Norebase’s solution for African expansion, InstaDeep’s $100M Series B

by | Jan 26, 2022

This post is a delayed version of Techpoint Digest, a week-daily newsletter that rounds up major happenings in African tech. You can start receiving it hours before everyone else if you subscribe now

Hi there,

Today we’re discussing 

  • Norebase’s solution for African expansion 
  • InstaDeep’s $100M Series B 

One-click expansion for African startups

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Tola Onayemi speaking at the SOAS Khartoum conference in 2019. Source: Instagram

When foreigners speak or write about Africa, the entire continent is often grouped as one. With 54 countries at the moment, that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

However, it’s easy to see why they could make that mistake. Eager to free the continent from colonial rule, leaders from several African colonies pushed for a united front, but that never happened. 

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Even after independence, collaboration between African countries has been notoriously tricky such that one is better off travelling or conducting business with countries outside the continent than with those within.

The desire to collaborate across the continent has not faded, and a few policies have been drawn up to tackle this challenge. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement — has come very close to doing this, inspiring Tola Onayemi to build Norebase in the process.

A lawyer, Onayemi’s career has seen him work at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and as a Technical Adviser to the Office of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Industry, Trade & Investment.

As a Technical Adviser to the Nigerian Vice President, he led the negotiations for the AfCFTA agreement, getting familiar with the difficulties of starting and expanding businesses in Africa. Norebase helps startups register, start, and scale in any African country. 

Ogheneruemu Oneyibo had a chat with Onayemi to understand how Norebase works. You can read more here: What borderless expansion looks like for African startups with Norebase

InstaDeep’s $100M Series B

Instadeep image
InstaDeep team. Source: TechCrunch

It’s only January, but we already have the first $100M round for an African startup in 2022 as Tunisian startup, InstaDeep has announced its $100M Series B round. 

The round was led by Alpha Intelligence Capital and CDIB, while Google, BioNTech, Chimera Abu Dhabi, G42, Synergies, and Deutsche Bahn’s DB Digital Ventures participated in the round.

Founded in 2014 by Karim Beguir (CEO) and Zohra Slim (CWO), InstaDeep builds artificial intelligence solutions for businesses across various industries such as energy, logistics, and electronic design.

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The company already has offices in London, where it is headquartered, Paris, Lagos, Dubai, Tunis, and Cape Town and plans to use the new fund to add to its 170 employees, expand into the United States, and launch new products.

While Africa’s startup space has witnessed astonishing growth in the last few years, only a few deep tech startups have been built. InstaDeep is now one of the few companies showing that Africans can build such companies.

Speaking to TechCrunch, Beguir said, “We’ve managed to build a culture of high standards and prove that the talents in Africa are capable of being competitive, working and collaborating with the very best.”

What else I’m reading 

Opportunities 

  • Are you fluent in English and Spanish? Microverse is hiring a social media and community manager. Apply here
  • Wimbart is hiring a London-based PR Account Executive. Read the job description and apply here
  • YellowCard is looking to hire a backend engineer in Africa. Find details and apply here
  • ReelFruit is seeking a dynamic Finance Manager. Apply here
  • Pennee is hiring. See available roles here
  • Product Specialist at Paystack, Simileoluwa Afolabi-Jombo, is looking for a Personal Assistant. Apply here

Have a great day.

Chimgozirim Nwokoma
Chimgozirim Nwokoma

Accidental writer, covering Africa’s startup landscape and its heroes.


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