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SA edtech receives R9.2-million towards new campus

WeThinkCode, a South African edtech startup, has secured a R9.2-million investment from E Squared Investments for a new campus in KwaZulu-Natal.

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WeThinkCode, a South African edtech startup, has secured a R9.2-million investment from E Squared Investments towards the implementation of a new campus in KwaZulu-Natal.

SEO Quote: WeThinkCode plans to launch a new campus in KwaZulu-Natal this year

According to reports by the edtech, the capital investment will be paid out over three years and will be used towards equipping the building, staff resourcing, and the costs towards establishing the new curriculum.

Cheryl Jacob, Head of Social Entrepreneurship at E Squared comments on the investment made into WeThinkCode’s new campus.

“As an impact investor whose mandate is to attack poverty and unemployment in South Africa, there are strong synergies between WeThinkCode’s involvement in assisting disadvantaged young people and E Squared’s social entrepreneurship initiative,” said

WeThinkCode

Founded and launching in 2015 by Camille Agon and Arlene Mulder, WeThinkCode is a software programming training academy that is committed to providing South Africans with education in the tech space.

The edtech startup plans to launch a campus in KwaZulu-Natal this year.

Nyari Samushonga, CEO of WeThinkCode provides insight into the aims of the edtech startup and the launch of the new campus.

“We know that South Africa has a vast pool of untapped talent with the aptitude to be trained in technology. At the same time, our youth unemployment is among the highest in the world. Like any successful business, WeThinkCode is evolving and continually improving its operating model and this includes making our programmes accessible to more people. Geography plays an important role here as many candidates are unable to access our existing campuses. Hence our decision to open in Durban, South Africa’s third-biggest metropole.”

Although the edtech startup conducts most of its lessons online, there are critical teaching phases where students need to be taught in person. The software programme courses offered at WeThinkCode require that students complete two internships during the two-year course and this must be undertaken near students’ homes.

WeThinkCode’s two-year software programming course is fully sponsored.

Inclusiveness is at the helm of the pillars of the edtech startup and as such, it is focused on increasing the number of female software programmers in SA.

“The academy is open for everyone. Specifically, we aim to increase the number of women programmers on our course each year. Our target is for women to exceed 40 percent of our 600-strong student contingent,” adds Samushonga.

Geographical expansion and the inclusion of more women are not the only evolutionary processes happening at WeThinkCode.

“Finding candidates with the best aptitudes and attitudes is crucial and we are using a newly-developed approach to identify talent and uncover the required cognitive skills. In addition, we draw on the expertise of leading technologists for the design of our course material. These experts are continually updating the course as technologies change,” she concludes.

Read more: SA tech startup launches national emergency services response app
Read more: Kenyan fintech startup secures $1.5-million in seed funding

Featured image: You X Ventures via Unsplash

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/03/sa-edtech-receives-r9-2-million-towards-new-campus/

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Nigerian startup Ladda in top five to win Seedstars competition –

Nigerian investment platform Ladda is one of five startups that will face off in the final round of the Seedstars World Competition.

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Nigerian investment platform Ladda is one of five startups that will face off in the final round of the Seedstars World Competition.

The annual contest revealed the five finalists on 4 May.

Ladda is in the running to win the grand prize of $500 000 in equity funding

This announcment follows the completion of the regional finals where the Lagos-based startup proved victorious.

Seedstars looks for next big startup

Seedstars, an entrepreneurial company based in Switzerland, launched the competition in 2013.

In 2020, the competition received over 4 000 startup applications from around the world. 94 made it through the local stages of the competition after participating in the Seedstars Investment Readiness Program. After that, that number shrunk to 20 in the regional stages.

Ladda is a mobile finance app that offers users access to micro-investment opportunities. The app is available to download on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

Competing against Ladda are four other startups in the fields of finance, healthcare, and logistics. They include Fulfillment Bridge (Tunisia), Pegasi (Venezuela), IMAN (Uzbekistan), and Finology (Malaysia).

“These five startups have proven that no matter how difficult times may get, innovation is still at the forefront,” said Seedstars World lead of Seedstars, Daria Khlopova. “We can’t wait to see them at the Grand Finale.”

During the final round of the competition, the startups will pitch their businesses to a judging panel. After which, a winner will be announced. The event will also include roundtable discussions with experts on tech and education.

In addition to the grand prize, Seedstars will also award prizes in several categories. The categories include Childhood Development, Climate Change, and Women Empowerment.

The Seedstars Grand Finale will take place online on 20 May. To register to watch the finale, check out the Seedstars website.

Read more: Applications for Google for Startups Accelerator Programme are open
Read more: SA software company Dineplan partners with Google

Feature image: Supplied

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/05/nigerian-startup-ladda-in-top-five-to-win-seedstars-competition/

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West African tech startup launches app in Gabon 

West African tech startup Gozem has announced the launch of ‘Super App’ taxi booking service in Libreville enabling consumers to travel with ease.

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West African tech startup Gozem has announced the launch of ‘Super App’ taxi booking service in Libreville, Gabon.

Gozem launches Super App in Gabon

Cecilia Kouna, Deputy Country Manager of Gozem Gabon comments on the launch of the service in Libreville.

“We’re very excited to start our operations in Gabon with a simplified, safer, and more convenient taxi booking solution. We’re confident that this innovation will create real value for passengers and drivers in the Gabonese market. And very soon afterward, we’ll continue to add value by expanding the range of services Gozem offers in Gabon to include delivery services and more.”

Gozem’s Super App in Libreville

The launch of the taxi booking service will enable Libreville residents to take trips in the capital of the nation by simply downloading the free app which is available on Android and iOS devices.

The launch of the app will not only enable Libreville residents to travel with ease but also provide an opportunity for drivers to secure an income. Functioning similarly to Uber, the Gozem Super App is easy to use and a customer must simply open the app, enter their location, select their desired destination, and request a ride with the nearest Gozem driver being alerted to pick them up.

According to Gozem, at the end of the trip, the app calculates the price based on the distance travelled with the assistance of its built-in GPS technology.

Customers will be able to pay for the rides in cash, Airtel Money, Moov Money, or by credit card.

Raphael Dana, co-founder of Gozem explains that this is the first of many steps for the tech startup in its African expansion.

“We’re proud to offer this high quality, everyday service that responds to the needs of the Gabonese population while continuing to expand Gozem in the region. Our ambition is to consolidate our status as the premier super app in Africa, and this expansion to Central Africa, our first foray outside of West Africa, also allows us to prepare our upcoming expansion to Cameroon.”

(Supplied)Gozem Super App

Gozem launched its Super App in 2020 that offers a suite of services to Sub-saharan Africans. The African tech startup’s suite of services provides access to transport, eCommerce payments, delivery, and financial services for its users. The app is available on Android and iOS.

(Supplied)

Read more: SA software company Dineplan partners with Google
Read more: Applications for Google for Startups Accelerator Programme are open

Featured image: Gozem, Facebook

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/05/west-african-tech-startup-launches-app-in-gabon/

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Ajua acquires Kenyan fintech WayaWaya 

Ajua has acquired  WayaWaya, the Kenya-based Artificial Intelligence [AI] and Machine Learning [ML] known for its innovative Janja platform.

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Nairobi-based Ajua, the integrated Customer Experience Management solution for businesses in Africa, has acquired WayaWaya, the Kenya-based Artificial Intelligence [AI] and Machine Learning [ML] known for its innovative Janja platform.

WayaWaya’s innovative platform enables borderless banking and payments across apps and social media platforms for an undisclosed sum.

Ajua acquires WayaWaya to help SMEs improve their customer experience

Kenfield Griffith, founder, and CEO of Ajua comments on the acquisition.

“The acquisition of WayaWaya is an important milestone for us, as we make a significant leap in ensuring the customer experience journey for businesses across the continent is seamless. Integrating WayaWaya’s technology significantly complements our product suite and gives us the ability to automate our clients’ businesses and grow their revenues, which is an extremely powerful proposition for our customers of all sizes, across Africa. From our experience in this area, we understand the CX fundamentals that drive growth for our customers and we want to bring this intelligence to SMEs across the continent.”

By acquiring WayaWaya, Ajua will integrate the Kenyan fintechs’ janja.me product to automate its customer experience journey into its product stack. This patented and unique smart AI and ML product built by WayaWaya will provide SMEs the ability to automate responses.

Businesses will now be able to make use of the intelligent messaging through a number of social platforms such as Facebook messenger, Telegram, WhatsApp, and others. It further enables consumers to conduct cross-border payments and automate customer support.

“The additional reach this acquisition brings allows Ajua to scale significantly within the SME vertical, as we provide our customers today, and in the future, the tools they need to grow in Africa and beyond. We continue to be bullish on the point that customer experience and customer engagement are the engine for growth for businesses across the continent and they are disciplines that are critical factors in driving productivity and revenue growth,” adds Griffith.

Ajua (Supplied)Ajua

Founded in 2012, Ajua is an Integrated Customer Experience platform for businesses on the continent. The innovative company combines both technology and the customer experience. Ajua has created several products that provide real-time customer feedback at the point of service, for small and large businesses across the continent.

Ajua overall aims to digitise and grow African SMEs with its service and product offerings as it uses data and analytics to connect companies with their customers in real-time. This service provides SMEs with the tools to improve their customer knowledge and experience with the overall impact resulting in SMEs increase of sales.

Teddy Ogallo, founder of WayaWaya and new VP of Product APIs and Integrations for Ajua comments on the acquisition.

“Ajua’s focus on introducing and scaling customer service and customer experience for the continent – and essentially how they help businesses deliver excellence for their customers – is something my team and I have long admired. Seeing how WayaWaya’s technology can complement Ajua’s innovative products and services, and help scale and monetize businesses, is an exciting opportunity for us, and we are happy that our teams will be collaborating to build something unique for the continent”.

Read more: West African tech startup launches SaaS solution for African micro retailers
Read more: Flutterwave and Worldpay partner to improve online card payments for eCommerce businesses in SA and Nigeria

Featured image: Ajua (Supplied)

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/04/ajua-acquires-kenyan-fintech-wayawaya/

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