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27 - 01 - 2020

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Last Wednesday in Lagos, Jeremy Hodara, Jumia’s co-founder and co-CEO, announced a new CEO for Nigeria and a slight change in corporate strategy. Massimilliano Spalazzi will now replace Juliet Anammah as CEO for Jumia Nigeria. More importantly, Hodara said that the company will now shift its focus to services based on its e-commerce marketplace. The company believes ecommerce is the best engine to drive the adoption of digital payment. Jumia is looking to similar examples globally including Alibaba/AliPay and eBay/Paypal for inspiration. Abubakar has the full gist here, for TechCabal. 
--- Bolt (previously Taxify) has launched a tricycle service in Uyo, South-South Nigeria. Tricycles are a popular means of transportation in most parts of Uyo and in other parts of Nigeria. When Kay and I visited last November, we noticed that OTrike, OPay's tricycle-hailing service was huge. On the other hand, Bolt's cab-hailing service was equally popular. It appears Bolt is attempting to consolidate its dominance in Uyo town by rolling out its tricycle service. The Estonian startup raised €50 million earlier this year from the European Investment Bank to expand into newer areas of its business including food delivery & personal transport like e-scooters.
--- In this week's entry of TechCabal's 'abroad tech life', Muyiwa spoke with a Nigerian living in Mauritius about their tech experience. “My apartment is in front of the blue sea and I still get surprised every morning when I step out of the house to go to work like, ‘I really live here!" Jerome told Muyiwa. Jerome said he spends $8 monthly on data which gives him 1.5GB daily and WiFi is available in most public places in Mauritius. “I don’t think they have China level tracking, but they definitely keep track of you while you’re on the Island," he explained. Read the rest of the story.

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

Vodafone Group has withdrawn from Facebook's Libra Association. In a statement, the organization said it believed it was better off focusing its efforts on M-Pesa its now-famous mobile money service. Vodafone Group was one of about 30 organizations that joined the association responsible for Libra, a global digital currency (cryptocurrency). A number of them left the association last year amidst backlash from politicians and regulators in Europe and the US. About the same period, Nasper's PayU affirmed its support for the project. Vodafone's exit makes it the eighth company from the original members to leave the association. The telco says it won't rule out the possibility of future cooperation.
--- Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum has just announced the first global consortium focused on designing a framework for the governance of digital currencies. The consortium which is called the Global Consortium for Digital Currency Governance brings together leading companies, financial institutions, government representatives, technical experts, academics, international organizations, NGOs and members of the Forum’s communities on a global level. Members of the consortium include Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank; Patrick Ngugi Njoroge, Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya; Elizabeth Rossiello, Chief Executive Officer of AZA Finance as well as David Marcus, Head of Calibra, Facebook, Libra Board Member, among others.
--- Get tickets to TC Townhall: Emerging Tech, our next event focused on helping businesses, big corporations and government to understand and take advantage of blockchain, digital currencies and artificial intelligence. A 15% early bird discount is available for readers who buy their tickets by January 31st with the code TCEM15%OFF. Learn more about the event here.
At the start of the year, Iyin Aboyeji's Future Africa announced the launch of an angel fund that will back about 20 founders with up to $50,000 in funding each year. But prior to the announcement, Future Africa already had about 14 companies, most of them in 2019, in its portfolio. While, majority of its investees are fintech/wealth tech companies, the firm has startups in at least eight different sectors. 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.
AURA, a South African cloud-based security and safety startup has closed a $420,000 funding round from HAVAIC. AURA is looking to use the funds to continue growing its business. The startup's platform connects users with emergency/panic requests with the closest responders. It aggregates a network of armed response operators to provide on-demand services at the click of a button.  In 2018, AURA raised an initial $475,000 from HAVAIC prior its latest funding round.
--- A new investment fund, SDG500 was launched at the World Economic Forum this month. SDG500 will invest $500 million in early-stage businesses (Seed, Series A and Series B) in emerging markets – i.e Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean and Pacific regions. The fund which is backed by a coalition of public and private organisations, NGOs and a private equity firm will focus on the following sectors; agriculture, finance, energy, education and healthcare.
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