After coming out as a transgender woman more than two years ago, Vica Steel never dreamed of forging a path to church leadership. Until now.
Senator Bernie Sanders is barnstorming the country again, but not for the presidency. Instead, he’s making the case for a $3.5 trillion bill that would be a once-in-a-generation achievement.
Cristhian Bahena Rivera was convicted in May in the 2018 fatal stabbing of Ms. Tibbetts, which Donald J. Trump used to stoke opposition to illegal immigration.
At a rally in Des Moines, Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz showed that many Republicans do not plan to move on from the Trump era.
Nicole Poole Franklin, 43 of Des Moines, was sentenced on two federal hate crime charges in connection with the 2019 attacks.
Johnson County selected Lulu Merle Johnson, a Black educator and historian, as its official eponym, replacing Richard Mentor Johnson, the ninth U.S. vice president.
Take a road trip in the Midwest to see a homegrown art form that creatively combines aspects of Americana.
Republican state laws will be used as a weapon of intimidation against the people who run our elections at the local and state levels.
Rural communities have long complained about their lack of internet access. The pandemic and President Biden’s infrastructure plan are giving them hope for a solution.
About 80 people in Sibley, Iowa, were ordered to evacuate. It was unclear what exactly the train was carrying or what was burning.
The story of Lori Arnold, drug queenpin and sister to Tom Arnold, is a complicated lesson in Midwestern values.
The 2020 carnage for the party was deep in the state, one of many where economic decline and social malaise helped fuel Donald Trump’s rise. Now Democrats face the pivotal question of whether to abandon both Iowa and its first-in-the-nation caucuses.
Rita Hart withdrew her request to have Congress overturn one of the closest elections in American history, after politically vulnerable Democrats came under attack by Republicans over the review.
The political divide on gun policy between red and blue states is another example of the way national issues — including abortion rights and, in the post-Trump era, voting rights — are defining local politics.
A new survey by one of the country’s top pollsters hinted at discomfort among voters in the state about new balloting restrictions.
Republican legislators want big changes to the laws for elections and other aspects of governance. A fight over the ground rules for voting may follow.
Goodbye, Iowa and New Hampshire. Hello, Nevada and South Carolina? The former Nevada senator is just one voice arguing that it’s time to change the nomination calendar.
The officials of Armstrong, Iowa, and a former city clerk, face charges that include assault with a dangerous weapon, theft and falsifying public documents, the authorities said.
Recent pileups in Iowa and Texas amid severe winter weather have analysts and traffic experts issuing vital reminders about how to stay safe. One common refrain: Slow down.
Joe Biden and Tom Vilsack plan to take swift action on climate change proposals.
Democrats have struggled to win voters in rural America and critics say the return of Tom Vilsack, a former agriculture secretary, won’t help.
The smaller number of expected doses, which appeared to be the result of a scheduling hiccup, reignited tensions between the federal government and Pfizer over vaccine supply.
With the future of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation Democratic caucuses in jeopardy, the state party sought to shift blame for a breakdown that delayed results for days after the Feb. 3 contest.
A year ago, Joe Biden was on a grim bus tour through Iowa, joined by many old friends, including Tom Vilsack and John Kerry. Now Mr. Biden wants to bring some of the crew back to Washington with him.
The festive season fell between two deadly waves of the deadly influenza outbreak. Families still gathered, often with empty chairs at the table.
African cross-border fintech startup Chipper Cash has raised a $30 million Series B funding round led by Ribbit Capital with participation of Bezos Expeditions — the personal VC fund of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Chipper Cash was founded in San Francisco in 2018 by Ugandan Ham Serunjogi and Ghanaian Maijid Moujaled. The company offers mobile-based, no fee, P2P payment services in seven countries: Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya.
Parallel to its P2P app, the startup also runs Chipper Checkout — a merchant-focused, fee-based payment product that generates the revenue to support Chipper Cash’s free mobile-money business. The company has scaled to 3 million users on its platform and processes an average of 80,000 transactions daily. In June 2020, Chipper Cash reached a monthly payments value of $100 million, according to CEO Ham Serunjogi .
As part of the Series B raise, the startup plans to expand its products and geographic scope. On the product side, that entails offering more business payment solutions, crypto-currency trading options, and investment services.
“We’ll always be a P2P financial transfer platform at our core. But we’ve had demand from our users to offer other value services…like purchasing cryptocurrency assets and making investments in stocks,” Serunjogi told TechCrunch on a call.
Chipper Cash has added beta dropdowns on its website and app to buy and sell Bitcoin and invest in U.S. stocks from Africa — the latter through a partnership with U.S. financial services company DriveWealth.
“We’ll launch [the stock product] in Nigeria first so Nigerians have the option to buy fractional stocks — Tesla shares, Apple shares or Amazon shares and others — through our app. We’ll expand into other countries thereafter,” said Serunjogi.
On the business financial services side, the startup plans to offer more API payments solutions. “We’ve been getting a lot of requests from people on our P2P platform, who also have business enterprises, to be able to collect payments for sale of goods,” explained Serunjogi.
Chipper Cash also plans to use its Series B financing for additional country expansion, which the company will announce by the end of 2021.
Jeff Bezos’s backing of Chipper Cash follows a recent string of events that has elevated the visibility of Africa’s startup scene. Over the past decade, the continent’s tech ecosystem has been one of the fastest growing in the world by year year-over-year expansion in venture capital and startup formation, concentrated in countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.
Bringing Africa’s large unbanked population and underbanked consumers and SMEs online has factored prominently. Roughly 66% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s 1 billion people don’t have a bank account, according to World Bank data.
As such, fintech has become Africa’s highest-funded tech sector, receiving the bulk of an estimated $2 billion in VC that went to startups in 2019. Even with the rapid venture funding growth over the last decade, Africa’s tech scene had been performance light, with only one known unicorn (e-commerce venture Jumia) a handful of exits, and no major public share offerings. That changed last year.
In April 2019, Jumia — backed by investors including Goldman Sachs and Mastercard — went public in an NYSE IPO. Later in the year, Nigerian fintech company Interswitch achieved unicorn status after a $200 million investment by Visa.
One of the more significant liquidity events in African tech occurred last month, when Stripe acquired Nigerian payment gateway startup Paystack for a reported $200 million.
In an email to TechCrunch, a spokesperson for Bezos Expeditions confirmed the fund’s investment in Chipper Cash, but declined to comment on further plans to back African startups. Per Crunchbase data, the investment would be the first in Africa for the fund. It’s worth noting Bezos Expeditions is not connected to Jeff Bezo’s hallmark business venture, Amazon.
For Chipper Cash, the $30 million Series B raise caps an event-filled two years for the San Francisco-based payments company and founders Ham Serunjogi and Maijid Moujaled. The two came to America for academics, met in Iowa while studying at Grinnell College and ventured out to Silicon Valley for stints in big tech: Facebook for Serunjogi and Flickr and Yahoo! for Moujaled.
The startup call beckoned and after launching Chipper Cash in 2018, the duo convinced 500 Startups and Liquid 2 Ventures — co-founded by American football legend Joe Montana — to back their company with seed funds. The startup expanded into Nigeria and Southern Africa in 2019, entered a payments partnership with Visa in April and raised a $13.8 million Series A in June.
Chipper Cash founder Ham Serunjogi believes the backing of his company by a notable tech figure, such as Jeff Bezos (the world’s richest person), has benefits beyond his venture.
“It’s a big deal when a world class investor like Bezos or Ribbit goes out of their sweet spot to a new area where they previously haven’t done investments,” he said. “Ultimately, the winner of those things happening is the African tech ecosystem overall, as it will bring more investment from firms of that caliber to African startups.”
“I don’t want to do this,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said, joining a wave of Republican governors issuing new mask orders as her state faces a spiraling hospital crisis.
A voice for farmers, he lost a re-election bid after it was disclosed that he had joined a health spa that was shut down on prostitution charges.
The first-term Republican overcame a steep challenge from Theresa Greenfield, denying Democrats a crucial pickup in their path to reclaiming control of the Senate.
In most states, control of the state legislature comes with the authority to redraw state and federal electoral maps.
With Covid-19 and devastating storms, the state needs smart government — and Joe Biden has ideas for governing.
Surprise victories in the Midwest catapulted President Trump to victory four years ago, and the region again looms as the critical battleground. Both candidates are focusing on it in the final days.
Appearing newly emboldened, the Democratic nominee also said he thought he would win Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, three critical battleground states.
Democrats chose Senate candidates who have rejected progressive policies. That hasn’t stopped Republicans from trying to paint them as extreme.
Gov. Kim Reynolds has adopted President Trump’s defiant attitude toward public health guidance on the coronavirus. But while she isn’t on the ballot, her leadership may be dragging down Republicans who are.
President Trump has blamed Democratic officials’ rules for impeding the recovery. But even where restrictions are few, business is far from normal.
He ministered to generations of carnival workers, and his work was recognized by popes. He died of the coronavirus.
Senator Joni Ernst, the first woman to represent Iowa in Congress, is facing the same headwinds plaguing President Trump, who is lagging in the state in part because of deep disadvantage among women.
A surge in worldwide demand for low-cost laptops has created shipment delays and pitted desperate schools against one another.
Each one is in a battleground state. Votes from people there will matter a lot — and offer Joe Biden several paths to victory.
Close races in Georgia, Iowa and Texas show President Trump’s vulnerability and suggest that Joseph Biden has assembled a formidable coalition, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll.
Microsoft Azure offers developers access to more data center regions than its competitors, but it was late to the game of offering different availability zones in those regions for high-availability use cases. After a few high-profile issues a couple of years ago, it accelerated its roadmap for building availability zones. Currently, 12 of Microsoft’s regions feature availability zones and as the company announced at its Ignite conference, both the Canada Central and Australia region will feature availability zones now.
In addition, the company today promised that it would launch availability zones in each country it operates data centers in within the next 24 months.
The idea of an availability zone is to offer users access to data centers that in the same geographic region but are physically separate and each feature their own power, networking and connectivity infrastructure. That way, in case one of those data centers goes offline for whatever reason, there is still another one in the same area that can take over.
In its early days, Microsoft Azure took a slightly different approach and focus on regions without availability zones, arguing that geographic expansion was more important than offering zones. Google took a somewhat similar approach, but it now offers three availability zones for virtually all of its regions (and four in Iowa). The general idea here was that developers could always choose multiple regions for high-availability applications, but that still introduces additional latencies, for example.
In one of the nation’s sharpest clashes over school reopening, officials in Des Moines say Iowa’s Republican governor is pushing them to risk public safety.
The El Dorado fire in California ignited as a family was using a “pyrotechnic device” to announce the gender of a new baby, the authorities said.
The coronavirus is spiking around campuses from Texas to Iowa to North Carolina as students return.
The Iowa senator’s comments echoed a false claim, spread by President Trump over the weekend, that deaths from Covid-19 have been inflated.
In Cedar Rapids, where President Trump stopped briefly on Tuesday, thousands of people are unable to return to their homes after devastating winds tore through the state.
Devastating windstorms just before harvest were the last thing that Iowa farmers needed.
Residents in Iowa, Illinois and surrounding states were still without electricity days after Monday’s storms brought hurricane-force winds.