An acquisition in the crytpo-verse
in partnership with FLUTTERWAVE 10.09.2020
Welcome to TC Daily! In today's digest: one fintech startup learns from another, another big deal in crypto, and a report about helping startups rebound post-COVID. Please take a moment to subscribe to this newsletter if this email was forwarded to you. Also subscribe to The Next Wave, our Sunday newsletter designed to be your post-pandemic guide on tech and innovation in Africa.
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TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION
Other people's experience is a great teacher, isn't it? Nigeria digital savings app Piggyvest did not wait to have its own security scare with a customer. Learning from the events of the past week involving Cowrywise, the startup enabled two-factor authentication for withdrawals and other "sensitive actions" on Wednesday evening. Until the new feature was activated, a user only had to provide their Piggyvest password to withdraw money from the app. Provided the destination account conformed to the Bank Verification Number registered to the user, the transfer was approved. The difference going forward is the requirement to tap an orange tab to generate a one-time password, as an additional security layer. The password - a six-digit pin - is sent to the user's email address, and is programmed to expire after ten minutes. The idea is that a user requesting a withdrawal will have no problem quickly accessing their email to get the OTP needed to complete the transaction. The feature was received well by the app's users. But it's worth asking - given the apparent email compromise in the Cowrywise case - if email is a better alternative to SMS which banks typically use. More on this and Cowrywise's product philosophy on TechCabal.com later today.
ACQUISITION

Luno, the cryptocurrency platform with a noted presence in Africa, has been acquired by Digital Currency Group (DCG), a bitcoin and blockchain investment company. DCG was one of Luno's earliest investors, participating in a seed round within a year of the startup's establishment in 2013. The deal announced yesterday is a whole acquisition but Luno will operate as an independent subsidiary. Why does this matter: As we highlighted in this week's TC Insights feature, the buzz for crypto is increasing in Africa with various types of investment coming in. While not an African company, Luno has gained the backing of Naspers, one of the continent's big tech investors, and is a trusted exchange for bitcoin traders in Nigeria and South Africa where they have offices. This acquisition could strengthen the company's Africa play, further driving the appetite to push crypto into the mainstream. Don't sleep on this trend.

MY LIFE IN TECH

Meet Afia Bobia Amanfo, a self-taught web developer using technology to keep Ghanaian students connected to leading educational and career resources. Amanfo spoke to Kay Ugwuede about her motivation for founding Studentshub Ghana to provide trainings and mentorships for undergraduate students whose education has been truncated by the pandemic.

TC LIVE in partnership with VERIFYME
Have you ever tried to set up a bank account or bid for a contract without any means of identification? If the contracting officer or banking officer did their jobs well, you must have been unable to proceed without an ID. Now, imagine what the experiences of those who have no formal means of ID are. Digital identities are important. They can make the difference between whether people access economic opportunities or not. This month, on Wednesday, September 16th, 2020, TechCabal in partnership with identity verification company, VerifyMe will mark International ID-day by bringing industry veterans together to explore the state of digital identity in Nigeria. Speakers include Mitchell Elegbe, Founder / Group Managing Director, Interswitch, and Esigie Aguele, Co-Founder and CEO, VerifyMe Nigeria. They will answer questions including how a digital identity ecosystem will enable the Nigerian tech community, particularly fintech; and how entrepreneurs and professionals can shape and take advantage of a working digital identity system? Register here to attend the event.
WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING?
  • How COVID-19 forced Nigeria-based logistics startup TORA to shutter after 10 months.
  • Nigeria's central bank is unhappy with "rich corporates" comfortably saving cash in bank deposits and collecting interest. Wonder why?
  • If 70% of Nigerian startups face funding challenges and only 6% have cash runway for up to 25 months, what policy alternatives could get them back on their feet? This "in-house" Endeavor report in partnership with Stears Data proposes a three-point action plan.
Has it been a slow news week or what?
Anyway, catch up on this car-themed episode of the TC Weekly Podcast on Spotify, Soundcloud, Google Podcasts, and Anchor.fm

I have a cake to cut! See you tomorrow.
- Alexander

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