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BROUGHT TO YOU BY VERIFYME NIGERIA AND ENDEAVOR
04 - 09 - 2019

Hello! Welcome to today's edition of TC Daily! If this mail was forwarded to you, please take a moment to subscribe and have this delivered directly to your mail box every weekday. 

A MESSAGE FROM OUR PARTNER

VerifyMe Nigeria, a verification platform that enables seamless, real-time ID verifications backed by the Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Bank Verification Number (BVN) and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Driver’s Licenses, has launched the first integrated ID Verification and KYC platform in Nigeria.

The MVP offers organizations a solution that takes away the problem of not knowing enough about their customers to approve them for services. Loan/service providers, employers and landlords can benefit from VerifyMe OneIdentity Report which delivers real time ID authentication with secure last mile verification checks that meet CBN tier 3 and international Anti-Money Laundering (AML) directive standards. It is supported by a guarantee of trusted and secure data, with built-in technology surveillance systems to prevent fraud during data collection. Log on to www.verifyme.ng to verify an ID now.
PEG Africa, an Africa-based solar energy company, has raised $5 million in debt funding from the European Union Electrification Financing Initiative (ElectriFI). Founded in 2013, PEG uses a pay as you go financing option to provide solar systems for homes and small enterprises in West Africa. It operates in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal countries and says it serves around 400,000 users. The company plans to use the new funding for “rapid growth” in the three African countries.
Erada Technology Alliance, a South African healthtech company has received a €288,000 grant from De Beers Group for its Saliva-based Malaria Asymptomatic and Asexual Rapid Test (SMAART) test. The SMAART test is designed to be the world’s first saliva-based “rapid diagnostic” test for malaria. Erada said the grant will support the test’s trials ahead of a commercial rollout next year.
Engie, a French multinational utility company, has acquired Mobisol, a German off-grid solar company operating in Africa. The financial aspect of the acquisition was undisclosed. Prior to this deal though, Mobisol had been struggling, according to TechMoran. The energy company, which operates in three African countries, filed for bankruptcy four months ago so it could restructure and conclude negotiations with a new investor. "This gives us a particularly good chance of finding the right long-term investor", Mobisol's Managing Director, Andrew Goodwin said at the time. One the other hand, Engie's takeover of Mobisol will increase the former's presence on the African continent. Before the deal, it already operated in six African countries, but the recent acquisition will raise this to nine countries. However, the deal is still awaiting final approval by regulatory bodies.
Climate change reminds us that the activities we do are affecting the world we live in and has impacts that can be felt almost immediately. In this article, Danny Bradlow writes that climate change is increasingly becoming an area of interest for central banks too. He makes the case that “If central banks do not discriminate, financial institutions may continue financing activities that increase greenhouse gas emissions.”
A MESSAGE FROM OUR PARTNER

Endeavor Nigeria is launching our flagship annual scaleup entrepreneurship forum, Catalysing Conversations on Friday, September 13, 2019, in Lagos. Catalysing Conversations 2019 will be chaired by H.E. Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN, GCON), Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and features guest speaker, Efosa Ojomo, co-author of ‘The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty’. 

Other speakers include Endeavor Entrepreneurs - Bukky George (HealthPlus), Etop Ikpe (Cars45), GB Agboola (Flutterwave) and Kene Okwuosa (FilmHouse). Catalysing Conversations is an invite-only event, but we are opening up 10 guest slots to TechCabal Daily readers. If you're interested in attending, please register your interest through this link.
AlphaCode, a South African tech hub, has awarded 23 million rands ($1.52 million) to Zande Africa, Bright On Capital and Livestock Wealth. AlphaCode is an incubator, accelerator and investment company owned by the Rand Merchant Investment Holdings (RMI). The tech hub announced on Monday that Zande Africa and Bright on Wealth would each receive 10 million rands ($662,515); while Livestock Wealth has been granted two million rands ($132,503). The three companies say the new funds will be used to scale their businesses and grow their teams.
Still glowing from its recently raised $30 million funding round, Kobo360 has officially launched in Kenya. Olanrewaju writes that the startup's expansion has come at a time when Kenya has become a hotbed for different freight logistics companies.
Transsion Holdings, the Chinese company that owns Tecno, Itel and Infinix, has reportedly been forced to restart its application to list as a publicly-traded company in China. A few months ago, Transsion had applied for a $430 million initial public offering (IPO) on the STAR board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The STAR board is modelled after America's NASDAQ and wants to attract more tech companies to list in China. However, a recent report says that the listing process was suspended on Monday, “meaning the financial statements filed were no longer valid”. So the company has to restart the process again and meet the STAR board's strict requirements before it will be cleared for the IPO.  This could further delay Transsion's billion-dollar listing which it started in March. Meanwhile, the company restarted the process on Tuesday.
The TC Townhall: Mobility is a gathering about the future of Africa's transport & logistics tech sector. Our impressive list of speakers includes Omobola Johnson, Nigeria's former Minister of Communications Technology and TLCom Senior Partner; Obi Ozor, the CEO of Kobo360; Oluwatoyin Oshinowo, the Vice President of Products at Field Insights; among many others. Get a 10% early bird discount for our Mobility townhall if you buy your ticket before September 9 with the code TCMobility. You can get your tickets here.
In Tuesday's newsletter, we wrote that the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) wants to regulate adverts on social media platforms. Yesterday we spoke with the acting registrar of APCON, Ijedi Philomena Iyoha, and she disclosed that there is no timeline for the implementation of the policy yet. She said the plan, for now, is to make people aware that should seek APCONs approval before they post adverts online. Notably, she mentioned that when the policy does kick in, violators could be punished with a N500,000 ($1,379) fine or a six-month jail term. In my article, I wrote about why APCON wants to regulate social media adverts and the challenges that could make this difficult.
The South African government has been conducting mass surveillance programmes and has been intercepting people’s communications. According to Privacy International, a non-profit organisation, the country’s security agencies have also been monitoring the internet by “tapping undersea fibre optic cables”. But the government claimed the act is a necessary part of intelligence work and is targeted at foreign communications. However the government admitted that it finds it difficult to differentiate between domestic communications and foreign ones; which means it spies on all electronic conversations. This discovery and the government's explanation for it is a reminder about the debate on protection versus privacy and the trade-off that is needed for either to work well. South Africa is the latest African country to be accused of having a surveillance program on citizens in the last two months. In August, the Wall Street Journal revealed that governments in Uganda and Zambia have been spying on political opponents. Meanwhile Cameroon is planning to start its own surveillance programme
In August, the news circle erupted with fraud stories following back-to-back FBI arrests of over 80 Nigerian online scammers including Obinwanne Okeke, AKA “Invictus Obi”.  In my article, I wrote that the arrests remind us that the West African country still has a serious problem of online fraud. But unlike before where scammers worked mostly with romance scams and advance fee frauds, the recently indicted fraudsters used sophisticated business email compromise (BEC) scams to target companies, rather than just individuals. BEC scams have the potential to increase how much money scammers can steal. Also, the scammers used tools like Google Translate to communicate with non-English speaking victims of romance scams. This approach widens the geographic spread for scams.
 

That's all for today,

We'll see you tomorrow.   - Abubakar
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