Google’s African funding, Airtel partners with AXA Mansard, Clubhouse-ish on Facebook

by | Jun 22, 2021

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Good day,

Today I’m discussing:

  • Google funding for African entrepreneurs
  • Airtel’s partnership with AXA Mansard
  • Facebook Audio Rooms and podcasts launch 

Google’s new funding options for African entrepreneurs

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Google is opening up three new programmes to support African entrepreneurs. 

These include the 6th cohort of Google for Startups Accelerator (GFSA) Africa, $3 million Black Founders Fund (BFF) Africa, and Google.org-backed $3 million grants for female entrepreneurs.

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The selection process for GFSA Africa was carried out earlier this year, and 15 African startups were selected. A three-month online mentorship programme kicked off yesterday, June 21, 2021.

Applications for the $3 million BFF Africa will be open soon. Fifty early-stage black-founded startups will receive between $50k and $100k cheques.

Also, $3 million has been set aside as SME grants. The grants will be used to provide mentorship, coaching, and access to key markets for 5,000 female entrepreneurs from rural areas with little or no digital skills.

These grants and fundings will be disbursed in conjunction with Co-creation Hub (CcHUB) and the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

To find out the other prerequisites and how to apply, read this:

Google plans to support African founders and entrepreneurs with new $6m funding options

Previous funding from Microsoft and a prediction that the Internet economy will contribute $189 billion to Africa’s GDP by 2025 prove that the continent has a promising ecosystem.

Airtel Nigeria partners with AXA Mansard to improve health insurance coverage

Airtel Africa
Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/27998473@N02/11982286343/”>jbdodane</a> Flickr via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>

Airtel Nigeria has partnered with leading insurance company, AXA Mansard, to provide accessible healthcare insurance plans on mobile devices via a dedicated USSD code.

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The plans provided cover malaria, immunisation, family planning, inpatient, outpatient, ambulance services, dental care, specialist medical consultation, and more.

Nigerians with an Airtel SIM can purchase the plans by dialling *987*7#, and a tab with the various plans available will be displayed for selection. Users can access healthcare services from 1,000 hospitals nationwide.

Airtel Nigeria and AXA Mansard agree that this is a medium to proffer a convenient and interactive solution to the challenges — poor awareness and affordability, to mention a few  — Nigeria’s health insurance industry faces. 

There is a slow acceptance of insurance in Africa, and leveraging technology can quicken this coverage as many educated Africans have access to digital tools. 

Founded in 1989, and with a workforce exceeding 166,000 people and an acclaimed 64 million clients worldwide, AXA Group — AXA Mansard’s parent company  — is an insurance and assets management group. In Africa, they have a presence in seven countries.

Find out more about the AXA Mansard and Airtel Nigeria partnership.

Facebook officially launches live Audio Rooms and podcast features

Facebook Logo
Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/140988606@N08/25076399117/”>Christoph Scholz</a> Flickr via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>

Social media giant, Facebook, has launched an Audio Room and podcast feature on its platform. Launched on Monday, June 21, 2021, this feature has only been rolled out in the US, and for now, is only available on iOS.

Only verified creators or public figures in good standing with Facebook, select Facebook groups, and an initial set of US podcast hosts can host a room, while listeners are unlimited in number, and can be iOS or Android users.

One wonders how different these features are from Clubhouse’s existing model. Facebook’s audio feature allows listeners to react to content while streaming and support creators by sending stars which can be purchased during a conversation. 

Also, hosts can organise a nonprofit or fundraiser amidst conversations, and listeners can make donations directly.

For decorum, admins can control whether moderators, group members, or other admins can create a live audio room. Private groups are restricted to only group members, and users can use a “raise hand” tool to request to speak.  

Facebook is also rolling out a planned podcast support for a set of handpicked celebrity creators in the US. The feature will be made available to regular podcasters this summer.

Last week, we reported that Spotify launched Greenroom, enabling users to convert live-audio conversations to podcasts. 

No surprise, as this would help more Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces users to revisit conversations easily. 

With the latest trend of social media giants tapping into audio live features, I wonder if it’s just a fad or something that’s here to stay.

In case you missed it

3 steps to register your small business with CAC online

What else I’m reading/watching

  • What do debates on Twitter reveal about identity? Watch
  • TikTok launches Jump, a third-party integration tool. Read

Have a great day ahead!

Joy Matthew
Joy Matthew

Out here, trying so hard to maintain my faculty of wonder in a fast-changing world. Language, books, and aspiring tech enthusiast. Keep in touch

On January 22, 2022, be part of the largest gathering of innovators, startup founders, thinkers, programmers, policymakers, and investors in West Africa. Register free.

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