AUGUST 05, 2022
3 min Read
Investor Updates: August 05 2022
Beacon Power gets $2.7m to improve electricity access in Africa
- Beacon Power Services (BPS), an energy tech company that provides data and grid management solutions to help Africa’s power sector distribute electricity more efficiently, has closed a seed round of $2.7 million.
- The US- and Nigeria-based utility company provides energy management software and analytics for utilities. Its AI-enabled grid management platform, Adora, solves a fundamental problem power distribution companies face in Africa.
- The new funding will enable BPS to improve its current products (product upgrades to add new features and incorporate automation) and expand into new markets beyond Nigeria and Ghana, where it currently operates.
Sub-Saharan Africa’s share of the global population without access to electricity stood at a whopping 77% in 2020. And as economies on the continent grow, the demand for energy increases by the day. This comes with challenges of energy efficiency and depletion, however, many innovators have emerged with energy-focused smart technology, with the backing of investors, to help Africa counter these challenges – by working with existing power distribution companies.
Amazon Prime Video launches local service in Nigeria
- Amazon Prime Video today announced the launch of the localized version of its streaming service in one of Africa’s biggest markets: Nigeria.
- Prime Video launched in Africa in 2016 as part of its global push across more than 200 countries worldwide, bringing some serious competition to Netflix’s global plan launched that same year.
- However, versions of the service available in the region have never featured the local-language interfaces, subtitling, and original content offerings typical in more developed markets.
Africa is increasingly becoming an important growth area for streaming services, which explains why Amazon has launched an aggressive push into the continent. Digital TV Research, an analytics firm, estimates that Amazon Prime Video will add 1.5 million new subscribers in Africa by 2027, from an estimated 600,000 currently. However, Amazon isn’t only the tech giant attempting to boost its subscriber push in new markets like Africa, where other streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Canal+, and Showmax are all vying for the region’s on-demand streaming subscribers, projected to reach 15 million by 2026.
SA’s Anglo American launches incubator program
- South African mining company Anglo American has launched an incubator program through its enterprise development arm Zimele.
- The program will assist mainly youth- and women-owned businesses in areas around the firm’s operations. The goal is to help 500 startup businesses in rural communities.
- Participating entrepreneurs will get access to training, mentorship, and tools to help them refine their business models, identify and engage target markets, and test their products and services. Partners include TechnoServe, Summit, and Absa.
Source: Disrupt Africa
As Africa catches up with the developed world in terms of technological progress, accelerators, incubators, and pitch competitions help to bridge this gap by providing crucial access to capital and mentorship to startups. Anglo American’s program, yet another example of corporates supporting startups and SMEs in South Africa, is even more crucial considering the need to increase female representation in the startup space, which remains minute against a faster-growing percentage of ventures run by men.