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RoundUp: Breakdown of French US$76M Africa Startup Fund,Uber Testing Cheaper Fare Feature & Others

French President Emmanuel Macron

Global News

RoundUp: Breakdown of French US$76M Africa Startup Fund,Uber Testing Cheaper Fare Feature & Others

Breakdown of French US$76M Africa Startup Fund

A few weeks ago, we reported that French President Emmanuel Macron had announced the launch of a US$76.14 million fund dedicated to providing funding for African startups at the recently held VivaTech conference in Paris, France.

It has now emerged that the US$76 million will be divided into three parts i.e. technical assistance, pre-seed startup loans/grants and VC funds according to a report by TechCrunch.  

7.6% (US$11.7 million) of the share will be for technical assistance that will be distributed in the form of grants to hubs, incubators, and coding programs. 15.4% (US$5.8 million) will be allocated to as interest-free loans to high-potential pre-seed startups in amounts of up to US$100,000 while the 76.8% (US$58 million) will be allocated to equity-based investments within series A to C startups.

In addition, the US$58 million for VC startup funding will be administered through Proparco, a development finance institution, partially owned by the AFD.

Startups from all African countries can apply for a piece of the $58 million by contacting any of Proparco’s Africa offices (including in Casablanca, Abidjan, Douala, Lagos, Nairobi and Johannesburg) while the US$11.7 million and US$5.8 million technical assistance and loan portions respectively will be available starting in 2019.


Uber Testing Feature for Cheaper Fare

According to a Quartz report, Uber is currently testing a feature that will give riders the option to wait more their ride in exchange for cheaper fare. This came to surface after an account executive working at Uber prematurely tweeted a screenshot of the feature in action when requesting for a ride.

The image indicated that the Uber employee will pay 25% less for a 4 minute waiting time.

Uber Employee, Grecobs Archived Tweet

Uber Employee, Grecobs Archived Tweet

The tweet has since been deleted but the feature is currently being tested among all Uber employees in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

“Affordability is a top reason riders choose shared rides, and we’re internally experimenting with a way to save money in exchange for a later pickup.” a company spokesman told Quartz.

Uber has a dynamic pricing system that is dependent on rider demand, driver availability and other variables like traffic.


Google Rolls Out PC Messaging for Android users

Google has begun to roll out desktop browser support for Android Messaging, allowing people to use their personal computers to send and receive messages.

In a company announcement, they indicated that the rollout has already started this week will the completion set to next week.

 “Over the past few years, we’ve been working on improving the messaging experience on Android—from working with carriers to upgrade their networks to RCS to building new features. With Android Messages, we’re creating a messaging experience that’s available on multiple devices, lets you share whatever you want to share, and makes it easy to take action on your messages with Google AI. We’ve started making some of these updates to the Messages app and rounded up what’s new to show how you can use these features” says Sanaz Ahari, Product Management Director.

Messaging for web will support sending text, images, stickers emoji and as well as image attachments.

Android users can get started by accessing the Android Messages website and scanning the QR code by using the Android Messages mobile app, which creates a link between the two more like WhatsApp for Web.

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