Tizeti vs WeJapa: A Tale of two independent investigations
Preview
Two Nigerian startups show us the right and wrong way
in partnership with FLUTTERWAVE 04.11.2020
Good morning. In the end, it was much ado about nothing... An independent committee of Twitter’s board, including a representative of activist investor Elliott Management, has decided that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey should keep his job. In today's edition: -Startups and accountability -Wee Media raises $400k -Ant Group's big IPO will have to wait
PARTNER CONTENT

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STARTUPS AND ACCOUNTABILITY
It's pretty easy to spot when a company puts a foot wrong, and even easier to give recommendations on what they could have done better. What doesn't happen often is seeing another company act better in the same situation. It helps to show what accountability really means for startups. Before I lose you with this sermonizing, here's a timeline:
  • In June 2020, Ex-MEST Entrepreneur-in-Training, Kelechi Udoagwu almost sparked a #MeToo moment in the Lagos tech space
  • She accused Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti's CEO of flashing his privates during a meeting
  • It took two statements and 48 hours before Ananyi agreed to step down
  • 4DX Ventures, a company on Tizeti's board resigned over a “lack of commitment from company leadership to handle this matter with the seriousness it deserves”
Tizeti's independent investigation into the allegations found no wrongdoing on Ananyi's part and reinstated him as CEO. It was an investigation whose conclusions left more questions than answers. Jessica Hope, founder, Wimbart PR agency, said of the investigation: “It doesn’t even begin to feel like a satisfactory resolution to the situation, and I have a feeling it will actually cause the situation to escalate further, rather than draw anything to a close.” Microtraction's Dayo Koleowo also tweeted, “Why is Tizeti press releasing this and not the independent body? This also doesn’t say anything to be honest. Inconclusive in my opinion.” A few months down the line, a Microtraction backed company, WeJapa, saw its CEO accused of misconduct. While we reported on the investigation's findings, Alex writes that set a welcome example of how startups can show accountability.
WEE MEDIA RAISES $400K
Wee Media, a Pan-African digital media company with teams in Kenya and Lagos has raised $400k in a seed round Japan’s Samurai Incubate, Hong Kong-based Grenfell Holdings, and a pair of US-based investors; Knarrs Ventures and Jim Waltrip, participated in the seed round. Wee Media currently runs three publications: WeeTracker.com, Gadgets-Africa.com and AfriCo. Soundbite: “The vision of the company is to fix the broken business journalism in Africa and bridge the data gap. For more many years, companies like Dow Jones, Bloomberg, and Pitchbook have been tracking the global private markets but African data and content are considerably ignored. There’s so much happening in the PE/VC and M/A space across the continent and we are trying to be the platform that puts Africa first.” - Rishabh Lawania, CEO, Wee Media. Bonus: Following the announcement of the fund raise, I spoke to Nayantara Jha, a co-founder at WeeTracker. She talked about the problems Wee Media is trying to solve and what this raise could mean for other digital publishers. Action point: Keep an eye out for the newsletter on Tuesday where I'll share all the best bits of our conversation with Nayantara.
ANT GROUP'S BIG IPO HITS A SNAG
Chinese regulators have halted Ant Group's blockbuster $37 billion IPO in Hong Kong and Shanghai Ant Group, formerly known as Ant Financial and Alipay, is an affiliate company of the Chinese Alibaba Group. It is the world's highest-valued FinTech company, and the most valuable unicorn. A timeline of events:
  • Ant Group confirmed its shares would begin trading in Hong Kong and Shanghai
  • Looking to raise $34 billion, it would have been the biggest Initial Public Offering on record
  • It priced its shares at $10.30 per share, meaning that the company is worth around $310 million

China's regulators have now pumped the brakes on Ant's IPO, saying that the company's listing no longer meets existing requirements. Ant Group's controlling shareholder, Jack Ma as well as other company executives were called in to a meeting with the regulators on Sunday. At this time, there are no details on what transpired during that meeting. Go deeper: China halts Ant Group's blockbuster IPO
EVENT
The second episode of Building From Ground Hub with Paystack CEO, Shola Akinlade has been rescheduled for Friday, November 6. The event is created in partnership with UK-Nigeria Tech Hub. Do mark your calendars if you have registered, and if you haven’t, you can still register for the event here.
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Two more days to Friday!

- Olumuyiwa

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