Naspers announces $300 million initiative to support startups and tech in South Africa

Naspers announced a $100 million Naspers Foundry fund to support South African tech startups. This is part of a $300 million (1.4 billion rand) commitment by the South African media and investment company to support South Africa’s tech sector overall. Naspers Foundry will launch in 2019.

The initiatives lend more weight to Naspers’ venture activities in Africa as the company has received greater attention for investments off the continent (namely Europe, India and China).

“Naspers Foundry will help talented and ambitious South African technology entrepreneurs to develop and grow their businesses,” said a company release.

“Technology innovation is

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Should You Remove the Garlic Germ?

If you have done any amount of garlic chopping, you have probably noticed a little sprout in the middle of the clove, called the “germ.” Unlike other, pathogenic germs, this one won’t hurt you, but removing it can make your dish taste a little better (sometimes).

DLab is a new East Coast accelerator for crypto

SOSV, a twenty-year-old fund with $500M in assets under management, has been running accelerators for years. Their oldest one, HAX, is the premier hardware accelerator in San Francisco and Shenzhen and they’ve recently launched a food accelerator in New York and a pair of biology accelerators. Now, however, they’ve just announced dLab, a crypto accelerator that is paired with Cardano to build out distributed apps and solutions.

It is led by Nick Plante, a programmer integral in drafting the JOBS Act and who co-founded Wefunder, a successful crowdfunding platform. “We can only make this sort of commitment to ecosystems we feel are incredibly compelling; it takes a substantial amount of dedication, education, staffing, and of course the long term financial commitment to support the space and the companies,” said Plante. “We invest in ecosystems that we identify as ‘macro trends’ like disruptive food, life sciences and synthetic biology, Chinese
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Uber Eats is expanding to cover 70 percent of U.S. population by end of year

Uber is continuing to expand its on-demand food delivery service, Eats. By the end of this year, Uber plans to cover more than 70 percent of the U.S. Today, Uber covers more than 50 percent of the U.S. population. Uber Eats competitor Postmates, on the other hand, recently said it covers 60 percent of U.S. households.

Even in places where Uber does not operate its traditional ride-hailing business or places where it has merely a small presence, Uber has been able to “successfully introduce the Uber brand to the marketplace through Eats,” Uber Head of US Cities for Uber Eats Ana Mahony told TechCrunch. Uber’s calling it successful in part because 40 percent of its new Eats users are new to Uber. One of the benefits to operating Eats, Mahony said, is that there are different regulatory requirements. When you compare the Eats growth data to that
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YC grad Oh My Green gets $20M seed investment

In its first institutional funding round, Oh My Green has raised $20 million from Initialized Capital, Powerplant Ventures, Backed VC, ZhenFund, Talis Capital and the Stanford StartX Fund to bring healthier foods to offices around the U.S.

The concierge-style startup, which completed Y Combinator’s startup accelerator in 2016, provides businesses in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Austin, Denver, Boston, New York City and Nashville nutritional snacks and meals. It stocks office snack pantries — a staple at tech startups — caters events, manages cafes and provides wellness programming. Its goal is to be a one-stop shop for corporate nutritional wellness.  The San Francisco-based company was founded in 2014 by Michael Heinrich. Based off my conversation with him earlier this week, I’m guessing he wouldn’t approve of the TechCrunch snack cupboard, which includes a year-long supply of Skittles, M&Ms and Fruit by the Foot. “I wanted to do
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Postmates launches food delivery in 134 new U.S. cities

Homebodies across the U.S. have reason to celebrate. Postmates — the on-demand food delivery service so popular in major cities that it’s a verb now— just launched in 134 new markets. Those 134 new cities mean that Postmates has a presence in 550 cities total across the U.S, including places like Lubbock, Texas; Athens, Georgia; Columbia, South Carolina and Albany, New York.

In April, the company announced that it would partner with Walmart on grocery delivery. The move was meant to offset Amazon’s potential dominance in the space given the online retail giant’s acquisition of Whole Foods last year. Postmates was most recently valued at $1.2 billion after a $300 million influx of funding last month. In July, Postmates added a wave of more than 100 new cities, bringing its count up to 385 at the time. Now, Postmates claims coverage of 60 percent of
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Grape Jelly Is the Key to Truly Excellent Cocktail Sausages

Some foods cannot be “elevated.” The tomato sandwich, simple sausage gravy, Spam—these things are already the best versions of themselves. Similarly, three-ingredient cocktails sausages (and meatballs), made with Concord grape jelly cannot be improved upon with fancier jams or marmalades—believe me, I have tried.

Make Chickenless Nuggets With Chickpeas

Chicken nuggets are just plain fun to consume, but some people (mostly vegetarians) miss out on this dippable delicacy because of all the pesky animal protein. These chickenless nuggets—which are made with texturized vegetable protein and chickpeas—are savory and tasty while being completely vegan. Read more...

Jennifer Garner’s baby food company Once Upon a Farm raises $20M Series B

CAVU Venture Partners has led the $20 million Series B for Once Upon a Farm, which sells organic, cold-pressed baby food in 8,500 grocery stores in the U.S.

The Berkeley-based startup was originally founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneurs Rohan Oza and Clayton Christopher. Today, it lists actress Jennifer Garner and former General Mills president John Foraker as co-founders, too. Both Garner and Foraker — who was the chief executive officer of the popular organic mac & cheese brand Annie’s Homegrown for more than a decade — joined the company in September 2017. Foraker had been an angel investor in Once Upon a Farm and, after conversations with Garner, decided to accept the role of CEO. Garner, widely known for her roles in Alias, 13 Going on 30 and the upcoming HBO original series Camping, was already somewhat of a Once Upon a Farm evangelist when she signed on
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Humbition is a new fund led by the Indiegogo’s Slava Rubin

Zocdoc founder Cyrus Massoumi and Indiegogo founder Slava Rubin have created a new $30 million fund called Humbition aimed at early stage, founder-led companies in New York. “The fund is focused on connecting startups with investors and advisors experienced in building and growing successful businesses,” said Rubin. “W are seeking to fill a void in NYC, where the vast majority of early stage investors have no significant experience building and scaling businesses,” he said. “The fund’s main areas of investment include marketplaces, consumer and health tech. But the primary criteria for investments is high quality founders. The fund is also seeking out mission-driven businesses because the companies that are socially responsible will be the most successful in the coming decades.” The fund has has brought on ClassPass founder Payal Kadakia, Warby Parker founder Neil Blumenthal, Charity: Water CEO and founder Scott Harrison, and Casper founder and CEO Philip Krim
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