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IFC & Kobo360 Invite Applications Worldwide to TechMerge Temperature Controlled Logistics Program

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has partnered with Nigerian digital logistics tech startup Kobo360, to open call for innovators worldwide to bring climate-smart, temperature controlled logistics (TCL) cooling solutions to Nigeria. The TechMerge temperature controlled logistics initiative is to help the most populous nation in Africa address its food waste challenges, support the health sector, and reduce energy consumption.

The program termed, TechMerge Temperature Controlled Logistics Nigeria promises to create market access and make available funding to the tune of $1 million to top innovators matched with leading Nigerian companies.

The match up will lead to a joint pilot of sustainable solutions that reduce losses in cold chains, strengthen access to TCL- dependent products and markets, and build commercial partnerships.

The TechEmerge Temperature Controlled Logistics Nigeria program is being undertaken by IFC with the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Kobo360.

Generally, it is known that temperature controlled logistics is essential for economic development, human health, and food security. It further delivers perishable goods to shops and shipping ports and keeps medicines and vaccines from deteriorating since they are transported to clinics, pharmacies, and hospitals.

Temperature Controlled Logistics
Co-founders of Kobo360

According to William Sonneborn, the Senior Director of Disruptive Technologies and Funds of IFC, positively expressed that,

​”Sustainable cooling technologies represent a fast-growing business opportunity with particular importance to emerging markets. We are excited to support cutting-edge entrepreneurs to pilot and scale their temperature-controlled logistics solutions in Nigeria, and Africa more broadly.”

 Ike Abiakam, added that

“Africa’s cold chain capacity faces a lack of investment in equipment for maintaining a specific temperature range throughout the supply chain. We’ve seen a gap in the market for shipping solutions, specifically concerning moving deep-frozen, cold and ambient goods in a safe and temperature-controlled environment.”

The Founding Partner and Head of KoboCare, continued, saying,

“Temperature-controlled shipping is constantly evolving and our partnership with the IFC is a key step towards discovering the best innovations that will enable the efficient transport of chilled goods.”

 Applications to TechMerge Temperature Controlled Logistics program are open until the 31st of January, 2021. Register here.

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FirstCheck Africa is Investing US$25K Each in Female Led Startups in 2021

FirstCheck Africa

FirstCheck Africa, a new angel fund with vision of making it easy for African women to raise capital and invest in technology, announces that it will invest US$25,000 each in six (6) female led tech companies and further support them in raising significant pre-seed rounds in 12 months.

Eloho Omame, the MD for Endeavor Nigeria and Odunayo Eweniyi, the co-founder and COO of PiggyVest, co-founded FirstCheck Africa, with the mission of advancing capital, equity and leadership to African women through entrepreneurship and technology.

They are again growing a community of female angel investors comprising of millennials and mid-career women who can potentially invest in ventured-backed tech-companies across Africa.

As to who can join this early believers of African women tech entrepreneurs, FirstCheck Africa will welcome into its fold bold women determined to launch their first tech startups. It is also for partners who also are with the conviction that the potential of African women led startups have been overlooked by mainstream venture platforms.

Eloho Omame – Co-founder of FirstCheck Africa

Reasons for this ambitious female focused angel fund

  • The early-stage investment ecosystem in Africa hasn’t benefited women led tech startups very much. Where in 2019, the report is that less than 5% of global VC funding went to women led companies, more so, those in Africa.
  • Women led startup founders get all the needed mentorship there is to give but receive less financial backing from VCs.
  • FristCheck Africa believes supporting women founders should be on the basis of economics and less on social impact. This is true for them because in pitching, women tend to get investors attention if the pitch leans towards social impact but such funding are not adequate enough to build high-impact tech companies.
  • The Early Believer thinks women in tech deserve to play equal role of building Africa’s next generation of companies. This call is an effort for Africa women to build wealth and influence in the technology entrepreneurship ecosystem as early investors.
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Practical solutions FirstCheck Africa believes in

The access of capital to women entrepreneurs in Africa must be very well intended and female led. With a growing list of women-led venture capital funds, like Portofolia and All Raise, they are turning their previous cold funding experiences into a competitive advantage for the challenges women face.

The solutions they believe lies very much at the apex of the startup funding funnel, where there is the need to increase the pipeline of women entrepreneurs, address the biases faced by women as well as closing the gender confidence gap for women to easily raise initial startup capital.

Last but not least, the need for strong role models to inspire them. Women need powerful representation on platforms that easily allows for scaling. They also need to be playing major decision making roles.

FirstCheck Africa
Odunayo Eweniyi – Co-founder of FirstCheck Africa

What FirsCheck Africa is providing

  • Writing female founders’ first checks and be their earliest believers
  • Act as active connectors and collaborators, using their networks and resources to accelerate efforts
  • They are prepared to spend their time, financial and social capital in helping female led startups validate their ideas and gain all-important early traction
  • They will assist in raising the next stage of startup capital
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In 2021 alone, FirstCheck Africa will be investing up to US$25,000 each in six (6) women led tech-enabled startups and closely working with them to raise significant pre-seed funding.

The co-founders say, FirstCheck Africa is open to all whiles they give premium to women that want to invest in tech by putting their money behind venture backed startups. This is an exciting moment for girls and women who really need somebody to believe in their tech business without any bias but strictly at economic viability of the company. Find out more about them here.

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