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19 - 9 - 2018

A smart world is possible when everyone has access to mobile devices and good connectivity. To demonstrate their commitment to making this happen, Airtel and Transsion Holdings have formed a partnership that will deliver quality and affordable internet on the best mid range smartphones. Airtel customers who buy any of these smartphones will enjoy twice the value of any data plan they purchase on their newly acquired device. Find a retail store near you today, purchase an Infinix, TECNO or itel phone to enjoy this offer.

South Africa's constitutional court has decriminalized the private use of cannabis. The court ruled that adults can now grow marijuana only for private consumption hence it cannot be sold or used in public. The court has given parliament 24 months to change the law to reflect its ruling. If authorities take the next step to commercialize marijuana, SA would join Lesotho and Zimbabwe where licenses for medicinal cannabis have been issued. The legal weed market is fast growing in countries like the US where it generated $6.7 billion in 2016.

Despite a warning by authorities in Egypt, reports say Uber is continuing talks to acquire Dubai-based Careem for about $2 - $2.5 billion. Uber and Careem held preliminary talks in July to combine their Middle Eastern ride-hailing services. Egypt's Competition Authority has stated that the merger will be translated as collusion and will negatively affect competition in the country's ride-hailing space. Careem has more than 1 million drivers and operates in over 100 cities in the Middle East. Meanwhile, Uber is expanding to Mauritius and is currently hiring for Country Lead. 

Uber and Taxify drivers in Kenya refused to work yesterday in protest against what they called poor and exploitative pricing by the ridehailing companies per a report by TechMoran. This is in light of a recent 16% tax on petroleum products and follows another protest in July. Although both companies have tried to cushion the tax with fare boosts, it appears it isn't adequate. 

Helios Investment Partners has acquired a 76% stake in fintech company TPAY from investment fund, A15 for an undisclosed amount. TPAY currently operates across 16 countries with almost half of its total transaction volume coming from Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Since its launch in 2014, TPAY has processed 622 million transactions and has a total reach of 673 million users.

Another fintech startup, South Africa's JUMO has raised a round of $52 million in equity funding led by Goldman Sachs. JUMO is looking to expand into new markets with the fund. Over 9 million people have saved or borrowed on JUMO since its launch in 2014 and more than $700 million in loans has originated on its platform. JUMO has offices in 10 countries across Africa, Asia and Europe.

Ushahidi has launched TenFour, a check-in application for the workplace. The Nairobi-based crisis management software company says it built the platform after one of its team members was involved in a terrorist attack and it needed a way to check-in with everyone. TenFour allows users send messages via email, SMS, Slack and its app.

Nasper's OLX Group has invested $94 million in SA car buying service, WeBuyCars. According to OLX, the deal will help improve the experience of classifieds users across its platforms. Furthermore, it added that the deal forms part of Naspers’ strategy to expand in classifieds, online food delivery and fintech. In May, OLX announced an investment of $89 million in Frontier Car Group.

Seedstars has announced the startups that will participate in its Nairobi and Kinshasa pitch events both holding on September 21. Eight start-ups will fight for the Nairobi crown while eleven will contest in Kinshasa. Check them out here and here.

ALATGoals has helped more than 13,000 customers save about 7 billion naira since its launch in 2017, according to a press release. The platform offers a strict saving plan called FlexiGoal, a short term plan called Stash and a group savings service. ALATGoals is the savings offering of ALAT, a digital bank platform by Nigeria's Wema Bank. 

MEST will launch its Kenyan incubator space at the Nairobi Garage co-working hub. The firm which currently has incubators in Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa, announced in June that it will add Nairobi to the list. The African Leadership University will also be kicking off its six month leadership programme, ALX, in Kenya at Nairobi Garage.

Africa Mobile Networks (AMN) has begun rolling out its low-cost small solar powered towers in rural Zambia, Cameroon and a number of other countries per a tweet by Erik Hersman. The company was founded in 2013 and provides mobile network services designed to connect the remote unconnected parts in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. It raised €24 million from the European Investment Bank in 2017 to construct 1,000 base stations in DRC and Cameroon .

Mobile money usage has overtaken cash in Somalia. 155 million transactions are carried out monthly and over $2.7 billion is processed per a World Bank report. More than 70% of Somali adults use mobile money regularly. This is inspite of the country's underdeveloped financial institutions, lack of robust consumer protection and know-your-customer requirements.

The 2019 Africa Startup Summit is holding in Kigali in partnership with Disrupt Africa. The event will hold on February 14 & 15, early bird tickets are available here until September 30.

Lagos Startup Week 2018 kicks off on September 24. The event is themed Zero to $1 million and will feature speakers like Vivian Nwakah (Medsaf),  Onyeka Akumah (Farmcrowdy), Chinedu Azodoh (, among others. Register to attend here.   

Clickbait: The Sad Effect of The Anglophone Cameroon Crisis on Silicon Mountain. Read Chimamanda Adichie's piece on the crisis here

From TechCabal

Superhero Multitasker & Data Geek: A Profile Of Bayo Adekanmbi, Founder, Data Science Nigeria

Nigerian Banks Eager To Fund The Renewable Energy Sector Face Some Unique Challenges


That's It!

We'll be back tomorrow.
- Olanrewaju

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