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03 - 01 - 2020

Good morning and welcome to TC Daily. We're heading into the first weekend of 2020, exciting! Do subscribe to continue receiving our newsletters. Also, join us on Telegram as we bring you all the important stories about technology and digital innovation in Africa!

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Trivia When last did Konga raise external funding? 1. 2012 2. 2018 3. 2016 4. 2014 Find the answer at the bottom of this newsletter.
It’s a new year and the start of a new cycle of opportunities for startups. Here are 20 accelerator programmes and incubators for startups to apply into this year.
MTN Group has exited the cell tower business in Ghana and Uganda. The telecom company has agreed to sell its stake in Ghana Tower Interco B.V. and Uganda Tower Interco B.V. to AT Sher Netherlands Coöperatief U.A. for $523 million. Why? Africa’s biggest telecom group is trying to bring down its debt. The company owed 69.8 billion rand ($4.95 billion) in February 2019. To streamline its operations and prioritise its debt, it has exited markets like Cyprus and Botswana. MTN Group was also looking to cash out of the Jumia IPO which later went sour. It has also redeemed $315 million worth of preference shares MTN Nigeria, the Nigerian subsidiary that listed on the stock market last year.
Although Egypt’s Swvl recorded one of the biggest funding rounds in 2019, the country faces challenges that affect the growth of its startup ecosystem. Tom Collins from the African Business Magazine writes that currency devaluation and increasing loss of talent are the major headaches. But he concludes that Egyptian startups now consider expansion to Sub-Saharan Africa as an important growth strategy.
South African tech companies had a tough time on the stock market in 2019. Only 6 out of the 26 listed tech companies recorded growth in their share prices at the end of the year. Naspers, MTN, Vodacom and Telkom all saw lost share value in 2019.
Digital Banking is one of the top trends we’re expecting in 2020. And the game is already afoot in Singapore. Like Hong Kong, the city-state plans to issue five digital bank licences by mid-2020. Among them, two will be full bank licences requiring capital of around $1.1 billion, while the other three are wholesale licences with capital requirement of $74.2 million. The move has attracted a number of companies like Ant Financial, a fintech giant owned by Alibaba Group. Ant Financial has applied for a wholesale licence. Ride-hailing company, Grab has also entered the race. It teamed up with Singapore Telecommunications to apply for a full bank licence. US-based gaming company, Razer is leading a consortium to apply for a licence. It wants to build a “youth bank” dedicated to serving young people globally. African banking regulators should be taking notes.
$200 million for Interswitch. $40 million for PalmPay. OPay walked away with $120 million Series B round after an initial $50 million injection from Chinese investors. 2019 was the year investment in African technology really got serious. And the trend is set to continue in 2020, says Andrew Fassnidge, founder of the Africa Tech Summit in this piece. It's well worth checking out. The summit, now in its third year, will bring together Africa’s corporates, startups and leading investors including Helios Investment PartnersAfrica Venture Capital Investments IFCPartech’s Africa Fund,TLcom Capital , Alitheia Capital. It holds from February 4-6 at the Kigali Convention Centre in Kigali, Rwanda.
Over the past year, we've brought together industry stakeholders, policymakers, investors and key sector players in various sectors from healthtech to edutech to spur conversations about these sectors and explore new opportunities and/or collaborations.  Come February 28, 2020 the next TechCabal townhall will focus on: Emerging technologies including 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality, Cryptocurrencies, Robotics and 3D Printing. TC Townhall: Emerging Tech will examine how these technologies are changing (and will change) how Africans live and do business. Want to attend? Indicate interest by filling this form. Are you a member of the press, fill this form to qualify for a pass. Do you have a startup or project with any of these technologies at the core? Tell us about your project or startup here.  Have any ideas about the event or suggestions about speakers? Send us an email via team@techcabal.com and we just might make your wish come true. For sponsorship inquiries, please email Chidi via chidi@bigcabal.com.
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Trivia answer: Konga last raised money in 2014 from a Series C round. News reports said the company raised between $40 million and $60 million. Crunchbase said the raise was officially closed in 2015 at $41 million.
That's it for today,  
Enjoy the weekend, work resumes fully on Monday! - Abubakar       Share TC Daily with your friends!
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