Hey there! Today’s TechCabal digest is brought to you by DIYlaw; get N2000 off your next company incorporation here with our coupon code – DIYLAWTC. Here’s everything interesting in African technology today.
1. It seems everyone wants a piece of Etisalat. According to The Guardian, mobile fintech firm, V-Exchange Limited, is suing Etisalat Nigeria for N2 billion for alleged copyright infringement. V-Exchange specialises in providing instant finance solutions to individuals and corporate entities, and the story is they offered to partner with Etisalat to launch an instant loan service. According to them, Etisalat one-upped them by launching a similar service – KwikCash – without permission or due credit. Hmm.
+ Etisalat Nigeria has denied these allegations saying KwikCash was already in the works long before V-Exchange’s proposal, and the intended partnership was for another service that aimed to use airtime as a store of monetary value and facilitate payment.
2. Nigeria’s OgaTaxi has added pooled rides to their list of services. The feature allows riders choose who they want to ride with courtesy a matching algorithm that will suggest profiles of people going along the same way. With pooled rides, riders get to rate each other as well as the driver. An incentive to be on your best behaviour, if there ever was one.
3. South African logistics firm, Pargo, just raised $1.2 million in a new funding round led by SAAD investment Holdings and Beijing-based VC firm, Tsing Capital. Along with this raise comes the announcement that SAAD Investment CEO, Johan du Preez, will be joining Pargo’s board of directors. Pargo reportedly sees 629% year-on-year revenue growth, with a 463% client base increase, and this raise will further help strengthen their position in the market.
4. There has been no internet connection in Anglophone Cameroon for 65 days now. Meanwhile, President Biya is tweeting like everything is fine (our oga is in Italy enjoying himself). The replies to his tweets are actually hilarious. #BringBackOurInternet.
Other interesting things…
+ Liquid Telecom’s 2017 African Innovation Report containing the state of technology and internet/mobile penetration in Africa’s five prominent tech countries – Kenya, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa (a.k.a KINGS). Nigeria has the highest number of mobile and internet subscribers with 148 million and 92.2 million respectively. While Ivory Coast has the lowest with 22 million and 5.2 million respectively.
+ Do you know Africa’s most valuable startup ecosystem? Well, according to this report by Startup Genome, it’s Lagos with a value of about $2 billion. On the other hand, Cape Town is said to be the largest startup ecosystem on the continent with 700 -1,200 active tech startups. Sadly, no African city made it to the Top 20 of Startup Genome’s global ecosystem ranking. The verdict? The African startup ecosystem looks good, but there’s room for improvement.
+ Tren Griffin wrote this post about why businesses need moats. Essentially, a moat ensures your business is profitable. In his words, “for what shall it profit a business, if it shall discover solutions to the value a growth hypotheses, but fail anyway because it does not have a moat?”
+ Today’s contender for tweet of the week is from Amma Aboagye. She helped us drag Cameroon’s President Biya. But honestly, your people don’t have internet and you’re here tweeting. Clap for yourself.
Today, we will be hosting Web Foundation’s Digital Equality Advocacy Manager, Nanjira Sambuli, for an AMA on Radar at 2pm (GMT +1). Nanjira is passionate about how technology intersects with governance, media and culture, as well as societal culture in Africa and its resulting gender implications. Apart from being a researcher, analyst and prolific writer, Nanjira has had a brief stint in the Kenyan music scene.
She’ll be around to answer whatever you ask, so get your questions ready, guys. See you at 2pm!
Hot topics on Radar
+ Do we need zebras or unicorns? That’s the question someone wants answered. Why do “we” chase after unicorn companies bent on disruption rather than zebra companies that seek to solve real, meaningful problems and in the process repair existing social systems? Link.
+ This thread started off as an enquiry into why outgoing links on Radar don’t open in new tabs (they do, you just have to change your settings), then it moved on to why it’s not the default setting. Right now, it’s a discussion about why in the world people would want links to open in the same tab. I love meta conversations. Link.
This April, ChatClass NG is offering a 2-month program designed to develop and support social media managers. The program will feature a thorough masterclass, real-life assessments and internships. Apply here if you’re interested. Deadline’s April 1st.
Lagos: Geeks On a Plane Africa tour, March 20 – March 23. Link.
Accra: British Council Enterprise Africa Summit, March 22 – March 24. Link.
Lagos: Cashless Africa Conference, March 22 – 23. Link.
Accra: Geeks On a Plane Africa tour, March 23 – March 25. Link.
Lagos: Innovention Series 2017, March 23. Link.
Lusaka: Demo Africa Innovation Tour, March 23. Link.
Stellenbosch: Launchlab water and waste management challenge workshop, March 23. Link.
Lagos: ReCode Nigeria hackathon, March 24. Link.
Lagos: DevOps with Chuka, Mach 24 – March 25. Link.
Lagos: She Codes Africa, March 25. Link.
Kaduna: Facebook bot party at CoLab, March 25. Link.
Lagos: Startup Grind with Chris Kwekowe, March 25. Link.
Osogbo: Django Girls free programming workshop for women, March 25. Link.
WAMAS 2017: You only have until Friday, March 24th, to nominate your favorite mobile innovators in the 10 categories of this year’s West Africa Mobile Awards. Link.
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(p.s. Tell me, do you speak Nigerian pidgin English? You will)