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Nigeria’s Tech Space in This Week

Chui Ventures, Meta, Bujeti, Amini, Flow48, Bitmama Inc., Afri-Venture capital, Mtor, tappi, Microsoft, were some of the names that made the headlines this week.

Pan-African Seed fund led by Managing Partner Joyce-Ann Wainaina, Chui Ventures, has secured a substantial $9 million commitment from the Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund

Also, Nigeria’s fintech sector, Bitmama Inc., a blockchain payments platform, has acquired Payday, a virtual card service provider.

Let’s get into details

Pan-African Seed fund led by Managing Partner Joyce-Ann Wainaina, Chui Ventures, has secured a substantial $9 million commitment from the Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund.

This strategic investment aims to expedite Chui Ventures’ mission of fostering inclusive innovation across the African continent.

The Mastercard Foundation, in a statement, expressed its dedication to catalyzing Chui Ventures’ efforts in supporting African startups, with the investment expected to impact startups in the region.

Meta, the parent company overseeing Facebook, has declared the initiation of deploying end-to-end encryption across all personal chats and calls on its Messenger and Facebook platforms.

It was gathered that the rollout of the end-to-end encryption feature has already commenced, enhancing the security of user communications significantly.

Highlighting its existing use of encryption in WhatsApp, Meta underscores the critical role encryption plays in shielding users from potential threats posed by hackers, fraudsters, and criminals.

Bujeti, an African corporate cards and spend management platform, has garnered $2 million in seed funding from a consortium of investors spearheaded by Y Combinator.

This financial boost includes contributions from Entrée Capital, Voltron Capital, Unpopular VC, Kima Ventures, Arash Ferdowsi (co-founder of Dropbox), Alan Rutledge, Tristan Walker of Heirloom VC, and Mono CEO Abdul Hassan.

Established in April 2022 by Cossi Achille Arouko and Samy Chiba, Bujeti focuses on serving businesses in sectors such as healthcare, logistics, agriculture, and construction.

Nigeria’s fintech sector, Bitmama Inc., a blockchain payments platform, has acquired Payday, a virtual card service provider.

This strategic move, orchestrated through Bitmama’s cross-border payments flagship, Changera, is poised to reshape the industry and fortify blockchain-based payment solutions.

Following Payday’s $3 million seed funding round just nine months ago and a thorough exploration of sale options over the past three months, the undisclosed financial terms of this acquisition have been under negotiation for a few weeks and are now reportedly at an advanced stage, nearing 85% completion.

Mark Zuckerberg company, Meta, has launched a new AI translation model, SeamlessM4T, designed to streamline translations across approximately 100 languages to text and 36 languages to speech.

According to the team, the company is enhancing the tool with an advanced “v2” architecture, as it aims to improve the spontaneity and expressiveness of conversational translations, crucial for authentic cross-language communication.

It was gathered that the primary addition to the suite is “SeamlessExpressive,” a feature that incorporates expressive elements into translated speech

Amini, a climate-tech startup based in Kenya, has secured $4 million in a seed funding round.

The substantial investment was spearheaded by Salesforce Ventures and the Female Founders Fund, while featuring contributions from Climate-tech VC Satgana, Pale Blue Dot, and Superorganism.

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It would be recalled that Superorganism has initially supported Amini in its $2 million pre-seed round earlier this year.

Flow48, a UAE Fin-Tech startup founded in 2022 by Idriss Al Rifai, has secured $25 million in pre-Series A funding.

The funding round, a combination of equity and debt, witnesses participation from prominent investors such as Speedinvest, Daphni, 212, Blockchain Founders Fund, Unpopular Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, TLG, and several angel investors.

Specializing in providing upfront financing to SMEs in the UAE, Flow48’s platform integrates with enterprise resource planning (ERP) providers, payment gateways, and e-commerce platforms.

Former Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has disclosed his intention to launch a $100 million venture capital fund dedicated to nurturing startups across Nigeria.

The former governor revealed this during discussions with BusinessDay newspapers at the Africa Investment Forum in Marrakech.

According to El-Rufai, who expressed a commitment to invest $2 million from his personal funds to kickstart the initiative, emphasized his eagerness to support the fund’s implementation.

The Kenyan government, in collaboration with the Communication Authority (CA), is set to deploy Device Management Systems (DMS) on mobile phones as part of its strategy to combat counterfeit devices and mitigate theft.

Eliud Owalo, the ICT Cabinet Secretary, disclosed this plan during a session with the Senate ICT Committee in Nairobi.

The prevalence of counterfeit devices in Kenya, given the crucial role of mobile phones in society, prompted the Communication Authority of Kenya to devise a technological solution.

An Egyptian online auto parts marketplace, Mtor, has secured $2.8 million in pre-seed funding, with Algebra Ventures spearheading the investment.

Notable contributors in this funding round include Dutch Founders Fund (DFF), Aditum Ventures, LoftyInc Capital, and a diverse array of local and global angel investors.

Founded by Mohamed Maged in April 2022, Mtor aims to address inefficiencies and fragmentation within Egypt’s auto parts supply chain, with a particular focus on local workshops and car mechanic spaces.

Digital commerce Software as a Service (SaaS) provider, tappi, has secured $1.5 million in an oversubscribed Pre-Seed funding round.

Key contributors included Mercy Corps Ventures and Chui Ventures, alongside notable participants such as Digital Currency Group, SOSV, Resilience17, growX ventures, Orbit Startups, and Reflect Ventures.

Angel investors and advisors from leading global tech companies, including Google, Salesforce, Zendesk, and financial sector experts, also contributed to the investment

Microsoft has revealed a significant enhancement to its Copilot AI chatbot, incorporating OpenAI’s latest offerings, GPT-4 Turbo, and DALL-E 3, alongside various other improvements.

In an update, Microsoft detailed how the upgraded tool explores multiple query variations, automatically filtering out irrelevant information.

The integration with OpenAI’s cutting-edge language model, GPT-4 Turbo, stands out as a noteworthy feature.

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