Cashback News – Dec 9: Africa e-commerce comes alive with startups and local VC investment

Cashback News – Dec 9: Africa e-commerce comes alive with startups and local VC investment

- in E-Commerce, Slider, VC, Mergers, Acquisitions

Africa Tech OverviewWhen it comes to African e-commerce, the Dark Continent is more than ready for bright, new technology, startups and innovation. Ventureburn provides one of the best, most current guides to South African tech startups to date. The publication also estimates that VC investment in Africa now exceeds $137.5 million. Profiles of 11 of South Africa’s biggest tech startups include Nomanini, Ekaya, Springleap, Silicon Cape, eShip and more. WeChat is a partner with two Nigerian tech startups – Pass.NG and Traclist. IDC highlighted several African technology trends including smart cities and digital transformation, mobile security, better logistics and increased use of analytics. WeChat will invest nearly $3.5 million inAfrican tech startups.

13 African startups will pitch for a $500,000 prize at the Seedstars World finals in Geneva, Switzerland including Moovi (Mozambique), Giraffe (South Africa), MyQ (Nigeria), Illuminum Greenhouse (Kenya) and Mergims (Rwanda). Rocket Group‘s AIG has replaced management of several of it’s online groups – Kaymu, Jovago, Easy Taxi and Lamudi in Nigeria in an effort to improve performance., sometimes referred to as Africa’s Alibaba,  hopes to positively impact 10,000 unemployed Nigerian youths by helping local small businesses succeed in e-commerce. Naspers Ltd, Africa’s biggest company, plans to use the proceeds of a proposed $2.5 billion fund to invest in online retail and video opportunities in Africa and other emerging markets.

All of which demonstrates a very active and vibrant VC and tech startup scene in several African countries.

Everything you need to know about the South African startup ecosystem article is the most comprehensive guide for anyone who wants to get involved with, or have a better understanding of, the country’s fast-growing startup space. It is a part of a series of articles we will pilot, which will also include the West African and East African startup space.

We have scoured South Africa’s entrepreneurial landscape and hand-picked some of the top players to get you started, looking at all sectors from education, investment (angel, venture capital, private equity), government, accelerators and incubators to media players (print and online). Bookmark this one. The intention is for this article to be a living thing, which will grow into the ultimate resource for South African tech startups and entrepreneurs. Via

11 of SA’s biggest (and most exciting) tech startup investments of 2014 makes the world go round. And if you play your cards right, might just make your startup successful — putting a smile on shareholders faces.

In 2014, we saw a lot of money being moved around in South Africa’s startup scene. So much so that we’ve decided to round-up some of the investment rounds that really stood out to Ventureburn. From real estate, crowdsourced designs to a multi-million financial aid startup, these are some really exciting times. Via

Survey: South Africa’s Venture Capital industry is now worth a massive R2bn ($137.5M) South African venture capital (VC) industry now represents almost R2-billion ($137.5 million) in assets under management, a survey released by Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) found.

If you’ve been following Ventureburn, you would have seen a lot of exciting investments this year, from Silvertree Capital investing over R20-million in the first half of 2015 to radar startup iKubu exiting to Garmin in January and many more. To comprehend what these deals really mean to the local ecosystem, however, requires quantitive research that can shed light on the true value and state of South Africa’s VC environment. Via

WeChat partners, Pass.NG, Traclist in Nigeria global mobile communications app WeChat has announced a unique partnership arrangement with two Nigerian startup companies to help grow easy access to detect growing audience various office with

It would be recalled that in October this year WeChat partnered with one of the leading technology blogs Techcabal, for an Ideathon titled WeChat Africabeta with the theme: CHAT 3.0. This was organized to select the most interesting ideas from Nigerian businesses and startups that can ride on the WeChat platform. The Ideathon had 80 applications, of which the top 10 were chosen, among these are Pass.NG and Traclist who are the first set of newly launched services on WeChat. Via

IDC’s top tech predictions for 2016 2015 draws to a close, the International Data Corporation (IDC) has issued a list of technology trends and developments it says will make 2016 a significant year for Africa. These trends will define the continent’s IT landscape, impact on CIOs and IT professionals as well as end users, according to the global research and analysis firm. George Kalebaila, senior research manager at IDC Sub-Saharan Africa spoke to ITWeb Africa about the challenge of predicting the future and offered further insight into some of the key trends to look out for next year.

The IDC predicts that digital transformation will lay the foundation for Africa’s smart future, with 2016 seeing smart city successes around the continent. Kalebaila says more will be done by smart cities in the new year in order to interact with their citizens more closely and transparently through more widespread connectivity and the migration of services to digital platforms. Via

Africa: WeChat Africa to Invest Over U.S.$3.48 Million in African Tech Start-Ups media app WeChat Africa says it plans to invest over $3.48 million in tech startups in Africa, to support local entrepreneurs and technology innovations. WeChat Africa will identify promising tech startups, via an application and selection process, and support their speedy entrance into the market using the WeChat platform.

Access to markets was listed as one of the biggest inhibitors to growth for African tech-enabled businesses in the recent Emerging Companies survey conducted by PWC and Silicon Cape. To coordinate the initiative, tech strategy practice firm, Batstone, has been appointed by WeChat Africa to source and coordinate early stage investment opportunities among tech startups in Africa. Via

The 13 African startups pitching at the Seedstars World finals seed-stage startup competition Seedstars World will be hosting its final pitching event 3 March 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. The 13 African startups will be competing among a total of 55 from other countries for a US$500 000 equity prize.

The startups will be participating in a three-day bootcamp, which will include mentors from around the world. Afterwards, the winner will be chosen after the final round of pitches. Prizes will also be awarded to other sectors, such as space and travel startups. The Seedstars World Summit will play host to a range of panel discussions covering topics from women entrepreneurs to innovation in Africa. Investors from around the world will also be attending. Via

Africa Internet Group face shake-up with ecommerce MDs in Nigeria ecommerce backer Africa Internet Group (AIG) has quietly faced an overhaul of leadership of its online shopping plays in Nigeria. Already, the Rocket Internet affiliate has completed the replacement of the heads of Kaymu, Jovago, Easy Taxi and Lamudi. Interestingly, the heads of these companies are choosing to remain in Nigeria.

In October, Marek Zmysłowski was replaced to ensure his new enterprise, Jovago, becomes the next big thing in online hotel bookings in Africa. And with the support of AIG, the platform is on its way to achieving that. But several weeks ago, news emerged that he had been replaced with Kushal Dutta as the Managing Director at Jovago Nigeria. Zmysłowski was probably aware of his eminent exit from Jovago which was why he was investing in several startups including Talking Bookz — an online audiobooks publisher and retailer whose co-founder told Ventureburn that they are aiming to become the number one distributor of African audiobooks to the rest of the world. Via

Africa’s Alibaba, aims to absorb 10,000 unemployed Nigerian youths is an e-commerce firm for locally produced goods, manufactured goods, textile, agricultural products and crafts in Africa. It was created from a desire for a continent that will not be at the mercy of foreign assistance but a convergence point for global trade.

Nigeria as an entry point into Africa has shown it has more than enough to sell to the world. In our market exploration we did understand that there were thousands of local manufacturers unknown to Nigerians, we found out there were popular brand in South East Nigeria but hardly found in the west, hence we saw a need for us to connect South-East Nigeria with the South-West, with its vast production of locally made commodities like shoes, bags, plastics, furniture frames and more; Northern Nigeria with the South-East with its huge volume of leather works and hides; and the South-West with the East, with its farm produce, cocoa, and raw foods. Hence, for to create a market linkage to other African markets to improve intra-Africa trade and finally to global markets to boost Nigeria exports. It is only through digital ubiquity that can create this kind of complex connection quickly and effectively. Via

Naspers to seek e-commerce, video deals with $2.5 billion funds Ltd plans to use the proceeds of a proposed $2.5 billion capital raising to invest in online retail and video opportunities as Africa’s biggest company pursues further growth in emerging markets. “E-commerce is still very much an area of focus for us and I think that the majority of our investment will actually go into different e-commerce models,” chief executive officer Bob Van Dijk said in a phone interview on Saturday. “We also like connected video.”

Naspers said on Friday it was considering the fundraising to “invest in attractive growth opportunities” and help pay down debt related to the increase of its stake in Avito, Russia’s largest classifieds-ads site. The Cape Town-based company has expanded through acquisitions in emerging market startups around the world, and in August started Showmax, a video-on-demand service that will be expanded to four continents by next year. Via

Tomorrow’s edition of Cashback Industry News will feature an update on US holiday shopping sales numbers and trends.

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