Startup news roundup – Week ending 5th Jan 2020


Roundup of news and ideas from the world of startups – Week ending 5th Jan 2020.

News you can use

Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme calls for applications from African start-ups – The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has opened its portal for applications from African entrepreneurs across all African countries, for the 2020 cohort of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme.In 2019, 3,050 African entrepreneurs benefited from the Programme, a number which will meaningfully increase in 2020. The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is open to startup entrepreneurs, with innovative business ideas or businesses that have been in existence for less than 3years, in any sector, from across Africa. The programme is the $100million commitment by African investor and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumeluto seeks to empower 10,000 entrepreneurs in 10 years, with the goal of creating millions of jobs and new revenue on the continent.

Here are top 10 faux-paux to avoid while engaging on LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the most widely used social media platform for professional engagement. Individuals, consultants, headhunters and recruiters converge on the platform to seek out candidates, opportunities and productive business engagements. Recruitment and career consultants agree that an active networking and contact with a hiring manager or a business leader at an opportune time can lead to career or business opportunities. While you look to benefit professionally and personally from LinkedIn, here are top 10 faux-paux to avoid

Startup Merger and Acquisitions

Snapchat Acquires Ukraine-based Startup AI Factory for $166 Million – AI Factory specializes in developing AI business solutions, it is also responsible for Snapchat’s recently released animated selfie-based Cameos feature.AI Factory’s company profile shows that it provides several artificial intelligence business solutions for “image and video recognition, analysis and processing” . Thus, the Cameos feature also works on the same image and video processing technology developed by the company.

Facebook Acquired a Startup to Build a Live Shopping Feature – Facebook Inc. acquired a small video-shopping startup earlier this year to help build a live shopping feature inside the company’s Marketplace product, according to a person familiar with the plans. The social media company bought Packagd, a five-person company founded by Eric Feng, a former partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and most of the startup’s team joined Facebook in September. Packagd was building a shopping product for YouTube videos. “Think of it as a re-imagination of QVC or a home shopping network,” Feng said in a 2017 interview with Bloomberg Television’s Emily Chang.

Apple Buys Startup That Puts A.I. to Work for Better Smartphone Photos – Apple acquired a U.K.-based startup with technology that improves photos taken on smartphones. According to filings made public in the U.K. on Thursday, Apple corporate lawyer Peter Denwood was recently named a director of Cambridge, U.K.-based Spectral Edge, while the startup’s other advisers and board members were terminated.

Uber completes $3.1 billion acquisition of Careem – Uber has completed the acquisition of its Middle Eastern rival Careem, the San Francisco-headquartered company announced today in a statement, saying Careem has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber, preserving its brand. The $3.1 billion acquisition which is the largest exit for a Middle Eastern startup was first announced in March last year. Mudassir Sheikha, the co-founder and CEO of Careem will continue to lead its business and report to a board made up of three representatives from Uber and two from Careem. Both companies will continue to operate their respective regional services and independent brands.

Startups failures

e-scooter startup Unicorn shuts down – The Austin, Texas based E-Scooters startup, Unicorn, recently announced that it is shutting down operations. Buyers who paid $699 for the company’s high-tech electric scooters are upset and unsure if they will receive a refund. As per media accounts, Unicorn is shutting down operations after blowing all its cash on Facebook and Google ads but only receiving 350 orders for its e-scooters.

Kitchen tech startup Nomiku is winding down operations This week, Kitchen tech startup Nomiku posted on its website that it is winding down operations. Nomiku, a San Francisco-based startup was founded after a successful Kickstarter project for its inaugural Nomiku Immersion Circulator. At that time, the company raised more than $1.3 million over two Kickstarter campaigns. In 2017, Samsung Ventures invested in the company, with plans to integrate it into its SmartThings connected platform.

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