Startup News Roundup – IT Companies in South Africa Invited to Apply for Amazon Program & More (12 – 16 April)

Startup News Roundup – IT Companies in South Africa Invited to Apply for Amazon Program & More (12 – 16 April)

IT Companies in South Africa Invited to Apply for Amazon Program

Applications for the 2021 intake are now open for Amazon’s AWS Equity Equivalent Investment Program (AWS EEIP).

In 2019, AWS South Africa launched the AWS Equity Equivalent Investment Program (AWS EEIP), as part of its Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) program. The AWS EEIP is a partner development and acceleration program for 100% black-owned small IT businesses in South Africa.

EEIPs are South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) approved initiatives, aimed at providing multinational companies an opportunity to take part in local societal development and contribute towards economic advancement and inclusion of black people and black owned businesses in South Africa.

The AWS EEIP is an 18- to 24-month enablement and acceleration program for businesses with a turnover under R50 million. The program is designed to help these businesses onboard to AWS and accelerate their journey to becoming Select and Advanced Tier Consulting or Technology Partners on the AWS Partner Network (APN).

By participating in the program, SMEs get advisory and technical support including:

  • The AWS Partner Transformation Program (PTP); a comprehensive assessment, training, and enablement program focused on helping partners build a successful and profitable AWS Cloud business
  • Cloud Center of Excellence bootcamps and enterprise development consulting, which can help partners operationalize their PTP
  • Headcount subsidies, which give partners much needed financial support to hire and expand teams
  • AWS Training and Certification
  • Cash grants to pay for operating expenses, go-to-market funding, AWS Promotional Credit, and fully subsidized APN fees

The program is open to qualifying small businesses in South Africa who want to become AWS Partners in the public and/or commercial sectors.

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Apply by April 15, 2021.

Kenyan retail-tech startup Tanda secures funding for regional expansion from HAVAÍC

Kenyan agency banking startup Tanda is expanding its operations regionally after securing funding from early-stage African tech investor HAVAÍC, Zedcrest Capital, DFS Lab, Victor Asemota and three other investors.

Tanda has also secured key strategic partnerships with Mastercard and Interswitch which will further accelerate its growth. The company’s expansion comes on the back of successfully pioneering and proving the viability of the interoperable agent and merchant model in Kenya, a model that has only been validated in West Africa prior to Tanda.

Commenting on HAVAÍC’s decision to invest in Tanda, Rob Heath, Partner at HAVAÍC says, “Tanda is solving one part of the very deep and complex problem of financial inclusion that is not only Kenyan, but a problem across all emerging and undeveloped markets. HAVAÍC believe that the wider Tanda team have the right mix of skills, technical expertise, geographic market knowledge and real-world experience to understand the challenges facing those left behind in the financial ecosystem.”

Today Tanda’s platform and network supports 58 banks and saccos, four telecoms, 18 billers, 12,000 merchants and agents and has served over 300,000 unique customers, all of which have processed millions of transactions to date.

Says Geoffrey Mulei, CEO of Tanda, “Our team will continue to run aggressive agent and customer acquisition drives across the region, while securing more strategic partnerships in these new markets to further support Tanda’s growth and strategy as we pursue our goal of digitising payments across Africa. Tanda is excited to be at the forefront of the rapid shift towards innovative digital-first solutions, especially in markets that are ripe for disruption.”

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Heath adds that Tanda’s founding team have a successful history of building agency networks from the ground up and a background in managing family micro-retail operations. “This knowledge was shown not in flashy presentations and buzz words, but with real growth on the ground and solid corporate partnerships where other early-stage businesses would normally struggle to get a meeting.”

Tanda has now set its sights on growing its Kenyan footprint to 100,000 agents and merchants and an expansion to Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda within the next 24 months.

This content was originally published here.