Sports-tech startup InGame Sports secures US$1m pre-seed round

EGYPT – InGame Sports, an Egypt-based gaming and sports-tech startup, secured over US$1 million in cash, in-kind resources, and grants in a pre-seed round led by Openner, a global venture capital firm with a unique combination of finance and technology that invests in early-stage digital firms.

Multiple global sports brands, including Sports Radar, as well as Egyptian and foreign angel investors participated in the round.

With the new investment, the startup plans to expand its presence in Egypt and other countries. It also plans to launch new features built on web3 infrastructure while also  incorporating blockchain technology.

“InGame aims to provide an innovative entertainment value to millions of football fans in the region, InGame is designed to empower and engage its users with unprecedented ways and experiences through new reward schemes,” Mohab El Tawila, Managing Partner of InGame Sports, said.

“InGame targets its stronghold incorporation in multiple break-through interactive engagements that are exciting for football fans that have never been assembled in the gaming industry before.”

The startup’s future expansion strategy includes not only the Egyptian market, but also many other nations. InGame intends to provide add-ons based on web3 technology infrastructure and integrate blockchain technology into its modules in the near future.

During the first three weeks of its introduction, Ingame’s first free football prediction game had over 17,000 downloads and an average of 3 minutes and 16 seconds of screen time each session, while user acquisition increased.

Nigerian investtech startup ComiBlock secures Expert Dojo funding

NIGERIA – Investtech startup ComiBlock has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Expert Dojo, a California-based growth accelerator, to help it scale.

This new funding will enable ComiBlock to expand its operations and invest in product development as it builds to accelerate responsible crypto investing for people across frontier markets.

“Most crypto platforms are structured as an exchange and leave most retail users with a black box experience, which is unhealthy for many reasons. On top of that, most crypto exchanges see the average users as just an anonymised dollar value,” said ComiBlock co-founder and CEO Dennis Mary.

“These black box experiences have promoted an irresponsible and toxic investing culture. We’re rebuilding it entirely.

“The exchange model is an old factory. ComiBlock is effectively a new factory. Our recent funding from Expert Dojo is another sign of the faith and trust that our customers, partners, and investors have in ComiBlock. We’re honoured that they’ve come on this journey with us.”

Sendy partners with Meta to train SMEs in Kenya and Nigeria

AFRICA – Sendy, a technology company that builds easy tech solutions that enable businesses to sell, move goods and get financing has partnered with Meta through the Innovation Growth Hub (IGHub) to offer free training for SMEs on how to grow their business.

Through the Meta Boost training program, SMEs, business owners and entrepreneurs will be empowered on how to position their businesses for growth through advancing their digital skills using Meta’s platforms; Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and Messenger.

The training will provide relevant information and tools to support SMEs and upskill business owners to use data, business insights and digital tools for growth.

SMES will be trained on how to amplify their online presence, target their social media audience, Instagram commerce solutions, writing engaging ads, creating virtual stores with shops on Facebook and Instagram and much more.

Since its inception, the Meta Boost training has helped thousands of small and medium-sized businesses across Africa, to learn how they can use digital tools to achieve their business objectives.

SA lifestyle app FOMO partners Google to drive uptake

SOUTH AFRICA – South African food app FOMO, which connects users with specials at restaurants or events, has partnered Google to allow users to book instantly and efficiently directly through Google Search, Maps and Assistant.

Co-founders Ryan and Jax Marx – who previously launched price comparison platforms CompareGuru and MoneyPanda – birthed the idea for the FOMO app after a night out, and it has seen huge growth since launching in early 2021.

The app has had 180,000 downloads to date, having started as a marketplace for South Africans to find restaurant specials closest to them using geolocation. FOMO expanded into activities and accommodation in Q3 of 2021, while it also launched an online reservation system for restaurants to manage their reservations through the app.

Its partnership with Google is aimed at driving further uptake as users can now book instantly and efficiently directly through Google Search, Maps and Assistant. FOMO is only the second South Africa-based booking software system that offers integration with Google, after Dineplan.

i3 set to invest US$50k in 30 African startups

AFRICA – Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and sponsored by Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, and AmerisourceBergen, i3 brings together major donors, industry leaders and African institutions to initiate a new approach to business supporting health innovations made by Africans.

Selected startups will receive a $50,000 grant and support to catalyze growth-oriented partnerships with donors, industry leaders, and institutions.

The 30 selected startups come from 14 African countries. These companies, which are in the start-up or growth phase, offer innovative solutions, in particular for the distribution of medicines and medical equipment, the management and financing of stocks, authentication, traceability and the management of medical waste.

They demonstrate that made-in-Africa solutions are poised to help transform access to health products in many ways. 47% of businesses are led by women (which the program defines as having at least one woman with an equity stake and an active leadership role), and 30% of businesses operate in Francophone Africa.

Kenyan-based accelerator the Baobab Network invests in four African startups

SOUTH AFRICA – The Baobab Network, an accelerator located in Nairobi that invests in early-stage technology firms across Africa, has revealed its newest cohort of startups, which will each get an investment of US$50,000.

Two South African startups, Lemon, which is a platform that makes it easier for businesses to purchase industrial supplies, and Local Knowledge, which is a TravelTech that helps digital travellers explore Africa and enrich the lives of locals, were both chosen to participate in the most recent cohort of Baobab’s accelerator programme.

Also chosen was Ethiopian startup Shemach, a B2B marketplace focusing on fast-moving consumer goods aiming to make it easier for small retailers in Ethiopia to order, store, and pay for inventory via a mobile app. Shemach was co-founded by Yihunsew Getahun and Dawit Nigusu.

The final company to be profiled hails from Nigeria and is called Oval Interactive. This company is the brains behind Trivia Billionia, an interactive marketing technology platform that allows users to learn new things while simultaneously earning money and providing businesses with the chance to interact with consumers.

Since the beginning of its accelerator, The Baobab Network has invested in a total of 25 different businesses, including the four new firms, each of which has now received money in the amount of US$50,000 and will participate in an intensive programme designed to help their growth.

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