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11 - 10 - 2019

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South Africa’s third biggest telecom company, Cell C, has put its core assets for sale in a bid to address its debt issues and rising losses. According to Bloomberg, the company wants to sell its fibre-optic network, customer base and some of its wireless frequencies to cover a $596 million debt. The news has attracted the interest of Cell C’s South African rivals like MTN, Vodacom and Telkom. All three companies want to expand their revenue and customer base as they wait for the country’s telecom regulator to sale new spectrum. But auctions to acquire new spectrums will not start until early 2021. So acquiring some of Cell C’s assets is a viable option presently. Meanwhile, according to one report, Cell C’s asset sale is also attracting the interest of the world’s biggest telecom company, China Mobile. The report said the Chinese firm wants to acquire the company.
Almentor.net, an Arabian edtech startup has secured $4.5 million Series A funding led by Egyptian venture firm, Sawari Ventures. Other investors who participated in the round include - Mohammed El Amin, an angel investor, Egyptian Ventures and Endure Capital, a US VC firm. Founded in 2016, Almentor.net is a self-learning and professional development platform with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa. It offers over 10,000 video courses for areas like humanities, technology, health, management, among others. The startup said it will use the new funding to deepen its pool of expert videos and develop its courses.
The #JollofRoad team (Fu'ad, Toke and Kayode) is currently in Ivory Coast. At first, the francophone country was not warming up to our team as there were a few off-putting experiences. But things are better now. After interacting with people, visiting some locations and trying out the local delicacies, Fu'ad now thinks Ivorians are very much like Nigerians. Visit jollofroad.com so you don't miss out on all the stories about culture, trade, people and food as they travel the rest of West Africa in the remaining 63 days!
The Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has proposed an international tax regime that would force large digital businesses to pay more taxes in the countries where people use their services. This focus on the location of consumers is the biggest change to the international tax system since the 1920s as nations try to deal with the complexities of the digital world. For decades, international trade activity mostly involved the sale of physical products, which were relatively easy to tax. But in the digital world, most products and services, like online advertising, are intangible and accessible across borders without the need for local presence. The companies that provide these products and services rarely pay taxes outside of their base countries. Governments across the world want to change this. But in the absence of an international consensus on how to tax digital services, a few countries like the UK and France have proposed unilateral solutions over the last year. More countries were hoping to introduce similar measures as digital platforms made billions of dollars in revenues from their territories. Yet, if every country pursues the unilateral route, it could lead to challenges for both businesses and governments. To address this, the OECD was tasked to come up with a solution. Its proposal could usher in the long-awaited global rulebook on how to tax digital platforms. According to Reuters, the proposal will “define how much business they [digital services] must do in a country to be taxable there and determine how much profit can be taxed there.”
Applications are now open for the 2019 French Development Agency (AFD) Digital Challenge. Organised by Digital Africa and the AFD, the challenge helps identify high impact digital actors who are using technology for urban development in Africa. This year, the AFD Digital Challenge targets innovators who are digitizing African life while promoting the development of inclusive and sustainable cities. It is open to startups, associations and research centres. Winners of the challenge will receive €20,000 cash prize. Click here for more details.
The ecommerce market in Nigeria is tough, and it's not just because of the low purchasing power of most citizens. The average Nigerian is reluctant to make a purchase if what they’re paying for is digital content. Whether it’s music, books, movies or even news subscription, the Nigerian user is more than likely to default to a free alternative than go ahead with a purchase. In this insightful article, Wole Olayinka captures different reasons why this happens and there are subtle lessons for ecommerce businesses operating in the country.
On Wednesday, early investors in Jumia completed a six month lock-in period that prevented them from selling their shares following the retailer’s IPO. MTN Group, Rocket Internet, Pernod Richard SA, Goldman Sachs and Mastercard, all held Jumia shares ahead of the billion dollar IPO. However, the last 180 days have been a turbulent one for Jumia as its share price has tanked and its coveted unicorn status is now lost, at least on paper. The company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for $14.50 and later soared as high as $49.77. But following a damaging report in May, the retailer’s share price has since crashed to less than $10. Investors like MTN who had been hoping to sell their stakes after the lock-up may only do at a significant loss. Yet some analysts still believe that Jumia has "plenty of promise". 
That's it for today,  
See you next week   - Abubakar Remember to share TC Daily with your friends!
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