Welcome to another edition of 'This Week in Tech', your weekly dose of local and global tech news rounded up to save you the trouble. Keep reading to find out what's been happening!
Nigerian startup, Helium Health Closes $10 Million Dollar Seed Round.
Nigerian health-tech startup, Helium Health has recently closed a $10 million dollar seed round. The round was led by Global Ventures - a Dubai based venture capital firm - along with Tencent and additional Y combinator support. The Lagos based company, founded in 2014 by Adegoke Olubusi, Tito Ovia and Dimeji Sofowora, aims to digitize healthcare management and give providers more control over their services; from scheduling doctors visits, to formalizing payments and digitizing data like health records. The founders state that the funding will be used to launch several new products, such as the MyHelium Patient app for making appointments, and likewise to expand operations to Morocco, Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda.
Nigerian FinTech Startup Okra, Raises $1 Million Dollars in Pre-Seed Funding
Fintech startup Okra, founded in 2019 by Fara Ashiru Jituboh and David Peterside, has just raised $1 million dollars in seed capital from TLcom, a UK based, African-focused venture capital firm. The company aims to be the foundation of Nigeria’s digital financial systems by building a super connector API that will enable individuals to connect their bank accounts directly to third party applications. The company’s revenue is obtained through product fees and is earned every time a user connects a bank account to a customer, according to Ashiru Jituboh.
Facebook Creates Supreme Court Capable of Overruling Mark Zuckerberg and Announces Members
Social media behemoth, Facebook, has been the source of extensive controversy in recent years due to privacy concerns, data mining scandals and content moderation. Zuckerberg, the company’s CEO, has been in the front lines of the fire on numerous occasions and as at 2018 made plans to create a Supreme Court capable of overruling Facebook's policies and even Zuckerberg himself. The court which has now been established is independent of Facebook but still funded by it, to the tune of $130 million dollars. The members of the court have also been announced and are a diverse cohort with the likes of Afia Asantewaa Asare-Kyei; human rights lawyer and Julie owono; a digital rights activist.
Andela Makes Massive Lay-offs
Software engineering company Andela, has recently laid off up to 135 members of its staff across 4 locations. The lay-offs which were conducted via a video conference call for over 1,300 staff located across Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, and the US, is one of a series of lay offs that the company has instituted since laying off over 400 developers in 2019 and a number of other staff earlier this year. Jeremy Johnson, the company CEO, cites a falling customer base and a predicted continued decline as the reason for his decision. The company states that staff will be provided with severance packages and four months of health coverage