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18 - 02 - 2020

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Wakanow is Africa’s leading, full-service online travel company. Visit www.wakanow.com to book flights, hotels, packaged tours, and much more. Pay securely via Flutterwave.

Singaporean FMCG conglomerate Tolaram Group is said to be eyeing entry into Africa's digital financial services space. Tolaram is reportedly in partnership talks with Tala, a Kenyan credit platform with presence in India, Mexico and the Philippines, for this purpose. The FMCG company says the inspiration for an Africa-focused fintech platform arose from its paper mill operations in Estonia. With a digital credit platform already operational in Indonesia, Tolaram is looking to leverage its FMCG distributor network to extend a similar technology to Africa. "The more credit we can give them, the more they can increase volumes," says Kunal Adnani who leads the M&A team.

The next startups in Africa that could reach billion-dollar valuations are those ones whose products or services are tailored to meet the needs of other businesses, including very small businesses. Here's why Maurizio Caio, Founder/Managing Partner at TLcom Capital, thinks so.

Three Kenyan agri-tech startups have secured US$856,000 in grant co-funding from the UK’s innovation agency Innovate UK to develop Africa’s first solar powered smart sensors with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology. Illuminum Greenhouses, Juhudi Kilimo and WeFarm collectively make up the project SmartGFA, which will develop a system to analyse real-time information provided by soil sensors, weather and climate information to determine optimal watering pattern to maximise crop health and yield, while keeping fertiliser and water consumption to a minimum.
If you are looking to connect with tech communities around African cities this week, check out this list of events happening in Morocco, The Gambia, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.

Applications are open for the 2020 Anisha Prize. Every year, the prize celebrates 20 African entrepreneurs, aged 22 years and younger, running job-creating businesses. They stand a chance to win a shared prize of $100,000 as well as receiving business consulting support and coaching services by a team of industry experts. For more information on the Anzisha Prize, to apply, and to nominate an entrepreneur, go here. Deadline is March 31.

Kenya's Central Bank is in the process of developing a charter to guide digital lending platforms in the country. The Central Bank of Kenya has been lobbying for tougher policing of the digital lending space through the National Payment Systems Act since 2018. Last year, Google, in updates to its Play Store policies, threatened to ban digital lending apps it deemed predatory to users. The charter is expected to not only tackle predatory practices from digital lenders but also user privacy and literacy.

VertoFX is a UK company that has created a platform which allows businesses access to cheaper, better and seamless FX and payment solutions. We are on average 9X cheaper than your banks. VertoFX can convert your local currency and make transfers in 38 other currencies including USD, GBP, EUR, ZAR, NGN, KES, UGX with no fuss! Sign up for FREE using code TCABAL. It’s quick, simple and easy!

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Google is shutting down its free public Wi-Fi program, Google Station, across all locations where they currently exist by the end of this year beginning with India. According to the tech giant, part of the reasons for the decision include its failed business model and poor returns on its investments. The company also argues that data affordability and internet access has improved since it initiated the program in 2015 to help more individuals get online. From India, the company spread its stations to Mexico, Thailand, Nigeria, the Philippines, Brazil, Vietnam, and South Africa where it launched three months ago. While Google's Indian partners RailTel says it will onboard other partners to continue the service, similar initiatives from private and public institutions will attempt to bridge the gap. Despite falling data costs across the continent, prices are still unaffordable for many.

Nigeria’s Blockchain startup Bitfxt has raised $15 million from a UK syndicate of Hedge Funds and UK company, Payitup Clearinghouse Ltd (UK) for expansion. Bitfxt runs a cryptocurrency exchange platform and makes available cryptocurrency-powered ATM cards for its users to transact anywhere in the world.  The company says the funds will help in the development of marking efforts through its subsidiary BoundlessPay as well as development of proprietary infrastructure to compliment existing financial networks.

Nerds Unite, MainOne's annual flagship event holds on February 21 in Lagos, Nigeria. The event will bring together, IT professionals, influencers, and decision-makers for one full day to connect and facilitate interactive discussions on trending developments in the IT sector to help professionals deliver increased value to Nigerian and West African businesses. To register visit: http://bit.ly/NerdsUnite2020

Join our workshops at TC Townhall Emerging Tech. Our workshops are special learning sessions led by industry experts that allow attendees to get deep insights into a sub-sector or a specific topic. Seats are limited, please fill this form to pre-register for any of our workshops.

Workshops at TC Townhall: Emerging Tech -

  •         Legal and regulatory consultations by Odujinrin & Adefulu
  •         Understanding Bitcoin by Timi Ajiboye
  •         Emerging Tech Policy Workshop by Technology Advisors LLP

You can attend all three workshops because they hold at different times. To attend, get tickets to the event via this link

There is a  20% discount if you or your organisation would like to purchase five (5) tickets or more.
That's all for today!
See you tomorrow. - Kay       Share TC Daily with everyone you care about!
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