We're back with 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!
Elon Musk’s SpaceX Launch Delayed Due to Weather Concerns
SpaceX, the space transportation company founded by tech entrepreneur and CEO of Tesla - Elon Musk, has delayed the launch of its commercial spacecraft due to bad weather. The company which was founded by Musk in 2002, attempted the launch of its Crew Dragon spacecraft designed to deliver astronauts to and from international space stations on the 27th of May, but has postponed flight plans to the 30th of May in hopes of better weather. The historic launch will mark the SpaceX spacecraft as the first launched into orbit by a private company and the first launch of astronauts from U.S soil since 2011 when NASA retired the space shuttle.
Gaming Start-up, Carry1st, Raises $2.5 Million Seed Round
African mobile game publisher, Carry 1st, has recently raised a $2.5 million seed round led by CRE Venture capital. The start-up was co-founded in 2018 by Cordel Robbin-Coker, Lucy Parry, and Tinotenda Mundangepfupfu, to invest in mobile gaming across the continent in order to match the demand for this service with the growing youth population. Following the seed round which brings its total venture capital to $4 million, the company says it intends to use the funds to develop more unique gaming content for its platform following the success of its two games, Hyper! and Carry 1st Trivia. The funds will also be used to expand its distribution channels in order to grow its user base and scale the company to meet the demands of Africa's fast-growing gaming market.
mPharma Raises $17 Million in Latest Funding Round
Ghanaian health-tech startup, mPharma, has currently raised $17 million in its latest funding round led by the CDC Group - the UK’s development finance arm. The Accra based company which aims to foster the affordability of pharmaceuticals on the continent by managing prescription drug inventory for pharmacies and their suppliers, now has a total fund of $40 million. With the newly acquired funding the company aims to expand its Vendor Management Inventory (VMI) system and QualityRx platforms in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Zambia, and Kenya. In addition to new funding the company has also appointed Helena Foulkes to the company board. Foulkes was formerly president of the CVS pharmacy and CEO of the Hudson Bay.
Sanofi's 2020 AfricaTech Challenge to be Hosted Virtually
Sanofi, a multinational pharmaceutical company and organizer of the AfricaTech challenge, called for submissions from African tech startups earlier this year prior to the on-going coronavirus pandemic. The company has run the initiative for 3 consecutive years as a part of the VivaTech conference in Paris - Europe's biggest tech event - and received applications from up to 268 startups across 34 countries on the continent for this years challenge. This year the competition will take place online on the 11th of June and the chosen start-ups will pitch to a panel of judges virtually. Of the 11 start-ups selected to pitch at this event 3 are Nigerian; Soso care, Mobile health, and Natal care.