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05 - 10 - 2018

Good morning, people!

Kenya's BRCK has been named as one of TIME's 50 Genius Companies for 2018. BRCK designs mobile WiFi devices that enable internet connectivity in regions with poor infrastructure. Other African companies on the list include Nigeria's Babymigo, Ghana's Bitland, Kenya's Ona, South Africa's AgriProtein and Wonderbag. The companies were nominated by TIME's global network of editors & correspondents and were evaluated based on factors such as originality, success, influence and ambition. Check out Akindare's article about BRCK and other hardware start-ups in Kenya. 

Africa Check has joined Facebook's fact-checking programme. The platform is now part of Facebook's international fact-checking network which comprises 27 partners across 17 countries. Africa Check will focus on content that can lead to poor decisions and physical harm including bogus health cures, false crime rumours and things like pyramid schemes. Facebook's third-party fact-checkers rate articles, photos or videos (using one of eight rating categories) that are flagged as inappropriate. Facebook then limits the distribution of content deemed as inaccurate. Quartz argues in this article that Facebook should pay more attention to misinformation on Whatsapp than its News Feed. 

There are about 550,000 - 650,000 active cryptocurrency users in South Africa according to a new report prepared by Phantom Design. Per the research, almost 60,000 South Africans were reported to have invested in cryptocurrency in the last one year. The report also highlighted that Luno was the leading crypto platform in the country. Additionally, it projects that about 10% of South African adults will be using cryptocurrencies by 2023 if growth rate follow current global trend. The report was commissioned by iKineo Ventures and Niel Bekker, in partnership with the Blockchain Academy.

Fintech startup, Yoco has launched a new product called Yoco Capital. The product will provide small businesses with cash advance. The company built the product to stimulate growth within its merchant network. It successfully piloted the product by granting 225 cash advances to the value of R 7.5m ($505k) before moving it out of beta. Recall Yoco recently raised $16 m in its Series B funding round. 

Applications are now open for the Next 100 African Startups initiative. The programme is being put together by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Egypt’s Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation (MIIC). It is part of the IFC’s wider effort to promote and nurture a culture of entrepreneurship across Africa and the Middle East. Apply here before Oct. 21.

South African rapper, AKA (real name Kiernan Forbes)  has launched a new mobile app in partnership with Vodacom.  The app which is called Beam World App will document his career, life and family as well as give fans an avenue to interact with him. The app is exclusively available to Vodacom subscribers. 

VC4A has announced the 8 ventures selected for the 2018 VC4A Venture Showcase – Series A. The start-ups are AgroCenta (Ghana), Fibre (Nigeria), Gebeya (Ethiopia), GoMetro (South Africa), InvoiceWorx (South Africa), Nawah-Scientific (Egypt), (Nigeria) and Shezlong (Egypt).  The startups will pitch in front of investors during the Africa Early Stage Investor Summit in Cape Town, November 11-12, with the aim of raising $250k – $5m in series A capital. 

The Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca) has made public some new appointments. The association appointed Langa Madonko (Summit Africa) and Rory Ord (27four Investment Managers) as replacement for outgoing directors; Dan Hatfield and Craig Beney. The association also re-appointed Yvonne Maitin as a director. 

SAEx has signed an agreement with Alcatel Submarine Networks to begin survey activities for the construction of a new submarine cable. The 25,000km submarine network cable will link Asia, South Africa, and America. The network will be ready for service in the first half of 2021 and is expected to provide a significant increase in connectivity to Africa.

Nigeria's Central Bank doesn't appear to be backing down in its dispute with MTN. This is inspite of talks about seeking an amicable resolution with the telco. In documents filed with the Federal High Court in Lagos, the CBN argues that MTN shouldn't be granted an injunction that will stop it from repratraiting the $8.1 b it alleges it owes. The apex bank wants the telco to pay 15% annualised interest on the sum until the courts make a judgment, and 10% from then until the whole amount is paid. 

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre has released a new digital banking crime statistics report. The report states that the number of mobile banking incidents in the country have more than doubled compared to the same period last year. The number of incidents occurring through banking apps increased by 20% while those from online banking rose by 44%.

From TechCabal

+ Nigeria Doesn’t Offer Its Road Transport Tech Startups Any Regulatory Support

OneWattSolar: Funding Access To Clean Energy In Nigeria With Blockchain


Thanks for reading!

Have a great weekend. We'll see you next week.
- Olanrewaju

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