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Here are The 23 African Startups for YCombinator W22 Batch

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Silicon Valley accelerator programme, Y Combinator has named eight more African startups for its winter 2022 batch – bringing the total number of African Startups for this batch to a total of twenty-three.

The accelerator programme has become an integral aspect of growth for many startups globally. Y Combinator plays an important role in bootstrapping and accelerating many startups in early-stage funding as well as connecting them to various opportunities to scale.

Y Combinator played an important role for a number of startups like Coinbase, Dropbox, Airbnb, e.t.c. The Winter Batch 2022 Demo Day is set to kick off next week and a total of 23 African startups will be present for this season’s round of accelerator programmes.

Y Combinator had early announced a number of startups since January and adding to the list, the eight new startups to join already listed startups are crypto platform Payourse, data-free internet service provider Simplifyd, on-demand clean meat provider Sendme, payments startup Vendy, open-source cloud-native webhook service Convoy, insurtech startup Curacel, and payment API provider Plumter and Sudanese fintech platform Bloom. The first-seven mentioned startups are all originating from Nigeria.

According to the accelerator programme, participants will receive seed funding to accelerate or bootstrap their companies as well as further investment opportunities at the demo day.

Investors King also gathered that the preceding season of the programme, the S21 edition, had only 15 African participants – a record that was higher than previous slots given to African startups. However, with the additional eight, this is another record to score the most slots for African startups.

Here are the 23 African Startups for The W22 Batch

Of the entire 23 startups, 18 are from Nigeria while the remaining five are from Ghana, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan.

Nigeria: Dojah, Moni, Topship, Identitypass, Touch and Pay, EaziPay, Remedial Health, Hay Food, Plumter, Grey Finance, Lenco, Vendy, Sendme, Simplifyd, Payourse, Curacel, Convoy, and Duplo.

Ghana: Tendo

Uganda: Numida

Ethiopia: beU Delivery

Kenya: Boya

Sudan: Bloom

Investor King also gathered that the accelerator programme has also increased its deal size to US$500,000 from the previous US$125,000 for seven per cent equity it usually invested in the past. However, under its new deal, the Silicon Valley accelerator programme will also invest an additional US$375,000 on an uncapped SAFE with “Most Favoured Nation” (MFN) terms.

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5000 Startups From Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa Completed Google Training Programme

No less than 5000 startups from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa have completed the Google Hustle Academy training programme.

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Start-up - Investors King

No less than 5000 startups from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa have completed the Google Hustle Academy training programme. The programme was designed to help business owners learn soft skills that complement their hard talents.

Investors King learnt that Google received more than 10,000 applications for this year’s edition. 

It could be recalled that earlier this year, Google announced a plan to train 5,000 African Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with participants coming from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. 

Google noted that participants will go through a training academy where they will undergo five days of hands-on training and receive 3,000 hours of training on fundamental aspects of business to help them navigate the challenges faced by SMEs in Africa.

According to the press statement released by Google Head of Brand & Reputation, Sub Sahara Africa, Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde after the completion of the training, participants attended a five-day virtual boot camp where they learned how to define their business strategy, increase sales, and how to pitch for investor funding. 

While dividing them into 23 cohorts, they were also trained in digital marketing and effective financial planning.

This is in addition to the one-on-one mentoring sessions received by each participant. The mentoring session was handled by a network of trained mentors and coaches. 

Meanwhile, Aderemi-Makinde further revealed that Google has launched a new speaker series in which successful African entrepreneurs share lessons and advice. 

He added that Google will continue to do more to help African entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive.

“(The) speaker series will allow Small and Medium Businesses to get insight from business owners from an array of sectors, focusing on the issues, themes and subjects they face on a regular basis,” he said. 

He stated that Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the global economy while noting that in Africa, they account for an estimated 80 per cent of jobs. 

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Nigeria Startup Act to Boost Youth Empowerment – SSA to Buhari

Nigeria Startup Act to advance technology innovation and increase youths empowerment

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Start-up - Investors King

The Senior Special Assistant to  President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the Nigeria Startup Act will increase youth empowerment and advance the country’s technological landscape. 

Oswald Guobadia, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Digital Transformation and the Lead Startup Act, pushed for the states to adopt and apply the law. 

Guobadia noted in a statement that each state’s adoption of the Act would increase youth empowerment and advance the tech ecosystem.

“The youth are key players for the country’s growth, and it is important that they contribute to the impact of the Act by supporting, raising awareness of it, and promoting its adoption in their various states because the law is intended to unlock the potential of the digital and promote ecosystem growth,” he said.

Guobadia recalled that states like Yobe, Ekiti, Anambra, Lagos, Zamfara, Edo, and Kaduna had expressed interest in and taken action to adopt the Act in order to benefit from it.

Investors King understands that the Nigerian president signed the bill on October 19, 2022, to stimulate activity in the technology sector and bring about the long-term development of the ecosystem.

The presidential aide went on to say that the Act gives every state the chance to create a thriving startup ecosystem and maintain its competitiveness. Some of the Act’s provisions include fostering the development and growth of technology-related talent and providing an enabling environment for the establishment, development and operation of startups in Nigeria.

He added that the act would help close the gap between Nigeria’s regulators and startups, which would then ensure that the laws were clear. 

He says that “The Act will also bridge the gap between startups and regulators in order to ensure that the laws are clear and beneficial to those in the technology ecosystem. With state adoption, one can anticipate a thriving tech ecosystem, the emergence of new startups, and clearer regulations in the near future.”

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American Theranos Founder Imprisoned for more than 11 Years

Elizabeth Holmes has been sentenced to 11 years and three months in imprisonment for fraud

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Elizabeth Holmes

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, America’s privately held corporation, has been sentenced on three counts on charges bothering on investor fraud and one count of conspiracy.

The California judge who sentenced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes to 11 years and three months in prison for defrauding investors in a defunct blood-testing startup confirmed the scandal valued around $9bn, Investors King reports.

United States District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California, sentenced Holmes on three counts of investor fraud and one count of conspiracy. A jury convicted Holmes, 38, in January following a trial that spanned three months.

The judge set Holmes’s surrender date for April. Her lawyers are expected to ask the judge to allow her to remain free on bail during her appeal.

Assistant US Attorney Jeff Schenk told the judge before he handed down the sentence that a 15-year sentence would be “making a statement that the ends don’t justify the means”.

However, Holmes’s lawyer Kevin Downey pleaded leniency for Holmes at the hearing, attempting to convince that unlike someone who committed a “great crime,” she was not motivated by greed.

Holmes had asked in court papers for a more lenient sentence of 18 months of home confinement, followed by community service, urging the judge not to make her a “martyr to public passion.”

Prosecutors said at trial that Holmes misrepresented Theranos’s technology and finances, including by claiming that its miniaturised blood testing machine was able to run an array of tests from a few drops of blood. The company secretly relied on conventional machines from other companies to run patients’ tests, prosecutors said.

Ahead of her sentencing, prosecutors had said a 15-year sentence was necessary to deter Holmes and others from fraud. Although, divergent opinions emerged thereafter.

Her crimes according to the authority “damaged the trust and integrity” on which Silicon Valley’s startup economy relies.

Federal probation office had recommended a nine-year prison sentence, according to court papers, only for Davila to adjudicate 11 years.

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