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07 - 05 - 2019

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South African telecom Cell C, is reportedly dismissing its staff via WhatsApp (and email) for disgruntled tweets about the company. Staff and management of the troubled company have been at loggerheads over unpaid performance bonuses from 2017/2018 fiscal year. In April, 400 members of staff were suspended over industrial action which the company said was illegal. This month 1,300 members of staff, who belong to the Information Communication and Technology Union (ICTU), have been suspended. The company says it had not met its EBITDA 2017 targets hence the unpaid bonuses. Last year, three top executives resigned while CEO, Jose dos Santos resigned from his role in March taking up an advisory role. A recently downgraded profile rating from S&P compounds issues for the company.

AI focused holding company, Cortex Group (Pty) Ltd has launched a new venture capital arm, Cortex Ventures. The venture will provide unique access to AI Developers and Data Scientists, product advisory services, and a FREE co-working space to allow for continuous guidance for the companies and partners under the venture. AI-focused start-ups and scale-ups are thus invited to take part in the Click-2-Pitch Challenge. Submissions from across the African continent are welcome.

Farmcrowdy Group and Farmgate Africa have partnered with Best Foods Livestock and Poultry Limited to improve the quality of meat production and processing in Nigeria. The partnership will see all parties work together to raise quality cattle, process and sell quality beef to major buyers around the country. According to the Nigerian Agricultural Business Group (NABG), over 6,000 cows are consumed daily in Lagos alone, an indication of the increasing daily demand for meat and a pointer to growth. Last month, Farmcrowdy also announced its partnership with another livestock company, Livestock247, to boost the production and trade of livestock in Nigeria.

Senegalese startup OniriQ, Kenyan healthcare locating and booking service MedBit and South African AI-powered financial services chatbot developer FinChatBot, are among 10-member delegation to the Paris for VivaTech 2019 Conference. These startups emerged as the top high-growth and high-potential startups in the Open Innovation Challenges of the AfricArena 2018 Tour and will accompany AfricArena to New York as part of an investor roadshow.

Kenyan audio production and podcast startup, PortableVoices, has opened its first recording studio in Nairobi. AT its new recording studio, the startup will work with Kenyan podcasters, publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, and business information providers to produce audio content for the region. Sound is becoming a key channel alongside watching or streaming TV. The iTunes store now has more than half a million podcasts and newcomers like venture-backed Luminary, now have to compete in terms of relevant and quality content with all the already existing activity in the space.

After closing their fashion e-commerce platform Traclist to the peculiar challenges of running an e-commerce startup in Africa, founders Segun Afolahan and Emotu Balogun are attempting to make a difference with a new niche venture, Sendbox. The platform provides shipping, escrow payments, and discovery services to merchants and customers transacting through social media. In March, Sendbox secured funding from early-stage fund Microtraction, and has signed on 4,000 merchants and 1,00 users between October 2018 and March 2019. Ghana and Kenya are starting points in Senbox's future expansion plans.

Ride-hailing service, Bolt, has expanded into two new states in Nigeria. Calabar and Uyo both in the south of Nigeria, will bring Bolt's presence to seven states across the country. Bollt rebranded rather abruptly two months ago, changing its name from Taxify, ''to reflect the company’s future''. Now present in more states that Uber, Bolt is slowly advancing ahead of its biggest competitor in Nigeria.

Apply for the DFS Labs F3 Prize if your startup focuses on creating financial technology solutions targeted at women. Apply here before May 15. If you'd like a reminder before the deadline, you can sign up here.

Apply for the Cape Town-based Akro Capital's accelerator programme organised in partnership with the SA SME Fund. Applications for the first cohort of the 5-month programme are open till May 15.

Andela's first Community Manager, Babajide Duroshola, is joining Uganda's SafeBoda as Country Manager. The venture-funded motorcycle taxi company is headquartered in Uganda’s capital city, Kampala with operations in Barcelona, and recently expanded to Nairobi, Kenya. With plans to explore the Lagos market, Duroshola will be leading the efforts for SafeBoda in Nigeria.

The health tech sector in Nigeria is 15 years old. In this time, US$7.88 million has been sunk into the sector in funding to date, with the earliest funding received in 2014. There's more in The State of Health Tech in NigeriaGet the full report here. We understand that there may have been unsuccessful attempts by interested parties to buy the report and will like to know what the challenges are. Send a reply to this email and we will attend to it. Kindly note that we are also accepting bank transfers for purchase of the reports. If you'd like to purchase the report through a bank transfer, also send a reply to this mail and we will attend to your request.

From TechCabalFounder, Investor, Activist: Rebecca Enonchong’s Multi-Lane Road as a Tech PowerhouseTaxify (Barely) Beats ‘King’ Uber in the Battle for Lagos

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