Monday, January 18, 2021

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A weekly digest of what went down in Nigeria’s tech space

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s the winning startups were given the opportunity to engage with industry experts, mentors, and entrepreneurs.

Also, during the week, Nigerian fintech startup Blueloop announced closing US$77,000 in pre-seed funding, a raiser that comes after the Fintech player completed the building of a new product Flux, a mobile app for crypto-based cross-border payments. Week on week, the economy seems to be on a growth trend, as more opportunities surface for Nigerian startups.

Below is a digest for the week, highlighting the major tech build up.

NOGTECH’s hackathon winners

Although the unveiling of winners did not come as a major surprise as the competition had earlier narrowed finalists to 15 startups in the semi-finals. However, the prize has been a major conversation starter for many within the tech space.

According to the board, the winners, five Nigerian startups, will share $50,000 for product development. Quite memorable, the five selected winners emerged from semi-final where fifteen contestants which were asked to present their innovations to a panel of experts during the three-day NOGTECH hackathon. The five startups include Fuel Intellisense, Homefort Energy, Gricd Mote, Kiakia Gas, and Airsynq. Hence, It worth watching out for them in days ahead.

Blueloop’s $77k raiser

Nigerian fintech startup Blueloop, during the week, equally announced closing US$77,000 in pre-seed funding. Industry experts noted that the raiser comes after the Fintech player completed the building of a new product, Flux.

Co-founded by Ben Eluan, Osezele Orukpe and Israel Akintunde, the product is a mobile app for crypto-based cross-border payments. Hence, with Flux, individuals and businesses can send and receive money from anywhere in the world, instantly convert it into cash, and spend it locally from their Flux Wallets.

Opportunity window

Founder Institute has partnered Pacer Ventures to open an opportunity window for Africans. Founder Institute (FI), arguably the largest pre-seed startup accelerator in the world signed a partnership deal with Pacer Ventures, a sub-Saharan Africa venture firm, for the African Accelerator programme led by FI.

According to press, FI graduates that participate in the African Accelerator programme will be reviewed by Pace Ventures and be given the opportunity to be considered for potential investment in a seed or pre-seed round of funding. To this end, the board noted that the objective of Pacer Ventures aligns with FI’s mission which is to empower communities of talented and motivated individuals and help develop impactful and technology-driven businesses worldwide.

Launch of ATM card guard

Leading envelope manufacturing, customizing, supplying and producing company, FAE Limited, unveiled a new product to tackle ATM fraud. Tagged Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) blocking ATM card cover, the product was built as a card guard to eliminate card fraud and scam across the globe, especially in Nigeria where a rise has been recorded in recent times.

Funlayo Bakare-Okeowo, Managing Director/Chief Executive officer, explained that the RFID card cover, ensures that information on credit cards, debits cards are well protected from hackers and fraudsters who engage in electronic pickpocket. This, according to the board, comes on the heels of the realisation that innovation must be employed to deal with new trends in cyber crime.

The loss

During the week, Nigeria lost an opportunity to Kenya’s Pezesha. The Kenyan startup won the first prize in the 2020 AFI Fintech Showcase after displacing other African startups.

The Kenyan company won the category for its leading innovation in financial inclusion, offering a digital platform that allows micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) the opportunity to be linked with investors.

Remarks

These stories, and many others, made headlines during the week.  Join us next week for another edition of TechNigeria.

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