SoftBank Leads $120m funding in fintech startup Lemonade

SoftBank Group Corp. is betting that technology can overhaul the home insurance industry by leading a $120 million round in Lemonade Inc. According to Bloomberg, The New York-based startup, which uses artificial intelligence and bots to minimize paperwork and speed up the claims process for renters and homeowners, had raised $60 million before Tuesday’s announcement. […]

Insurance startup to launch £15m initial coin offering

Millennial-focused insurance startup InsurePal has announced it is raising £15m in an initial coin offering (ICO) to fund its UK motor launch in the first half of 2018. ICOs are a type of crowdfunding using cryptocurrencies, but they have been criticised by the Financial Conduct Authority as “very high-risk, speculative investments”. InsurePal uses the ethereum […]

Space startup raises $90m to bring Ads to moon by 2020

Japanese companies are planning to kick-start the lunar economy by backing a local startup’s mission to land on the moon by 2020. Tokyo-based Ispace Inc. said it raised 10.2 billion yen ($90 million) from some of the country’s biggest businesses, including Japan Airlines Co. and television network Tokyo Broadcasting System Holdings Inc. The funds will […]

COMB+ set to assist AI startups enter China with $77m fund

Artificial intelligence is a hot topic in the tech industry with China — alongside the U.S. — emerging as a key market for talent, innovation and companies. While many AI firms head to the U.S. or set up operations Stateside, China is a harder market to crack for overseas companies. That’s where a new fund […]

Startup disrupting prescription drug business in Africa gets major Silicon Valley support

Greg Rockson, the founder of mPharma, sometimes struggles to sum up the myriad services his three-year-old startup provides. But it’s safe to say the Accra, Ghana-based company is starting to disrupt Africa’s pharmacy retail supply chain and is setting its sights on bigger targets beyond the continent. MPharma manages prescription drug inventory for pharmacies and […]

Shell supports Bayelsa youths with N12m start-up capital


The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Thursday presented a business support grant of N12 million to 30 participants of its youth entrepreneurship scheme. Speaking at the graduation ceremony in Yenagoa, Igo Weli, General Manager, SPDC, said that the company had so far empowered 6, 580 youths from the Niger Delta under the ‘LIVEWIRE’ entrepreneurship programme […]

20 Top African start-ups enter World Bank group digital acceleration program

Twenty of the most promising African digital start-ups will take part in the XL Africa residency, the flagship initiative of the business accelerator launched last April by the World Bank Group’s infoDev program. From Nov. 6-17 in Cape Town, the entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to learn from their mentors and peers, increase their regional […]

This little-known startup just hit a valuation of $30bn

China’s Meituan Dianping just became the world’s fourth-most valuable startup, reaching a $30 billion valuation that puts it ahead of high-fliers like Airbnb Inc. and Space X. Never heard of Meituan? You’re not alone. The Beijing-based company, led by Wang Xing, is almost unknown beyond its home country. It delivers food to people’s homes, sells groceries and movie tickets, provides reviews of […]

Startup luring top talent with $3mn pay packages

China may have a reputation for low wages and sprawling factories. But in a sign of changing times, one startup founder has embraced a strategy of paying top employees the highest salaries in the market — and so far it’s working. Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. is the brainchild of an entrepreneur named Zhang Yiming. The […]