Jake Bright, TechCrunch

Jake Bright


New York, NY, United States

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Recent articles by Jake:

Catalyst Fund gets $15M from JP Morgan, UK Aid to back 30 EM fintech startups –

The Catalyst Fund has gained $15 million in new support from JP Morgan and UK Aid and will back 30 fintech startups in Africa, Asia, and Latin America over the next three years. The Boston based accelerator provides mentorship and non-equity funding to early-stage tech ventures focused on driving financial inclusion in emerging and frontier […] → Read More

What we know (and don’t) about Goldman Sachs’ Africa VC investing –

Goldman Sachs is investing in African tech companies. The venerable American investment bank and financial services firm has backed startups from Kenya to Nigeria and taken a significant stake in e-commerce venture Jumia, which listed on the NYSE in 2019. Though Goldman declined to comment on its Africa VC activities for this article, the company […] → Read More

Comcast launches SportsTech startup accelerator with NASCAR and others –

Comcast NBCUniversal believes its can access startup innovation while supporting future Olympic gold-medalists. The American mass media company launched its new SportsTech accelerator today, based in part, on that impetus. TechCrunch attended a briefing with Comcast execs at 30 Rock NYC to learn more about the initiative. The SportsTech accelerator is a partnership across Comcast […] → Read More

Damon Motors targets Tesla owners with its 200 MPH hyper-safe e-moto –

Damon Motorcycles doesn’t want to become the Tesla of e-moto companies. But the startup does believe its EV two-wheeler is the first to capture the ethos of Tesla owners. That’s the target market for Damon’s new $24,995 Hypersport, according to CEO Jay Giraud. The Vancouver-based startup unveiled the e-motorcycle today at the Consumer Electronics Show […] → Read More

Into Africa: tech leaders weigh in on Jack Dorsey’s planned move to the continent –

It’s not every day that the CEO of a large Silicon Valley tech company decides to relocate to a different part of the world in order to learn more about it — particularly a frequently maligned and often overlooked by big-business part. But Jack Dorsey, the American tech entrepreneur who co-founded and leads not one, […] → Read More

Jumia, DHL, and Alibaba will face off in African ecommerce 2.0 –

The business of selling consumer goods and services online is a relatively young endeavor across Africa, but ecommerce is set to boom. Over the last eight years, the sector has seen its first phase of big VC fundings, startup duels and attrition. To date, scaling e-commerce in Africa has straddled the line of challenge and […] → Read More

2019 Africa Roundup: Jumia IPOs, China goes digital, Nigeria becomes fintech capital –

2019 brought more global attention to Africa’s tech scene than perhaps any previous year. A high profile IPO, visits by both Jacks (Ma and Dorsey), and big Chinese startup investment energized that. The last 12 months served as a grande finale to 10 years that saw triple digit increases in startup formation and VC on […] → Read More

Nigeria’s Rensource raises $20M to power African markets by solar –

Nigerian startup Rensource Energy has raised a $20 million Series A round co-led by CRE Venture Capital and the Omidyar network. The renewable energy company builds and operates solar powered micro-utilities that provide electricity to commercial community structures, such as open-air trading bazaars. Launched in 2016, the startup has shifted its operating strategy. “We’ve pivoted […] → Read More

Payment startup Chipper Cash raises $6M for Southern Africa expansion –

African cross-border fintech startup Chipper Cash has raised a $6 million seed-round led by Deciens Capital. The San Francisco-based company offers mobile-based, no fee, P2P payment services in six countries: Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Kenya. Chipper Cash will use the capital to grow its team and move into new geographic areas, according to […] → Read More

Jiji raises $21M for its Africa online classifieds business –

Pan-African digital classifieds company Jiji has raised $21 million in Series C and C-1 financing from six investors, led by Knuru Capital. The Nigeria based venture, co-founded by Ukrainian entrepreneur Vladimir Mnogoletniy, has an East to West presence that includes Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya. Buyers and sellers in those markets use Jiji to transact […] → Read More

Lessons from M-Pesa for Africa’s new VC-rich fintech startups –

Over the least decade, Africa has been in the midst of a startup boom accompanied by big growth in VC and improvements in internet and mobile penetration. → Read More

Mobility startup Damon Motors enters e-moto arena with EV debut –

Vancouver based mobility startup Damon Motorcycles has entered the EV arena with a preview of its first e-moto, the Hypersport Pro. The seed-stage company had previously focused on creating digital safety technology — like its 360 degree radar detection system — to augment two-wheelers made by other manufacturers. Damon has determined to create its own […] → Read More

Credit startup Migo expands to Brazil on $20M raise and Africa growth –

After growing its lending business in West Africa, emerging markets credit startup Migo is expanding to Brazil on a $20 million Series B funding round led by Valor Group Capital. The San Mateo based company — previously branded Mines.io — provides AI driven products to banks and large firms so those companies can extend credit […] → Read More

Africa Roundup: Nigerian fintech gets $360M, mints unicorn, draws Chinese VC –

November 2019 could mark when Nigeria (arguably) became Africa’s unofficial capital for fintech investment and digital finance startups. The month saw $360 million invested in Nigerian focused payment ventures. That is equivalent to roughly one-third of all the startup VC raised for the entire continent in 2018, according to Partech stats. A notable trend-within-the-trend is […] → Read More

Sim Shagaya’s uLesson African edtech startup raises $3.1M –

Nigerian founder Sim Shagaya is back with a new startup — uLesson — that has raised a $3.1 million seed round led by TLcom Capital. The venture is integrating mobile platforms, SD cards, culture-specific curriculum and a network of tutors to bridge educational gaps for secondary school students in Nigeria and broader Africa. Founded in […] → Read More

Samasource raises $14.8M for global AI data biz driven from Africa –

AI training data provider Samasource has raised a $14.8 million Series A funding round led by Ridge Ventures. The San Francisco headquartered company delivers Fortune 100 companies with the inputs they need for machine learning development in fields including autonomous transportation, e-commerce and robotics. And it does so with a global work-force of data-specialists, a […] → Read More

Opera’s Africa fintech startup OPay gains $120M from Chinese investors –

Africa focused fintech startup OPay has raised a $120 million Series B round backed by Chinese investors. Located in Lagos and founded by consumer internet company Opera, OPay will use the funds to scale in Nigeria and expand its payments product to Kenya, Ghana and South Africa — Opera’s CFO Frode Jacobsen confirmed to TechCrunch. […] → Read More

PalmPay launches in Nigeria on $40M round led by China’s Transsion –

Africa focused payment startup PalmPay has launched in Nigeria after raising a $40 million seed-round led by Chinese mobile-phone maker Transsion. The investment came via Transsion’s Tecno subsidiary, with participation from China’s NetEase and Taiwanese wireless comms hardware firm Mediatek — a Transsion spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch. PalmPay had piloted its mobile fintech offering in […] → Read More

Chaka opens up global investing to Africa’s most populous nation –

Fintech startup Chaka aims to open up online investingd to Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria. The seed-stage company recently went live with its mobile-based platform that offers Nigerians stock trading in over 40 countries. Chaka positions itself as a passport to local and global investing. The startup has created an API and interface that allows […] → Read More

Pan-African e-tailer Jumia grows 3Q revenue, e-payments, and losses –

Pan-African e-commerce startup Jumia released its third-quarter financial results today. The numbers and presentation reflected some of the same past trends, with a dash of new, and nary a mention of a declining share-price. The results Jumia — with online goods and service verticals in 14 countries — posted third-quarter revenue growth of 19% (€40 […] → Read More