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PRESENTED BY TEK EXPERTS & DECAGON
05 - 08 - 2019

Good morning and welcome to another Monday edition of TC Daily! If this mail was forwarded to you, please take a moment to subscribe so you don't miss out on future editions.

A MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSOR

Tek Experts, a leading, global provider of business and IT support services with presence in 7 countries, is recruiting heavily for Technical Support Engineers in its Lagos office. With presence in seven countries and counting, including Nigeria, Tek Experts boasts of providing various service options including developing technologies that enhance the customer experience by enabling global teams to work more effectively. Whether it’s providing follow-the-sun software support services that deliver exceptional customer experiences, developing technologies that enable sales teams to increase and retain revenue or training and developing people to be the best they can be, Tek Experts’ focus is always on putting the customer first. Looking for the career opportunity of a lifetime? Apply here!

Econet's Kwese woes don't look like they're going away soon. The company is shutting down its African pay-TV unit due to Zimbabwe's economic challenges and a shortage of foreign currency. According to Group Chief Executive Officer Douglas Mboweni, they've been unable to pay their content partners because the country stopped recognizing foreign currency as legal tender. Zimbabwe is currently facing rising inflation and the foreign currency embargo was introduced to curb black-market trading that's contributing to the problem. In November 2018, Kwese shut down its satellite TV offering announcing that it was streamlining its operations to focus on Kwese Free Sports, Kwesé iflix and Kwesé Play. However, things haven't been the same. Econet officially announced the shutdown of Kwese Play last week after about a month of speculation and issues with its partner, Roku. Kwese was put under administration in July and as Abubakar wrote in this TechCabal article, it is reportedly owing its creditors about $130 million.

Cairo-based fintech startup MoneyFellows has raised over $1 million in Pre-Series A funding from 500 Startups, Dubai Angel Investors, Beirut-based Phoenician Fund, and some individual investors. MoneyFellows wants to use its latest investment to grow its customer base. The startup also plans to raise a $3 million Series A funding by the end of 2019. Founded in 2016, MoneyFellows' digital  savings platform allows individuals to save money in groups and enables them to access credit.

Nigeria imports nearly 11 billion dollars worth of food annually. Small-holder farmers who largely represent agriculture in the country lack knowledge of modern practices and have insufficient capital. The country requires an estimated 78.5 million hectares of land to reduce the food imports but only about 30 million hectares of farmland are under cultivation season to season. Wole writes for TechCabal about the entrepreneurs engaging in soil-less farming in modern communities to close the gap despite relatively high set-up costs.

A MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSOR

Decagon is on a mission to help high potential Nigerians contribute meaningfully through technology. We transform fast learners into world-class software developers and connect them to job opportunities. Decagon's program takes a year’s worth of learning and compresses it into six months. The intensive physical learning experience, coupled with a comprehensive welfare package (accommodation, feeding, internet, laptop, stipend) keeps students focused solely on learning. Apply to join the 4th cohort here.

Lagos-based mobile payments platform, GONA has raised a million-dollar pre-Series A funding from Chinese investors including Crystal Stream Capital, UnityVC and Shaka VC. The company will invest the money in product development and team expansion. GONA is enabling public transport buses in Lagos to collect cashless payments. The company's headquarters is in China, however, it is currently focused on Lagos and processes nearly 10,000 transactions every day.

This September, TechCabal is bringing together the most knowledgeable and influential mobility entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers at our next TC Townhall event to explore, discuss and define the activity in Africa’s mobility sector, the challenges and what the future holds. Some confirmed speakers include Omobola Johnson, Nigeria's former minister of communications and Senior Partner at TLcom Capital, Uche Ogboi, who was recently appointed COO at Lori Systems, Obi Ozor, CEO at Kobo360 and Osarumen Osamuyi, Founder at The Subtext. Join us on the 27th of September, 2019 at TC Townhall: Mobility as well as our deep and diverse list of speakers with domain expertise and skin in the game. Click here to find out more about the event and sponsorship opportunities.

Swvl is partnering with internet hardware & service startup, BRCK to provide Wi-Fi and online entertainment for the former's on-demand bus service in Kenya. BRCK is looking to offer its Moja Wi-Fi service in 700 Swvl buses by 2020 and has already installed 15 of its units. The hardware startup currently has 445,000 unique monthly active users on its Matatu-based Moja mobile network in Kenya and Rwanda. This partnership will help Swvl to deepen its product offering as it continues to expand its operations. The transport service raised $42 million in June and launched in Pakistan last month.
Nigeria is considering introducing a 5% tax deduction for online purchases made with debit and credit cards. The Federal Inland Revenue Service says it could begin working with banks to deduct the VAT in the first half of 2020. The Nigerian government is apparently looking to take advantage of the country's growing digital sector as it seeks to expand the tax net and grow its revenue.
At least 42 African startups have raised $1 million (or more) so far in 2019 totalling $450 million, according to research by Maxime Bayen, Insights Director (M4D Utilities) at GSMA. 81% of them have HQ in SA, Nigeria or Kenya and the top 10 deals make up 75% of the total amount raised. Fintech continues to lead the pack with 33%, while transportation startups constitute 14% of all the startups.

Hotels.ng has launched a pre-internship platform called Starts.ng for its HNG Internship program. Individuals looking to join the 6th edition of the HNG Internship program (HNG 6.0) can now sign up on Starts.ng to take the pre-internship course. The course will teach them to code for free while helping them prepare for the main program.

Ethiopia's prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has announced that the country could permanently shut down the internet if it needed to do so for national security. According to a report by TechZim quoting a Somali-based blog, the prime minister stated that the Internet was not a basic necessity. He compared the Internet to water and air and seemed to imply that people could survive without it. Internet shutdowns are now a frequent occurrence in Ethiopia despite the economic impact on its digital economy. The latest one ended in July after 2 weeks of blackout following the assassination of six government officials.
A Kenyan taskforce set-up by the government has recommended that it should regulate blockchain and AI technologies.  The team says this will balance citizen protection and private sector innovation. In a report presented to the cabinet secretary Joe Mucheru, the team recommended that the government introduce a digital fiat currency and asked it to lead the development of solutions like blockchain-powered land registries, to fight corruption. The taskforce has started to develop legal sandboxes for new ideas to be incubated in collaboration with regulators.

Thanks for reading,

We'll see you tomorrow.   - Olanrewaju
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