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14 - 05 - 2019

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Vodacom is set to acquire a 51% stake in South African Internet of things company IoT.nxt. The value of the deal is currently unknown and it is subject to approval by the Competition Commission. IoT.nxt was founded by Nico Steyn in 2015 and has been expanding beyond the continent in the last two years. It opened a Netherlands office in 2017 and announced last September that it was beginning operations in the United States.

In more Vodacom news, the telco has forecast higher earnings for the next three years on account of its stake in Kenya's Safaricom which it acquired in 2017. The company is dealing with a slow South African economy and an antitrust probe about its data costs. The bulk of the growth in its service revenue for Year ended March 2019 came from outside South Africa.

Rwanda's clean energy startup, ARED, has expanded to Uganda. The company, which provides solar kiosks mostly to women entrepreneurs and people living with disabilities using a franchise business model, has now rolled out 10 kiosks in Kampala and the refugee camps of Arua district. The expansion was funded by US-based Gray Matters Capital and the goal is to have 100 franchisees reaching about 3,000 customers a month by 2020.

According to its Q1 2019 financial results, MTN Nigeria has seen32.4% increase in data revenue and a 12.7% increase in voice revenue. It also added 2.1 million new subscribers, bringing its total subscribers to 60.3 million. This is amidst the $2 billion legal battle with Nigeria's Attorney General and the successful registration of its ordinary shares with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ferdi Moolman, CEO, MTN Nigeria says the company rolled out 1,188 sites for LTE services across its key focus cities and it successfully transferred its 800MHz spectrum from Visafone which it acquired three years ago.

Microsoft wants to build its first set of development centers in Africa. The software giant plans to spend more than $100 million over the next five years to build the centers to work with local partners and governments as well as to hire engineering talent. Its first two sites will be in Lagos and Nairobi where it plans to hire 100 full-time developers by the end of this year and expand to 500 by the end of 2023.

The State of Health Tech in Nigeria is a deeply researched report that profiles 75 active and 15 inactive health tech startups across 12 subsectors. It further examines the challenges these startups face, the opportunities in the space and makes actionable recommendations for entrepreneurs, investors and regulators to consider. Get the report here. 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, send a reply to this mail and we will attend to your request.

The South African Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) has selected digital justice system provider, CaseLines, to implement paperless courtrooms across the country. The software will initially be used in all civil litigation cases thereby reducing the time it takes legal professionals to access case material.

Recruitment platform for the events and marketing industries, Peepz has raised an undisclosed amount from, events agency, Sozala Media. The fund will be used by Peepz to scale its operations across South Africa.

Jumia has indirectly addressed some of the allegations of the Citron Research report. According to the Africa Report, the company said on its earnings call that it “completely stands by its prospectus". The company doesn’t plan to publish a rebuttal of Citron’s claims, but the CEO, Sacha Poignonnec, said he was willing to take questions about the report outside the earnings call.

Correction: We erroneously stated in this dispatch that Full Fact was the mother company of Africa Check. Full Fact and Africa Check are separate entities but have a partnership in which they have been working together to build automated fact-checking tools. We apologize for this error.

Africa Fintech Foundry, is set to hold the 2nd edition of the Disrupt Africa Conference in Lagos on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at the Landmark event center. Some of the speakers at the event include, Omobola Johnson, a former Nigerian minister and Senior Partner at TLCom Capital; Funke Opeke, CEO, MainOne and Bayo Adekanmbi, CTO, MTN Nigeria. Find out more here.

How to invest $1 billion with purpose by Tony Boyd

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