Finalists in Fintech Challenge Emerge

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    Ecobank has announced the finalists for the 2nd edition of the annual Ecobank Fintech Challenge, a competition for Africa-focused technology start-ups.
    The list included 11fintech start-ups from across the continent and beyond.
    An Innovation Fair & Awards ceremony would honour the start-ups on August 30, 2018, at the global headquarters of Ecobank in Lomé, Togo.

    At the ceremony, the start-ups would exhibit and pitch their products to a jury for the Ecobank Africa Fintech Prize, which would be awarded the top innovator and two runners-up.

    The top three innovators would win cash prizes worth US$10,000, US$7,000, and US$5,000 respectively.
    After the awards ceremony, Ecobank would enrol all eleven finalists into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship.
    The Fellowship would run for a period of six months during which Ecobank Fintech Fellows will benefit from an opportunity to further explore partnerships with the Ecobank Group that includes: Multinational product roll-out support: for the start-ups deemed commercially viable to grow their businesses across any of Ecobank’s 33 markets in Africa; service provider & ecosystem partner deals: for start-ups with deep capabilities to become product partners within Ecobank’s ecosystem; and technical & mentoring support: during the six months fellowship period, fellows will benefit from technical support from Ecobank’s global network of technology leaders, fintech experts, investors and management coaches.

    The eleven start-ups are: Lypa (Kenya), Wallet.ng (Nigeria), Nala (Tanzania), Litee (Benin), SESO Global (South Africa), InvestED (Sierra Leone), Eversend (France), Secapay (Nigeria), Virtual Identity (South Africa), MojiPay (Togo), Awamo (Germany)
    Group CEO of Ecobank, Ade Ayeyemi, said: “At Ecobank our digital strategy is spectacularly successful and has changed the landscape of African banking, so it goes without saying that we see fintech as a vital component for the economic transformation of the continent and the prosperity of its citizens.”

    ICT Firm Secures $100m Investment
    Freshworks, one of the global leaders in customer engagement software has announced that it recently secured $100 million in financing and has hired former AppDynamics Vice President of Finance & Treasury Suresh Seshadri as its chief financial officer.
    The latest round of funding was co-led by Accel and Sequoia, with participation from CapitalG, bringing Freshworks’ total amount of capital raised to $250 million. The cash infusion would be used to further expand Freshworks’ worldwide expansion as well as continued investment in its integrated SaaS platform, a statement revealed.

    Freshworks provides organisations of all sizes with SaaS solutions that make it easy for customer support, sales and marketing professionals to communicate effectively with customers for better service and collaborate with team members to resolve customer issues.
    To date, over 150,000 organisations worldwide use Freshworks, including NHS, Honda, Rightmove, Hugo Boss, Citizens Advice, Toshiba and Cisco.
    The company is headquartered in San Bruno, Calif., and has offices in India, the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia.
    “When we started Freshworks in 2010, we were a single-product company with a goal of offering better, easier-to-use customer service software than what was in the market.

    “We’ve since scaled our company to $100M in annual recurring revenue and built a full SaaS platform where all of our products – such as Freshsales, Freshdesk, and Freshservice – work together seamlessly, without requiring additional integration resources or consultants to make the software simply work,” the co-founder and CEO of Freshworks, Girish Mathrubootham said.

    Ghana Replaces Sacked Energy Chief

    Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo replaced his sacked energy minister, in a reshuffle that still maintained the West African country’s high number of ministers — 110 in total.
    Akufo-Addo had sacked Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko in the reshuffle and replaced him with John Peter Amewu, former minister of lands and natural resources.

    Reuters cited press reports to have revealed that Agyarko was removed because the president was unhappy with his handling of an extension to a five-year deal with United Arab Emirates-based AMERI Energy for a 300MW emergency power plant.

    Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, former regional minister for the Brong Ahafo region, was named minister for lands and natural resources, while Kofi Adda, a former minister of sanitation and water resources, was appointed the minister of aviation.

    Critics said the number of Ghana’s ministers was bloated and a drain on the public purse, but the government has resisted calls to axe some of them.
    Ghana, one of the region’s most dynamic economies, became an energy producer in late 2010, and pumps out around 180,000 barrels of oil per day from three main fields.
    But large amounts of this revenue are spent on government salaries, while Ghana has suffered from falls in commodity prices in the past three years that forced it to go to the IMF for a bailout.