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First off, major stuff happening
1. Kenyan banks never really liked M-Pesa. Unlike in Nigeria where the regulators quickly nipped it in the bud (the wisdom or idiocy of that is another discussion entirely), Kenyan banks didn’t quite realise the “threat” that telco-led mobile money would pose to their business. After various fevered and individual efforts to get into the mobile money game edgewise, they’ve gone and formed voltron to create their answer to M-Pesa – Pesalink.
+ Pesalink doesn’t look like a particularly differentiated product. The main advantages it claims to have over the practically ubiquitous M-Pesa is lower transaction fees and interbank transfers. Pesalink is going to need more than that to have a real chance against M-Pesa’s 85 percent marketshare of Kenyan P2P transactions.
+ Two turkeys don’t make an eagle. We’ll have to wait and see if the child of this Kenyan banking marriage of convenience will thrive.
2. Safaricom is getting into the e-commerce business. In Nigeria, we say “na from clap, dance dey start”. The signs first appeared on Twitter. Then there was the LinkedIn job ad. Kenyan blogger, Dickson Otieno writes a useful piece on the move.
3. What is it like to intern at a Nigerian startup? Last week, a subset of Nigerian Twitter got pretty triggered about internships and working conditions at Nigerian startups. Things escalated rather quickly and then cooled down just as fast. Oo Nwoye briefly captures the whole thing, and then goes on to say a piece that I mostly agree with. TL;DR – internships are not careers. Link
4. They haven’t brought back Cameroon’s internet: Today is the 35th day since the internet was shut down in Cameroon’s English-speaking region. If you were living under a rock and didn’t know anything about it until now, here’s a 700-word dummies’ guide to the whole thing.
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?
+ African internet users need to become more concerned about privacy. It’s going to become a big problem. Link
+ Coders in Nigerian universities will be interested in Konga’s “Game of Codes”. N500,000 up for grabs. Forward to a friend. Link
+ Only three days till the deadline for applications to the Lagos Angel Network Dealday. Don’t dull. Link
Hot topic(s) on TechCabal Radar
+ First, it was Apple Music. Now, GTBank’s Naira MasterCards no longer work on PayPal. Link
Joburg: Africa Energy Indaba Conference, 21 – 22 February. Link
Cape Town: e-Commerce MoneyAfrica Confex 2017, 22 – 23 February. Link
Nairobi: Sankalp Africa Summit 2017, 23 – 24 February. Link
Lagos: Lagos on Rails 2017, 25th February. Link
Lagos: Startup Grind, with Nimi Akinkugbe, 25th February. 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.
Best wishes for a productive week ahead. And don’t forget to share this.