September 3rd, 2017  |  Edition # 08

Our photo of the week comes from the Boxing in Bukom series by Toronto based photojournalist, Jesse Winter (@jwintsphoto). He takes us to Jamestown beach in Accra, Ghana, where a determined 12-year-old boy trains with his coach. It's no wonder that the Accra suburb of Bukom has been called Ghana's champion boxer factory. All of Ghana's five boxing world champions hail from Bukom. Here champions are made, not born and the rules are simple: Champions train. Losers complain. Put on your boxing gloves (or slippers) and welcome to Fight Club.



Meet the 20 amazing startups selected for The World Bank's XL Africa Accelerator.

Many are called but few are chosen... Sometime in April, The World Bank launched XL Africa, a business acceleration program designed to support startups that are drivers of innovation in Africa. They received over 900 applications from tech entrepreneurs hungry for change. How much pocket change are we talking about? Up to $1.5 million in early stage capital, plus the chance to be mentored by global and local experts. The selection process was tough but at the end of the day, 20 startups emerged as winners.

Battle of the pitches... Over the next four months, the entrepreneurs who made the cut will go through a virtual mentorship and business bootcamp, followed by a two-week residency in Cape Town. The program will conclude with the entrepreneurs pitching their business models to angel investors and corporate partners, at the Venture Showcase Day. Here are all the startups selected by The World Bank for the XL Africa accelerator:

Bottom line... Africa's digital economy is growing rapidly. According to a recent Disrupt Africa report, in 2016 the number of technology startups that received funding increased by 16.8%. Interestingly enough, the most represented country in the XL Africa cohort is Nigeria with 9 companies, followed by Kenya with 5, South Africa with 3, Tanzania with 2, and Senegal with 1. We can't wait to see these promising startups from across the continent, blossom into scalable ventures and be poised for global success.



What to say when your computer freezes...

Shut it down. On Friday, Kenya's stock exchange went into panic mode, following the Supreme Court’s decision to annul the results of the Augst 8th presidential election. According to a spokesperson at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, "The NSE 20 share index declined by more than 5 percent triggering a shut down between 12:30 and 1:00 pm but we are now back on." Kenya is East Africa's biggest economy.

Winners : Egypt, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, Namibia

Losers : Kenya, Tanzania, Tunisia, Nigeria, Rwanda



Venture Capital Deals
  • BitPesa raised $4 million from VC firm Greycroft and Plug and Play. The Kenyan bitcoin payment startup has received $10 million in total funding.
  • Feastfox, an app which caters to the "spontaneous eating out" market in Cape Town, has raised $175,000 from Silicon Valley angel investors.
  • SnapnSave, a South African digital coupon app that gives shoppers cash back on their purchases, has raised $1.1 million in equity funding from Kalon Venture Partners and Smollan Group.
  • Secha Capital, the South African impact investment fund manager, is backing Stoffelberg Biltong in an undisclosed deal.
Private Equity Deals
  • African Rainbow Capital announced its plans to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in September.
  • Long4Life has agreed to acquire Inhle Beverages from the Botha family and the firm's management for a maximum consideration of R360 million.
  • Arise, the financial services investment platform launched by a consortium of European DFIs and lenders earlier this year, has taken over the stakes in NMBZ Holdings belonging to FMO and Norfund.
  • Sanlam Investments has agreed to acquire a 30% stake in EasyEquities, a South African fintech business belonging to Purple Group.
  • Social impact investor, AgDevCo, is backing Talian, a Ugandan milling business, in a $450,000 debt deal.

Funding Opportunities and Cool Prizes for Entrepreneurs :
  •  The Civic Accelerator Program is a 3-month program for early stage ventures whose business model is built on providing solutions to social, cultural or environmental problems in Nigeria. Selected entrepreneurs will receive training on scaling their startup, networking opportunities, office space and access to investors. Applications close on 4 September.
  • Short video contest for Young African Entrepreneurs by OECD. Stand a chance to win a  trip to Paris to participate in the 2017 International Economic Forum on Africa. Submit your video by 4 September. 
  • Calling all young creative entrepreneurs around the world. Applications are now open for The Global Under 30 Impact Challenge, a competition by The Rise Fund, Forbes and Echoing Green, giving environmental and social entrepreneurs a chance to win up to $500,000. Make sure you submit your application by 6 September.
  • Airbus BizLab's Africa4Future initiative is searching for African startups that empower mobility through aerospace technologies. If this sounds like you, send in your application and pitch your product or service to industry leaders, investors, and key influencers. Apply by 6 September.
  •  AppsAfrica Innovation Awards are now open. The Awards in association with Mobile Ecosystem Forum and Mobile Monday South Africa provides winners with international recognition, publicity, and awesome networking opportunities. The deadline for entries is 10 September
  • Seedstars World, the biggest startup competition in emerging markets, is coming to Accra, Ghana. If you think you have a pitch that can knock any investor's socks off, apply here before 13 September.
  • Fintechs / Energy startups in Francophone Africa can now apply for the Bridge Africa Accelerator Program, by JokkoLabs and Société Générale. Applications close on 15 September.
  • Are you developing open source Virtual Reality (VR) / Augmented Reality (AR) technologies that can help improve children's lives?  The UNICEF Innovation Fund is offering $50,000 to $90,000 in equity-free funding to startups that use technology to solve human problems. Applications are available until 17 September.
  • The Silicon Valley Accelerate Programme connects emerging technology entrepreneurs with the brightest innovators and founders in California. Apply now to pitch your business. The deadline is 22 September.
  • London: Africans in AI is a meetup for Artificial Intelligence enthusiasts. Hang out with like-minded people and brainstorm ways AI can be used to solve problems on the continent, 1 September
  • Berlin: Afrolynk 2017- African tech and entrepreneurship conference, a bridge between African and European startup ecosystems, 1 September
  • Silver Spring: African Diaspora Entrepreneurship Summit - Doing business with the African Diaspora, 1 September 
  • Cape Town: Facebook developer circles launch, 6 September
  • Nairobi: The Entrepreneur Hub strategy workshop series, 6 September 
  • London: GroExpro business and investment future of Africa - Africans building Africa, 9 September 
  • Hamburg: How to grow and scale your business: The African Investor Masterclass, 16 September
  • Accra: Entrepreneurs Hangout Networking Event, 21 September
  • New Haven: US Africa business and economic development conference at Yale University, 21 September
  • Oslo: Africa Connect Norway Meetup, 23 September 
  • Lagos: Y-Combinator Lagos Meetup by Paystack, 23 September
Feature your business, tech or entrepreneurship events in Baobab Biz. Send us the event details and we'll do the rest.
Africa gets its first startup accelerator for beauty entrepreneurs. 

How to build a global tech company in Cameroon by Fritz Ekwoge, the brainchild behind a file sharing app with over 1 million downloads.

A Nigerian neuroscientist based in Silicone Valley, creates computer chips that can smell explosives and detect cancer cells. 

 - BBC 
Kenya declares war on plastic and bans the use, import or manufacture of plastic bags.

 - CNN
Is the controversial CFA really a "Colonial Currency"?

Ethiopian Airlines is negotiating to take over management of Arik Air, Nigeria's largest airline.

Africa is teaching the world how to use drones for commercial and delivery purposes.

How African developers started connecting in the most interesting way.


Seychelles was the only African country that had a national budget surplus in 2016.

For more refreshing facts about Africa check out @AfricaFactsZone on Twitter by Isima Odeh.
What to say when grandpa discovers Facebook for the first time...
Young African Millennials Series (YAMS)

Happy Sunday and Karibu to September! We wish you an abundantly positive week ahead. Send your Bukom boxing gloves, breathtaking photos, comments and knockout events to Till next time...


PS:  Asante, Mia, Siyabonga and Thank you so much for subscribing to the first business newsletter for African millennials by African millennials. If a friend or colleague forwarded this newsletter to you and you'd like to receive it every Sunday in your own inbox, simply join the global Baobab Biz community here

A weekly newsletter for the ones who dare to believe that Africa is the future

Baobab Biz is a a culturally engaging newsletter for young African millennials. Whether you’re in London, Lagos, Limpopo or Los Angeles, we’ve got you covered on the latest business, entrepreneurship and tech news from The Rising Continent. Think of us like your weekly news fix, with a healthy dose of humor.

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