Hey there! Today’s TechCabal digest is brought to you by Tizeti; they are offering Lagos residents unlimited internet for N5,000, and you can sign up for that here. Here’s everything interesting in African technology today. If you’re reading this, you’re probably not subscribed to TechCabal’s daily digest. Click here to get this goodness in your mailbox every day at 7am (GMT +1).
First off, major stuff happening
1. Naspers’ Showmax is taking the fight to Netflix with its Europe launch. For real. They’re starting with Poland and have acquired exclusive rights to a range of popular local shows. They’ve also commissioned brand new shows from local producers, and former Google executive Maciej Sojka has been hired to set up and run ShowMax Poland.
+ This expansion to a new continent is coming in just 18 months after the video-on-demand service launched; starting with South Africa in August 2015, and moving on to 36 other African countries in May 2016.
2. Ghana’s Landmapp has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Omidyar Network. Landmapp enables smallholder farmers document and protect their land holdings, and have so far sold more than 2,000 documents to smallholder farmers in Ghana since their launch in 2015.
3. Uber has kicked off its mapping project in Johannesburg, making it the second South African city – after Cape Town – to be part of the project. The project will see cameras (a.k.a mapping gear) attached to the top of Uber vehicles so roads can be documented and images captured. To ensure riders’ privacy, Uber promises to not capture images close to pick-up and drop-off areas. Uber will also let riders know when rides are arriving with mapping gear so they can cancel if they’re not comfortable with the idea. Uber will be moving on to Durban after this phase is completed.
4. Facebook has announced a Bots for Messenger Challenge for developers in Africa and the Middle East. The Challenge has three categories – gaming and entertainment, productivity and utility, and social good – and participants stand a chance to win up $20,000. Teams of up to three people are invited to apply. The deadline’s April 28.
You can now apply for Ventures Platform‘s (VP) accelerator program. It’s a 4-month program that’s designed to support startups at the MVP stage with mentorship, business re-engineering, work space, living space, back office support, shared services and seed funding. Link.
What else is going on?
+ Techpoint is going to have an AMA session with Jason Njoku on Facebook Live in March. Link.
+ Comic Republic is organising an event for comic book fans and creators in Lagos this March. Comic Connect Africa is happening at Freedom Park from March 4 to March 5, and it’s going to have games, comics, and art competitions. There will be cosplay. Link.
+ February is Devcenter’s Women in Tech month and Funmi Amarvi has come up with a list of developer programmes for Nigerian women interested in tech. Link.
+ TNW’s Matthew Hughes says to NOT launch a fintech startup. Why? Because they are hard. In his words, “Even in the best conditions, it’s like landing a free-throw from 100 feet, but you’re wearing a blindfold. And your hands are tied behind your back. And you downed a handle of vodka immediately beforehand.”
Hot topic(s) on TechCabal Radar
+ Former MEST Ghana General Manager, Emmanuel Quartey just started a publication about tech in Africa for non-tech leads, called The Flint. If you know Emmanuel, you know he’s an awesome writer so you can only expect great content. What should you expect on The Flint? Quality articles about African tech trends and patterns. For instance, this article about how a restaurant in Accra uses WhatsApp marketing to keep 6,000 customers coming back, and this article chronicling the growth of digital media in Africa in 2016.
+ Faspa CEO, Honey Ogundeyi started a vlog on Youtube. It’s called Side Hustle to Empire and if the first episode is anything to go by, it’s going to be great.
+ The Lagos State will no longer wait on handouts from the Federal Government…when it comes to power supply, at least. Gov. Ambode has announced plans to attain 24-hour power supply by generating up to 3000MW by 2022.
+ Someone is wondering if there’s an employee review site for Nigerian companies. Basically a Glassdoor for Africa. So far, there’s none (that we know about) but Banks thinks crowdsourcing reviews is possible – just make a list of the companies you’re looking into and your review criteria, stick it in a spreadsheet, and make the edit link public.
Joburg: National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) Summit, February 15th and 16th, 2017. Link
Lagos: Silicon Drinkup, by Starta, February 17th. Link
Lagos: Nerds Unite, by MainOne, February 17th. Link.
Lagos: The 2017 edition of Connect Nigeria’s Business Fair is going down on the 18th. Link
Lagos: MEST is hosting a fireside chat on Saturday, February 18. Link.
Lagos: The Afropreneur Pitchdeck Workshop, February 18th. Link
Lagos: Hackaday Hardware Lagos, February 18th. Link
Registration is now open for Starta’s Side Hustle Bootcamp taking place in Lagos in February. 25 entrepreneurs will undergo one weekend of intensive practical learning on how to ideate, start, launch and get funding for tech-enabled businesses. The bootcamp is from Friday, February 24 to Sunday, February 26. The fee starts at N60,000 but digest subscribers can get 10% off using our discount code – SHBTC10. Apply here.
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