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20 – 01 – 2020

Good morning and thank you for joining another Monday edition of TC Daily. Please subscribe to our newsletter if you are yet to and join us on Telegram as well for all technology stories from across Africa. 

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US-based Catalyst Fund has received $15 M from JP Morgan and the UK Aid to invest in 30 emerging markets fintech startups. The fund will choose an annual cohort of 10 fintech startups in five designated countries including Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, India and Mexico. Founded in 2016, the fund has invested in 25 fintech startups including ChipperCash and SokoWatch. It is backed by JP Morgan & the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Startups can find out how to get into the Catalyst Fund accelerator program here.

QuickBus, a Kenyan bus-travel platform has closed a seed round
led by Emirati VC, Shorooq Partners. Echo VC and Oman Technology Fund (OTF) also participated in the round. QuickBus lets users buy tickets as well as review and rate experiences on bus travel platforms. The platform processed at least $40,000 worth of tickets between February and May 2019. Alex has more here for TechCabal.

To ensure the safety of lives along its waterways, the Lagos State Government has procured about 5,000 drones. According to a report by TechPoint, the drones are already being connected to the state’s Command Control Centre with CCTV and mobile CCTV equipment to increase security. The state recently inaugurated marine rescue units in four of its jetties and it has reportedly deployed heavy and light equipment as part of its emergency response plan.

The countdown to Afrobytes 2020 continues. Afrobytes is the premier event that brings together entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, and more to explore business opportunities between the African tech ecosystem and players in the global tech world. Here are key reasons why you should attend Afrobytes 2020:

  • Finance: pitch world-leading Africa-focused tech funds
  • Network: connect with global companies and African tech leaders
  • Scale: find tech partners at the largest startup campus
  • Feature: talk to international media covering African markets

Get your early bird ticket here

Following a series of subsea cable outages, internet connectivity got degraded in 12 African countries including Cameroon, South Africa, Ghana and Ivory Coast. The cables systems which are called WACS and SAT3/WASC lie in the Atlantic Ocean and connect South Africa and many other African countries to Europe. While the cause of the outage is unknown, South Africa’s Vodacom says a ship has been sent to fix the problem. Operators including MTN sent messages to customers in Nigeria and Ivory Coast apologizing for network disruptions. However, no one can confirm when the problem will be resolved. Consumers in some countries are sharing their frustration with the disruptions on social media.

Iyin Aboyeji, Co-founder at the Future Africa has announced a new project; Talent City. Talent City is a charter city focused on creating technology-enabled jobs and managed within a free trade zone with its own productivity-focused, entrepreneurial-centred regulations and bylaws. The project, according to Aboyeji, hopes to take advantage of Nigeria’s free trade zones to unlock Africa’s digital economy.

TC Insights: Last week, Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) announced that it had reduced the interest rates on its lending platform, QuickCredit from 1.75% to 1.33% monthly (i.e. 16% annually) making it one of the most competitive in the market. This fundamentally poses a challenge for some fintech startups especially if GTB decides to open up its platform to non-account holders.

Are you an investor or founder interested in getting access to free and premium TC Insights reports and analysis? Please fill in this form to let us know your interests.

The South African government wants to sell part of its stake in Telkom. The administration wants to use funds from the sale to rescue its cash-strapped airline and other state-owned companies. The government has a 40% stake in Telkom which is now valued at $1.313 billion owing to a 42% drop in its share price over the last one year.

Edustart Summit 3.0 holds on Tuesday, January 21, 2020, at Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, at 10 am. Past editions have convened over 2,000 industry experts, policy analysts, tech enthusiasts, educators, and students, with a focus on Quality Education (SDG 4). Speakers for this year include Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank; Prince Dapo Abiodun, Governor, Ogun State; AAA Atayero (Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University), Isreal Ovirih (CEO of Banklink), Yomi Adedeji (CEO of Softcom), among others. Learn more about the event here and register here.

On February 28, 2020, TC Townhall: Emerging Tech will convene entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers and corporate organizations including telcos and financial institutions to examine how businesses, individuals and countries across the continent can maximize the benefits of emerging technologies, specifically AI and Blockchain.

Want to attend?
Indicate interest by filling in this form. Are you a member of the press, fill in 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.

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Have A Productive Week,
See you tomorrow

– Olanrewaju

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