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12 - 09 - 2019

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Access Bank, Axa Mansard, among other financial industry players, have signed up to VerifyMe’s proprietary Know-Your-Customer (KYC) solution. VerifyMe offers real-time ID verification that is compliant with CBN tier 3 and international Anti-Money Laundering (AML) standards. Organizations can access up to 200 verifications per minute for faster decision making. Get started now.
Nigerian digital bank, Kuda, has announced a pre-seed funding raise of US$1.6 million from a consortium of angel investors led by Haresh Aswani of Tolaram Group. Originally starting out as Kudimoney, a lending platform, Kuda recently received a microfinace bank licence from the Central Bank. Kuda plans to channel the funds into expanding its product offering to incorporate consumer savings, rewards and peer-to-peer payments as part of its digital financial offering.
Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Amr Talaat, has announced government's plan to launch a US$50-million to $100-million fintech fund by early next year. This is part of initiatives the apex bank has marked which aims to transform Egypt into a regional centre for electronic financial services. Other measures the Central Bank is taking include the establishment of an Innovative Financial Technology Applications Lab and a Financial Technology Unit.
The FBI crackdown against internet fraud continues. Following the arrest of Invictus Obi and the indictment of 80 others by the FBI last month, EFCC’s Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, disclosed his agency had been working with US authorities to identify more suspects. Fresh arrests of 281 individuals, including 167 in Nigeria, has been made and Abubakar Idris has more details in this new article. 
A fast-growing venture-funded fintech startup working to bridge financial inclusion gap in Africa through machine intelligence is seeking applications to fill the role of a Data Science Intern. Minimum requirements are: Python (Numpy, Scipy, Pandas, Matplotlib), Python (ggplot, Plotly or Bokeh), MongoDB, NoSQL, Postgre SQL and AWS/EC2/ELB/S3/DynamoDB If this is you, send your profile with links to GitHub and Kaggle projects to join@indicina.co stating reasons for applying. Subject line should read "Data Science Intern".
Naspers has listed its international internet assets on Amsterdam’s stock exchange creating the biggest consumer internet company in Europe. The new company, named Prosus, was valued at $105 billion upon listing—the largest for an European consumer tech stock with shares soaring as much as 29% on its first day of trading. Assets held by Prosus include Naspers’ Tencent stake as as well as investments in Swiggy, the Indian e-commerce startup and Mail.Ru, a major Russian internet platform. Quartz Africa has more. 
Join The Subtext Founder, Osarumen Osamuyi at TC Townhall: Mobility, a gathering of key industry stakeholders,entrepreneurs, government and policymakers on the 27th of September, 2019. 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. Purchase tickets to the event here. Early bird discounts are no longer available. A 20% discount is available for purchases of at least five tickets. 
MainOne has confirmed the scheduled landing of the MainOne submarine cable systems in Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire in September and October 2019 respectively. With the Cable Landing Stations (CLS) in both countries fully built and ready for installation of equipment, in both Dakar and Abidjan, the company is poised to undertake the physical connection of the branching units on its 7000-kilometer-long omnibus fiber pair to the shore and terminal equipment. Consistent with its strong preference for deploying top of the range technology to deliver best-in-class services in the West Africa region, MainOne, as part of the landing project, shall deploy on the cable WSS ROADM Spectrum Sharing technology, the first of its kind to be deployed for commercial purpose in the world.
Kenyan-based Flare, which participated in the recently concluded Pitchdrive Asia tour has been shortlisted for the Regional Finale of the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC). Flare has been shortlisted alongside Tiny Totos and Shortlist also from Kenya and are among the final 12 startups selected from more than 400 applicants across 35 African countries. The finalists will compete for a US$1 million Global Grand Prize that will be awarded at MIT (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA) in November. Here's a recap (and another recap) of what went on during the Pitchdrive Asia tour.
After more than 500,000 trips completed in what it now says was its pilot market, Rwanda-based SafeMotos has rebranded to CanGo and expanded operations into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). CanGo earlier this year completed its largest equity funding round to date to enable it to launch aggressively in Kinshasa. The seven-figure round came from an international consortium that includes investors from Silicon Valley, Europe, Dubai and Australia, and Nash said more investment was on the horizon. Founded in Kigali in 2014, SafeMotos uses on-demand and vehicle telematics technology to connect users with vetted motorcycle taxi drivers through its mobile app.
Applications are open till September 27 for the second AlphaCode Explore programme, aimed at honing the ideas and skills of 20 aspirant South African fintech entrepreneurs ready to leverage data science in the financial services space.
South African e-health startup Erada has received a US$318,000 foundation grant from the De Beers Group to support its saliva-based Malaria Asymptomatic and Asexual Rapid Test (SMAART) test. The test,  SALVA!, is said to be the world’s first ever saliva-based rapid diagnostic test for malaria. Erada says the grant will be utilised in the final stages of its work on the test kit prior to the product’s global launch, planned to coincide with World Malaria Day in April 2020. SALVA! will complete its field trials before full commercialisation and distribution in 2020. WHO’s latest World malaria report says no significant gains were made in reducing malaria cases in the period 2015 to 2017 adding that progress has levelled off in the fight against malaria.
Applications are open for the Chivas Venture US$1 million global startup competition for social startups that blend profit and purpose. Find out more and apply here.

That's it for today!

Enjoy the rest of your week. - Kay
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