Verod-Kepple’s $60m fund

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April 11, 2024
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5 min read
funding

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Hello,

Victoria from Techpoint here,

Here's what I've got for you today:

  • Verod-Kepple’s $60m fund
  • HR expert shares insights on empathetic leadership
  • Starlink causes a stir in Cameroon 

Verod-Kepple’s $60m fund

funding

Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures (VKAV), an Africa-focused VC firm, has sealed the deal on the final close of its first fund at $60 million! It’s gearing up to back around 21 up-and-coming companies.

This latest funding round has got some heavy hitters on board, including big shots like SBI Holdings and Toyota Tsusho Corporation from Japan, showing international interest in African startups.

New investors like SCM Capital from Nigeria and Taiyo Holdings also jumped on the bandwagon, adding even more fuel to the fire. (Fuel = investment.)

Founded in 2022 by Okolloh, Yamawaki, and Shinada, VKAV is a powerhouse collaboration between Verod Capital Management and Kepple Africa. It’s on a mission to fill the funding gap for Series A and B startups across the continent.

Ory Okolloh, VKAV partner, highlighted the need for more funding at the growth stage, stressing that there's still a lot of potential waiting to be tapped into in Africa's startup scene.

Its focus is clear: it’s all about boosting companies revolutionising Africa's digital landscape, from fintech to healthcare and beyond.

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With over $17.5 million already invested and 12 startups in their portfolio, VKAV is making serious waves across Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, and beyond. And it’s not stopping there; they plan to explore even more African markets soon.


HR expert shares insights on empathetic leadership

office
Creative business team working together in a casual office, seen from doorway, low angle

In March 2022, there was this huge thing in the Nigerian tech scene – remember #HorribleBosses? It all started with TechCabal's exposé on Bento's CEO, Ebun Okubanjo, and it got everyone talking about toxic workplaces.

Since then, things have simmered down a bit, but the conversation about toxic work environments is still going strong. Okubanjo himself recently opened up about the whole ordeal and the lessons he's learned.

But here's the thing – toxicity is kind of subjective. Oluwanifemi explains this in her latest story. So, follow me. 

However, despite all the different opinions, most folks agree on one thing – having empathetic leaders is crucial for a healthy workplace. And yeah, there are some obvious signs of toxicity, like discrimination and bullying, but navigating the grey areas takes emotional intelligence (EI).

A report from September 2023 found that employees actually prefer working for empathetic leaders, even if it means taking a pay cut. Seems like people are willing to sacrifice some cash for a better work environment.

So, Emmanuel Michael, an HR leader with over two decades of experience, has some real gems to share about empathetic leadership. But even with all the empathy in the world, sometimes tough decisions still gotta be made. Curious to learn more? Check out Oluwanifemi’s latest piece for all the deets.


Starlink causes a stir in Cameroon 

A Starlink dish placed on a fence next to a house
Gbadebo's Starlink setup

There's a stir in Cameroon because Starlink is stepping into the scene. However, it's got the authorities a bit worried, especially Minister Minette Libom Li Likeng from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

Minister Likeng voiced concerns that Starlink might overshadow the incumbent operator, Camtel. 

Meanwhile, what's got everyone talking about Starlink is its easy setup, reliable high-speed Internet, and the ability to connect even in remote areas. You just need the Starlink equipment, plug it in, and you're good to go. But, of course, there are risks involved, as Libom Li Likeng pointed out.

Starlink's entry into Cameroon has undoubtedly caused a stir, especially with incidents like the March 14 Internet blackout caused by fibre optic cable problems. People are eyeing Starlink as a potential solution to the country's connectivity woes.

With Cameroon having over 12 million Internet users and a growing demand for better connectivity, Starlink sees the market potential. 

But here's the catch: Starlink hasn’t received regulatory approval yet. Libom Li Likeng made it clear that a licence is needed to operate in Cameroon, and they've directed the satellite Internet service to get in touch with the regulatory agency.

So, while Starlink might seem like a game-changer for Cameroon's Internet scene, there are still some hoops to jump through before it becomes fully legit.


In case you missed it

What I'm reading and watching  

Opportunities   

  •  Apply for Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) by May 6, 2024, here
  • Nansen is looking for a Product Manager. Apply here.
  • At Matters Lab is hiring a remote Product Manager. Apply here.
  • Veza is looking for a Senior Software Engineer. Apply here.
  • Clari is looking for a Senior Software Engineer. Apply here.
  • Seedstars has announced  INFUSE 2024, a global invitation for innovative applications aimed at fortifying health systems against climate threats and improving immunisation delivery. Apply here.
  • Explore this website to find multiple job opportunities in Data that align with your preferences.
  • If you are a software engineer, creative designer, product manager, design researcher, or a techie looking for an internship role, please, check out this website.

Have a terrific Thursday!

Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.

She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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