers heading in the same direction to book their seat.”

“The most wasted resources, from a vehicle capacity standpoint, are the empty seats in moving cars. The idea behind Afri Ride is to make use of existing resources by offering the unoccupied seats in your car, or offering your car for rental,” he said in the same statement.

Afri Ride, which was launched in December 2019, allows travellers to take rides with drivers heading in the same direction as them

Afri Ride has integrated a chat service (Mbira Chat) that allows users to communicate (live location, texting, voice call or video call) even before booking the seat or car.

This week Ventureburn quizzed Moyo via email on how the app works. Here’s what he had to say.

When exactly the service was launched?

Afri Ride was officially launched on 23 December 2019.

How many users have used the platform?

The app has over 2000 registrations of which 80% are frequently using the app for chatting, offering and booking as well as using AfriWallet (e-money system).

So far 180 travellers have used Afri Ride to offer seats in their car. In addition, 30 car owners have offered their cars as well as their driving services by choosing the “with a driver option”

Of the total cars that have been offered 63% of the total have been booked.

Close to 400 of the Afri Ride users have booked seats or cars on the platform (all of these all are in South Africa, with a significant number of rides taking place  between Gauteng and Limpopo).

Is this an app that allows people to get a lift, rather than getting an on-demand taxi?

Yes, Afri Ride connects travellers that are heading to the same direction by providing the drivers the platform to pool travelling funds and the passengers’ access to a safe and convenient traveling solution.

In which areas is the app available and operating at present?

The app is available and operating throughout the continent.

What efforts have been made to ensure it is safe for passengers to use?

From registration up to when you are in the car, Afri Ride has incorporated safety features. From registration Afri Ride sends users a one-time pin to verify the cellphone number.

Users who wish to offer seats or offer their cars are vetted when they make the compulsory payment of the R10 authentication fee which allows Afri Ride to verify the cardholder through the 3D payment system.

Users who book cars make payments using a card which then allows Afri Ride to authenticate the cardholder through his or her bank through the 3D payment system.

Mbira Chat, the integrated chat service allows users to communicate (text, video call and voice call) in order to not only iron out logistics but also vet each other.

Users can also use Mbira Chat to send their family and friends their live locations. Users are able to rate each other after completion of rideshare in order to vet out troublemakers.

Featured image: Afri Ride founder Joe Moyo (Supplied)

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