IntiGo, a Tunisian bike hailing company, has raised over $1 million for expansion
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Hello there, Welcome to TC Daily! In today's digest: Uber's logistics plans, IntiGo raises $1 million and Komaza, Kenya's Komaza raises $28 million Series B funding. Please take a moment to subscribe to our newsletter if this email was forwarded to you.

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Uber has expanded its Uber Connect delivery service to Kenya, TechMoran reports. Uber Connect is a same-day delivery service that allows users to send items to one another. According to the report, orders in Kenya will be delivered primarily using Uber’s bike hailing service, UberBoda. UberConnect will use the same billing system as UberBoda, with a base fare of $0.51. The expansion of Uber Connect is part of a new strategy at Uber, as COVID-19 has forced the company to rethink its business direction. With millions of people isolating at their home and others concerned about the health implications of sharing rides, Uber’s core ride hailing business has suffered. In the first quarter, its ride-hailing bookings were down 80% from Q1 2019. As Uber’s passenger transport business suffered, deliveries are soaring. At the end of March, bookings on Uber Eats, Uber’s fastest growing business, was up 50%. Now, the company is doubling down on its diversification plan pivoted on logistics. It wants to become the "Amazon of logistics," or an "everyday service" as Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi said on a call with investors. Since April, Uber has made strategic moves in this direction. It launched two new consumer-facing delivery services: Uber Direct and Uber Connect. In July, it completed a $459m deal to acquire a majority stake in Latin American grocery startup, Cornershop. Uber also acquired on-demand delivery service, Postmates for $2.65 billion. While these acquisitions were in the works, Uber also struck deals to provide delivery services in countries such as the UK, Portugal and France. Now, by expanding Uber Connect to Kenya, Uber is signalling its interest in Africa’s delivery market. And the choice of motorcycles for deliveries is interesting and hints that it could use this strategy for other African countries. But how would it do it? In Kenya, Uber Connect is benefitting from the presence of Uber Boda which launched in East Africa in 2018. The bike hailing service is available in Kenya and Uganda but Uber has been slow to expand it to more countries. In June 2019, Uber’s Global Head of Business Development, Brooks Entwistle told TechCabal the company will consider regulatory issues before making any expansion. Unlike passenger transport, regulations for logistics services are more straightforward in many countries, including Nigeria, Africa’s biggest market. In the West African country, motorcycle-based delivery services are already witnessing serious growth as e-commerce makes a resurgence. For example, Gokada, the former bike hailing service, pivoted to deliveries in February. By May, it told TechCabal its daily delivery volume could soon surpass its ride-hailing business. Uber could be looking to enter this market. But how would it do it? The first route would be to simply expand UberBoda into Nigeria and onboard as many bike riders as possible. That won’t be an as easy task as government regulation in places like Lagos has forced many riders to leave the city. An acquisition is a second option. Services like MAX, Gokada, Kwik and Dellyman have on the ground operations that Uber could benefit from. Rather than build a new service from scratch, why not acquire one of these operators? As Uber deepens its focus on logistics in Africa, these options may come up.

IntiGo, a Tunisian startup, has raised over $1 million to explore new expansion options. The funding round was led by Tunisian investor, Capsa Capital Partners with participation from some angel investors. Founded in 2019, IntiGo is a delivery and ride-hailing service in Tunis. The company operates a fleet of 50 bikes and uses a hire-purchase model to rent out these bikes. Its riders pay a fixed amount as rent in addition to 20% commission on each ride they fulfil. With its latest funding, the company has now raised $1.6 million and is looking to expand to car-hailing and build out a research and development unit.

Nigeria’s federal government has set up a new committee to provide digital identity for citizens within the next 5 years. Nigeria has been struggling to develop a single national database for citizens. Different attempts over the last 20 years have failed, forcing different government bodies to develop their own alternative identity schemes. For instance, the Bank Verification Number (BVN) was developed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the financial sector. Outside finance, businesses and the government use the voter’s card, driver’s licence and the international passport to verify people’s identity. However, each identity system is managed by a different government body, with minimal interoperability. According to Joe Abah, the chairman of the new committee, the plan is to integrate these existing identity options to give each Nigerian a digital identity by 2025.

Komaza, a Kenyan agritech company, has raised $28 million Series B funding. Komaza is in the forestry business. According to Disrupt Africa, "[it] uses artificial intelligence (AI) and satellite data to map existing tree growth and real-time mobile apps on the ground to track farmer progress." The company claims it works with 25,000 farmers and said it has planted six million trees. Investors who participated in the round include Novastar Ventures, AXA Investment Managers, Dutch development bank FMO, and Mirova’s Land Degradation Neutrality Fund.


Early-stage investors are privy to some of the most disruptive tech ideas and solutions in the market. Some ideas are solid and will succeed, others are risky bets that may fail. So how do early-stage investors pick startups to back? Speaking to TechCabal, a number of investors said their funding decision is based on certain variables. Alexander Onukwue has more details in the latest entry of Factsheet.

In 2001, about two decades ago, Chika Nwobi, an investor in some of Nigeria’s earliest internet startups attempted to hire a developer. After trying to find a developer without success, Nwobi ran into a fresh graduate, Oletu Godswill who had never even written commercial-quality software. However, Godswill had been training himself in software engineering using internet access at the local ISP where he was working as a network engineer. Six months later, Godswill joined Nwobi's company MTech, self-taught, and built MTN MLife — the first mobile content and email service in Nigeria using open source tools. Nigeria's technical talent industry, which comprises organizations and initiatives that recruit, train, and supply developers and other technical talents, has come a long way since Nwobi's developer search 19 years ago. There are at least 25 key players in the industry. But the industry's history precedes the award of GSM license in 2001 or Andela's famous launch in 2014 and goes as far back as 1963 when IBM set up its Africa education center. In our two-part series, put together in partnership with Tek Experts, we track the industry's history and map the key players. Read it here and here. Get more TechCabal reports and send us your custom research requests here.
That's all for today,

See you on Tuesday.
- Abubakar

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