Snapchat has a new artificial intelligence (AR) filter that turns your phone in a mall.
Yesterday, the platform announced that it was expanding its AR feature to allow users to virtually try on clothes, including glasses and shoes.
Image source: The Verge
Augmented reality purchases is not new, however. US-based brands like Home Depot, Sephora Target, and IKEA have had these features for quite some time to help customers choose furniture or even cosmetics that are right for them.
All that’s left now is AR filters to show us how successful we could be if we could just stay off social media. 🥺
In today’s edition
Eden expands to Kenya
Ventures Platform adds 10 startups to its portfolio
TC Insights: funding tracking tool
Event: TechCabal live on Proptech
* Data as of 9:00 p.m. WAT, April 28, 2022.
QUICK SHOOT 🔥 WITH LEWAM KEFELA
Lewam is chief investment officer at Village Capital and co-founder of The Africa Playbook.
Explain your job to a five year old
I help people with big ideas turn them into something real.
What keeps you up at night??
Haha, honestly, lots of different things – but they all come down to economic growth in Africa and how to facilitate it. Currently obsessed with how local capital can be reallocated to fund local entrepreneurs and catalyze our economic growth. An Africa financed and built by Africans is the dream.
What do you wish you had known earlier in your career/life?
An existential crisis here and there is healthy and completely normal. Also, mental health is extremely important and therapy can be very helpful.
What are you currently reading?
Brand New Nation: Capitalist Dreams and Nationalist Conceptions in 21st Century India by Ravinder Kaur
A genius makes you a wish for the African tech ecosystem, what would be yours?
Frictionless movement across borders for everything (labour, capital, etc.) – think economies of scale! I would gladly dedicate my only wish to that!
This episode was originally released on May 28, 2021.
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Lynk is a platform that connects artisans and employers. Launched in 2015, the platform has facilitated over 150,000 jobs, transferring $4.5 million to over 2,000 workers who provide services in beauty and wellness, cleaning and maintenance , installation, repair and maintenance, and furniture and decoration.
Eden’s life in Nigeria
Since its launch in 2019, Eden Life has provided over 150,000 services in Nigeria through its app. On the app, users have access to a subscription service that offers chef-cooked meals, laundry and home cleaning services. Trained professionals called “Gardners” oversee service providers and end users to ensure seamless service.
Nairobi gets extra service
Excited about the prospect of Eden Life through the acquisition of Lynk, Nadayar Enegesi, co-founder of Eden Life and co-founder of Andela, mentioned“Combining our platform with Lynk’s knowledge and market experience is a true dream match.”
Lynk’s established customer base will give Eden Life a head start to build on its success in Lagos, where the service has seen an 80% retention rate over the past twelve months with monthly growth of 15%.
Eden Life will expand its operations in Nairobi by offering its users a new additional beauty and wellness service there.
PLATFORM VENTURES ADDS 10 STARTUPS TO ITS PORTFOLIO
Ventures Platform, a pan-African start-up venture capital firm, has announced the addition of 10 new African startups to its portfolio.
In a statement posted on its blog this afternoon, the company said it had invested in the 10 startups through its new $40 million fund.
Since its launch in 2016, Ventures Platform has backed nearly 70 startups, including Seamless HR, PiggyVest, Mono and Paystack.
This year, the company participated in at least 2 investments, including Earnipay and Remedial Health’s $4 million funding round $1 million pre-seed round.
Which startups have been funded?
Ten new startups have joined the company’s portfolio, hailing from Nigeria, Zambia and Kenya.
There’s Topup Mama, a Kenya-based restaurant management platform for African restaurant owners to unify and optimize Africa’s fragmented food and beverage supply chain.
B2B SaaS cash management and finance platform Fluna was selected because the company believes the founders are “leading the charge to close the $5 trillion aggregate credit gap in developing and emerging economies.”
Shekel has secured support from Ventures Platform due to its goal of redefining the urban mobility industry. The startup is a dealership management system enabling car dealerships to access financing and helping more Africans own vehicles.
There is also Catlog, a social commerce platform that allows marketers on social media platforms to reach massive audiences with cutting-edge sales and marketing tools.
The other 6 startups, all fintechs, include Blochq, Traction, Moni.Africa, Plumter, Vendy and Union54.
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This week, the Ghanaian Agritech startup Farmerline secure a pre-Series A investment of $6.4 million plus another $6.5 million in debt to help it grow. The $6.4 million equity investment was led by Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF) and FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, and also includes the Greater Impact Foundation. Lenders of the $6.5 million debt include DEG, Rabobank, Ceniarth, Rippleworks, Mulago Foundation, Whole Planet Foundation, Netri Foundation and Kiva.
Here are the other offers of the week:
OnePort 365 a Nigerian logistics start-up, raised $5 million in seed funding in a funding round led by Mobility 54, the VC arm of Toyota Tsusho and CFAO Group. Participating investors include SBI Investment, Flexport, ODX, a Singaporean syndicated fund and other angel investors. Samurai Incubate also followed after participating in the previous round of OnePort 365.
Syarpa, Nigerian fintech start-up farm $500,000 in a pre-seed funding round to help it expand across Europe and Africa. The tour was led by Cross Funds and Early Founders and also featured Yolo Investments and a strategic angel investor.
The Malagasy startup SAYNA, an education and freelance platform, raised a $600,000 funding round from Orange Ventures, Launch Africa Ventures and MAIC Investors Club.
Are you a developer, designer, product manager, or technology professional who creates payment products?
Join Fincra Hub, a community of qualified technicians where you can get resources to create reliable financial products, connect with technicians from all over Africa, get first-hand information on job openings at Fincra and its partners , and get exclusive invitations to events and more.
Getting an apartment in Nigeria can be quite complicated. Some of the problems plaguing the housing sector in Nigeria range from exorbitant agent fees, duplicity in sales, lack of disposable income from housing, high construction costs, etc.
Do you think proptech can solve these problems?
Although more and more startups are using technology to tackle the various challenges of the space, there is still some skepticism about the effectiveness of these long-term solutions.
On Friday, May 6 at 11 a.m. (WAT), join us on TechCabal Live, where we’ll talk with Dapo Eludiredirector of operations of PropertyProand other experts on the growth of the Nigerian proptech sector and how close the industry is to addressing housing challenges in Nigeria.