Nigeria shifts deadline for microfinance regulations
Preview
The CBN has changed the deadline for MFB
in partnership with FLUTTERWAVE, TANGERINE LIFE & OPAY 08.05.2020
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BANKING & FINTECH

Nigeria's Central Bank has put plans to implement new regulations for Microfinance banks throughout the country on hold. Nigeria has over 900 microfinance banks thanks to the renewed interest in microfinance banks from fintech companies. With no digital banking licences, Nigerian fintechs work around this problem by acquiring microfinance bank licences in order to provide banking services. The renewed interest pushed the need for the Central bank to tighten regulations. While talks about these regulations have been in the works since 2018, they didn't materialize until 2020. One of the biggest changes was an increase in the licence fees of unit licences from ₦20 million ($51,696) to a whopping ₦200 million ($516,964). The changes were expected to take effect on April 1, 2020 but have now been moved to April 1, 20201. Many fintechs will be grateful for the time and Abubakar Idris explains how these changes might threaten the Nigerian fintech sector.

FUNDING

Helium Health, a Nigerian electronic medical records company, has secured $10 million in investment from a Series A funding round. Helium's technology is a smart all-in-one electronic enterprise manager that handles doctor’s visits, prescriptions, and medical billing The round was co-led by Global Ventures, a Dubai-based venture capital fund, and Africa Healthcare Masterfund, a fund managed by the Asia Africa Investment & Consulting (AAIC). Tencent, the Chinese owner of WeChat, also participated in the round, as well as two African firms: Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company, and Chrysalis Capital.

Menabytes is reporting that the Egyptian mobility startup, Swvl has raised over $20 million in a newly completed funding round completed just before the Covid-19 pandemic. While Swvl has not officially announced the investment round, it was reportedly confirmed in the recent financials of Vostok New Ventures, the Swedish VC that co-led Swvl’s $42 million Series B-2 in June last year. Read all about it here.

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TELCO

South Africa's department of communications has put a hold on number porting while a national state of disaster remains in place. The regulation also includes a ban on price increases and it is expected to continue as South Africa extends its lockdown.

STARTUPS & THE ECONOMY
"A survey by Startup Genome that featured 1,070 startups from 50 countries around the world revealed that a majority of startups are in the red zone, with less than three months of cash runway." In this article, Techpoint argues that startups in Africa are facing a crisis of survival and that the government needs to step in to help. Already, startups across Africa are reducing team sizes, cutting salaries and sending employees on unpaid leave. But these measures may not be enough. While the government has introduced a ₦50 billion intervention fund for SMEs, Techpoint argues that it may be too little, too late.

Nigerian financial service technology company OPay has joined Nigerians and the Government in rolling out a series of anti-pandemic and relief efforts. As part of its #DoMore initiative, OPay made a donation of 40,000 medical face masks to the Lagos State Government.

BULLISH ON AFRICA

On May 15, 2020, TechCabal is holding a digital conference, themed Bullish on Africa, in partnership with Pariti. The event will speak to the future of Africa's tech industry with optimism and strength and critical thinking about what it takes to get to a stronger industry from where we are today.

This digital conference will bring together experienced tech thinkers and doers from Africa and across the world including entrepreneurs and investors to speak about the opportunities they are looking at and to share their experiences about what the continent should be building and how to build strong, sustainable and profitable companies in a moment of crisis.

Confirmed speakers for the conference include Kola Aina, Founder, Ventures Platform; Andreata Muforo, Partner, TLcom TIDE Africa Fund; Benjamin Schmerler, Partner, SUNU Capital; Nisha Ligon, CEO, Ubongo; and Alain Nteff, CEO, Health Lane; among others.

Sign up here to indicate interest in attending the event.

If you are a startup in health or edtech willing to join our investor matchmaking session, please fill in this form. Startups in any sector expanding as a result of coronavirus can also apply. Investors interested in meeting startups can apply here.

That's it,

Stay safe. We'll see you tomorrow.
#flattenthecurve
- Olumuyiwa

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