January in Africa: Reducing off connectivity, Uber active, Andela backed

January in Africa: Reducing off connectivity, Uber active, Andela backed

As expected, January became once a mute month in African tech, however there became once simplest ample news — correct and mistaken — to fabricate a monthly wrap handy.

Net shutdowns were the final rage among governments on the continent in 2018, and the early signs are that is command to proceed in 2019.

Zimbabweans protested in opposition to huge gas ticket hikes in January, prompting the government to shut down the fetch, which became once simplest reinstated after a Excessive Court ruling.

Major cities all the contrivance in which during the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were also reduce off, with the government in the wait on of a shutdown as it claimed it wanted to reduce down on the unfold of misinformation. This became once in the wake of a disputed presidential election.

Within the period in-between, Gabon shut off service at some stage in an tried coup, while Sudan blocked social media. Across the continent, on-line freedoms are below attack.

Uber active

These Africans that even fill fetch admission to to the fetch can now fetch admission to more companies from Uber, which launched Uber Lite, a stripped down model of its app, in Kenya and South Africa at some stage in January, aimed at users with low-extinguish smartphones.

Within the period in-between, the firm also launched UberASSIST in Nairobi. UberASSIST is a specialized service that caters for riders with particular fetch admission to needs, with Nairobi the 1/Three city in Africa to fetch this.

Uber is neatly established in Africa by now, however a preference of barely a couple of corporations have gotten a member of the action or increasing their operations. Chinese cellular producer Xiaomi has introduced it is developing an African arm, while cash switch service WorldRemit launched in South Africa, permitting prospects to switch funds to 1 hundred 45 international locations worldwide.

In Kenya, Safaricom’s mortgage product Fuliza went stay, permitting M-Pesa users to fetch admission to lending companies through USSD.

A funding revolution

Not too long ago launched figures urged 2018 became once a epic-breaking yr for African tech startups in funding phrases, however the early signs are 2019 would possibly perchance be even higher. Nicely-funded already, coding accelerator Andela kicked off the yr with a $a hundred million USD spherical, making it one among one of the backed African tech corporations ever.

Assorted rounds were smaller however tranquil linked. South Africa had a proper month, with investments for prop-tech startup Float, fintech firm Solar Alternate and mobility firm WhereIsMyTransport.

Kenya noticed two rounds, for e-commerce platform Copia and AI startup SuperFluid Labs, while there became once also funding for Nigerian neatly being startup Stack Dx and Ethiopian slump-hailing startup ZayRide.

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