From. Henry atang-agama
Tech round-ups are weekly articles designed for tech enthusiast and start-up founders looking to catch a glimpse of technology happenings as they affect gadgets we use.
They also explore the start-up scene showcasing opportunities and key players from around the continent of Africa doing big things
This week it crisscrosses the tech scene touching on autochek and healthlane. We also explore mobile security with the recently discovered Bluetooth loopholes and we conclude with some Extreme Pitching
The CEO: Etop moves from Cars45 to Autochek. When Etop Ikpe launched Cars45 it was met with scepticism, shock and excitement. Everyone who heard about the tech startup had something positive or negative to say about this new concept. I was one of those who thought it was nothing but a fizzling idea. How can you build a business out of buying people’s cars in less than an hour? How can this be sustained? I always thought they will have an oversupply problem.
To be sustainable you will have to guarantee that you have enough sellers as there are buyers. It would be better to have more buyers than sellers, at least that way you can win more by buying cheap from sellers and sell high because of the increased demand on this end. So far, they have proved me wrong.
Like many other start-ups, only the founders see the future they are creating. Backed by funding from some of the top Venture capital companies in the world they continue to thrive today. The company has remained a model of marketplace disruption, functioning relatively seamlessly until recently.
The founding CEO, Etop Ikpe, as well as few key personnel, left the company or were made to leave (depending on whose account you are reading). He has moved on to start Autochek Africa as reported by Techpoint Africa.
In the last 4 years, Cars45 have successfully raised more than USD 5 million and that number may grow as they look to expand beyond their current locations of Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya? Will Autochek compete in the same space as Cars45? This is unclear. It is also unclear the terms under which Etop and many other executives left Cars45 but what will be great is to see both companies viable and competitive in the automobile technology marketplace. In the end, the user wins when there are more options. Let’s hope Autochek can offer car swapping or sale in less than 30mins or less.
Africa: Healthlane’s Journey and Recent Success. Receiving more than a million dollars in investments is no mean feat but that’s what this startup has achieved in less than two years. Most people may not have heard about Healthlane, an app available on both the Google Play and the App Store but with increasing attention from investors, it is time to take another look.
As reported by Digital Horizon (lead investor for this funding round), Sequoia Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, TSVC, Supernode Ventures, CRE Africa and Capitoria together invested USD 2.4 million in the health start-up. Started by Alain Nteff, Healthlane focuses on remote and face-to-face medical services, allowing them to service hospitals, doctors, pharmacists and users all as clients. Beginning in Yaounde (in Cameroon), Healthlane is now headquartered in Lagos Nigeria with an international office in San Francisco.
I have been trying to figure out what makes this relatively new company so exciting to investors. I believe the answers lie in its ability to provide low tech and offline tech solutions to masses and their health institutions. The scalability of the idea appears to have been a hit with the investors who have given their support to the business.
And just like Etop, Alain is a serial entrepreneur who has been on this road before. In 2012 he launched GiftedMom, a relatively successful
not-for-profit entity committed to providing mobile health solutions to pregnant mothers in West Africa. With most tech entrepreneurs they continue to attempt to solve old challenges in new ways, making their mistakes and learning from them.
If the two stories have raised your quest to pursue your tech dream then you will want to read this part as I touch on an outrageous pitch opening for you to possibly consider. Here’s the pitch opportunity of the week.
Pitch Opportunity: The Extreme Way. Most entrepreneurs know how challenging a pitch deck is. When entrepreneurs look to raise money from investors they must garnish their idea into a presentation format and present it to those investors, answer their questions and accept their criticism.
The tension and uncertainty of the outcome create a platform of unease for even the most seasoned presenter. Hopefully, after all is said, the investor reaches for their pocketbook and funds that idea. Extreme Pitching is more tasking. It is a merger of Skydiving and Pitching to investors and millions of viewers watching live.
It offers the most extreme pitching environment for a founder of a technology company looking to win the $10,000 investment fund towards their business.
This first of its kind event goes live on TikTok on October 17 as we witness history we present to you the most live-streamed start pitch event ever! Pitch Up In The Sky (aka #ExtremePitch) is powered by the Gritti Fund in partnership with TikTok. It is for daring entrepreneurs who can overcome their fears and stay cool under pressure. The finalists who will pitch while skydiving will be hosted in Dubai for the final event. Finalists will be taken up in the air on a plane and then they will have the chance to tandem skydive (assisted skydiving) and pitch their business idea while in the air without losing their cool or coordination.