China’s Transsion and Kenya’s Wapi Capital partner on Africa fund

by admin August 16, 2019 at 6:11 am
China’s Transsion and Kenya’s Wapi Capital partner on Africa fund – TechCrunch

Chinese mobile-phone and device maker Transsion is teaming up with Kenya’s Wapi Capital to source and fund early-stage African fintech startups.

Headquartered in Shenzhen, Transsion is a top-seller of smartphones in Africa that recently confirmed its imminent IPO.

Wapi Capital is the venture fund of Kenyan fintech startup Wapi Pay—a Nairobi based company that facilitates digital payments between African and Asia via mobile money or bank accounts.

Investments for the new partnership will come from Transsion’s Future Hub, an incubator and seed fund for African startups opened by Transsion in 2019.

Starting September 2019, Transsion will work with Wapi Capital to select early-stage African fintech companies for equity-based investments of up to $100,000, Transsion Future Hub Senior Investor Laura Li told TechCrunch via email.

Wapi Capital won’t contribute funds to Transsion’s Africa investments, but will help determine the viability and scale of the startups, including due diligence and deal flow, according to Wapi Pay co-founder Eddie Ndichu.

Wapi Pay and Transsion Future Hub will consider ventures from all 54 African countries and interested startups can reach out directly to either organization, Ndichu and Li confirmed.

The Wapi Capital fintech partnership is not Transsion’s sole VC focus in Africa. Though an exact fund size hasn’t been disclosed, the Transsion Future Hub will also make startup investments on the continent in adtech, fintech, e-commerce, logistics, and media and entertainment, according to Li.

Transsion Future Hub’s existing portfolio includes Africa focused browser company Phoenix, content aggregator Scoop, and music service Boomplay.

Wapi Capital adds to the list of African located and run venture funds—which have been growing in recent years—according to a 2018 study by TechCrunch and Crunchbase. Wapi Capital will also start making its own investments and is looking to raise $1 million this year and $10 million over the next three years, according to Ndichu, who co-founded the fund and Wapi Pay with his twin brother Paul.

Transsion’s commitment to African startup investments comes as the company is on the verge of listing on China’s new Nasdaq-style STAR Market tech exchange. Transsion confirmed to TechCrunch this month the IPO is in process and that it could raise up to 3 billion yuan (or $426 million).

Transsion sold 124 million phones globally in 2018, per company data. In Africa, Transsion holds 54% of the feature phone market — through its brands Tecno, Infinix and Itel — and in smartphone sales is second to Samsung and before Huawei, according to International Data Corporation stats.

Transsion has R&D centers in Nigeria and Kenya and its sales network in Africa includes retail shops in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Egypt. The company also has a manufacturing facility in Ethiopia.

Transsion’s move into venture investing tracks greater influence from China in African tech.

China’s engagement with African startups has been light compared to China’s deal-making on infrastructure and commodities.

Transsion’s Wapi Pay partnership is the second recent event — after Chinese owned Opera’s big venture spending in Nigeria — to reflect greater Chinese influence and investment in the continent’s digital scene.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There’s no info on pricing or actual availability yet, but there was a limited Founder Series pre-order for individual purchasers with deep pockets. The aircraft features pontoons and is designed for use over water, and it can fly between three and 10 feet above the surface with vertical take-off and landing capabilities.n

Personally, I’d probably opt for the flying jet-ski over paragliding if it was on offer at a vacation spot, so here’s hoping this actually finds a path to commercialization somewhat soon.n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:”rendered”:”

Flying cars, or at least their functional equivalent, edge closer to reality every day — and startup Kitty Hawk wants you to know it’s putting in the flying time to make it happen. The company, led by former Google self-driving car visionary Sebastian Thrun, has now flown its first aircraft, the one-person Flyer, more than […]n”,”protected”:false,”author”:5302483,”featured_media”:1869023,”comment_status”:”open”,”ping_status”:”closed”,”sticky”:false,”template”:””,”format”:”standard”,”meta”:”outcome”:””,”status”:””,”crunchbase_tag”:0,”amp_status”:””,”relegenceEntities”:[],”relegenceSubjects”:[],”jetpack_publicize_message”:”Kitty Hawk’s Flyer personal VTOL has now flown over 25,000 times https://tcrn.ch/2OWzni6 by @etherington”,”categories”:[449223024,20429,17396,2401],”tags”:[449328684,69706,680790,81,449560863,1852045,5824059,4965616],”crunchbase_tag”:[],”tc_stories_tax”:[],”tc_event”:[],”jetpack_featured_media_url”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/kitty-hawk-flyer.gif”,”jetpack_publicize_connections”:[],”shortlink”:”https://tcrn.ch/2OWzni6″,”rapidData”:”pt”:””,”pct”:””,”featured”:false,”subtitle”:””,”fundingRound”:false,”seoTitle”:””,”seoDescription”:””,”premiumContent”:false,”premiumCutoffPercent”:1,”tc_cb_mapping”:[“slug”:”sebastian-thrun”,”cb_name”:”Sebastian Thrun”,”cb_slug”:”sebastian-thrun-person”,”cb_link”:”https://crunchbase.com/person/sebastian-thrun”,”slug”:”kitty-hawk”,”cb_name”:”Kitty Hawk”,”cb_slug”:”kitty-hawk-organization”,”cb_link”:”https://crunchbase.com/organization/kitty-hawk”,”slug”:”google”,”cb_name”:”Google”,”cb_slug”:”google-organization”,”cb_link”:”https://crunchbase.com/organization/google”],”associatedEvent”:null,”event”:null,”authors”:[5302483],”hideFeaturedImage”:false,”_links”:”self”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1869015″],”collection”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts”],”about”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/types/post”],”version-history”:[“count”:4,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1869015/revisions”],”predecessor-version”:[“id”:1869223,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1869015/revisions/1869223″],”authors”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/5302483″],”replies”:[“embeddable”:true,”count”:1,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments?post=1869015&order=asc&tc_hierarchical=flat”],”https://techcrunch.com/edit”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1869015&action=edit”],”author”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/5302483″],”wp:featuredmedia”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media/1869023″],”wp:attachment”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media?parent=1869015″],”wp:term”:[“taxonomy”:”category”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/categories?post=1869015″,”taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tags?post=1869015″,”taxonomy”:”_tc_cb_tag_taxonomy”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/crunchbase_tag?post=1869015″,”taxonomy”:”tc_stories_tax”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_stories_tax?post=1869015″,”taxonomy”:”tc_event”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event?post=1869015″],”curies”:[“name”:”wp”,”href”:”https://api.w.org/rel”,”templated”:true],”_embedded”:{“authors”:[“id”:5302483,”name”:”Darrell Etherington”,”url”:””,”description”:”Writer covering space, science and health tech. Formerly covering automotive and mobility tech, and previously an employee of Apple and also of Shopify.”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/darrell-etherington/”,”slug”:”darrell-etherington”,”avatar_urls”:”24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/188039e12983eb749171a75cfd01378d?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/188039e12983eb749171a75cfd01378d?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/188039e12983eb749171a75cfd01378d?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”,”links”:”homepage”:”http://techcrunch.com”,”facebook”:”http://www.facebook.com/darrell.etherington”,”twitter”:”https://twitter.com/etherington”,”linkedin”:”http://www.linkedin.com/in/etherin”,”crunchbase”:”https://www.crunchbase.com/person/darrell-etherington”,”position”:”Writer”,”cbDescription”:”

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Not really a Jet-Ski… WaveRunner maybe.n”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/2019/08/15/kitty-hawks-flyer-personal-vtol-has-now-flown-over-25000-times/#comment-670914″,”type”:”comment”,”author_avatar_urls”:”24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/781b7b8808aa435d573b14e5af8f41e4?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/781b7b8808aa435d573b14e5af8f41e4?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/781b7b8808aa435d573b14e5af8f41e4?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”,”techcrunch”:”avatar”:”https://ct.yimg.com/cy/1768/39361574426_98028a_64sq.jpg”,”company”:”(no company found)”,”title”:”(no title found)”,”user”:”A5FZJ74VGRQPVVJZ4JUMFTAYUZ”,”_links”:”self”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments/670914″],”collection”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments”],”up”:[“embeddable”:true,”post_type”:”post”,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1869015″]]],”author”:[“id”:5302483,”name”:”Darrell Etherington”,”url”:””,”description”:”Writer covering space, science and health tech. Formerly covering automotive and mobility tech, and previously an employee of Apple and also of Shopify.”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/darrell-etherington/”,”slug”:”darrell-etherington”,”avatar_urls”:”24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/188039e12983eb749171a75cfd01378d?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/188039e12983eb749171a75cfd01378d?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/188039e12983eb749171a75cfd01378d?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”,”links”:”homepage”:”http://techcrunch.com”,”facebook”:”http://www.facebook.com/darrell.etherington”,”twitter”:”https://twitter.com/etherington”,”linkedin”:”http://www.linkedin.com/in/etherin”,”crunchbase”:”https://www.crunchbase.com/person/darrell-etherington”,”position”:”Writer”,”cbDescription”:”

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will Tumblr become under the ownership of techu2019s only Goldilocks founder?”,”content”:{“rendered”:”

This week, Automattic revealed it has signed all the paperwork to acquire Tumblr from Verizon, including its full staff of 200. Tumblr has undergone quite a journey since its headline-grabbing acquisition by Marissa Mayeru2019s Yahoo in 2013 for $1.1 billion, but after six years of neglect, its latest move is its first real start since it stopped being an independent company. Now, itu2019s in the hands of Matt Mullenweg, the only founder of a major tech company who has repeatedly demonstrated a talent for measured responses, moderation and a willingness to forego reckless explosive growth in favor of getting things “just right.”n

Thereu2019s never been a better acquisition for all parties involved, or at least one in which every party should walk away feeling they got exactly what they needed out of the deal. Yes, thatu2019s in spite of the reported $3 million-ish asking price.n

Verizon Media acquired Tumblr through a deal made to buy Yahoo, under a previous media unit strategy and leadership team. Verizon Media has no stake in the company, and so headlines talking about the bath it apparently took relative to the original $1.1 billion acquisition price are either willfully ignorant or just plain dumb.n

Six years after another company made that bad deal for a company it clearly didnu2019t have the right business focus to correctly operate, Verizon made a good one to recoup some money.n

Aligned leadership and complementary offerings drive a win-winn

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