Business: Latest News
Staff, 7:52 am
Everyone wants a smart city. Every country in Africa is talking about getting one – from Rwanda’s Vision City to Ghana’s Hope City. Even Nigeria wants a smart city. Smart cities are great, but we are of the opinion that smart cities only work in a country that is already working. And for now, that’s not Nigeria. The Benin Republic has announced its plans to launch a new smart city, Sèmè City, aimed at fostering Africa-grown innovation as a solution to the continent’s economic challenges.
Staff, 7:24 am
The Core Group has launched Fitbit’s first smartwatch in South Africa. Fitbit Ionic, a cross-platform high-end smartwatch, is available from a variety of retailers across South Africa.Fitbit Ionic was designed to work across all of the prominent platforms making it ideal for users who want to choose their smartwatch independently of their smartphone. In addition to the usual functionality found in high-end devices, Fitbit’s smartwatch has a multi-day battery life and incorporates new technology.
Staff, 8:37 am
“Welcome to the System! Together we will change the world!” These are the words I found scrawled at the bottom of a web page, right next to a picture of Sergei Mavrodi, a convicted Russian fraudster infamous for operating Mavrodi Mundial Moneybox (or MMM), one of the world’s largest ponzi schemes. Two decades after MMM was shut down, the organization reemerged under new branding, as a technology-driven “financial mutual-aid network” that uses Bitcoin to provide its members up to 100% returns.
Staff, 7:49 am
Silicon Valley is ignoring Africa’s startup scene, passing up an opportunity to invest in creating innovative technology-based businesses on the continent, according to TechCrunch Inc. “Silicon Valley does not understand the context of Africa, so we see it as an opportunity to fill the gap,” Edward Desmond of Verizon Communications said in an interview Wednesday in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. “The outside world that is very powerful does not know the innovation and possibilities available.”
Peter Pedroncelli, 7:12 am
Truecaller, a mobile app that provides the identity of unknown callers, has announced an expansion plan for Africa that will see it become a priority region for the Swedish company. The Scandinavian firm will be hiring key African personnel, and it will also decide on a location, either in South Africa or Nigeria, where its African headquarters will be set up. Truecaller is the world’s largest verified mobile phone community dedicated to helping users to avoid and block spam calls.
Staff, 2:40 am
Uber is committed to Egypt despite challenges presented by sweeping economic reforms and record inflation, the company said as it announced $20 million of investment in its new center in Cairo. The Egyptian pound has lost half its value and fuel prices have jumped by up to 50 percent since the North African country floated the currency in November as part of reforms demanded by the IMF in exchange for a $12 billion loan aimed at reviving the economy. Egypt has been luring back foreign investors.
Kurt Davis Jr., 6:04 am AFKI Original
Today the airline industry in Africa is drastically different from a decade ago. The economic growth in the region and improved political stability underpin increased international traffic on the African continent, and perhaps it is time for Africa to have its own global private airline. Estimates place Africa as the third fastest growing region in this category, trailing only the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
Tom Jackson, 1:51 am AFKI Original
The African tech accelerator space and the continent’s fashion industry might seem as far apart as any two spaces could possibly be, but this is changing. There are even accelerator programmes now – one such being Metta in Kenya – for fashion designers to apply tech to their businesses. Tech in fashion is helping to prepare the next generation of designers, assisting them by using information and communication technology to sell more of their products while gaining better visibility.
Peter Pedroncelli, 1:15 am AFKI Original
The shortlist of finalists for the Appsafrica.com Innovation Awards 2017 was recently announced, with a number of apps considered in the fintech and m-commerce categories. The awards celebrate the best in mobile and tech ventures from across Africa, with various categories included to recognize mobile apps that impact numerous industries and sectors. The annual awards attracted over 300 submissions from across 31 countries, with the winners announced at the awards party in Cape Town on Nov. 6.
Peter Pedroncelli, 5:51 am
Andela, a startup that trains and outsources African coders to work for global firms, has secured a Series C round of funding to continue the company’s expansion. The Lagos and Nairobi-based startup that recruits Africa’s best software developers has successfully raised $40 million in the most recent round of funding. The substantial investment was led by Pan-African venture firm CRE Venture Capital, while other investors include DBL Partners, Amplo, Salesforce Ventures, and Africa-focused TLcom Capital.
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