What we’re discussing today:
- Learning with WhatsApp APIs
- Omnibiz’s seed round
- Jumia’s Q2 report
FoondaMate uses WhatsApp APIs to aid learning
More than a year after the coronavirus was declared a pandemic, its effects are still seen around us, from the deaths around the world to the innovations that it spurred.
FoondaMate, a South African edtech startup that uses a WhatsApp API to help students study, is one of such innovations. With different experiences of education inequality, Co-founders Tao Boyle and Dacod Magagula bonded over their desire to solve this problem at the University of Cape Town.
After the coronavirus made it harder for students to attend school and deprived them of education, the co-founders leveraged WhatsApp’s API to provide students with much-needed solutions on a platform that they already use.
Victoria Fakiya has more on this story: How South African API edtech startup, FoondaMate, is helping students study with WhatsApp
Omnibiz’s seed round
What’s the story? Omnibiz, a Nigerian B2B eCommerce startup, has announced a seed round of $3m. Investors that participated in the round include V&R Africa, Timon Capital, Tangerine Insurance, LoftyInc, Musha Ventures, SUNU Capital, Launch Africa, and Rising Tide Africa.
What do they do? Using a mobile app, WhatsApp, and a phone number, Omnibiz digitises the retail supply chain connecting retailers directly to manufacturers of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).
Founded in 2019, Omnibiz is the brainchild of Deepankar Rustagi, who previously founded VConnect, an online marketplace for local professionals. Omnibiz operates an asset-light business model by working with distributors and logistics providers.
When retailers place an order for a product, the third-party logistics drivers pick it from the distributors and deliver it to the retailers. In a chat with TechCrunch, Rustagi revealed that his experience at VConnect prepared him for the challenge of running Omnibiz.
Africa’s eCommerce value chain is distorted, with no easy way to effectively provide goods and services. However, driven by an increasing Internet and smartphone penetration, entrepreneurs are beginning to do the hard work of digitising the space.
While most of the focus has been on B2C models, recent happenings suggest a shift. Sokowatch, Twiga, MaxAB, and Trade Depot are just a few startups that have begun providing solutions for the B2B space.
Jumia Q2 report
What happened? eCommerce giant Jumia has released its second-quarter results, and there are interesting points to note.
First, phones and electronics now account for less gross merchandise value (GMV) for the retailer, falling from 43% in the second quarter of 2020 to 38% in the second quarter of 2021.
Food delivery and digital finance services offered via JumiaPay also saw growth contributing 14% of GMV in the second quarter of 2021 compared to 9% in the second quarter of 2020.
The retailer also saw an increase in its logistics offering, delivering 1.3 million packages to 300 clients compared to half a million packages delivered throughout 2020. They also report that fashion remains the largest category on the platform.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the company as it also recorded an adjusted EBITDA loss of $41.6m, up 15% year-over-year, as well as an operating loss of $51.6m.
Emmanuel has more on the story here: Aggressive marketing spirals Jumia’s operating losses to $51 million in Q2 2021.
In case you missed it
- JumiaPay partners with the National Bank of Egypt to offer business payment services. Read.
What else I’m reading
- What would two of the world’s most famous economists think about bitcoin? Read.
- ‘It’s huge’: Inside the black market for counterfeit COVID vaccine passports. Read.
- If you have a startup idea and would love to get investors’ takes on it, then FirstCheck Africa’s virtual pitch event is the perfect opportunity for you. Follow this link to register.
- Microsoft is hiring for a Senior Program Manager. Apply here.
- Flutterwave is hiring a social media manager. Apply here.
Have a great day ahead!
Accidental writer, covering Africa’s startup landscape and its heroes.
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