JULY 26, 2022
3 min Read
Investors Updates: July 26 2022
Egypt’s Fashion Kingdom secures $2.6m seed funding
- The Fashion Kingdom (TFK), an Egyptian curated fashion, beauty, and home accessories e-commerce marketplace, has completed a $2.6 million seed funding round.
- The seed funding round was co-led by CVentures, Egypt’s first corporate venture capital firm, and A15, MENA’s leading early-stage venture capital firm which made a follow-on investment.
- Proceeds will be used to accelerate TFK’s growth, build scalable technology, grow the team, as well as strengthen and scale its 360 value proposition for brands.
The sheer size of the African population, coupled with a growing diaspora base, means there’s a large potential market for African cultural items within and outside the continent. And this is an opportunity for local retailers to boost African exports with the help of e-commerce platforms and solutions like TFK. The startup claims to help 200 local and international leading brands grow their sales online while over 135,000 customers use its platform for their fashion shopping needs.
Ubenwa gets $2.5m for its infant diagnosis solution
- Ubenwa, a healthtech startup that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to diagnose infants within 0–6 months of age, has locked in $2.5 million in pre-seed funding to scale its operations and materialize its go-to-market strategy.
- The Montreal-based startup was founded in 2017 by Nigerian Charles Onu and is pioneering an automated sound-based diagnostic solution for infants by leveraging AI.
- The funding round was led by Radical Ventures, with participation from returning investor AIX ventures, entrepreneurs Pieter Abbeel and Richard Socher, Turing award winner Yoshua Bengio, Canadian politician Marc Bellemare, and Google Brain’s Hugo Larochelle.
Ubenwa presents one of the most innovative uses of AI in Africa, where AI-based startups are increasingly attracting VC dollars. For instance, a surprising entry into the top three African tech sectors by funding raised in May is artificial intelligence (AI)/deeptech, with startups playing in this space raising $47 million led by Instabug’s $46 million Series B raise. Ubenwa is a spin-off of the years of research in Mila, a world-renowned AI hub in Quebec, and through strategic partnerships with hospitals in Nigeria, Brazil, and Canada, it boasts of having the largest and most diverse database of infant cries that have been clinically annotated.
Creative Dock Group expands FoundersLane to Egypt
- Berlin-based corporate venture builder FoundersLane, which was recently acquired by Creative Dock Group (CDG), has expanded its operations to Egypt. This comes as part of the Group’s commitment to invest up to €100 million in startups based in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
- The new venture, named FoundersLane Egypt, is co-led by Egyptian entrepreneurs Mohamed Aboulnaga and Anas Rabah, both venture capitalists and former startup founders.
- Besides Egypt, FoundersLane also has an office in Saudi Arabia and has provided services to many clients across MENA, including Kuwait.
Being the third-largest startup ecosystem in the MENA region and ranked among the top four largest in Africa, tech ventures in Egypt are attracting significantly increasing amounts of support and capital, which has grown more than 10-fold since 2016. In the first half of this year, startups in the north African country raised $317 million, a 156% increase year on year, per data from Wamda.