Jake Bright, TechCrunch

Jake Bright

TechCrunch

New York, NY, United States

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Recent:
  • TechCrunch
Past:
  • Quartz

Recent articles by Jake:

Visa’s Africa strategy banks on startup partnerships –

Visa has prioritized growth in Africa, and partnering with startups is central to its strategy. This became obvious in 2019 after the global financial services giant entered a series of collaborations on the continent, but Visa confirmed it in their 2020 Investor Day presentation. On the company’s annual call, participants mentioned Africa 28 times and […] → Read More

Africa Roundup: Africa’s tech ecosystem responds to COVID-19 –

In March, the virus gripping the world — COVID-19 — started to spread in Africa. In short order, actors across the continent’s tech ecosystem began to step up to stem the spread. Early in March Africa’s coronavirus cases by country were in the single digits, but by mid-month those numbers had spiked leading the World […] → Read More

Damon Motorcycles makes acquisition, raises $3M and extends pre-orders –

EV startup Damon Motorcycles has acquired the IP of Mission Motors, raised $3 million in funding and announced a special production run of its debut model. The Vancouver-based venture unveiled the 200 mph Hypersport in January and began taking pre-orders for the e-moto, with a base price of $24,995. Damon has positioned its EV entry […] → Read More

Elizabeth Warren for President open-sources its 2020 campaign tech –

Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren may have ended her 2020 presidential run, but the tech used to drive her campaign will live on. Members of her staff announced they would make public the top apps and digital tools developed in Warren’s bid to become the Democratic nominee for president. “In our work, we leaned heavily on […] → Read More

Zindi taps 12,000 African data scientists for solutions to COVID-19 –

Since its inception, Cape Town based crowdsolving startup Zindi has been building a database of data scientists across Africa. It now has 12,000 registered on its its platform that uses AI and machine learning to tackle complex problems and will offer them cash-prizes to find solutions to curb COVID-19. Zindi has an open challenge focused […] → Read More

African turns to mobile payments as a tool to curb COVID-19 –

Africa is using digital finance as a means to stem the spread of COVID-19. Governments and startups on the continent are implementing measures to shift a greater volume of payment transactions toward mobile money and away from cash — which the World Health Organization flagged as a conduit for the spread of the coronavirus. It’s […] → Read More

Jumia adapts Pan-African e-commerce network in response to COVID-19 –

Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia is adapting its digital retail network to curb the spread of COVID-19. The Nigeria headquartered operation — with online goods and services verticals in 11 African countries — announced a series of measures on Friday. Jumia will donate certified face masks to health ministries in Kenya, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Nigeria and […] → Read More

Why Congress isn’t working remotely due to COVID-19 –

As COVID-19 forces much of America to work from home, the United States Congress — whose 535 members have an average age of 60 — is still operating from Capitol Hill. Why this population (deemed high-risk to the coronavirus) isn’t yet doing legislative business remotely comes down to process, tech and political will. “The House […] → Read More

CcHub funds tech to curb COVID-19 on concerns of an Africa outbreak –

Africa’s largest innovation incubator, CcHub, will offer funding and engineering support to tech projects aimed at curbing COVID-19 and its social and economic impact. The Lagos and Nairobi based organization posted an open application on its website this week, CcHub CEO Bosun Tijani told TechCrunch on a call. CcHub will provide $5000 to $100,000 funding […] → Read More

Kenya turns to its mobile-money dominance to stem the spread of COVID-19 –

Kenya’s largest teleco, Safaricom, has announced a fee-waiver on East Africa’s leader mobile-money product, M-Pesa, to reduce the physical exchange of currency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The company announced that all person-to-person (P2P) transactions under 1000 Kenyan Schillings (≈ $10) would be free starting Tuesday for the next 90 days. The move came […] → Read More

A snapshot of the leading startups in Africa’s top VC markets –

TechCrunch did a synopsis recently on Africa’s 2019 VC stats. Analyses from investment fund Partech and media outlets Disrupt Africa and WeeTracker came up with varied numbers, but there was a common trend: the top two countries for venture capital to startups across all three studies were Nigeria and Kenya. TechCrunch covered a number of […] → Read More

COVID-19 market turmoil tests NYSE’s shutdown circuit-breakers –

For the second time this week trading on the New York Stock Exchange halted for 15 minutes this morning when a market drop triggered the exchange’s internal circuit breaker, shortly after 9:30am. The control, part of the NYSE’s automatic provisions to pause trading, has been put to the test since markets first began realizing the […] → Read More

Visa partners with Paga on payments and fintech for Africa and abroad –

Visa has entered a partnership with Nigeria based startup Paga on payments and technology. Founded in Lagos, Paga scaled its fintech business in West Africa, before targeting expansion in Ethiopia and Mexico. The startup has created a multi-channel network for over 14 million customers in Nigeria to transfer money, pay-bills and buy things digitally through […] → Read More

Did African startups raise $496M, $1B or $2B in 2019? –

Five years ago, it was hard to come by any numbers for annual VC investment in Africa. These days the challenge is choosing which number to follow. That’s the case for three venture funding studies for Africa that turned up varied results. The numbers and variance Investment stats released by media outlet Disrupt Africa, data-base […] → Read More

Africa Roundup: TLcom closes $71M fund, Jumo raises $55M, AWS partners with Safaricom –

VC firm TLcom Capital closed its Tide Africa Fund at $71 million in February, and announced plans to invest in 12 startup over the next 18 months. The group — with offices in London, Lagos, and Nairobi — is looking for tech-enabled, revenue-driven ventures in Africa from seed-stage to Series B, according to TLcom Managing Partner Maurizio […] → Read More

Silicon Valley could be Biden’s funding lifeline post South Carolina –

Presidential candidate Joe Biden is likely to throw a fundraising lifeline to Silicon Valley donors after his commanding South Carolina victory and heading into the next wave of primaries. A pro-Biden super Pac, Unite the Country — whose past backers include senior tech figures — is picking up efforts to tap wealthy donors, Treasurer Larry […] → Read More

AWS partners with Kenya’s Safaricom on cloud and consulting services –

Amazon Web Services has entered a partnership with Safaricom — Kenya’s largest telco, ISP and mobile payment provider — in a collaboration that could spell competition between American cloud providers in Africa. In a statement to TechCrunch, the East African company framed the arrangement as a “strategic agreement” whereby Safaricom will sell AWS services (primarily cloud) […] → Read More

South African fintech startup Jumo raises second $50M+ VC round –

South African fintech startup Jumo closed a $55 million round from a diverse group of investors, the company confirmed. Founded in 2015 and based in Cape Town, the venture offers a full tech stack for partners to build savings, lending, and insurance products for customers in emerging markets. This week’s funding follows a $52 million […] → Read More

Africa e-tailer Jumia reports first full-year results post NYSE IPO –

Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia got into the black (by a small amount) on its gross profit vs. fulfillment expenses, expanded financial services and still posted losses. The online sales company, with an operations center in China, also anticipates some negative impact on 2020 growth from the coronavirus outbreak, CEO Sacha Poigonnec said. Those were highlights […] → Read More

Sokowatch raises $14M to digitize Africa’s informal B2B supply-chain –

Kenya based B2B e-commerce startup Sokowatch has raised $14 million in Series A funding toward its mission of revamping supply-chain markets for Africa’s informal retailers. From Nairobi, the company has created a platform that connects merchants directly to local and multinational suppliers — such as Unilever and Proctor and Gamble — and digitizes orders, payments […] → Read More