SOLD! Two years after $86m acquisition, Uzabase sells Quartz
Two years after it acquired Quarzt for $86 million
in partnership with FLUTTERWAVE & ENDEAVOR 10.11.2020
Good morning. Is that the smell of normalcy? Pfizer and Biontech have announced a COVID19 vaccine candidate that's showing more than 90% effectiveness in preventing the virus. In today's edition: -Digital lending -MultiChoice Half Year results -Quartz is private again
PARTNER CONTENT

Bamboo, a Flutterwave merchant, gives you unrestricted access to over 3,000 stocks listed on the Nigerian stock exchange and U.S. stock exchanges, right from your mobile phone or computer. With as little as $20, you can create and fund your Bamboo account with your Dollar or Naira cards and through bank transfers. Start buying and selling shares or stock bundles (called Exchange Traded Funds) in just a few taps, begin here.

MAKING BETTER LENDING DECISIONS
In the last few years, the Digital lending business in Nigeria has grown. Access to credit has long been a problem in the lending space. Before digital lenders came along, this credit problem was said to be the fault of retail banks. Why were retail banks so risk averse that they happily waved away the chance to make revenue from interest payments? Well, digital lenders are finding out first hand. With no effective credit bureaus, the average Nigerian does not have a credit history. There are also no real institutional disincentives to prevent people from owing lenders. The summary: Nigeria's digital lending space could use some startups that could help with some structure. Those structures would benefit the lenders and borrowers. Last month, we talked about Evolve Credit providing a loan marketplace where people can compare rates from digital lenders. Enter CARMA, a data startup helps lenders make better credit assessment decisions by giving them access to a "real time credit data on a peer to peer basis." While CARMA was launched in Nairobi this year, it has now received funding in a round led by Nigerian VC, Microtraction. Up next: CARMA has now launched in Nigeria and it will mean an extra tool in the digital lenders arsenal to make better lending decisions.
A WINDFALL FOR MULTICHOICE
While MultiChoice’s half year results aren't due until November 12, the PayTV company is expecting a surge in profits. The company says it is expecting a 45% increase in profits for HY 2020. One reason profits are up is because it cut cost. While we're not entirely certain what that means right now, November 12 will provide a clearer picture. What we can say for certain is that MultiChoice has had an interesting year. It has responded well to competition from Netflix, launching its own digital products and pushing adoption for them. It has also seen some interest from the Canal Group, with the French company buying a 12% stake in MultiChoice. What to watch out for: Our analysis of MultiChoice's HY 2020 results later this week
PARTNER CONTENT
At Catalysing Conversations, listen to Ire Aderinokun (BuyCoins), Ugwem Eneyo (SHYFT Power Solutions), and Temie Giwa Tubosun (LifeBank) share how they are disrupting industries as diverse as finance, healthcare, and renewable energy.

UZABASE HAS SOLD QUARTZ
The online business news website, Quartz, has become an independent company, two years after it was acquired by Uzabase for $86 million. A timeline of events
  • Quartz was founded in 2012 by Atlantic media
  • In 2016, it had achieved an operating profit, a feat it has not achieved again
  • In 2018, it was sold to a Japanese company that was largely unknown in the US, Uzabase
  • At the time, Uzabase’s goal was to turn Quartz into the number one business news site in the world within five years
Rubber meets the road: The business reality for Quartz has been harder than Uzabase anticipated. In 2019, Quartz reported an $18.4 million loss on $26.9 million in revenue. In May 2020, it laid off nearly half of its staff. It also adopted a subscription model, hoping that it would augment its revenue from adverts. So it didn't come as a surprise when the Wall Street Journal broke the news that Uzabase was looking to sell Quartz. Who's buying? Co-founder and CEO Zach Seward, editor-in-chief Katherine Bell and the rest of the Quartz staff taking equity in the new company. It's why Quartz is calling it a management buyout. While it's another brutal reminder of the difficulty of the media business, it will be interesting to see if going private is just what Quartz needs.
Go Deeper: Uzabase sells Quartz to the site’s CEO and staff
THE TECHCABAL DAILY 2.0 IS ALMOST HERE
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One more sleep until the new TC Daily is here!

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