Venture Beat reports that Jumia, one of Nigeria’s largest online retailers has allegedly laid off 300 of its workers in Nigeria, which accounts for about 30% of its 1000-person workforce in Nigeria. This has raised concerns as to whether the end is near for the online retailer and what this could mean for the Rocket-funded e-commerce outfit. The major investor in Jumia, Rocket internet has a reputation for downsizing. In a similar event, Rocket Internet closed some of its offices in Turkey in 2012, firing 400 workers in the process. While a similar event may be playing out in Nigeria, Kaymu (another Rocket Internet portfolio company) closed its Zambia office. Citing “macroeconomic reasons,” the online shopping platform shut down its operations in Zambia at the beginning of the month.
A series of ambitious new Innovation Partnerships between the UK and Africa are expected to stimulate significant economic growth and support the creation of thousands of new jobs. The partnerships, announced by the Prime Minister as the UK strengthens ties with the region, will be established in African countries with growing tech sectors where there are young, expanding populations with ideas and innovations developing at a rapid pace. Building on the UK’s already-strong investment in science and research in Africa, the partnerships will enable UK and African entrepreneurs to share skills and ideas, and encourage future trade. The increased engagement comes after the Department for International Trade announced the appointment of a dedicated HM Trade Commissioner to Africa. Emma W
Amazon has today announced an acquisition that underscores how it also hopes to have a more direct — and more commercial — role in the world of healthcare in the coming years. The company has purchased PillPack, an online pharmacy the lets users buy medications in pre-made doses. This news come only a week after after appointing a CEO for its healthcare joint venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan. “PillPack’s visionary team has a combination of deep pharmacy experience and a focus on technology,” says Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO of Worldwide Consumer, in a news release. “PillPack is meaningfully improving its customers’ lives, and we want to help them continue making it easy for people to save time, simplify their lives, and feel healthier. We’re excited to see what we can do together o
African startups are in a unique position to leverage innovation to answer some of the continent’s most pressing challenges. To achieve this, an enabling environment is mission critical, according to Abu Cassim, founder and director of Jozi Angels, an angel network that invests in early stage startups. Growing venture capital (VC) in Africa was a focal point of discussions at the recent Africa Innovation Summit in Kigali, Rwanda. “Exciting opportunities exist in VC frontier markets like South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria along with other international emerging markets such as Indonesia, Poland, Mexico and the UAE,” notes Cassim. Successfully developing Africa’s VC sector hinges on a number of factors including identifying additional sources of funding for co-investment, for example, sui
Kenya’s EatAtIt has launched to allow users to order food, drinks and reserve a table easily and more conveniently via its online platform taking on incumbents EatOut, a restaurant discovery platform, Quick Eats and Jumia Food, food delivery platforms.ach Wanyamba, Eat At It Platform, aims to help restaurants reach out to more customers by giving them a platform to market themselves. Restaurants can use the platform to share info and photos and tell their stories to sign up customers. For potential users, the platform aims to link them to over 70,000 restaurants, cafes and coffee/tea houses found in Kenya so that they enjoy their meals and drinks conveniently. “Our aim is to have as many restaurants and bars as possible listed, thereby providing users with a comprehe