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10 - 12 - 2019

Hey! Welcome to today's edition of TC Daily, your morning dose of technology news from around the continent. Do take a moment to subscribe if you haven't and join us on Telegram!

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Jumia, again. And like in previous weeks, it's about another purge. The company confirmed to TechCabal that it has passed off Jumia Travel, its six-year old hotel and flight booking business to Travelstart, an online booking platform. They are terming it a "partnership" instead of an acquisition, as Jumia's hopes to "remain hyper focused on our growth and path to profitability.". We have a pretty detailed account of how this change played out yesterday, so here's your plug on the latest travail at Jumia. Extra: Jumia Food will shutter in Rwanda by January 2020.
Egyptian advertising startup Adzily has completed a US$12.2 million funding round to expand its network of over 3000 digital advertising screens in cafes, restaurants and gyms across Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The funding support comes from Al-Tharawat Private Investment Holding Company (Private Wealth Investments), a Saudi-based investment company. Priding itself as the first indoor advertising platform in MENA, Adzily offers a mix of traditional and digital advertising. Founded in 2018, Adzily's network is available in 8 areas in Cairo, Egypt's capital city.
Sticking with Egypt... 11 Egyptian startups graduated from the Flat6Labs Cairo startup accelerator. They were showcased at a demo day held to conclude the programme for the second cycle of the year. Flat6Labs is a startup accelerator program for the MENA region. It aims to invest in bright and passionate entrepreneurs with "cutting-edge" ideas. Flat6Labs was started by Sawari Ventures and American University in Cairo (AUC) in 2011. The programme provides startups with cash funding of between EGP500,000 (US$31,000) and EGP750,000 (US$46,000) with access to possible follow-on funding.
Vodacom says it now has made-in-Africa Mara phones to sell to its South African customers. The initiative "provides South Africans with the opportunity to connect to the things that matter most to them, but also because this supports our commitment to African innovation,” according to Terminals Managing Executive at Vodacom, Davide Tacchino. Mara opened its South African plant in October, in addition to the $24m smartphone manufacturing factory in Rwanda. Consumers can either go for Mara Z - the higher-end option - which retails at R3,999 ($272), or have Mara X priced at R2,999 ($204).
In Kenya, Safaricom has launched a USSD-based service for escalating epidemics. Safiri Smart - as the service is called - is a product of collaboration between Safaricom, Kenya's Ministry of Health and Korea Telecom (KT).  The project aims to help the Ministry manage disease breakouts like Ebola and prevent transmission within Kenya. Safaricom subscribers can opt into the service and receive important information about any epidemics that have broken out at their travel destination, according to Stephen Chege, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Safaricom.
It's Day 80 and the #JollofRoad team arrives Lagos today!! After adventurous border crossings, impulsive helpings of street food, that impromptu party at a stranger's house, a day in the hospital, many thrilling nights out and countless moments of joy, Fu'ad, Toke, Kayode, Tosin, Captain and Black have completed a tour of 14 West African countries in 80 Days!! It's a fffffreaaking big deal guys!! What can we say - if you conceive it, you sure can do it Africa! Lots of layers to this conquest but hear this: the team is working on the possibility of an encore and you just might get a chance to go on a road trip like this one. If you are craving wanderlust, sign this form. Now!
After ORide stormed the bike-hailing sector in Nigeria and gaining considerable appeal, it is OCar's turn to shake things up. With customer bonuses and perks for drivers, OCar is pulling out the stops against Uber and Bolt, the two main players in Nigeria's ride-hailing business. Can OCar succeed? Muyiwa took rides, spoke to drivers and consumers across the different services, and tells us why an intriguing scramble could be on the cards.
Ubusha technologies, a South African identity management firm, has been acquired for R360m ($24m) by Allied Electronics Corporation Limited (Altron), a South African cyber-technology company. Should the deal gain approval from the country's Competition Commission, both firms will by 1st March 2020 become one standalone operating company called Altron Security Solutions. The merger offers both companies a greater market and more operational efficiency. Ubusha augments Altron with its identity security solutions, while the latter builds on its cybertech, internet of things and data analytics enterprise services.
Are you keen on the nature of innovation around oceans? The African Impact Accelerator, ocean-impact accelerators, has launched in Cape Town. OceanHub Africa will be on hand to offer a technology transfer support program that promotes collaboration between researchers and entrepreneurs for science-based innovation. The program is set to begin in Q1 2020 and OceanHub Africa will launch with a cohort of six local startups. OceanHub Africa is currently hosted by South African venture fund and technology incubator SAVANT Technologies. Watch out for more details.
If you believe Africa will be left behind if we do not develop new skills sets and build a future compliant workforce, register for THE WORKPLAN ON THE FUTURE OF WORK & THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION on Tuesday 17th December, 2019 at The Pistis Centre, 1 Ikorodu Rd, Maryland, Lagos. Attendance is FREE. Registration is via theworkplan.risenetworks.org. #TheWorkplan2019
And just before we go, here's an insightful read from Ventures Platform founder, Kola Aina, on the enabling role of stakeholders in innovation. The piece was originally his keynote address at the Art of Technology — AOT Lagos Conference on Thursday the 5th of December 2019. It's well worth your time.
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