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13 - 02 - 2020

Welcome to another edition of TC Daily! Please take a moment to subscribe to our newsletter if this mail was forwarded to you. Also, join us on Telegram for all the hot takes and deep dives on Africa's technology sector.

Transferwise, a Flutterwave partner, is an affordable and fast way to send money abroad. Over 6 million people get the real exchange rate with TransferWise. Click here to start sending money.

Nuwa Capital, a new venture capital firm, is planning to raise $100 million to invest in startups in the Middle East, East Africa, Turkey and Pakistan. The firm is led by Khaled Talhouni who was previously managing partner at Wamda Capital. At Wamda, he led investments in Twiga Foods and Careem which was acquired by Uber last year. His new firm, Nuwa Capital, will focus on tech startups that are developing direct-to-consumer solutions including Software as a Service (SaaS) technology, fintech, logistics and mobility services.
When PalmPay launched in the Nigerian market late last year, it did so with a bang. It announced a $40 million seed investment led by Transsion's subsidiary, Tecno and a partnership with Visa. The company has developed an aggressive growth plan for the country. It is spending heavily on marketing, and issues discounts and rewards on every transaction users make. The app will come preinstalled on 20 million devices this year, giving it an impressive reach. In this article, I provide a deep dive into how PalmPay thinks about the Nigerian market, competition and its growth targets.

Is Andela going to fire more developers?

Last year, Andela tweaked its business model in a significant way. The company was originally founded and marketed as one that trains people into software developers then outsources their talents to companies in need of the developers; keyword “in need”. But in 2019, it laid off over 400 junior developers and stopped its developer training programme. Andela’s CEO, Jeremy Johnson, said there was “a shift in demand” in the company's primary market. Placement companies were less "in need" of junior level developers. Andela decided it was going to focus on mid- and senior-level developers as "majority of the demand is for more experienced talent", Johnson said. But according to this report by WeeTracker, Andela is still struggling to find placements for its mid-level engineers. There’s a growing worry that these developers “are at risk of being frozen out.” Sources at the company say this risk continues to grow as the company continues to hire more experienced developers. One source said Andela is "constantly hiring in an effort to meet client’s demands with certain skill sets that the current pool of developers might not have." That's puzzling, and it puts question marks on the skillsets and the future of the company's current developer pool. The question now is: is the market for developers getting saturated or is Andela having a unique problem placing developers? This Quora question tries to answer the former.

The 2020 Mobile World Congress, the biggest annual mobile industry conference, has been cancelled. The cancellation follows concerns about the coronavirus outbreak that forced many big companies to withdraw. MWC is just one victim of the outbreak that has taken a toll on the world. The World Health Organisation said the coronavirus virus is a “very grave threat for the rest of the world.” It has killed over 1,300 people since mid-December 2019. Over 44,000 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in nearly two dozen countries so far.

With over a decade of experience supporting over 13,500 African startups to scale, VC4A has created free courses together with today’s top experts on doing business in Africa. These are learnings that cover setup, finance, legal and beyond that you can’t afford to not grasp. Unlock the skills you need to take your business from an idea to a thriving investment-ready startup, starting today. To start earning your certificates, sign up here.

Ecobank Group, a Pan-African bank, has signed a cross-border remittance agreement with Alipay, the world’s largest payments company by volume. The bank said the partnership would boost its Rapidtransfer remittance service. It will allow migrants in Africa to make cross border payments from the continent.

IntiGo, a Tunisian bike hailing service has raised over $300,000 from angel investors. This is the second time the company has raised money, bringing its total funding to $600,000 since it launched three months ago. IntiGo operates a fleet 50 motorbikes which it claimed facilitated over 11,000 rides in January.

Nigerian fintech and analytics company, ThankUCash has been selected for the 500 Startups Accelerator programme. The startup is a sort of payment processor that offers cashback to consumers every time they make a transaction. On the analytics side, it provides sales and business insights to merchants. As a cohort of the San Francisco-based accelerator, ThankUCash will receive training, mentorship and $150k funding in return for 6% equity.

Last week, an Ethiopian ed-tech startup, Gebeya announced the close of a $2m seed round led by Partech and Orange Digital Ventures with participation from Consonance Investment Managers. Gebeya is a tech talent outsourcing company which allows startups and SMEs to hire IT talents remotely or in-house. The seed fund will help Gebeya scale up its training and accelerate plans to launch an African online marketplace.

Want our 25-page keynote presentation about Edtech in Africa? Please fill in the form to get it.
At TC Townhall: Emerging Tech, TechCabal is holding a policy roundtable for entrepreneurs, policymakers, government officials and other stakeholders. The policy roundtable is a closed-door session (no video cameras) to help policymakers understand how best to support the blockchain (cryptocurrency) and AI economy. It will take place on February 28, 2020, at the Zone Tech Park, Gbagada Expressway, Lagos. If you are a policymaker, blockchain/AI innovator or stakeholder in the emerging tech space, sign up here so we can get in touch. Please note that limited seats are available. To attend the Townhall, click here to buy your tickets. Discounts apply for companies/individuals buying at least 5 tickets. Click here to enjoy our corporate discounts.
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We'll be back tomorrow - Abubakar        Share TC Daily with everyone you care about!
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