Aside from the Monday edition of BD Insider, we will now be in your inbox on Wednesday evenings for a midweek brief and on Saturday mornings for a round-up of the week.
So far this week, these are some of the stories that we are following:
- Kenyan logistics startup, Sendy’s shutdown and acquisition plan
- the halting of new financing to Uganda by the World Bank
📰 The Midweek Brief
Inside Sendy’s planned shutdown and acquisition
The news: Kenyan logistics startup, Sendy is planning to close down its operations and then sell its assets.
“We are in the middle of an acquisition process. So yes, Sendy is being acquired,” Meshack Alloys, Sendy co-founder told TechCrunch. “We will issue a formal joint statement in two weeks or so time. In the meantime, we are unable to comment on further details at this time.”
Why it matters: Two months ago, Sendy reportedly ran out of funds and has since been struggling to do business. The Kenyan logistics startup has continued to face challenges amidst the global downturn. Within two months in 2022, Sendy carried out two layoffs, obliterating 30% of the company.
Just this year, Sendy disclosed that it will no longer consign goods within Nigeria. “We have decided to cease on-the-ground operations and focus instead on getting the right product,” Daniel Edeimu, Sendy’s GM in Nigeria, said.
Know more: In 2021, Sendy set a target to raise $100 million by 2022, however, the company raised only a small fraction of the amount from MOL PLUS, a corporate venture capital fund of MOL Logistics.
Since it was founded in 2015, the Kenyan logistics startup has raised about $26.5 million in disclosed funding from several investors.
World Bank halts lending to Uganda over anti-LGBTQ+ law
The news: On Tuesday, World Bank announced that it will not provide new loans to Uganda due to its anti-LGBTQ laws. “Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act fundamentally contradicts the World Bank Group’s values,” the Bank said in a statement seen by Bendada.com.
Why it matters: The Ugandan law is regarded as one of the harshest anti-LGBTQ laws in the world. “We believe our vision to eradicate poverty on a livable planet can only succeed if it includes everyone irrespective of race, gender, or sexuality,” the US-based lender added. “This law undermines those efforts. Inclusion and non-discrimination sit at the heart of our work around the world.”
According to the World Bank, Uganda will not receive any new public financing pending the test of what it describes as “the efficacy of the additional measures”.
Know more: In May, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signed into law a bill criminalising same-sex conduct, including potentially the death penalty for those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality”.
Since the bill was signed into law, the Ugandan government has come under criticism and sanctions from the international community including the United States who have threatened to cut aid to the country.
“The signing is finished, nobody will move us,” says President Museveni in defence of the law. “If they cut aid, we will sit down and discipline our expenditure and rearrange our budgets. If they interfere with our trade, we will trade with others.”
According to International Monetary Fund, 22% of the Ugandan government's expenditure is funded by foreign grants and financing.
📊 Funding in Africa
So far, it has invested in DataProphet, a South African AI-as-a-service business and Kasha, a Rwandan health access platform.
- Job vacancy: Clafiya, a Nigerian healthtech startup that recently raised $610,000 in pre-seed to reimagine healthcare service delivery in Africa, is hiring for a product manager, social media manager, biz dev manager and software developer. Shoot your shot.
- Startup accelerator: Applications are open for the Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator programme. Seed to Series A startups with at least an MVP can apply here on or before the deadline of August 25.
- Event: The maiden edition of Africa's largest Product Leadership Conference, THE DIVE 2023, is scheduled to be held on August 12, 2023, in Lagos, Nigeria. Reserve a seat.
🗞️ ICYMI—In case you missed it
- X rolls out Ads revenue sharing for verified accounts in Nigeria: X (formerly Twitter) has rolled out its Ads revenue sharing model in Nigeria. On Tuesday, several users in the country confirmed receipt of the first payout.
- Spotify introduces its AI DJ feature in 18 African countries: Spotify has announced the rollout of its AI feature 'DJ' to its premium subscribers in 18 African countries including Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana, six months after launching the feature in North America.
- Stifled at home, Tunisian tech finds success in the West: Acquisitions of InstaDeep and Expensya, which focused on international customers, are inspiring Tunisian entrepreneurs to look outside the country, Rest of World reports.
Thank you for reading the maiden edition of our midweek brief.
Thank you for trusting us to bring you news about the African tech ecosystem.