Kenyan food delivery startup Kune shuts down after a year, June 2022 — Quartz Africa Weekly — Quartz

Hi Quartz Africa readers,

In the past, the wealth of a country, or even a continent, depended on who exploited its natural resources. In the 21st century, a user’s browsing history, music playlists and social media habits can be worth as much as oil or gold.

“Data is the fuel of digitalization,” said Aristide Outtara, head of risk management consulting at Deloitte, during a session on digital data at the recent Africa CEO Forum, the largest annual gathering of CEOs in the world. the continent’s private sector.

If data is indeed powering digitization, Africa has a major leak. Millions of internet users based in Africa generate data that can grow sectors and strengthen economies, but it all comes out of the continent, with minimal benefit to the African ecosystem. Although the continent has at least 11% of the world’s internet users, only 1% of the global data center economy is in Africa.

There are practical reasons why data is currently stored and analyzed elsewhere, but according to Funke Opeke, CEO of MainOne, the first private company to land an undersea cable business in West Africa, the goal for African countries “should be to create local ecosystems that stimulate the growth of startups.

The continent may not be starting from the best position, but if history is any guide, Africa can and should get involved in the data rush.—Ciku Kimeria, Africa Editor

When Jihan Abass, a London-based commodities trader, returned to Kenya, she hoped to make an impact in her home country. Inspired by a conversation to learn more about the insurance industry in Africa, she launched Lami in 2018, which has now become one of the largest insurtech companies on the continent.

“I had a conversation with the waiter, who told me she didn’t have medical insurance. I went down a rabbit hole of researching insurance to see why people don’t buy these products. I saw that the insurance products were there in Kenya, but the digital infrastructure was lacking.

Lami provides a digital platform that distributes insurance products using an application programming interface (API), which connects businesses to insurance companies who can underwrite any new products they create. Today, the startup has 25 underwriters, more than 80,000 policies, and has underwritten over $1 million in premiums.

Learn more about Lami in the most recent edition of Quartz Africa Member Brief. To receive the Member Brief straight to your inbox, save 35% and become a member today.

Stories this week

Africa is ready to cash in billions from AI. Analysts have estimated that by 2030, technology could contribute $1.5 billion to the continent’s GDP. Faustine Ngila examines what African countries are doing to take advantage of this opportunity.

Number of companies specializing in AI

The UK’s plan to fly asylum seekers to Rwanda follows a problematic pattern. The former colonial power has a habit of not wanting to fix the problems it helped create, writes Cassie Werber.

Local investors are pumping money into African online pharmacies. With more than half (58%) of recent funding in the sector coming from African investors, Alexander Onukwue investigates what is driving this boom.

Patrice Lumumba will finally be buried. A state funeral will honor the hero of DRC independence, six decades after he was assassinated by Belgian forces, after Belgium returned the only known remains of the leader – a tooth. Faustine Ngila revisits this colonial injustice.

Africa’s industrialization hinges on repairing logistics. If road, rail, air and sea transport improve, Africa will have a clearer path to becoming an industrial superpower, reports Ciku Kimeria of the Africa CEO Forum.

More than half of young African adults wish to emigrate. Dissatisfied and disillusioned, 52% of young Africans aged 18 to 24 want to settle in the EU or the United States. Faustine Ngila explains why so many people think the continent has no future for them.

Charting the slow recovery of the air transport sector in Africa

The pace of the great recovery in global air travel differs across the world, writes Alexander Onukwue. While demand in North America this year will almost equal that of 2019, demand in Africa will be significantly lower. The reason? Decline in vaccination rates against covid-19, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Global air transport recovery will be slowest in Africa in 2022

Image copyright: Quartz

How to say “schadenfreude” in Kenyan

“You are lucky to have come this far without a clear statement of the problem,” wrote a LinkedIn user commenting on an article announcing the closure of Kune Foods, a startup launched in Kenya in December 2020.

It’s barely a year since the company’s white and French founder enraged Kenyans with remarks about the Nairobi food scene that drew attention to how quickly he was able to raise $1m in pre-seed funding, solving a problem that Kenyans did not believe existed.

This week’s announcement of Kune Food’s closure came as no surprise, as Alexander Onukwue reports.

A negotiator

Fidoa Ghanaian startup that lends to micro-enterprises and individuals, raised $30m in equity and an undisclosed debt round. Fortissimo Capital, an Israeli private equity fund, led the investment. Fido plans to add deposit functionality and expand to Uganda later this year.

mTek, a Kenyan insurtech company, has raised $3 million to expand the market for its service that allows users to purchase insurance from insurers. The investment came from Finclusion Group. The company is aiming for one million users by 2024.

Healthtrackaa Nigerian home lab testing platform, raised $1.5m from Ingressive capital, Hustle Fund, Ancient Angel Allianceand Flying doctors. The health tech startup received its first check for $25,000 last year.

quartz gems

Publishers discriminate against women and black authors, but not readers

It’s no secret that the world of book publishing has a diversity problem. A New York Times analysis found that only 11% of fiction published in 2018 was written by people of color; in June 2020, a viral Twitter hashtag called #PublishingPaidMe revealed that many well-known black authors had received book advances that paled in comparison to those from less experienced white authors. Women, on the other hand, are about as likely to make the New York Times bestseller list as men, but their books are generally less expensive and less likely to receive reviews.

Defenders of the status quo might argue that these practices simply reflect market realities, but new research published in PLOS One suggests that is not the case.

Read the full article by Sarah Todd, Senior Reporter at Quartz at Work.

Other things we liked

Khaby Lame is the top global influencer on TikTok. The Senegalese-born social media star who rose to fame poking fun at life hacks has surpassed Charli D’Amelio’s 142.3 million followers on TikTok, writes the Huffington Post.

Ukrainians risk deportation to Rwanda if they arrive in the UK illegally. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned there are no exceptions to his government’s controversial plan, report The Guardian’s Rajeev Syal and Diane Taylor.

A Nigerian senator and his wife have been arrested in London. Ike Ekweremadu and Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu have been charged with conspiring to bring a 15-year-old to the UK to harvest his organs, the BBC explains.

Elderly Nigerians dance with virtual reality in Lagos. For The Guardian, Emmanuelle Akinwotu visits a nursing home in Lagos whose residents use virtual reality devices to immerse themselves in their favorite music.

A cloud of corruption hangs over Nigeria’s presidential candidates. Bloomberg’s William Clowes has profiled the country’s two leading presidential candidates in 2023, highlighting corruption allegations that have dogged them for years.


Apply to YouTube’s Black Voices Fund. YouTube has set aside $100 million for its Black Voices Fund (BVF) Class of 2023 which will see successful creators receive funding and dedicated partner support. (July 7)

Invest in Africa’s future. Join venture capitalists and startup founders to invest in projects and solutions that solve Africa’s challenges and create a better future. (All year)

🎵 This brief was made while listening to “Iy yi” by William Last KRM (Botswana)

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