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Kuda Raises $55 Million Series B Funding Quicker Than Most Startups

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One of the most promising industries to launch a startup is in the digital banking or fintech sector. Untapped markets can become a goldmine for startups that aim to disrupt the banking infrastructure. And that’s what Kuda has experienced over the past couple of months. Read more about Kuda here and how they were able to raise millions for their Series B funding.

Kuda: An Overview

What sparked Babs Ogundeyi and Musty Mustapha to start Kuda? Excessive and inconsistent fees. Fueled to reduce that, they launched the fintech company to develop a savings app. Wanting to make banking easier and more accessible without any charges, the founders aim to change banking for Nigerians all over the world.

Series B Funding and Possible Kuda Expansion

Kuda raised $55M funding for Series B. For Kuda, this funding will be fundamental not only in the creation of new services on their savings app but also in launching it to Africans across the continent. Ogundeyi hopes that their app can become a widely used app for Africans globally. 

Expansion is vital for Ogundeyi and his team. He maintains that Nigeria is still a market crucial to their operations, but the funding will also go to expanding efforts.

Back in March 2021, Kuda raised $25M, all thanks to Valar Ventures. Back then, they had only 650K app users, but they doubled that number in August 2021, with registered users around 1.4 million.

This funding round is once again led by Valar Ventures. But Target Global and SBI have also played a role in helping the fintech startup raise $55 million. Target Global leader Ricardo Schäfer believes in the impact that Ogundeyi and Mustapha will have in Africa. But what excited him the most was the idea that 1 billion users would benefit from their app.

Faster Funding Rounds and Other Disruptors

It was surprising how quickly Kuda raised funding over the course of a few months, but it’s due to the current market conditions and the numbers presented to investors. A McKinsey report foresaw this growth, wherein digital financial services would become a major market. Plus, with inaccessibility, Kuda knew that they could change the way Africa could do digital banking.

Kuda isn’t the only fintech startup aiming to change the banking infrastructure in Africa. Other Fintechs changing the game are:

  • Airtel Africa
  • Chipper Cash
  • FairMoney

Meanwhile, here are the other fintech and banking companies also competing to stand out in the market:

  • Revolut and N26 (Europe)
  • WeBank (China)
  • Varo and Chime (U.S.)
  • Nubank (Brazil)

However, what makes Kuda stand out from the others is they have a banking license. With this in mind, they can develop services on their own. This will also help them create and develop other products and services and build credibility more than their competitors.

The Future of Kuda

Ogudenyi aims to launch their app to other African countries but won’t say where they’ll launch it. However, Kuda has an ongoing credit service (through an overdraft allowance) that proves the fintech startup is growing and moving forward.

He says that they do a pre-qualification screening for those who can receive credit. In the 2nd quarter of 2021, over 200,000 users were eligible. They gave over $200M in credit. And to ensure they remain with their purpose of creating their app, they do an allocation of overdraft proportion. It’s based on user activities, and they won’t overpay.

Due to Kuda’s promising mission towards banking in Africa, Valar Ventures seems eager to fund the fintech startup once more in the future. Andrew McCormack, a general partner of the investment firm, says that growth and population acceptance towards digital banking are factors in continuing their support.

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Business

OpenStudio – Business Management All-In-One

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We all need a service that makes business easier, right? Managing your team, your finances, your documents, and your customers can be an arduous juggle. There are a few services out there that help businesses manage all of this. But have you heard of OpenStudio? No? Well, allow us to make a proper introduction. 

OpenStudio helps you centralize all the applications and services you may need in order to run a business. 

Some of the top features offered by OpenStudio are necessary in order to run a business but haven’t necessarily been rolled into one package. Things like IT Protocol/Document Management create a shared workspace to save your important documents for future consultation. 

Or perhaps you may find the Permissions and Authorization Management feature useful. You can decide which permissions and applications every member can access. 

OpenStudio offers the following services: 

  • Surveys
  • Content Management
  • Task Management
  • Ticketing
  • Alerts
  • Document Management
  • File Sharing

There are other similar services, but none of them are as neatly packaged and formatted as OpenStudio. Running a business doesn’t have to be complicated. All you need should be at your fingertips. A custom environment to manage your team, your finance, your documents, and your customers? Sign us up.

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Archbee Is Here To Centralize Your Company Data

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If you could describe Archbee in two words they would be: “documentation specialist.”

Founded in 2018 with $1 million in funding. Archbee is a knowledge base platform for technical teams to create, structure, and share documentation internally and to customers. 

The software provides a set of customized tools for software developers. This enables everyone in the business to organize key information and intelligence in a single hub. That’s a benefit of colleagues and customers, both present and future. 

Meet Dragos

In an interview with Forbes, founder and CEO of Archbee, Dragos Bulugean stated: 

We are talking about the knowledge that makes your business what it is. Archbee is meant to be the one-stop-shop for the documentation needs of software companies.”

“Businesses are in a rush to create products, launch them faster, and be the first to market. An important part of creating a product is its catalog or index – in essence, the ‘how to’ guide.’”

“It is this often neglected task that Archbee is making it easier to create. It is not just a product manul but a central knowledge base and the true front of knowledge which is making an impact on commercial metrics – helping improve onboarding time for customers, reducing the number of support tickets and, importantly, making the products understood by users.”

“We’re focused on helping any company that builds software to create collaborative spaces which are accessible to all and easy to use.” 

This long-awaited platform offers editing, document collaboration, Slack integration, file storage, and other related services. These features, in turn, enable engineers to disseminate real-time information about planning on their construction team. 

When you have a software as innovative as Archbee, it frees time up for developers and engineers. That way they’re able to spend more time in “deep-work” mode and solve more challenging problems that require full attention. 

In short, with Archbee, you can centralize all of your information in one place.

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Meet The World With Memrise

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All over the world, around 60-75% of people speak at least one language. People who speak more than one language report improved memory, problem-solving, critical-thinking skills, enhanced concentration, and more. So, if you speak more than one language, you essentially have an improved brain. If you want to join this crowd, Memrise may be the most effective option out there. 

One of the things that had kind of caught my attention was that psychology around how we learn languages.

Ben Whatley, Co-Founder and CPO of Memrise, learned French the way most of us learn a second language. We’re given the rules of the language, the grammar, how to speak properly. But there’s a flaw in that approach. 

I would go to France and I couldn’t speak a word. I wanted to understand why that was.

“That was a light bulb moment.”

The way we’re taught language is from the left brain perspective as opposed to the right. The left brain involves analytics, reading, and writing. The right brain involves creativity. If you need a metaphor to help you out, the left brain is the uptight, brilliant nerd and the right brain is the hippie-dippie artist.

Whenever you’re learning a language, you may often hear that the best way to learn is to immerse yourself in it. If you’re learning Spanish, spend a month in Mexico City. If you’re learning Japanese, take a trip to Tokyo. And so on. The grammatical approach to learning language has its value, but it’s the colloquial experience that truly helps imprint 

Whatley and fellow Oxford classmate, Ed Cooke, founded Memrise in 2010. Cooke, a Grand Master of Memory, had combined his skills with Whatley’s observations and ideas. They conceived of a new method of language learning. One more in line with immersion than grammar. 

We’ve been gradually and daringly evolving the product to bring more and more of the richness of real-world content into the course of our ongoing experience.” 

In 2016, we did a tour around Europe on a double-decker bus to collect a video dictionary of all the European languages. 

“Tens of thousands of short videos of native speakers [speaking] in context.

While other language learning apps like Duolingo or Babbel have computerized voices, Memrise has actual recorded voices.

That kind of got baked into our core algorithm – namely naturalistic accents, idioms, phrases as they’re spoken in the real world, not sort of in the kind of academic sense, but a kind of multi-dimensional learning.” – Cooke

Most everyone really wants when they’re learning a language is they’re learning it to connect with other people, to be able to read what other people mean and to be able to express themselves to other people.” – Whatley

Speaking Spanish to your teacher versus speaking to a coworker is notably different. Your teacher will have you say “poco” to mean “little” when your coworker will make fun of you for sounding too proper. Memrise would teach you that “poquito” is the casual way to say “little.” 

Memrise is disrupting the academic dominance of language learning by focusing more on practice than technique. How many native English speakers do you know that speak perfectly grammatical English? 

Let’s take “you all.” In the south, you’ll here “ya’ll.” But in Pittsburgh, you’ll hear “yinz.” Do you think ESL teachers are noting things like that? Probably not. Memrise, however, does focus on this more casual ways of speaking because they have a stronger understanding of how the human brain functions and how we communicate with one another. 

One interesting feature you’ll find with Memrise but not any other language learning app are Zoom conversations. These are free rooms where you can hop in and speak, say, Spanish with other people. Instead of traveling to Mexico City to immerse yourself in the Spanish language, you can log into Zoom and speak it with other speakers. 

It’s live person to person – it’s not a lesson. It is just about trying to use whatever language skills you’ve got in your in your bag. Just try and get it out there and use it, because that’s what happens when you are actually in a country.” – Whatley

The aspiration is to make it as fun as being in the country.” – Cooke

It’s never too late to learn a language. The pleasure of learning and speaking a new language is immeasurably rewarding. As Memrise says on their site, “learn and language and meet the word.”

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