21 MAY, 2021

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

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Good morning ☀️ ️

As we say goodbye to another work week, Microsoft has also said goodbye to Internet Explorer. Earlier this week it announced it’ll be retiring the Internet browser on June 15th 2022 after 25 years.

I don’t know anyone who still uses Internet Explorer, do you?

In today’s edition:

  • Quick Fire 🔥
  • Ghanaians to begin re-registration of SIM cards
  • The Backend
  • TC Insights: Deal Tracker

Quick Fire 🔥 with Atwine Stone

Explain your job to a five-year-old

I help individuals and businesses to move money in the least expensive and most efficient way. 

What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?

I always wanted to be a pilot. That was very fascinating at a young age. As a teenager, I was awed by the tall skyscrapers I saw in movies and I wanted to design and build them. I always thought I’d be an architect. And I know I would have been a pretty good one. 

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

A few things matter in life. Being good to others, keeping fit and enjoying one’s self. By all means, travel. You are assured of being a millionaire if you learn the magic of compounding – be it in building skills or investing. Couple that with extremely large dreams and you can do anything.

What’s your favourite book?

It really depends. I jump from book to book. Currently, it is ‘The Beginning of Infinity’ by David Deutsch. 

How do you unwind outside of work?

I take the kids to the park if I am in Paris. If I am traveling, it revolves around meeting new people and that also usually entails work. 

What (singular) achievement are you most proud of?

The work we do with Eversend. I would really prefer it was being a great dad. That’s what I strive for. 

A genie gives you one wish for the African tech ecosystem, what would yours be?

To fix early stage tech funding on the continent. There are great problem solvers that will never get the initial capital required to make those dreams come true. We will never know what they are capable of. 

*Atwine Stone is the CEO of Eversend, an African neobank

PARTNER CONTENT

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🏾 Learn more at paystack.com/storefront

Ghanaians to begin re-registration of SIM cards with Ghana Card

Ghana’s Ministry of Communications announced earlier this week that its residents will have to re-register their SIM cards with Ghana Card, the country’s smart national ID.

Sounds familiar?

Yes, A similar announcement was made in Nigeria in December 2020, but the approach here is different.

The difference

Nigeria: A two-week period was prescribed for over 200 million people to conduct this exercise. After it was clear that the time window was insufficient, the Federal Government has extended the deadline three times, the current deadline is June 30th. 

The process initially started with people having to visit physical centers, this led to overcrowding and the further spread of COVID-19.

Ghana: A six-month period was prescribed for 29 million people living in Ghana to conduct this exercise. This announcement was made one month ahead of time. It’s to start next month. The re-registration doesn’t require going to any telecom outlet as the process can be carried out on mobile devices with a dedicated USSD code, as long as one has the Ghana Card.

Why it matters: This move is part of plans to strengthen Ghana’s digital economy by creating unique IDs, adding them to the country’s database, and in the process, reducing incidences of fraudulent digital activities, which have become commonplace.

One more thing: Please help us tell the Nigerian government that there are better ways to do things.

Read more: Ghanaians to begin re-registration of SIM cards with Ghana Card or risk getting their SIMs blocked

Stax wants you to enjoy USSD with better design, without ever dialling codes again

There’s a misconception that Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) is for people who use basic phones but the feature has become mainstream even among smartphone users in Africa. A study of smartphone users in Bangladesh, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa showed that 87% of all financial-related transactions were conducted via USSD, with only 13% via mobile app.

So, USSD works well. But it still has its fair share of frustrating glitches that you normally wouldn’t encounter on an app. For one, you need to memorise the code for each service you want to access. You could minimise an app to get information from, say, your notes app. But you mostly can’t minimise a USSD session once it’s started.

These frustrating glitches birthed Stax, a tool built by US-based company Hover.

Stax is a mobile app currently available only to Android users in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. It has three use cases: buy airtime, send money, and request money. All without ever dialling any USSD code.

In this week’s edition of the backend, Alex looks under the hood of Stax, a solution that makes USSD smart.

Opportunity

Apply for the UNFPA Climate HackLab 2021 for East and Southern Africa

Two young innovators will each receive $10,000 in seed capital and for business incubation.

Interested? Learn more and Register here.

TC Insights: Deal Tracker

This week, Sequoia Capital made its first African investment. They led a $5million dollar investment into Telda, a digital banking startup based in Egypt.

The other deals for the week include:

  • Homzmart, an Egyptian furniture e-commerce marketplace, raised $20 million from MSA Capital, Nuwa Capital, Outliers Venture Capital, EQ2 Ventures, Rise Capital and Impact46.
  • Egyptian e-commerce delivery startup Bosta raised $6.7 million from Silicon Badia, Wealth Well, Plug and Play, Khwarizmi Ventures and 4DX Ventures.
  • Two Solar Energy Startups, Rwandan Munyax Eco and Zambian Widescreens Energy secured undisclosed amounts from Opes Impact Fund.

That’s all we’ve got this week! 

Follow TC Insights on Twitter andLinkedIn for more updates on funding deals.

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Written by – Daniel Adeyemi

Edited by – Edwin Madu & Koromone Koroye

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Daniel Adeyemi | Author