According to sources, Meta may be developing features that will help users buy, sell, and showcase NFTs on Instagram and Facebook.
The company has declined to comment, but a pivot into collectibles will make sense, especially considering how more companies like Nike, Adidas and even Pringles are investing in the venture.
In today’s edition
Event: Building From Ground Up
Quick Fire 🔥
Interpol’s mega bust
TC Insights: Funding Tracker
EVENT: BUILDING FROM GROUND UP
How can founders make the hard decisions that came with building in a new market? How do they balance those decisions with the challenges that ordinarily come with building? How do they scale sustainably, and how should they think about the future?
This morning at 11 AM (WAT), join Imisi3D’s founder, Judith Okonkwo on #BuildingFromGroundUp.
Imisi3D is a Lagos-based creation lab focused on building the ecosystem for extended reality technologies (AR/VR/MR), connecting XR communities across Africa, and providing learning opportunities and access to XR resources for creators and enthusiasts.
The company’s work is one of the very few that blazed the trail for XR in Nigeria. How did Judith get it to where it is today? What are her biggest lessons and hacks for founders on a similar path?
The #BuildingFromGroundUp series is powered by the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub with TechCabal as an implementing partner.
QUICK FIRE 🔥 WITH DANIEL ADEYEMI
Daniel is a Senior Writer at TechCabal. He writes mostly about Big Tech companies and high growth companies in Africa. He shares insights from investors in the African ecosystem through his bi-monthly column Ask an Investor. He previously wrote TC Daily.
Daniel is curious about how technology is impacting the lives of Africans. Before joining TechCabal, he worked in the tech and consulting industry as an Accountant.
Explain your job to a five-year-old
I inform people about what is happening around them (in the African tech space, to be precise), sometimes presenting them with information that helps them make better decisions.
What’s something you wish you knew earlier in your career/life?
No matter what you learn in school, life will always present new scenarios that were never in the syllabus. You’ll mostly figure it out along the way.
What’s your 2022 prediction for tech in Africa?
After reading Future Babble, I stopped paying much attention to predictions. But since you asked I’m certain neobanks won’t stop popping up at every corner and venture capital funding will increase this year.
What (singular) achievement are you most proud of?
My 588-day Duolingo streak learning German. It’s made me realise there are new realms to being consistent. Also, I’m proud of exploring a different career path (moving from accounting to journalism) and excelling at it. It often makes me wonder what else I can do.
What’s something you love doing that you’re terrible at. And what’s something you really do not like doing that you’re great at.
Designing, drawing, painting. I sometimes like to express myself through visual art, but I suck at that. It might be because I haven’t practised enough, but for now, I suck.
Cooking. By my standards I’m great, 😎 but if it weren’t a necessary survival skill I wouldn’t bother.
What should first-time founders know about (the) press?
Many times, the person who tells the most compelling story wins, not necessarily who has the best idea, or the right answer. Morgan Housel explains better here.
The mere fact that a startup exists and the founder thinks that what they’re building is special isn’t enough reason for it to get press coverage. David Adeleke explains better here.
Anything for the boys?
Lol. Me too I need help. 😉
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On Wednesday, Interpol announced that it had busted one of Nigeria’s larger cybercrime gangs, SilverTerrier (not to be confused with beloved children’s cartoon, Silver Hawks.)
SilverTerrier operates one of the most costly scams across the world, business email compromise or BEC. Basically, criminals using BEC hack into corporate email accounts or create spoofs that mimic corporate accounts in order to defraud people who believe they’re communicating with legit corporations.
BEC scams are a type of phishing scam called spear-phishing because they have specific targets and take more planning. Phishing scams are also more financially damaging than other attacks like ransomware attacks, costing US companies about $15 million annually. They’re also more prevalent with this study showing that businesses are 7 times more prone to phishing than they are to malware.
So, how important is the SilverTerrier gang?
Eleven suspects were arrested by Interpol and with them were 800,000 usernames and passwords, targeting over 50,000 individuals.
This time, Interpol also aimed for the big guns. Instead of targeting and monitoring identifiable mules on social media—similar to what was done with Hushpuppi in 2020—Interpol focused on the technical caricature of the operations. Together with Palo Alto Networks, the agency was able to identify those who had the skills and expertise to “build and deploy the malware and domain infrastructure used in these schemes”.
Zoom out: Interpol plans to release more info later but little is known about who the suspects are. Seems like these guys would have fared better building a platform that would help people keep their passwords.
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This week, Kenyan B2C e-commerce platform Copia Global raised $50 million in a Series C equity round to power its expansion efforts.
The round was led by Goodwell Investments and also features previous investors Lightrock, the German development finance institution DEG, and Perivoli Innovations, as well as new investors Zebu Investment Partners, the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and Koa Labs.
Here are the other deals for the week:
South African mobile gaming startup Carry1st received a $20 million Series A extension round from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Avenir and Google to help it scale across Africa.
Ghanaian fintech startup Float, closed a $17 million round of debt and equity seed funding. The round was led by Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen’s JAM Fund and Tiger Global, with debt financing provided by Cauris. Kinfolk, Soma Capital, Ingressive Capital and Magic Fund also participated in the round, as well as some notable angels.
Egyptian ed-tech startup Orcas secured $2.1 million in pre-Series A funding round co-led by CIRA’s NFX Ventures and Access Bridge Ventures. It also saw participation from Algebra Ventures, Launch Africa Ventures, Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund, and Seedstars International.
Nigerian restaurant management startup Orda raised a $1.1 million pre-seed funding round to speed its growth and expand across the continent. The round was led by Lofty Inc Capital Management, with participation from Techstars – Boulder, Magic Fund, Hustle Fund, Norrsken Foundation, Microtraction, DFS Labs, Oxford Seed Fund, Enza Capital and Agrolay Advisors, as well as Ire Aderinokun, Jesse Ovia, Ademola Adesina and other angel investors.
Nigerian developer-tooling startup Frain Technologies raised $473,000 in a pre-seed funding round led by Rally Cap Ventures. Musha Ventures, Future Africa, Eric Idiah, Tomiwa Lasebikan, Prosper Otemuyiwa, Odunayo Eweniyi, Timi Ajiboye, Opeyemi Awoyemi, and several other angels also participated.
Egyptian e-commerce platform 3attar secured an undisclosed amount in seed investment from AUC Angels, UI Investment, and individual angel investors. to continue on its growth trajectory and expand into other markets.
Nigerian Fintech startup Pivo, received an undisclosed amount of funding from early-stage VC firm Microtraction.
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