The innovative AI technology developed by Moroccan startup ATLAN Space has attracted a $1.1-million Series A funding round from Maroc Numeric Fund.
ATLAN Space receives funding to assist in tackling environmental crimes and aid vulnerable populations
In an official press release, Dounia Boumehdi, Managing Director of MITC Capital, which is the management company of Maroc Numeric Fund II, commented on the research and development made in AI which resulted in the creation of ATLAN Space.
“The fund management team is proud to support Atlan Space, a Moroccan startup that is the result of many years of R&D in artificial intelligence, and which has a proven technology with several clients internationally and in Morocco, with a high environmental and humanitarian impact”.
Founded in 2016 by Younes Moumen and Badr Idrissi, ATLAN Space has developed cutting-edge AI technology that guides unmanned aircrafts, including drones to identify environmental and marine areas that face potential threats.
ATLAN’s patent technology assists institutions and governments in combating environmental crime and assisting vulnerable populations.
The AI-focused startup has received numerous accolades for its unique product, such as the African Entrepreneurship Award in 2017, and was acclaimed as one of the top 10 AI startups in Europe in 2018.
Previously funded by the Caisse Centrale de Garantie (CCG) as part of the Innov Start program and by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), ATLAN has proven investor-ready as it received seed funding in 2019 from Katapult Ocean Fund, a Norwegian Investment fund.
ATLAN Space aims to drive ethical uses of technology to assist with environmental protection and sustaining human life.
Badr Idrissi, CEO of ATLAN Space, explained the development of artificial intelligence and how it assists with sustaining the environment.
“ATLAN Space is developing artificial intelligence to enable UAVs to carry out tracking missions in total autonomy and without human intervention. This is for humanitarian purposes or to fight environmental crimes such as illegal fishing or deforestation.”
Maroc Numeric Fund has been operating since 2010. It is an investment fund targeting technology startups in Morocco.
The expertise offered by the management team has resulted in several Moroccan success stories as it amplifies high potential startups. Participants in the Series A investment round also included Legal counsel, Hilmi Law Firm, and Certified Public Accountant, Cadex Group which is represented by Mr. Yassine Benhammou.
Featured image: ATLAN Space team (Supplied)
Algebra Ventures launches $90-million fund to invest in startups –
Algebra Ventures has announced the launch of its second fund worth $90-million. The fund is dedicated to investing in startups in Egypt and the MEA region.
Cairo-based venture capital firm Algebra Ventures has announced the launch of its second fund worth $90-million. The fund is dedicated to investing in startups in Egypt and the MEA region.
The VC is reportedly targeting its first closing in the third quarter of 2021 and the fund is focused on investing in the following sectors; fintech, logistics, healthtech, and agritech.
Algebra Ventures has launched a second fund worth $90-million
Karim Hussein, Managing Partner at Algebra Ventures explains that there is untapped potential in the tech startup space in Egypt and that the VC aims to support its growth with the new fund.
“Having built a couple of successful technology companies in the US, I see tremendous opportunities for tech transformation in the Egyptian economy and continue to meet exceptional entrepreneurs who address these challenges. I am also encouraged by the significant steps taken by the government to facilitate the growth of tech-enabled businesses in Egypt.”
Founded in 2016, Algebra Ventures is focused on investing in entrepreneurs and startups in the tech space that are driving transformation in Egypt and the MEA region.
According to the Egypt-based VC, it has invested in 21 startups since its launch and its portfolio of Series A investments is the largest in the country. As a result of its investments, Algebra Ventures claims that it has, directly and indirectly, assisted in creating over 20 000 jobs.
Tarek Assaad, Managing Partner at Algebra Ventures comments on the rapid growth in the tech space in Egypt.
“I am grateful for the LPs of fund I, specifically EAEF, EBRD, and IFC who supported us back when there was no venture capital to speak of in Egypt. Over the ten years, I have worked in venture capital, I have witnessed the evolution of the tech entrepreneurship ecosystem in Egypt which has grown steadily over that period and exponentially in the past three years – vastly exceeding our expectations. Growth rates, capital deployed, sophistication of investors, track record of entrepreneurs are all pointing to unparalleled growth moving forward.”
Featured image: Tarek Assaad, Managing Partner at Algebra Ventures (Supplied).
Takealot has a new SA competitor Everyshop
Everyshop, a new eCommerce platform has launched in South Africa and is a direct competitor to popular eCommerce site Takealot.
Everyshop, a new eCommerce platform has launched in South Africa and offers consumers online access to a range of local and international brands.
Everyshop has officially launched
Established by the JD Group, a South African retail company that is
part of Pepkor Holdings Limited, EveryShop aims to be a one-stop online shop for local consumers.
Peter Griffiths – Chief Executive Officer at the JD Group comments on the launch of the new platform and provides insight into its mechanics.
“JD Group, a division of Pepkor Holdings, already offers extensive online shopping to South African consumers through its retail brands that include Incredible Connection, HiFi Corp, Bradlows, Rochester, and Sleepmasters. Immense know-how, e-commerce, and logistics capabilities, and infrastructure have been built up to provide world-class online shopping experiences with swift and efficient delivery options. The opportunity to also offer South African online shoppers access to a vast array of other product categories resulted in launching this new exciting online retailer – Everyshop. With the support of our existing retail businesses, we have partnered with some of South Africa’s most well-known and loved brands across a number of industries including Specialist Electronics & Appliances, Furniture, Fashion, Footwear, and DIY to deliver true value to the South African shopper. Everyshop’s customers will be spoilt for choice in a convenient and affordable manner with access to the products that they need and the brands they love.”
With an initial testing phase in March, the platform has officially launched this month and is a result of the growing eCommerce sector in South Africa.
The eCommerce platform offers a range of products from fashion, homeware to DIY materials, tech, and more. Everyshop’s is home to a range of international branded products and is accessible to anyone across the country as it overs nationwide delivery of its goods.
Various secure online payment methods have been added to the eCommerce platform that is mobile-first and easy to navigate.
In an official press statement, Everyshop points out that it aims to shake up the existing eCommerce sector in South Africa with its innovative tech and business model.
“With everything in one place and supported by some of the latest e-Commerce innovations whilst underpinned by a nationwide logistics infrastructure, Everyshop is a guided digital-first experience providing every shopper a unique and tailored departmental shopping experience – intent on being a true disruptor in the e-Commerce landscape.”
Currently, the eCommerce startup claims to have 15 large-scale distribution centres that are located in close proximity to customers nationwide offering fast and affordable delivery to consumers.
The local tech startup plans to add more merchandisers and expand its list of more available retailer products listed on the platform.
Supporting local SMEs and entrepreneurs
While the new eCommerce platform may be home to renowned international brands such as Nike, Samsung, Apple, and more, Everyshop is committed to supporting homegrown brands such as Me&B, The T-shirt Bed company, and Move Pretty to name a few.
With a focus on empowering entrepreneurs and supporting local, the eCommerce website has interwoven both an international and local offering of products.
“We are proud to be part of Pepkor Holdings with its many trusted brands and combined we are a diversified retailer of clothing, footwear, furniture, household appliances, and consumer electronic goods. Now, even more, is offered with Everyshop – our brand new online platform,” concludes Griffiths
Featured image: Everyshop (Supplied)
Quarterly Employment statistics reveal over 500 000 jobs lost in 2020 –
Stats SA’s Quarterly Employment report has revealed that half a million individuals lost their job in the period between December 2019 to December 2020,
Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly Employment report has revealed that half a million individuals lost their job in the period between December 2019 to December 2020, indicating the devastating impacts of Covid-19 on the local economy and the employment landscape.
Employment has decreased by half a million in one year
In the official press statement, Stats SA provides insight into the number of jobs lost in the reported period.
“Total employment decreased by 594 000 or (-5,8%) year-on-year between December 2019 and December 2020.”
According to the report, full-time employment decreased by 11 000 from September 2020 to December 2020 and can be attributed to decreases in the construction, manufacturing, business services, transport, and mining sectors.
Although there was a decrease in full-time employment, part-time positions saw an overall increase of 9.2% with 87 000 additional jobs reported between September 2020 to December 2020 with the following industries experiencing an uptake of employment; manufacturing, trade, business services, and community service.
In comparison to the dismal findings of the number of jobs lost between December 2019 to December 2020, the report however indicated that from September 2020 to December 2020, total employment has increased by 76 000 due to trade, community services, and business services.
Stats SA has reported total earnings have decreased by R36,1-billion between December 2019 to December 2020 but there has been an uptake within the last four months of 2020.
“Year-on-year, total gross earnings decreased by R36,1 billion or (-4,6%) between December 2019 and December 2020. Basic salary/wages paid to employees increased by R18,6 billion or (3,0%) from R631,8 billion in September 2020 to R650,4 billion in December 2020,” says Stats SA.
The basic salary and wages reportedly decreased by R22.9-billion between December 2019 and December 2020.
“Year-on-year, basic salary/wages decreased by R22,9 billion or (-3,4%) between December 2019 and December 2020.”
The detailed report can be found here.
Featured image: Emil Kalibradov via Unsplash
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