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15 – 10 – 2019

Good morning and thank you for joining today’s edition of TechCabal Daily! Please take a moment to subscribe if this mail was forwarded to you and have this delivered directly to your mailbox every weekday. 

Nigerian lending startup, Lidya is expanding into Europe. The startup is targeting Poland and the Czech Republic. It is looking to disburse US$1.1 billion within the next five years to small businesses unable to get bank loans. Nigeria’s fintech industry is at an interesting growth stage. Last year, Paga, another Nigerian fintech startup, also made an expansion announcement when it raised $10 million in Series B2 funding. It said it had plans to expand into Ethiopia, Mexico, and the Philippines. Flutterwave which has relatively significant operations abroad (albeit in Africa) was recently named YCombinator’s most valuable African company at a valuation of $150 million.

Loan apps enable quick access to credit without the trouble of providing collateral. There are more than 12 of such loans apps in Nigeria today who do not require any documentation to give you a loan. But how do they provide these loans in the absence of a credit score and no real consequences for defaulting? Lending platforms rely on a user’s personal data to make loan decisions. For TechCabal, Muyiwa digs deeper into the price consumers have to pay for such convenience in accessing loans and the difficulty loan apps face in filling the gap most banks have left unaddressed.

Pan-African innovation hub, CcHub has launched an EdTech Centre of Excellence at the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED). The centre was set-up to make significant contributions to research in e-learning and technology application in schools and classrooms. CcHub will not only set-up and provide some form of funding for the centre, but it will also sponsor MSc and PhD students working on advancing EdTech topics that are of interest to the company. TASUED will lead innovation and advocacy for improved teacher training programmes across Nigeria.

The Communications Service Tax bill, a bill which proposes a new tax on electronic communications in Nigeria has passed first reading. Tunde Fowler, Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service reportedly tried to justify the tax by saying that Nigerians talk a lot on phone and it shouldn’t be a problem to pay more to the government. Wole explores in this TechCabal article what the impact of the new tax will be on the cost of data services and broadband penetration.

TechCabal is putting together a map of the African renewable energy industry. If you have a renewable energy startup or you are a technology company doing significant work in the industry we would like to hear from you. Please fill out this form, it’ll only take a few minutes.

About 1,900 Egyptians have been arrested in a crackdown on online critics of the president. According to reports, the police have been randomly searching the digital devices of citizens to identify and arrest those involved in protests that held in September. About a year ago, Egypt implemented a law that regulates online media publications and platforms including social media. This has raised serious questions about the country’s respect for freedom of speech.

If someone asked you to name the capital of Ivory Coast, chances are you would say, Abidjan. But as the #JollofRoad team (Toke, Fu’ad & Kayode) found out, Yamoussoukro is in fact the capital of Ivory Coast. However, the capital looks nothing like a real capital. Find out what Ivory Coast’s capital looks like in Toke’s journal entry. Next stop is Liberia. Don’t forget to follow the stories about the people, culture, food and how they do business. Visit every day to catch up on all the stories from the road!

With 33 million active users monthly, Nigeria remains Facebook’s largest market in Africa. This is a 27% increase from May 2018 when Facebook had 26 million active monthly users. The social media giant now has 16 million daily active users in Nigeria. In Kenya there are 9.9 million monthly active Facebook users and 4.7 million daily users. South Africa has 28 million monthly active users and 16 million daily active users. An important point which Iroko CEO, Jason Njoku has raised is that despite having the highest number of users, penetration with respect to population is 17% in Nigeria. Contrast that with South Africa which has a 53% penetration.This is very useful data for startups building products for both countries.

Bolt (previously Taxify) has appointed Kenneth Micah as the Regional Manager for East AfricaKenneth Micah will be key in driving Bolt’s expansion across Eastern Africa and will spearhead the company’s operational excellence. Kenneth Micah has for the last two years served as Operations Manager for Bolt where he oversaw expansion across cities in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Enygma Ventures, a $6.8 million fund focused on female entrepreneurs in Southern Africa has launched. Applications to the first cohort are open until December 1. Ten startups will be selected to attend an investment readiness program. The fund will invest ticket sizes of about $135,000.

That’s All,
See you tomorrow!

– Olanrewaju

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