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Kenya’s Apollo Agriculture Closes $1m Debt Funding, Two Other Things And A Trivia

This line-up of stories will help you discover the latest happenings around the tech world, today.

1. Kenya’s Apollo Agriculture closes $1m debt funding

Apollo Agriculture, a Kenyan agri-tech startup, has announced closing US$1 million in debt funding from the Agri-Business Capital Fund (ABC Fund).

The startup uses machine learning and automated operations technology to help small-scale farmers access the resources they need to maximise their profitability.

According to local media, the startup is based in Nairobi, helping farmers access things like financing, insurance, farming products and optimised advice.

Last year, the startup raised a US$6 million Series A funding round while working on tripling the size of its customer base.

Apollo is expected to use the cash scale its solution to reach more smallholder farmers who are unable to access microfinance and commercial bank lending.

Eli Pollak, the startup’s chief executive officer (CEO), who spoke on the development, noted that its tech-driven initiative aims at helping farmers globally.

He said: “This funding will support our strong continued growth, enabling us to help more small-scale farmers access high-quality farming inputs, advice and insurance on credit, significantly increasing their yields and income.

“Apollo’s automated, tech-driven approach is designed to help millions of farmers make the transition from subsistence to commercial farmer sustainably. We are excited to have ABC Fund as a strong partner as we continue to scale.”

Tech Trivia: Which of these materials is the best conductor of heat?

A. Diamond
B. Copper
C. Aluminium
D. Silver

Answer: See end of post.

2. SA’s HyperionDev raises $3.5m Series A funding round

HyperionDev, a Cape Town-headquartered ed-tech startup, has raised ZAR50 million (US$3.5 million) in Series A funding.

The new raiser is expected to help the startup expand its offering to thousands of students globally.

HyperionDev was founded in 2012 as an online course platform for computer science education.

The startup allows anyone to take online courses in coding with a personal computer or mobile phone.

Before now, the startup has been backed by the likes of Facebook and Google.

According to Riaz Moola, founder and chief executive officer (CEO), the new raiser will see the company through a growth phase and directly benefit its students.

He said: “This incredible milestone will directly benefit thousands of students across the globe who are looking for an accessible and affordable way to learn job-ready, practical developer skills in months rather than years. In the past 12 weeks, we’ve welcomed over 1,500 new stakeholders.”

3. Golden Ventures adds $100M as funds to portfolio

Being its fourth fund, Canadian early stage venture firm Golden Ventures has raised a $100 million pool of capital that it will use to invest in between 20 to 25 companies.

This comes as the startup celebrates its 10th anniversary which coincides with a period when the Canadian startup ecosystem looks healthier than ever.

According to the company, the new funding also comes with another $20 million ‘Opportunities Fund’ that it will use to make follow-on investments in standout performers among its portfolio.

Golden Ventures Founder and Managing Partner Matt Golden, and General Partner Ameet Shah noted that there is a recent surge in institutional LPs.

He said: “Over time, we’re certainly seeing more and more interest in institutional LPs, more and more interest in the Canadian ecosystem, which I think is a net positive.

“Whereas before, the Canadian ecosystem was largely funded by Canadian institutions, so I think that’s really positive, because you have to sort of be judged on the on the world stage. And we’re starting to meet that bar as both an ecosystem and as a fund.”

Tech Trivia Answer: Diamond

Aluminum and copper have the highest thermal conductivity among common metals (205W/mK and 401W/mK versus say 50W/mK for steel) and are easily the most frequently used materials in the making of computer heatsinks. Although copper is superior at conducting heat, aluminum performs respectably while being cheaper, lighter and easier for manufacturers to work with.

There are better heat conductors but they aren’t practical materials for producing computer heatsinks: silver exceeds copper’s thermal conductivity at 429W/mK (hence Arctic Silver thermal paste), diamond brings that into the thousands at 2300W/mK (and likewise hence IC Diamond thermal paste), while early measurements of graphene puts it at 5300W/mK.

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I Will Soon Start Signing Death Warrants- Bala Mohammed

Bauchi state governor, Bala Mohammed has disclosed that he will soon start to sign death warrants.

Mohammed made this known on Friday in Bauchi while signing the Violence against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill and a bill for the establishment of the Bauchi state penal code, into law.

In Nigeria, state governors are legally backed to sign the death warrants.

Since 2012, no governor has been reported to have signed death warrants.

“We will soon be signing some death sentences because there are many and because of justice which has to be taken to a logical conclusion

“I know some governors are running away from signing the death sentences because they exercise restraints on the basis that there may be some element of error.

“But to me, I will leave it to my lord (the chief judge) who will prosecute. It’s not my fault. If it is brought to my attention, I will do it.”

“As for the Violence against Persons Prohibition Act, we know that we are the first in the northern part of the country to enact the law, which is a member’s bill incidentally from the honourable speaker, and it has earned us a lot of respect in the country.

“But because of some noticed gaps, it was taken back and it was corrected. We thank the house for making the corrections.”

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Court Sacks 13 Ebonyi LG Bosses, 171 Councilors

A Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki has again nullified the Ebonyi Local Government Elections and sacked all the 13 Council chairmen in the state.

The court also sacked all the councilors and 171 ward chairmen of the state.

The court had on Aug. 25, nullified the council polls of May 31.

Ruling on the matter with suit NO: FHC/AI/CS/224/2022 on Friday, Justice Fatun Riman ordered the seizure of the monthly federal allocation of the chairmen pending when rightful Chief Executives were elected into office.

Fatun restated that the councils election by the State Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC) on May 31 was illegal and unconstitutional.

Mr Mudi Erenede, Counsel to the plaintiff said he was happy over the judgment and commended the court.

“In the judgement today, the court has agreed that the Ebonyi State High court has no powers to override or set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court because it is not an Appeal Court.

“Those people, who are parading themselves as chairmen are not there legally.

“They were appointed by whoever that appointed them. CBN, Attorney General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance are all defendants in this suits,” he stated.

The counsel to Ebonyi State Government, Mr Roy Nweze, said there was no need responding to a judgment that had already been delivered by the court.

Nweze said that the matter would be appealed without delay.

(NAN)

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Naval College Graduates 245 Officers, Personnel

The newly graduated personnel of the Officers’ Application Course 20 of the Nigerian Naval Engineering College (NNEC), Sapele in Delta, have been urged to remain committed to the service of the nation.

Rear Adm. Monday Unurhiere, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Naval Training Command, made the plea at the graduation ceremony of the 245 Under Training Personnel of the Officers’ Application Course 20 in Sapele.

Unurhiere, represented by Rear Adm. Baratuaipri Iyalla, said that the call became necessary in view of the security, economic and social challenges currently facing the country.

The naval chief urged the graduands to make deliberate efforts to improve themselves on the job by way of taking advantage of modern technology and also tapping into the wealth of experience of their superiors.

“Let me remind you that as officers of the Nigerian Navy, you are charged with enormous responsibility and your unswerving allegiance is to the Nation.

“The confidence reposed in you must not be taking for granted, especially at this time that our national aspirations are being threatened by numerous security, economic and social challenges.

“As such, you may find yourself being called upon to serve beyond your technical capability due to the prevailing situation in the country,” he said.

Unurhiere acknowledged the efforts of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, for creating the enabling environment for training and continued financial support to NNEC.

According to him, this has helped the College to contribute more to the technological advancement of Nigerian Navy and the nation at large.

He urged the graduands, especially the under training personnel, to maintain the current tempo in sustaining training and other naval activities.

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