1 SEPTEMBER, 2021
Happy new month! ️
Zoom has announced the first beneficiaries of its $100 million investment programme: Zoom Apps Fund.
The programme was launched earlier this year to help stimulate growth on the platform by integrating new tools or features by other startups.
The first startups who will receive between $250,000 – $2.5 million are Warmly, a tool that provides info about meeting participants; Fathom, which simplifies transcription; and Pledge, a tool that helps organizations or individuals collect in-app donations.
In today’s edition:
EZE Wholesale is helping Africans navigate the second-hand smartphone market
Ridelink’s East African journey just got fueled
eHealth Africa wins second place at Wiki Loves Africa photo contest
EZE WHOLESALE IS HELPING AFRICANS NAVIGATE THE SECOND-HAND SMARTPHONE MARKET
Africa has a fast-growing smartphone market. Although smartphone penetration is still low, there are at least 447 million smartphone users on the continent. But phones can be pricey and the poor economic conditions in many countries means that most people who want to buy smartphones will have to turn to the second-hand or used phones markets.
Look, I have a fear of getting second-hand gadgets; it almost never works out for me. I can bet you that if ten of us bought second-hand iPhones today, only mine will pack up after a month.
Like me, other Africans harbour a mistrust of second-hand products. This mistrust is one of the first challenges Josh Nzewi and David Iya faced when they launched EZE Wholesale, a B2B commodity exchange for used smartphones.
What is EZE doing?
EZE Wholesale launched in 2020 as a platform where traders of second-hand smartphones in Africa could buy and sell used smartphones.
For buyers, EZE also has a solution. When they want to buy a phone, the company receives their payment into an escrow account, collects and inspects the phone on their behalf, and delivers it after the specs have been verified. In the event of an oversight, buyers get 30-day warranties.
Why this is important
Building trust in the market is an ongoing conversation. There are a lot of funny stories of people who bought second-hand Samsung phones only to turn them on and find Nokia logos on the screens.
There are also other problems in the smartphone market. Inconsistent pricing, poor distribution channels, and logistics are some of the challenges EZE Wholesale wants to innovate around.
Read more in Michael Ajifowoke’s EZE Wholesale is taking on Africa’s challenging used smartphone market.
RIDELINK’S EAST AFRICAN JOURNEY JUST GOT FUELED
Ridelink, a Ugandan e-logistics platform, has just closed a $150k pre-seed investment round to improve its technology and double down on its marketing efforts.
The investment was birthed from the startup’s partnership with Ortus Africa Capital, Omidyar Network and African Leadership Academy’s Young Entrepreneurs Fund (Anzisha).
Under the hood
Founded in 2017 by Daniel Mukisa, Ridelink operates an e-logistics platform developed to seamlessly connect SMEs to a network of transport operators.
SMEs employ more than 2.5 million people in Uganda, making up 90% of those employed in the private sector.
Ridelink is on a journey to drive down the cost of transportation for these businesses by connecting them to truck drivers. The startup is using technology to facilitate the smooth running of business operations, increase revenue earning, and improve mobility, efficiency, and performance.
The journey so far
Although Ridelink launched in Uganda, it has since expanded across East Africa into Kenya and Tanzania.
The company has reportedly served more than 250 SMEs with over 2,000 drivers delivering cargo throughout East Africa.
In addition to its latest funding, Ridelink has raised a total of $250,000, having previously received funding from Seedstars last year.
Moving forward: The startup is looking to use its new funds to accelerate growth (Yes, there are a lot of automobile puns today 🚗).
CEO Daniel Mukisa says, “We plan on using the capital raised to build globally competitive and robust technology and accelerate our marketing campaigns.”
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EHEALTH AFRICA WINS SECOND PLACE AT WIKI PHOTO CONTEST
eHealth Africa, a Nigeria-based non-profit, has clinched second place in Wiki Loves Africa’s 2021 photo contest.
What’s the contest about? Of all the millions of articles on Wikipedia, those related to or about Africa have the least coverage. Most wiki pages on African topics, cultures, lifestyles or histories are scanty; some don’t even have featured images.
Now we all know that Wikipedia isn’t the most reliable when it comes to information, but it’s still a resource centre for a lot of people.
The Wiki Loves Africa contest wants to help increase coverage of Africa by encouraging anyone across the continent to contribute media (pictures, videos, and audio) that showcase Africa’s richness, diversity, and culture.
The annual contest was launched in 2014, and each contest is themed around “universal, visually-rich and culturally-specific topics.”
The theme for 2021 was Health + Wellness.
What’s in it for contestants?
Cash prizes. 🤑
There are two categories for prize giving: international prizes between countries, and national prizes.
For international winners, the first prize is $1000, the second is $800 while the third is $500.
While this may not be a lot of money to organizations, it definitely could make a difference in the lives of individual contestants.
Who are this years’ winners?
In first place is Crazy Love by Ewien van Bergeijk – Kwant
Nigeria’s eHealth Africa, with a photo taken by Ozavogu Abdulsalam Khalid under contract to them, won 2nd place for Malaria microscopy training.
In third place is Pupil (Ghana) by Amuzujoe.
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WHY HAVEN’T YOU REGISTERED FOR THE #FUTUREOFCOMMERCE
Are you having doubts about attending #FOC2021? Well, guess what? We’ve thought of reasons why you think you shouldn’t attend and we’re addressing any concerns you might have below:
The ticket is probably too expensive:
Duh! The Future of Commerce is absolutely free to attend. All you need is a device with a strong internet connection, your eyes and ears.
I can’t get to the physical location:
Guess what? It’s a hybrid conference. This means that while there’ll be a physical audience, the majority of our attendees will join us online. You can get to be one of them!
I’m probably not the target audience
While we’re targeting startups, investors, telcos, banks, policymakers and other key stakeholders, we’re also looking to have tech enthusiasts and curious, eager-to-learn minds join us. If you read the TechCabal Daily, then you already belong to that last category.
I don’t think I’ll learn anything new
Wrong! Have you seen our speaker line-up yet? We’re speaking with the CEO of Paxful – Ray Youssef, the Founder and CEO of Paga Group – Tayo Oviosu, the Head of Product Expansion at Paystack – Khadijah Abu, the Chairwoman of Jumia Nigeria – Juliet Anammah, the Senior Director (Solutions Management) at Visa Sub-Sharan Africa – Nkebet Mesele, the Global Head of Operations at Sokowatch, Fatma Nasujo and many others bringing fresh and exciting perspectives. Just wait until we unveil what each of them will be speaking on.
Have we convinced you yet? Then you’d better book a slot now.
The Future of Commerce is brought to you in partnership with DAI Magister and Paystack and is sponsored by Doroki, Chipper Cash, Klasha, VerifyMe and GIG Logistics.
KB4-CON EMEA is a free, highly engaging, cybersecurity-focused virtual event designed for CISOs, security awareness and cybersecurity professionals in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The event will be on Thursday, September 23rd and features keynotes from two of the most well-known figures in cybersecurity. Mikko Hyppönen will cover how our global networks are being threatened by surveillance and crime, and how we can fix our technical, and human, problems. Kevin Mitnick will reveal social engineering tradecraft and insights and wow you with a live hacking demonstration. You can register here.
What else we’re reading
A lot of workers are benefitting from WFH situations but that’s not the case for everyone. Can workers in low-income countries risk being exploited by these arrangements? (Quartz Africa)
Inventions are always exciting ventures. In this list, there are a few interesting tech products made in South Africa including oil made from coal, a yellow-fever vaccine and animal trackers. (MyBroadBand)
Instagram wants to know your birthday, and you have to share it if you want to keep using the app! (The Verge)
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