We’ve also hired a new senior reporter, Abraham Augustine, who will help Daniel Adeyemi break important stories.
This year, we’re surging ahead by telling more important stories like we did last year.
We’re diving into North Africa to highlight the work there and Damilare Dosunmu will spearhead this. Our flagship, My Life in Tech will resume shortly with senior editor Kelechi Njoku at the helm. And Sultan and Timi will be reviving the beloved Digital Nomads flagship so if you know any Africans who moved to other countries to work in or study tech, reach out to them.
We’re also bringing more newsletters to the table and we’ll share more about those soon enough.
Finally, our newsletter writer, Timi, is happy to announce he has kicked his small chops addiction, and attained mastery level for 1—out of 157—League of Legends champion. He is presently contemplating life as a pro gamer.
In today’s edition
Quick Fire 🔥
Did Meta make Facebook better?
Detty December’s dirty diagnosis
TC Insights: Funding Tracker
Event: Building from Ground Up
QUICK FIRE 🔥 WITH VICTOR FATANMI
Victor Fatanmi is a brand analyst, conversation leader, and design agency founder.
He co-founded FourthCanvas, a brand-centric design agency serving global and ambitious tech brands from Lagos, Nigeria.
Explain your job to a five-year-old
I help businesses give people more reasons to like and remember them.
What’s something you wish you knew earlier in your career/life?
It would be that all of the wealth in the world laid in the work I did not yet know. I wish I understood that I could increase the chances of a life of success and prosperity by reading more. If it was clear to me, I’d have read more and been more passionate about learning.
What’s the most promising thing about tech in Africa?
It’s in the ease and speed with which tech can change lives, lift people out of poverty, and transform our lives. I’m not just talking about tech bros or consultants making money from tech, I’m talking about how many opportunities tech brings for people.
For example, opening corporate accounts is easier now, and that in turn brings more opportunities for SMEs. In the past, development depended on physical infrastructure and that took so long to build. If you build an industrial complex in the wrong location, it can’t be corrected but now, iterations can happen at the speed of feedback and with little or no consequences. There’s remote work, you can be in Lagos and work in any country in the world, and that’s something that can help economic development in the country.
What’s one misconception people have about design?
I like this question, 🤣. The misconception is that people think design is just makeup, and by that I mean aesthetics. People often think that design comes last; they do everything first and add makeup at the end.
Design includes how something looks, how something is presented, and how something works. You can have a solution that people don’t get because it wasn’t presented right. Good products often fail because they aren’t designed right.
There should be considerations and thinking about design right from the start. The desire to make Apple products look so great influences the excellence of engineering. In thinking about the products, they wanted them to look sleek and compact and that influenced the engineers to build better and faster computers.
So teams should definitely involve their designers right from the start.
What (singular) achievement are you most proud of?
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.
Football. I love playing football, but if you were a coach, you’d probably be right to conclude I am not a good player.
What I don’t like doing but am good at would be sales. The thing is I do it so well, but if I didn’t have to, I probably would just sit home, read, write and advise my team on projects.
What do you think about Web3?
I think that Web3 is true democracy.
The idea of decentralisation is great for humanity. Centralised governance has its benefit but it bestows an absolute power that corrupts and it has not worked so far. So a decentralised system where governance is more distributed can turn out well. I can’t guarantee that it will turn out well but I’m willing to see how it goes.
Now, 1 million users might not seem like a lot, but the loss came from North America where Facebook makes most of its $40 billion ad revenue.
The announcement was quickly followed by a $200 billion decline in Facebook’s stock market value.
What’s going on?
We should be asking you that question; when were YOU on Facebook last and why are you costing Mark Zuckerberg money? 🥺
The truth is Facebook is facing a lot of problems and the answers to most of them aren’t in books. Across the globe, it faces antitrust issues from governments and associations who are worried about how it uses the data it collects from consumers.
It’s also facing stiff competition from TikTok, where more users are spending more time on. TikTok grew by 40.8% in 2021 and is presently the third-largest social media platform, right behind Facebook and Instagram and many experts believe that it’ll outgrow them by the end of 2022.
According to Facebook though, the reason for its user decline is Apple’s updated user privacy measures which make it difficult to track iOS users’ activities across websites. This, in turn, makes it difficult for Facebook to collect that data and sell use it for targeted ads.
Big picture: Across its three platforms—Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook—Meta did record a growth of 10 million subscribers so there’s some growth somewhere.
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It might be a bit late to ask this but how did you spend your holidays? Snuggled inside reading and binge-eating? Working? Or partying your way through traffic?
As long as you spent it far away from Lekki Phase I in Lagos, Nigeria—or any other crowded place—you get an A+ for caution.
What happened in Lekki?
According to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Nigeria entered the 4th wave of COVID-19 in December, reporting 223,887 cases and 2,985 deaths in its 36 states and federal capital Abuja. This is an over-500% increase.
The surge can be attributed to 2 major factors: the mass of unquarantined people that came into Nigeria from abroad, especially into Lagos; and the several crowded gatherings where social distancing practices were not observed.
Healthtechs and pharmacies in the vicinity saw an increase in malaria drugs in the past two months. Remedial Health, for example, reports that their company saw a 250% increase in orders for anti-malarial drugs. Drugs like Artemether & Lumefantrine and Vitamin C saw about 250% and 130% increase in demand.
What do antimalarial drugs have to do with COVID? Well here’s what a lab scientist working in a testing centre has to say, “The number of COVID-19 cases in Lekki is overwhelming. When these people come to the clinic, they always complain of malaria but test positive for COVID-19.”
Moving on: Data from Reuters suggests that infections in Nigeria are decreasing but lab scientists believe that the numbers are underreported. Data is not a direct antidote to the virus and while it is not always correct, it is essential to curbing the spread of the virus and, possibly, ending the disease altogether.
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This week, Egyptian social commerce platform Brimore closed a $25 million Series A round from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Endure Capital.
Here are the other deals for the week:
Nigerian wealth management startup Bamboo, raised a $15 million Series A round led by Greycroft and Tiger Global with participation from Motley Fool Ventures, Saison Capital, and Y-Combinator’s Michael Seibel, amongst others.
Kenya-based digital trucking logistics startup Amitruck raised $4 million in seed funding led by Better Tomorrow Ventures (BTV) with participation from Dynamo Ventures, Rackhouse Ventures, Flexport,Knuru Capital, Launch Africa Ventures, Uncovered Fund, and several strategic angel investors.
This week, Nigerian crypto startup Nestcoin, raised $6.45 million in pre-seed funding, the highest by an African startup this year. Investors include Distributed Global, Alter Global, Serena Ventures, Alameda Research, A&T Capital, MSA Capital, 4DX Ventures, among others.
Moove, a mobility fintech based in Nigeria, received $10 million in debt financing from NBK Capital Partners’ Mezzanine Fund II to enable it to expand across key markets.
Casava, a Nigerian digital insurance startup, secured $4 million in pre-seed funding. The round was led by Target Global with participation from Entrée Capital, Oliver Jung, Monzo founder Tom Blomfield and Stash founders Ed Robinson and Brandon Krieg. African founders such as Uche Pedro (founder of BellaNaija), Babs Ogundeyi and Musty Mustapha (co-founders of Kuda), Shola Akinlade (co-founder of Paystack), Olugbenga Agboola (co-founder of Flutterwave), Honey Ogundeyi (founder of Edukoya), Opeyemi Awoyemi (co-founder of Jobberman), and others also participated in the round.
Egyptian startup Yalla Fel Sekka (YFS), an on-demand logistics provider, secured a $7 million Series A funding round from DisruptAD, ADQ’s venture platform to expand its presence in Egypt and across the MENA region.
AltSchool Africa, a Nigerian edtech company, raised a $1 million pre-seed round from angels such as Flutterwave’s CEO, Olugbenga Agboola; Paystack’s CEO, Shola Akinlade; Nigerian musicians such as Folarin Falana, known as Falzthebahdguy; and Akintoye Balogun, known as Ajebutter22 and VCs like Nestcoin, Pledges, Voltron Capital, and Odba VC.
How did Femi Adeyemo build one of the fastest-growing energy companies in Nigeria? What kind of strategic thinking contributed to where Arnergy is today? What can other founders learn from his journey?
Next Friday at 11 AM (WAT), join the founder and CEO of Arnergy, Femi Adeyemo on #BuildingFromGroundUp.
Arnergy is a venture-backed distributed utility providing renewable energy solutions in emerging markets. In this episode, Femi will not only share important lessons from Arnergy’s growth, but he’ll also talk about what startups need to know when it comes to driving excellence in their operations.
The event is open to experienced and aspiring entrepreneurs as well as everyone else who is playing in the African technology industry.
There are more opportunities here. If you’d like to share a job opening or an opportunity, please fill this form.
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