in partnership with FLUTTERWAVE AND ENDEAVOR 25.08.2020
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Welcome to TC Daily! In today's digest, South Africa and Nigeria are set to reopen cinemas, Bolt is expanding its food delivery service to Kenya and Facebook creates a $1.3 million fund to help small businesses in Nigeria.

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BOLT FOOD

Bolt, the ride-hailing service, is expanding its food delivery business into Kenya. According to local reports, the company is looking to hire a Country Manager for the food delivery business and it could begin offering the service towards the end of the year. Bolt Food was first announced in early 2019 after the company rebranded from Taxify. It fully kicked off food delivery operations in August 2019 launching in its home country, Estonia, before expanding to other markets like South Africa, Latvia and Nigeria. The company claims the service is now available in over 30 countries. With the pandemic adversely affecting the ride-sharing business, Bolt, like Uber, is doubling down on the delivery business. Publicly-traded Uber said its rideshare bookings declined over 70% in Q2 2020 compared to a year ago. In addition to food delivery, Bolt launched the Bolt Business Delivery service in March 2020 following stringent COVID-19 lockdown rules which affected ride-hailing. In Africa, the delivery service is now available in Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana.

TELECOM "FRAUD"
Telecom customers are all too familiar with the problem of auto-subscriptions— where they get signed up and billed for paid value-added services without their consent. On discovery, subscribers typically cancel the VAS service or opt out of auto-renewal. In South Africa, Rudolph Muller writing for MyBroadband says VAS providers, in the form of wireless application service providers (WASPs) and content subscription services, “steal” billions from mobile users each year. In the damning report, Muller claims “the criminals behind subscription fraud face virtually no risk of criminal prosecution if they are caught.”
STARTUP PROGRAMME

Nigeria-based agritech company, Hello Tractor has joined the Mastercard’s Start Path, a six-month virtual programme for later-stage startups globally. Hello Tractor is a tractor aggregating service that connects farmers to tractor owners. Founded in 2014, the startup is among 11 companies participating in the latest edition of the Start Path programme. MAX, Flutterwave and Lidya previously participated in the programme. According to TechMoran, cohorts will receive technical guidance, operational support, commercial engagements within Mastercard’s ecosystem.

FUND ANNOUCEMENT

South African artificial intelligence company, DataProphet has raised $6 million funding to help automate manufacturing processes at factories. Knife Capital led the funding round. Industrial Development Corporation and equipment company, the Norican Group, also participated in the round. DataProphet will use the new funding to grow its sales and customer support efforts while expanding to operations internationally.

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SMALL BUSINESS FUNDING

Facebook has announced a 500 million ($1,295,873) grant to support 781 small businesses in Nigeria, as part its $100m Global Grants Programme announced earlier this year. The programme aims to support 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries and stimulating economic recovery following the effects of COVID-19. Administered by Deloitte, the grant will be provided as a combination of cash and advertising credits to small businesses. Applications are open to qualified businesses starting from August 24. Click here for more details.

REOPENING CINEMAS

After five months of shutdown due to COVID-19, two of South Africa’s biggest cinema chains are set to reopen. Nu Metro and Ster Kinekor movie theatres will reopen on Friday, August 28. The country’s entire movie industry is rallying around the reopening of cinemas with the campaign “It’s Time to Go Big Again.” Typical of the new normal, the campaign isn’t just a glorious call for moviegoers to buy tickets. It wants to make people aware of the new safety rules when they visit the cinemas in the age of COVID-19. South Africa has recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Africa. After 3.6 million tests, the country’s identified positive cases topped 611,450 with over 500,000 recoveries and more than 13,000 deaths. South African cinemas have already suffered the worst of pandemic control measures as revenues have dropped to zero since the first government measures were announced in March. The industry has now announced crucial safety checks for moviegoers including possible new popcorn eating experience when the box office reopens. And as South African cinemas prepare to reopen, in Nigeria, the Lagos state government has, in a way, given the green light to movie theatres in the state. Over the weekend, the government announced new guidelines for hospitality and tourism establishments, Nairametrics reported. The rules include a night-time curfew and a 50% maximum capacity requirement. Visiting the cinema used to be a popular leisure activity in Nigeria’s commercial capital. In the first two weeks of March, despite the country recording its index COVID-19 case, cinema attendance stood at over 176,000 with box office topping 198 million ($525,328). Since then, movie theatres have been shut down with revenues crashing to zero.

TECHCABAL LIVE

This Friday, August 28th, for the 8th episode of "Building in Africa" we are interviewing, Carina Rumberger, CEO, Beyonic. It’s the second in our series of interviews about exits and acquisitions in African tech titled How big deals get done.

The Ugandan-based digital payment company, Beyonic was acquired 100% by MFS Africa in a deal that was paid for in cash and shares. MFS Africa is a mobile money gateway in Africa, which connects mobile network operators in 34 countries across the continent through a single API. The deal which was announced in June 2020 is considered a major win and milestone for the African tech industry where exits are relatively rare. It’s an indicator of the growing appetite for them.

Rumberger has been CEO at Beyonic since 2018 and has over 10 years’ experience in Eastern and Southern Africa working in SME development, compliance, stakeholder engagement, capacity building, last-mile delivery and management.

She will answer questions about the biggest lessons in doing the deal for founders and executives. Attendees will be able to ask Carina Rumberger burning questions in an interactive session.
Register here:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0Owm7YZqTC-g9QfUhInFTQ

WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING?
Have a productive day,

See you tomorrow.
- Abubakar

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