Jake Bright

Jake Bright is a writer, author and advisor with a focus on global business, politics, and technology.

From 2017 to 2020, he was a contributing writer and advisor at TechCrunch where he published on Africa, mobility and politics. Bright helped spearhead consistent Africa coverage and co-produce the first Startup Battlefield competitions in Africa and Africa focused programming on the Disrupt San Francisco mainstage.

Bright’s first book, The Next Africa (Macmillan 2015), forecast the rise of Africa’s venture backed startup scene. Prior to this he worked in international finance and as a speechwriter in Washington, DC. Bright continues to contribute occasional guest pieces at TechCrunch.

The Latest from Jake Bright

Kenya’s Apollo Agriculture raises $6M Series A led by Anthemis

Apollo Agriculture believes it can attain profits by helping Kenya’s smallholder farmers maximize theirs. That’s the mission of the Nairobi-based startup that raised $6 million in Series

U.S. House approves remote voting, though the tech is unclear

Congress will allow remote voting for the first time in its history, after the U.S. House approved Resolution 965 late Friday in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The measure — sponsored by Mass

Opera’s OPay still plans Africa expansion on Nigerian super app

Opera’s Africa fintech startup OPay remains committed to building a multi-service super app in Nigeria as the foundation to expand on the continent. OPay also continues to operate ORide for limi

Novastar Ventures becomes $200M African VC fund after $108M raise

African startups have another $100 million in VC to pitch for after Novastar Ventures’ latest raise. The Nairobi and Lagos-based investment group announced it has closed $108 million in new comm

The missing links to grading Harley-Davidson’s EV pivot

As Harley-Davidson rounds year one on its electric debut, we’re still riding in the fog on how to evaluate the company’s EV pivot. The American symbol of gas, chrome and steel released its first p

Nigeria’s Helium Health raises $10M Series A for Africa expansion

Nigerian startup Helium Health sits in a good position during a difficult period, according to its co-founder. The Lagos based healthtech venture is in the black, has batted away acquisition offers, a

Andela CEO confirms staff cuts as layoffs hit African tech

Africa-focused tech talent accelerator Andela has let go 135 employees, CEO Jeremy Johnson confirmed to TechCrunch. Senior staff at the company — with offices in New York and four African countries

Why COVID-19 could delay Interswitch, Africa’s next big IPO

The economic effects of COVID-19 could delay Africa’s next big IPO — that of Nigerian fintech unicorn Interswitch. If so, it wouldn’t be the first time the Lagos-based payments company&#

Africa Roundup: Visa connects to M-Pesa, Flutterwave enters e-commerce

It seems the demand for Safaricom’s M-Pesa payment product never eases. Since its 2007 launch in Kenya, the fintech app has commanded over 70% of the mobile money market in that country. When CO

Visa and Kenya’s Safaricom partner on M-Pesa, payments and tech

Visa just connected to Africa’s most powerful mobile payments network. The global financial services company and Kenyan telecom Safaricom — operator of the M-Pesa mobile money product — anno

African fintech firm Flutterwave launches SME e-commerce portal

San Francisco and Lagos-based fintech startup Flutterwave has launched Flutterwave Store, a portal for African merchants to create digital shops to sell online. The product is less Amazon and more e

Goldman-backed ventures Jumia and Twiga partner on produce in Kenya

Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia and B2B agtech startup Twiga Foods are partnering to deliver produce in Kenya using adaptive measures during COVID-19. Jumia offers online goods and services verti

Nigeria’s Okra raises $1M from TLcom connecting bank accounts to apps

A new Nigerian fintech venture, Okra, has racked up a unique mix of accomplishments in less than a year. The Lagos based API developer created a product that generates revenues from both payment start

In Nigeria, PalmPay waives fees and creates ₦100M COVID-19 payout fund

Africa-focused payment startup PalmPay will waive transfer fees in Nigeria and offer direct payouts to customers who have contracted COVID-19 in the West African country. The venture — that launched

NYSE trading and IPOs won’t halt through COVID-19 says vice chairman

Trading and IPOs on the New York Stock Exchange will continue through any economic tremors the COVID-19 crisis may cause. That’s according to the NYSE’s vice chairman, John Tuttle, who spo

Chinese startup Rokid pitches COVID-19 detection glasses in US

Thermal imaging wearables used in China to detect COVID-19 symptoms could soon be deployed in the U.S. Hangzhou based AI startup Rokid is in talks with several companies to sell its T1 glasses in Amer

African genomics startup 54gene raises $15M led by Adjuvant Capital

Greater availability of African genomic data could lead to medical breakthroughs for the continent’s 1.2 billion people. That’s the driving proposition of 54gene — a U.S. and Nigeria-bas

Energica CEO plots her Italian EV company’s reboot from lockdown

There could be more demand for electric vehicles post COVID-19 crisis, believes Energica founder Livia Cevolini. The CEO of the high-performance Italian motorcycle manufacturer offered that point of o

Jack Dorsey creates $1B COVID-19 relief fund using Square equity

Jack Dorsey announced in a series of tweets today that he is shifting $1 billion in his Square equity to create a fund dedicated to COVID-19 relief. The Twitter and Square CEO is calling the fund Star

NASCAR retains sponsors for esports series as Bubba Wallace loses his

NASCAR drivers can now lose real-world sponsors for conduct in virtual competition. That’s what happened to Bubba Wallace on April 5 when he rage-quit a race in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitatio
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