South Africa: Latest News
Peter Pedroncelli, 5:44 am
An all-women team of students from the University of Cape Town have emerged from the GirlCode Hackathon as winners of the event in Johannesburg, which is staged every year in August. Four female students from the university’s Information Systems department won the 48-hour challenge thanks to an innovative website called ‘Amava’, which means ‘experience’ in isiXhosa, that is designed to connect volunteers with non-governmental organizations.
Peter Pedroncelli, 6:37 pm AFKI Original
History was made in 2016 when Africa could finally celebrate its first startup unicorn, with the Africa Internet Group, now known as Jumia Group, being valued at over $1 billion in February last year. In doing so, it became the first privately owned startup to gain unicorn status, joining an elite group of 150 or so companies around the globe. The company is based in Lagos, Nigeria, and operates as a subsidiary of Millicom International Cellular S.A, using a sales approach similar to Amazon.
Tom Jackson, 6:13 am AFKI Original
While fintech solutions in other parts of the world have not produced consistent success, Africa’s lack of banking penetration has opened up possibilities for fintech startups to serve a mobile-first population. This track record of innovation is resulting in increased funding for African fintech startups, while of all the sub-sectors within Africa’s tech space it has also proven the most likely in terms of exits.
Peter Pedroncelli, 6:02 am
Vodacom’s $2.6 billion share acquisition of Safaricom has now been finalized, with the South African company now owning a 35 percent stake in the Kenyan telecommunications and mobile operator. Vodacom has announced that all regulatory approvals and conditions related to both Kenya and South Africa have now been met, concluding the deal.
Peter Pedroncelli, 4:51 am
The biggest data center in Africa is nearing completion in South Africa, and will officially be launched at full capacity by November. Teraco’s Riverfields hyperscale data center facility is one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, and is definitely the biggest on African soil, with a capacity of 24 megawatts and a build cost of $100 million. Already 25 percent full due to pre-bookings, Teraco is responding to demand.
Peter Pedroncelli, 8:56 am
In its second year, the Barclays Accelerator is dedicating resources and efforts towards backing fintech startups that are attempting to solve financial and banking issues within the African context. The Barclays Accelerator, powered by small and medium business empowerment organization Techstars, is a startup program of networking, mentoring and development, aimed at supporting breakthrough financial technology innovations that are focused on Africa.
Peter Pedroncelli, 5:26 am AFKI Original
As with many sectors in modern business, the agricultural industry in Africa is embracing technology to enhance production and ensure a more profitable future. Tech is able to reduce costs, upskill farm workers and save effort and time in Africa’s largest economic sector. From drone tech to mobile apps that assist farmers, Africa is a pioneer on the agritech front, and the technologies that are being incorporated into agriculture are helping to put food on the tables of people all over the world.
Peter Pedroncelli, 6:56 am AFKI Original
The Africa Internet Group became the first startup unicorn from Africa when the leading e-commerce group in the continent was valued at more than $1 billion last year, becoming a pioneer among African startups. There are a few startups that are approaching that milestone, and they have the potential to become members within a group of global unicorns that only number around 150 or so in total.
Kurt Davis Jr., 5:25 am AFKI Original
There are currently 300 tech hubs in 93 cities across 42 countries on the African continent. The growing number of tech hubs and developers is drawing significant investment, with more than $366 million invested in startups across Africa in 2016. Despite these positive numbers, a few tweaks could help in boosting the African tech scene and increasing the likelihood of success for African startups.
Peter Pedroncelli, 5:20 am
Google chief executive Sundar Pichai and his team visited Nigeria to unveil a selection of products designed specifically for people in the West African nation, including a YouTube version built for Nigerians with slow internet speeds. Google Street View will also be coming to Lagos, while the company has committed to extending their training to five million young Africans over the next five years, including 100,000 app developers.
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