The book summary mobile app Akhdar, a startup in Egypt announces it has raised a six-figure investment from EdVentures. A venture capital firm under Nahdet Misr Publishing Group based in Egypt.
Akhdar is a 2017 founded tech company started by Mohamed Osama, Akhdar. Their idea initially started as a YouTube channel that summarized books through short and engaging videos. This helped readers grasp the key points presented in books.
It has recently launched a mobile application that features hundreds of videos for audio and printed books covering more than 16 different genres.
The platform basically simplifies content from various books and presents them in a more engaging way to younger readers.
Mohamed Osama, the founder of Akhdar said, “Akhdar started with the aim of providing simplified summaries and information about different books for people who didn’t have time to read. Back then, we didn’t have a very clear vision of what we wanted to achieve.”
He continued that they worked very hard with the limited resources at hand to build Akhdar for them to be able to continue presenting useful content.
Thanks to the undisclosed exact investment, Osama said, “Now, we are quite excited about the coming period, our new partnership with EdVentures will definitely add a lot to our business especially with Nahdet Misr’s extensive experience in education and content creation.”
The grateful startup founder added that the investment will be directed to enrich their library with various new categories and topics. And in addition to offering readers a smart learning experience, they are expecting that readers make the most out of the content available on the platform.
In a press release circulated, Dalia Ibrahim, the founder of EdVentures and CEO of Nahdet Misr Publishing House commented that,
“EdVentures is always keen to support and nourish educational startups; hence, we see this investment as a new brick we add to enrich the readers’ community with a smart and fun learning experience. Akhdar will use it to enhance its online application through the usage of gamification and other new Edtech features to provide more engaging content and an enhanced user experience. We will also be working closely with the team to further expand their services in order to cover a wider range of users.”
VC firm EdVentures, is widely known to support and invest in startups specializing in education, culture, and innovative learning solutions in Seed and Pre-Series A rounds focusing on Egypt, Africa, and the Arab World.
It tends provides financial and technical support to startup companies so to enhance their success and continuity in the ever competitive market.
OKO: Insurtech Startup Raises US$1.2M to bring Innovative Insurance to Smallholder Farmers Across Africa
Insurtech start-up, OKO, that provides inclusive agricultural insurance to secure farmers’ income across Africa, has closed a seed investment of $1.2 million. The round was led by Newfund and ResiliAnce. Mercy Corps Venture, Techstars, ImpactAssets and RaSa also participated in the round.
The startup which currently operates in Mali and Uganda uses satellite data and mobile payments to create automated insurance products for farmers whose fields are affected adversely by weather events — primarily droughts and floods. With the new funding, OKO aims to strengthen its presence in Mali and Uganda and expand its offerings to more African markets, starting with Ivory Coast.
According to the founder of OKO, Simon Schwall, in a press statement said,
Simon also said they were using technology to solve this issue and secure the income of those farmers.
The company already has approximately 7,000 paying customers in Mali and compensated more than 1,000 farmers last year, who were affected by floods. OKO’s customers typically grow maize, cotton, sesame or millet. It also works with agro-industries to help them with their sustainability goals and secure their relationships with suppliers. Successful pilots were completed with ABInBev and Touton in Uganda.
This convinced Augustin Sayer, partner at Newfund, to support OKO:
“We believe recent advancement in iOT and data availability will lead to the rise of parametric insurance in Africa for the benefit of the local populations. Simon and his team have built solid bases in Mali from which OKO can now expand in new countries and offer new insurance products.”
OKO takes pride in being the most inclusive crop insurance available. All farmers need to connect to OKO is a phone (no smartphone required): they can dial a short code to obtain more information and pay through mobile money services. To achieve this level of accessibility, the company partners with mobile operators.
OKO, for Aisha Touré, the CEO of Orange Money in Mali, has taken full benefit of the Orange Money platform to provide a service that is both innovative and inclusive.
Daniel Block from Mercy Corps Ventures added,
“While other micro-insurance for farmers exist, we were impressed by OKO’s ability to partner with a pan-African operator like Orange and establish a direct consumer link, which allows for an exciting opportunity to drive deeper user engagement and expand to a suite of insurance products for rural farmers in the future.”
The service offered by OKO is supported by regulators and has won both the Fintech Showcase Award by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, representing financial regulators of emerging countries, and the SME award from ITU, the telecommunication governing body.
When asked about the next challenges for OKO, Simon Schwall’s answer is clear:
“We need to find more partners who can bring our product to farmers, be it NGOs, agro-industrial players, mobile operators or governmental programmes. We proved that our solution is working and answers a strong need. Now we need to scale”
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