Here are some of the top tech stories we tracked today – January 5, 2024.
- Annabella raises $8.5M in seed funding
- Cameroonian fintech Koree closes $200K in pre-seed round
- iSchool, an Egyptian ed-tech startup secures $4.5M
- ZeroComplex AI secures major funding boost for its AI workflow solutions
- Twiga Foods' CEO resigns from its board
- Trigo is laying off 15% of its workforce
- U.S. plans to award Microchip Technology $162 million
- Google Messages to support Dual-SIM RCS
Annabella Raises $8.5M in Seed Funding
Masha Waldberg led Annabella, an Israeli breast pump provider, recently raised $8.5 million in seed funding. Since February last year, the company has sold over 4,000 breast pumps through Shilav’s retail stores in Israel.
Shark Tank's Yasmin Lukatz led the round, and the funds will be used to accelerate Annabella's growth and expand its product offerings into the United States market. This seed funding also included a crowdfunding raise of over $3M.
Annabella is known for its innovative breast pump technology that prioritizes comfort and efficiency, making it a popular choice for new mothers. With this funding, Annabella is poised to make a significant impact in the global breast pump market.
Cameroonian fintech Koree closes $200K in pre-seed round
Cameroonian fintech startup Koree recently secured a pre-seed funding round of $200,000, which was backed by Tunde Akinnuwa, co-founder at Duplo, Cameroon Angels Network, Catalytic Africa, Digital Africa, and other private investors.
Koree is a unique platform that enables customers to save their spare change on their cards, making it easier to build up their savings over time. Koree is also set to launch a new marketplace that will enable users to get rewards on their everyday purchases.
With this funding, Koree is poised to expand its operations and bring its innovative savings solution to even more African people. Since its inception in September 2022, Koree has registered over 13,000 users and processed over 50,000 cash-based transactions worth $400,000.
iSchool, an Egyptian Ed-Tech Startup, Secures $4.5 Million
Egyptian ed-tech startup iSchool recently raised an impressive $4.5 million in funding, which will be used to fuel its international expansion plans. The round was led by VentureWave Capital, an Irish VC, followed by OneStop Capital UK, Webit Investment Network, and Oraseya Capital, the VC arm of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority.
Founded in 2018, by Mohamed Algawish, Mustafa AbdelMon’em, Ebrahim Youssef and Mohamed Nabil, the startup, which offers online tech education services to students in Egypt and the Middle East, plans to use the funding to expand its operations into six new countries in the MENA region, and Ireland taking the business to a global level.
This funding round is a testament to the growing demand for innovative education solutions in the Middle East, and the potential for ed-tech startups to make a real impact in the region.
ZeroComplex AI secures major funding boost for its AI workflow solutions
ZeroComplex AI, an emerging AI player in the African market, recently secured substantial pre-seed funding from a group of notable investors.
This funding is expected to help the company further its goal of helping organizations integrate AI seamlessly into their digital infrastructure across the continent. Founded by Kehinde Olateru, Adegbenga Agoro, and Olusola Adebayo, ZeroComplex AI was created by the co-founders of Crenet.
ZeroComplex AI's workflow solutions are designed to make it easy for organizations to adopt and leverage AI technology, regardless of their level of technical expertise. With this funding boost, ZeroComplex AI is well-positioned to become a leading player in the African AI market.
Twiga Foods' CEO resigns from its board
Peter Njonjo, the Co-founder and former CEO of Twiga Foods, has officially resigned from the company's board. In December 2023, the company disclosed that Twiga's COO, Laurent Gouault, will take over operations and business, while Zuber Momoniat (CFO) will handle finance and legal duties.
This move comes just a month after he took a six-month leave of absence as CEO, citing his belief that he could add "very little value" to the company in the future. Njonjo's resignation marks the end of an era for Twiga Foods, as he was instrumental in building the company into a leading player in the African food distribution market.
It will be interesting to see how Twiga Foods adapts to this leadership change and continues to grow in the future.
Trigo is laying off 15% of its workforce
Trigo, an Israel-based computer vision startup that specializes in creating infrastructure for autonomous retail stores, recently announced that it would be laying off 15% of its workforce, amounting to around 30 employees.
The layoffs are part of the company's efforts to streamline its operations and focus on its core business. Trigo specializes in transforming existing supermarkets into fully autonomous digital stores where feeds from ceiling-mounted cameras and shelf sensors are analyzed to generate a replica version of the store.
U.S. plans to award Microchip Technology $162 million
The U.S. Commerce Department has announced plans to grant $162 million to Microchip Technology, a semiconductor manufacturer, to enhance domestic production of semiconductors and microcontroller units (MCUs).
This funding will enable Microchip to triple its output of mature-node semiconductor chips and MCUs at its facilities in Colorado and Oregon.
The initiative, part of the "Chips for America" program, aims to strengthen the U.S. semiconductor supply chain and reduce dependence on foreign sources, particularly from China. The grant underscores broader efforts to secure critical components for industries such as automotive, consumer electronics, defense, and aerospace.
Google Messages to Support Dual-SIM RCS
Google Messages is gearing up to introduce support for RCS (Rich Communication Services) on dual SIMs, departing from its previous limitation to a single phone number.
Initially spotted in the latest beta version, this feature allows users to seamlessly switch between connections for RCS messaging after enabling the function for both SIMs.
The functionality has been reported by users of the Samsung-specific version of the app, suggesting it may be specific to certain devices and requires the activation of specific flags.
While currently accessible to a limited user base, a wider rollout is anticipated in forthcoming updates.
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