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26 – 03 – 2020

Hi there! Welcome to today’s edition of TC Daily! If this mail was forwarded to you, please take a moment to subscribeAlso, join us on Telegram! Below are some important tech happenings you should know about today:

The Flutterwave Women’s Day Grant is for women-led businesses in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Rwanda and Kenya. The grant will support female-owned small to medium businesses with capital, as well as the leverage they need to expand their businesses locally, and across Africa. Application deadline has been extended to 6th April 2020. Apply today.

My Life in Tech: Mayokun Fadeyibi

Cars45’s Mayokun Fadeyibi has been in the Nigerian tech ecosystem for the last six years. She started her career in the ecosystem as Senior Manager at classifieds website OLX. She moved on to join Sankore Global Investments as COO and VP for Innovation and Strategy. Now VP of Cars45, Fadeyibi talks to TechCabal’s Kay Ugwuede about her life and industry experiences for the latest article on My Life in Tech.

Hacking attempts have spiked in South Africa

With millions of people working from home, hackers have increased attacks on IT networks. With people accessing corporate networks remotely and possibly from less secured devices, hackers think they have a golden opportunity to exploit. The World Health Organisation has recorded one attack recently.

But in South Africa, Kaspersky data say cybercriminals attacked over 300,000 devices last week. The plan is to break into these systems, gain control over them and compromise sensitive data. At least of third of hacking attempts in South Africa involved brute force to hack passwords.

The country has a history of major breaches and this makes it particularly vulnerable. In October, City of Johannesburg’s website and online services suffered a ransomware attack for the second time in four months. Both attacks were carried out by the same hackers who demanded payment of 4 bitcoins ($30,000 at the time).

In the same month, a number of web hosting companies in South Africa suffered a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) said another wave of DDoS attacks affected multiple banks.

Cyber attacks in South Africa have continued in 2020. In February, state-owned Eskom acknowledged a malware infection and possible data leak. In another attack, Nedbank, one of the country’s biggest banks, suffered a data breach affecting 1.7 million customers.

These attacks compromised corporate networks. But with the outbreak of COVID-19, people are remotely accessing these networks. Hackers are prioritising attacks against people’s devices and software with the hope that they are insecure or lax about basic security.

Swvl is still in business

One of the best ways to reduce the spread of pandemic coronavirus is social distancing. This is affecting the transportation business. In Tunisia, bike hailing startup has drastically limited its passenger transport business and pivoted to a delivery service. While PlentyWaka, a Nigerian bus hailing service that claims it completed 100,000 trips in the last six months has shut down temporarily. However, Swvl is still in business.

The bus hailing service which raised $42 million last year continues to operate in Egypt, Pakistan and Kenya. But it has taken some precautions. In Pakistan, it has asked drivers to open windows for better ventilation. The company is also practising social distancing in its bus by reducing the number of passengers. In Pakistan, its services are used by around 70,000 people, with the new measures, that number has dropped by half.

Swvl is implementing similar measures in Kenya. It has limited its operations to “must-have” routes while offering free rides promo.  Booking capacity has also been limited to 60% of seats and it asking people to pay with its digital wallets rather than cash.

Using tech to address the pandemic

South Africa is one country most affected by the recent pandemic. The number of confirmed cases in the country is 709 but no deaths so far. The virus tends to be severe for people with underlying health problems. 7.7 million South Africans are suffering from AIDS; that’s 13.6% of the population. About 60% of its AIDS population also have Tuberculosis. This increases COVID-19 risks for the country.

To reduce this threat level, the government will shut down the country for three weeks to control the spread of the virus. Like other countries, technology solutions might become a big part of control measures. In this research, Weetracker identified a number of tech solutions that can be deployed by the government.

This African eCommerce company is struggling to deliver orders

South African ecommerce companies are struggling to keep up with rising customer orders. Zulzi is one of the worst affected. The company uses a network of “shoppers” who get inventory from nearby malls and hands them off to Zulzi delivery riders. During regular days, customers get their orders within an hour. But these are not regular times. The current pandemic has disrupted supply leading to low stock. South Africa is set for a 21-day shutdown but Zulzi’s technology is also struggling with the volume of orders it is getting. TechCabal’s Alexander Onukwue writes that the company’s inability to fulfil orders is frustrating customers.

Will card payment disappear soon?

Card payment used to be a big deal until the 2010s. Fintech startups, superapps and new innovation have completed disrupted payments. In Asia, the 1 billion transactions were done on WeChat Pay, the superapp, in 2019. In Kenya, mobile money transactions stood at $38.5 billion, nearly half the GDP of the country. Different fintechs across Africa are developing solutions sans-cards. All these beg raises the question: what does the future hold for card payment? In my article, I explore some answers using different trends and reports.

Experts from across Africa will converge online at the #StartupSouth: #LifeAfterCorona Virtual Conference on Monday March 30, 2020 at 4pm to discuss the Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Africa and advise appropriate response by corporates organisations and Governments. The online conference will feature expert epidemiologists, bankers, data analysts and the innovation community. Some confirmed experts include Ndidi Nwuneli (Co-Founder at Sahel Capital and Founder, LEAP Africa), Bradley Shaw (Regional Manager, MEA, NuRAN Wireless), Ben White (Co-Founder, Venture Capital for Africa and Cheta Nwanze (Lead Partner, SBM Intelligence).  Attendance is free subject to registration via

Other things we’re reading:

+ In Africa, private equity firms are reducing their funding sizes to target tech startups.

+ How Koniku, a Nigerian-founded biotech company, wants to revolutionize disease detection in the world.

+ The Nigerian online betting industry in the time of coronavirus

This startup has supplied over 12 million paper bags to businesses across Africa

Investor interest in Africa’s underdeveloped pharmacy business is growing

A city guide, but for startups in Lagos, Accra, Kigali & Nairobi

Before you go, please help us out here: We would like you to take a quick survey to help us ensure we are reaching you with the right stories and information about technology and innovation in Africa. It’s only three questions and will take a few minutes. Please click this link to fill out the survey. Thank you very much!

Remember to practice social distancing

Stay safe, see you tomorrow

– Abubakar

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