19 OCTOBER, 2021

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Good morning ☀️ ️

The ports are back!

That’s the highlight of Apple’s event held yesterday. 😑

Okay, the real highlight is Apple’s new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, but it’s exciting that Apple is releasing new MacBooks and they’re coming with ports. 

The new M1 Pro and Max chips double the efficiency and performance of the M1 chips that were released in 2020.

There’s also a downside to these new devices—other than their 💸. The notch to the new MacBooks is what a lot of people are raving about, not the 70% GPU boost the new chips offer. 

In today’s edition

  • A Wave of successes
  • How Netflix is spreading its net across Kenya
  • The perks of Apple’s privacy move
  • Championing Nigeria’s insurance industry with digital revolution

EDITOR’S NOTE

Yesterday’s edition contained some news about MTN Nigeria’s refund to its customers. 

We’d mentioned that MTN Nigeria was giving 1MB to all its Nigerian subscribers but didn’t include news of a later release from MTN where the telecoms company retracted that offer and instead enforced a refund on all purchases made between 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 16.

We’ve since edited this story on our website and edited all related social media posts.

– Koromone Koroye, Managing Editor

A WAVE OF SUCCESSES

“In the early days, we were just a bunch of people who were passionate about building a better mobile money service. The office was a house. We’d sit on the floor to discuss the business. We’d brainstorm the product, mission, and impact while eating a simple local meal.”

In September, Wave, a mobile money service provider based in Senegal, became a unicorn

Created by two Americans in 2017 to lower the cost of mobile money transactions in Senegal, Wave has gone through major changes since its founding in 2018. It was first a spinoff from an Asia- and Africa-focused cheap remittance company, Sendwave; then it transitioned into a mobile money service provider worth $1.7 billion. 

Within four years, Wave has grown to address one of Africa’s fastest-growing mobile money markets by being radically affordable. With more than 5 million downloads on PlayStore, and an 800-man team, the platform offers free deposits and withdrawals via its mobile application and applies a fixed transaction fee of just 1% for money transfers between individuals. 

Wave has also considered Senegal’s unconnected population. For users without a smartphone, it provides a free QR-card to transact with agents, who are able to open accounts, receive deposits, and execute withdrawals. 

Wave, currently valued at nearly $2 billion after a recent $200 million Series A round, is also francophone Africa’s first unicorn

But they didn’t set out to become one. All they wanted to do was create a mobile money service that was easy to use and extremely affordable for millions of people. 

In a conversation with us, Wave’s General Manager, Coura Sene, reflects on the choices and decisions that have brought the unicorn this far. 

Dig deeper in “We weren’t motivated to become a unicorn”: Wave’s West Africa head reflects on startup’s rapid growth.

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HOW NETFLIX IS SPREADING ITS NET ACROSS KENYA

Netflix is more serious than ever about capturing Kenyan viewers. 

Since September, Netflix has been offering freemium services and running targeted Twitter campaigns. But, in a move that displays a real willingness to solidify themselves in the hearts and minds of the East African nation’s growing viewers, the streaming giant is now offering Swahili-language programming. 

The language of the people

Swahili is a regional language spoken throughout East Africa, and it takes on different forms in each country. 

Sanifu Swahili or “proper Swahili” is a term used to describe Swahili spoken in the standard form. Standard Swahili is spoken widely in Tanzania and on Kenya’s coast, but in Nairobi, the language has taken on a new life. In the multicultural environment that is the Kenyan capital, a Swahili- and English-based slang called Sheng is spoken among the youth. 

Swahili is also spoken by 100 million people across the world. It has gained so much deserved recognition that it was the first African language to be added to the Duolingo library. 

All this was considered by celebrated Kenyan comic, Eddie Butita, when Netflix enlisted his help in rolling out Swahili programming. 

Butita’s role

Over a period of months, Butita translated and oversaw the dubbing for the Swahili language version of Wanda Sykes and Regina Y. Hicks’ Netflix sitcom, The Upshaws

At 28 years old, Butita has contributed to iconic series like Churchill Show and the work of other famous Kenyan comedians like Eric Omondi. 

But it’s clear that he was not approached by Netflix based on comedic talent alone. Butita is skilled at wielding digital technology in a market that’s grown so big that Netflix can’t ignore it.

Read more in: I promise it’s funnier in Swahili…Kenyan Comedian Eddie Butita is Showing Netflix How Swahili’s Done.

THE PERKS OF APPLE’S PRIVACY MOVE

Was this Apple’s plan all along, or is it a mere coincidence?

What happened?

Per FT, Apple’s advertising business has more than tripled its market share since it introduced privacy changes to iPhones six months ago. For context, in 2017, Apple’s ad business brought in $300 million; this year it’s poised to bring in between $3-5 billion. 

How it works

The new privacy change obstructs Apple rivals, like Facebook, from targeting ads at consumers without seeking their permission first—among other things. 

The effect of this is that other advertisers aren’t as effective as they used to be, so advertisers are now spending more on Apple’s ads. They claim they could get more granular, real-time data with retargeting capabilities through Apple ads—something advertisers like Facebook can no longer offer.

A popular use case is the Apple App Store ads, which allows advertisers to feature their products in the first slot. In June, Apple introduced App Store search ads in China and banner ads in May. 

Zoom out: At the heart of Apple’s privacy move is the belief that what you share from experiences and whom you share it with on your phone or online should be up to you. It’s not clear if making things more difficult for its competition while creating some new business for itself was also part of the plan, but it sure does raise some eyebrows.

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CHAMPIONING NIGERIA’S LIFE INSURANCE INDUSTRY WITH DIGITAL REVOLUTION

We don’t like to talk about it but death is an inevitable part of our existence. As computers wear and tear, and funding dries up, so does human life end. 

But let’s ignore the death part and talk about life instead: life insurance. 

An interest-ing life 😑

Life insurance provides savings and financial security plans to those who buy it. Instead of earning interest by saving money in a bank, people often achieve more goals with life insurance which delivers interest on savings and guarantees an additional sum of money to be paid to their family members or chosen beneficiaries if the unexpected happens. 

In countries like Nigeria, for instance, insurance penetration is very low, and this is due to several reasons such as little understanding of the subject matter, minimal digital experience for the customer and the insurance provider, unimpressive customer experience, and a disconnect between insurance and lifestyle. 

Change is coming

In recent times, though, evolving technology has helped change this narrative. The global life insurance industry is embracing this transformation to undertake changes within their operations while mitigating some of the challenges plaguing the sector, and this transformation has been ignited in Nigeria, championed by insurance companies like Heirs Life Assurance (HLA). 

Read more in How Heirs Life Assurance is championing the overdue digital revolution of the Nigerian insurance industry.

OPPORTUNITIES: AFRICAN FOLK TALES REIMAGINED

Netflix is partnering with UNESCO to launch a short film competition targeted at finding the bravest, wittiest, and most surprising retellings of some of Africa’s most-loved folktales. 

The competition is open to emerging filmmakers across sub-Saharan Africa who are seeking to venture into feature film development and production.

Six winners will be awarded $25,000 each with a production budget of up to $75,000 to create their short film centred on a reimagined African folktale. 

Find out more and apply here.

What else we’re reading

  • Next Wave: Is Decentralised Finance the key to Africa’s economic liberation?
  • Egyptian e-commerce startup Talabeyah has raised $1.1 million funding. 
  • Twitter was testing a feature to let users know if a conversation would be heated or not. They’re pulling the plug though; it just didn’t fit the app’s vibe.

TELL SOMEONE ABOUT #TCDAILY

Written by – Timi Odueso & Daniel Adeyemi

Edited by – Kelechi Njoku

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