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12 - 03 - 2020

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We begin with news from MTN that CEO Rob Shuter will not renew his fixed four-year contract when it expires in March 2021. He revealed this on a call on Wednesday morning, after which MTN group released a statement praising his efforts in leading the telco's "resolution of a number of complex matters and delivering significant improvements in transformation, operational performance and staff morale." The chairman of the MTN board will manage a succession process expected to end during the year. Still on appointments, Egyptian bus-hailing service Swvl has announced the appointment of Dip Patel as its General Manager in Kenya. Until now, Patel was the Head of Growth at Apollo Agriculture – a Kenyan agric technology company. His experience in the mobility sector comes from a stint at Uber: he was the company’s first Marketing Manager for East Africa, before becoming Country Manager for Kenya.

Quona Capital has announced the final close of a US$203 million fund for impact investing in Africa's booming fintech sector. The fund is a strategic partnership between Quona, a venture firm specializing in financial technology for inclusion in emerging markets, and Accion, a global non-profit focused on microfinance and fintech impact investing.

Termed the Quona Accion Inclusion fund, the collaboration exceeded an initial $150 million target. Subscribers to the fund include global asset managers and insurance companies, investment and commercial banks, family offices, and development finance institutions. In previous years, the fund has invested in African companies such as South Africa’s LulaLend and Kenya’s Sokowatch,
A $20 million fund is aiming to invest in disruptive African logistics startups. Imperial Logistics,  an African and European focused logistics firm, has partnered Newtown Partners, a South African venture capital firm, to launch a corporate venture capital fund that identifies and nurtures innovative technology startups, Disrupt Africa reports. Newtown is founded by South African entrepreneurs Vinny Lingham and Llew Claasen, and will support Imperial’s strategic investment in the key areas set to disrupt its business in the next five to 10 years. 
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And now to Lagos, Nigeria where the state government has one foot in the ride-hailing business. Ekocab is a solution developed by a private individual to boost customer opportunities for the city's yellow taxi drivers. These taxis were once the commonest way to commute, but Uber, Bolt and other ride-hailing services have changed that. With the rise of these app-based alternatives, Lagosians found yellow cabs uncomfortable, inexplicably expensive and all-round unsuitable to the necessary service of private exclusive mobility from one point to another. The man on the mission to change that is Segun Cole. He is a self-professed policy consultant who has advised Nigerian state governments on how to better regulate the "new mobility" industry. Cole has looked back at his consulting notes and decided to build a prototype. Read Muyiwa's piece for an analysis of the controversy surrounding the solution.
Nigeria-based health care company, Field Intelligence has closed a $3.6 million Series A round to scale its supply chain service to pharmacies. Field Intelligence is using technology to improve the supply chain and logistics needs of pharmacies in Africa. Its flagship product is Shelf Life, a subscription-based service that helps pharmacies restock inventory on-demand or every week. Abubakar has more details on the participants in the round and why the startup's solution for the pharmaceutical industry has caught venture capital attention.
"The first thing I knew was that I wanted to build roads and highways and make a contribution in terms of fixing the transport problem." On this week's edition of My Life in Tech, Kay guides us through Kagure Wamunyu's passion for transportation. Wamunyu is a transport nerd leading Kobo360's operations in East Africa and driving expansion to more countries. After cutting her teeth as one of Uber's first operational leaders in Kenya, she sets high standards for how far she can drive Kobo's mission. The profile is a firsthand exposition on a dynamic African mind that you should absolutely dive into.

YouTube Music and YouTube Premium are now available in Nigeria. Both services were launched on Wednesday by YouTube, the video streaming platform owned by Google. On YouTube music, users can stream songs, albums, thousands of playlists plus YouTube’s catalogue of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos that are not available elsewhere.

YouTube music is free but access to YouTube Music Premium requires a paid membership. It comes with background listening, downloads and an ad-free experience. Music fans can get one month free YouTube Music Premium here, costing N900 per month thereafter or N1,400 per month for a Family Plan.

That's all for today, See you tomorrow! - Alexander       Share TC Daily with everyone you care about!
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