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!
Tomato Jos Closes 4.2 Million Dollar in Series A Round
Kaduna based agriculture company, Tomato Jos, has recently closed a 4.2 million dollars series round. The round was led by Alitheia Capital, a Nigerian investment fund, and included other participants like Goodwell investments and Acumen Capital partners. Established in 2014, the company supports local farmers by streamlining the value chain to minimize the waste that small-scale farmers incur from the sector's lack of efficient infrastructure. It is estimated that Nigeria loses up to 40% of its tomato stock harvest and the company has worked to curtail this problem. In addition to continuing to support local farmers, the company also plans to use the funds to install a drip irrigation system and processing plant in order to increase yields.
Faster Internet on the Horizon for Africa as Facebook Commits $1 Billion to build Undersea Internet Cable
Tech giant Facebook has recently confirmed plans to build a sub-sea cable that will bring faster and steadier internet to 23 countries in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East respectively. The project is part of the company’s ‘2Africa’ initiative which is geared towards increasing internet connectivity on the continent. The social media titan has also partnered with major telecommunications companies like China mobile LTD, Vodafone, Orange, and MTN to actualize the project. Facebook has faced criticism in the past as to its true intentions for entering the African internet space, considering that it is well-positioned to take advantage of both the continent's young population and its smartphone boom.
LifeBank Expands Air Bank in Partnership With Oyo State Government
The health-tech company that has been at the forefront of combating Nigeria’s COVID-19 pandemic has recently partnered with the Oyo state government and investment group Dan Holdings to expand its oxygen delivery services to people in isolation centers. The company which already offered these services pre-pandemic is now focusing on providing oxygen to two isolation centers in Oyo state. The deliveries are free thanks to the support of the government and Dan Holdings, similarly up to 20 deliveries have currently already been made and the company seeks to reach up to 100 patients.
Amazon Starts Food Delivery Service in India
E-commerce behemoth, Amazon, has announced plans to launch its food delivery services in India soon. The company which planned to launch the service last year will join local players like Zomato and Swiggy who offer the same services. The launch faces a potentially stunted start as the Indian government announced lockdown plans for the country in March. Likewise the question of profitably looms as its competitors Swiggy and Zomato struggle to stay profitable as they are forced to subsidize food costs on their platforms to remain affordable to their customers.