How to think about scaling African tech
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Africa-focused tower operator Helios will acquire 65 mobile-phone tower sites to expand its presence in South Africa this year. Helios will acquire the sites from Eagle Towers, a South African telecom infrastructure company. The deal is expected to be completed by the second half of the year.

Helios is active in five African countries with over 7,000 towers. As Africa’s potential for mobile connectivity grows, mobile network operators will depend on tower companies for the infrastructure to break ground in new communities. Helios is reportedly in talks with Vodacom to build towers in the next 15 months as the latter plans to roll out its 5G capabilities.

Africa’s tech scene is vibrant with lots of startups in different sectors, but how many are ready to scale? The pandemic will likely induce a short-term period of difficulty, where companies are forced to think more about survival than growth. But there will be life after this period and tech companies need to think strategically about their next level.

Andreata Muforo, a partner at TLcom Capital who spoke at TechCabal’s Bullish on Africa conference last week, gives an insightful guide on how to think about scaling tech businesses.

How does the experience of technology services in Nigeria compare with Eastern Europe? In the latest edition of Digital Nomads, Muyiwa spoke with Uche whose experience in Ukraine includes getting unlimited Wi-Fi for $6 a month, meaning he never has to bother about downloading anything. Dig in to find
out what has changed about his most-used apps since he switched the chaos of Lagos for greener pastures in Lviv.

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When a ban on motorcycles was imposed in Lagos in February 2020, the major bike-hailing startups had 14,000 employees across the nation. Startups began to pivot to deliveries but likely not without some of the riders losing their livelihood. Lagos was a major market for these startups.

Last week OPay confirmed to TechCabal that it was selling off some of its bikes and focusing on its delivery business in Lagos. While it’s difficult to quantify the number of employees who lost their jobs to the ban, the coronavirus pandemic has further complicated job security in the industry.

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Great week ahead,

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