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Carry1st Raises $4.0 Million to Catalyze Mobile Gaming in Africa

George Miller

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Carry1st Raises $4.0 Million to Catalyze Mobile Gaming in Africa
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Carry1st has raised a Series Seed round of US$2.5 million led by CRE Venture Capital with participation from Perivoli InnovationsChandaria CapitalLateral Capital, Transsion’s Future Hub, and Kam Kronenberg III, among others. This round brings its total capital raised to $4.0 million. Proceeds will go to recruiting top-tier talent, investing in platform technology, and publishing new content. Pardon Makumbe, Managing Partner at CRE, and Henry Lowenfels, Chief Product Officer of One Team Partners (former Scopely SVP), will join the board.

Carry1st is the leading mobile games publisher serving the first generation of African smartphone users. Since launching in 2019, the company has reached over 1.5 million users across the region. Carry1st Trivia was ranked the #1 free-to-play Android game in Nigeria and Kenya; and was named the Best Media & Entertainment Solution for 2019. The company plans to partner with international studios to launch multiple games in 2020 and scale its audience to over a million monthly active users.

“Social gaming is the largest and fastest-growing form of mobile media, grossing more than three times all other app categories combined. Our mission is to bring this world of interactive content to Africa and likewise to connect Africa to the world,” said Cordel Robbin-Coker, Carry1st CEO and former Carlyle dealmaker. “Our belief is that building a local publisher, with differentiated tech and operating capabilities across marketing, distribution, and monetization is the way to be this bridge. We are pleased to partner with CRE and our investor group to accelerate this vision.”

Founded by Cordel Robbin-CokerLucy Hoffman, and Tinotenda Mundangepfupfu, the company addresses key challenges in Africa for consumers and content producers alike. Carry1st serves the world’s fastest-growing market, set to add over 350 million smartphone users and increase data consumption by 17x by 2025. By providing tailored content, localized engagement, and payments solutions, Carry1st aspires to accelerate the growth of the African mobile content market, which is already projected to increase by 400% over 5 years.

CRE Partner, Pardon Makumbe said: “We are excited to partner with the world-class team at Carry1st to take the pain out of distributing and monetizing games across Africa. The continent is young, vibrant, and mobile-first — by focusing on the building blocks, we believe Carry1st is well-positioned to define the category, and catalyse the development of the industry for Africa’s over 1.3 billion consumers.”

Lucy HoffmanCarry1st VP of Operations added: “It’s really exciting to be part of developing a new industry in an emerging region. In doing so, we will stimulate thousands of jobs and drive digital inclusion. When people come online for the first time, they want to connect with people and have fun. In these unusual times we are reminded of the power of games to delight, to educate, and ultimately to unite.”

 

SOURCE: Carry1st

Africa

TCSJOHNHUXLEY Africa Working With Customers Across the Continent to Open Safely

George Miller

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TCSJOHNHUXLEY Africa Working With Customers Across the Continent to Open Safely
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Casinos across the globe are working tirelessly to re-open safely to provide peace of mind for their staff and players, ensuring they are properly protected.

TCSJOHNHUXLEY has been focused on this during the pandemic, launching the Care & Protect range of products designed specifically for live gaming requirements. From Play Safe Shields for table games to chip sanitization products, the company is dedicated to providing operators with the right tools to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

With the South African casino market re-opening this week, the TCSJOHNHUXLEY team has been working around the clock to provide and install literally thousands of Play Safe Shields for casinos in the region. The clever designs feature safety glass that can be finished with the casino’s logo etched into the edge. This provides an extra safety feature, making the screens easily visible whilst also allowing extra branding for the casino.

Christiaan Els, Managing Director TCSJOHNHUXLEY Africa, comments, “The last few weeks have seen our team pulling out all the stops to ensure the Care & Protect Play Safe Shields were supplied and installed to all the casinos in the Sun International and Tsogosun Groups prior to re-opening. Our focus has been making sure our customers are ready to welcome back their guests and staff in a safe and protected environment and I’m pleased to say we delivered this in record time.”

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Africa

Kiron Debuts Virtuals Online In South Africa With Jika Sports Launch

George Miller

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Kiron Debuts Virtuals Online In South Africa With Jika Sports Launch
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Specialist virtual games provider Kiron has become the first supplier to provide virtual content online in South Africa, after launching its Jika Sports portfolio with all major betting operators in the market.

First introduced with leading retail operators in September 2019, the popular Jika Sports brand, which offers localised versions of Kiron’s virtual football and horse racing products, will now be available for local players to enjoy online.

Similar to the meaning of the word Jika, Kiron aims to ‘turn around’ the way people bet on sports in the most significant African gaming market, focusing on the nation’s most loved sports, Jika Soccer and Jika Racing.

The action-packed Jika Soccer game is available in English, Italian, and Spanish league formats, while Jika Racing consists of Kiron’s thrilling market leading suite of racing games, including horse racing, motor racing, jumps and greyhound racing.

Kiron has broken new ground on its home turf by becoming the first virtual games supplier to make virtuals available across all major South African bookmakers online, on mobile and in retail outlets across the country, including top names Hollywoodbets, Supabets, Betway and World Sports Betting.

The company’s online debut in South Africa builds on a period of strong commercial growth and completes a trio of recent first-to-market launches in regulated territories, after it premiered virtual content to players in Spain and Colombia.

Steven Spartinos, co-CEO of Kiron, said: “Being the first to go live online in our home country with Jika Sports is a great milestone for us and our team, giving testament to the value proposition presented by our strong games portfolio and localised offering.

“South Africa has a long established and successful track record as a key regulated market internationally and the positive uptake of Jika Sports demonstrates the growing demand for fresh content among both players and operators locally.”

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Africa

Kenyan MPs Vote to Repeal Sports Betting Turnover Tax

Niji Narayan

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Kenyan MPs Vote to Repeal Sports Betting Turnover Tax
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The National Assembly of Kenya has approved a budget bill removing the controversial excise tax on betting stakes.

While the 20% excise tax on stakes, which was introduced in the country’s 2019/20 budget, was initially set to be carried over in the 2020/21 finance bill, an amendment put forward by the National Assembly’s Finance and National Planning Committee led to its removal.

The tax removal was suggested by an entity named Shade.co.ke, which said the tax “has made many betting firms strapped for cash hence cutting down on sponsorships to local sports clubs.”

This was then adopted by the Committee, which told Shade that “the reason behind [removing the tax] was that the high level of taxation had led to punters placing bets on foreign platforms that were not subject to tax and thereby denying the government revenue.”

Removing the tax would “reverse the negative effects […] on the industry, which has led to the closure of betting shops in Kenya,” it explained.

In the National Assembly debate, Finance Committee chair Joseph Kirui Limo repeated this sentiment, arguing that the reduced tax would actually increase revenue.

“This is going to enhance revenue, because currently, revenue is going down,” he said.

The bill will now be put before President Uhuru Kenyatta, who can sign it into law or send it back to the legislature.

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