Welcome to a brand-new edition of the Big 5 Daily, where we bring you a compilation of the biggest tech news in Africa.
We have news that Blended, an Argentinian edtech startup emerged as the winner of the 2019 Seedstars Global Summit. They walked away with $500,000 equity funding. Blended aims to improve communication between schools and families with a communication platform that generates engagement between parent and teachers.
Next on the Big 5, Visa and Branch- 2 major finance platforms in Africa have partnered to ensure that virtual Visa prepaid debit cards is offered to more than 2 million customers across Sub-Saharan Africa. The partnership will grant Visa merchants that accept Visa on mobile QR codes in Kenya access to preferential loan terms from Branch, who plan to extend this service to Nigeria and Tanzania specifically. Branch will leverage on this partnership to add Visa payment services into its platform and enable cash-free payments.
There is also news that Paylater, Nigeria’s pioneering consumer lending firm has rebranded as “Carbon” in its deliberate transition to a fully-fledged digital financial services platform. The platform will henceforth offer bill payments, airtime purchases, free credit reports and a wallet for its customers. It will also offer an in-app credit reports and financial management for its customers, beyond its traditional money lending.
Moving on, The Bell Labs Prize 2019 has called on innovators in the ICT sector, with impactful, game changing ideas to submit for a sum of $175,000 in the 2019 Bell Labs Prize. Three innovators from around the world will be chosen to win a share of the prize money. Only innovators from Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa are eligible to apply in Africa. The proposal submission deadline is on the 26th of April and all selected finalists will be notified on the 24th of May 2019 by an email. Interested? Click here.
Finally, British owned Standard Chartered Bank officially launched its Africa eXellerator fintech innovation hub, a lab at its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The hub will serve as a platform to collaborate with fintechs in Kenya and the broader African region, drive innovation and develop new business models or services to meet client’s needs in the African region. This is its first in Africa; other labs are located in Singapore, Hong Kong, London, and San Francisco.
There you have it, it is time we rounded up today’s edition of the Big 5 Daily.
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