15 MARCH, 2022

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Good morning โ˜€๏ธ

Twitter does listen. 

It may not be giving us an Edit button yet, but it has reversed the update it made last week

Last Thursday, Twitter announced an update to the Home screen that forced users to see tweets served by its algorithm first, instead of chronologically-generated tweets, i.e. latest tweets. 

After backlash from users, including myself, who prefer the chronological option, Twitter announced a reversal yesterday. 

Now, your latest tweets will be what comes up first on the timeline. 

In today’s edition

  • Jumia’s stock hits all-time low
  • Motivating teams through the pandemic
  • How Thrive Agric survived 2020
  • Opportunities
  • Event: Building from Ground Up

JUMIA’S STOCK HITS ALL-TIME LOW

Everything is up at Jumia—earnings, orders, users. Everything except its stock price. 

Its share price reached an all-time low of $7.25 last week, a far reach from the $51.55 it was at in March 2021. 

And it’s a bit surprising considering its Q4 2021 earnings report. 

What the report says

According to Jumia, in Q4 2021, usage metrics hit an all-time high. 

In 2021, about 8 million customers placed orders on the e-commerce platform, a 17% increase from 2020’s 6.8 million unique customers. 

Jumia also fulfilled 3 million more orders—valued at $5 million—in Q4 2021 than in the same period in 2020 and 2019. Its Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) also grew to $330 million, while revenue grew to $62.0 million, up 26% from the previous quarter. 

The growth is a result of Jumia’s push on sales and advertising where it spent $80 million dollars in 2021. 

So sales are up, budgets are up, users are up but not the stock price? What’s up with that?

The last time Jumia’s stock price was this low was in 2019 after an internal fraud crisis set the company back.

Why are the stock prices low?

InvestingPort believes that rising interest rates and rumours of tighter monetary policies from the Federal Reserve have caused Jumia’s stock price decline. 

While Jumia is also touted as “the Amazon of Africa”, it still faces several issues including logistics and infrastructure which makes its growth volatile.

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MOTIVATING TEAMS THROUGH THE PANDEMIC

The pandemic has reshaped the way we work. 

Other than increasing the search for remote work by 490% and forcing more companies to consider hybrid situations, there are also negative effects, including an unprecedented increase in burnout and demotivation

So how can teams continue to produce high-quality work and deal with burnout? How can managers and founders motivate their teams for great performance in this blurry era?

To answer this question, TechCabal spoke with Elizabeth Tweedale, founder and CEO at Cypher Coders, one of the leading coding schools for kids in the UK, on the 6th episode of Building From Ground Up, Season 2, by the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub. As an edtech startup, Cypher Coders thrived on a brick-and-mortar work culture, where employees show up at their London central office. But when the pandemic hit, the startup was forced to operate remotely. And now that the world is gradually opening back up, it’s maintaining a hybrid approach to work. 

But how does Tweedale keep the team’s spirit going

  • First, by finding the best people and hiring them. For Tweedale, finding qualified people that are self-motivated in their own right is the beginning of building a great team that can function well without supervision.
  • Ask! “I ask my team what motivates them. And I can see how effective that one-on-one conversation has helped to boost performance across metrics,” Tweedale says. 
  • Communicate clearly. Lack of proper communication is capable of not just leaving employees unmotivated—because they don’t understand what’s to be done anyways.
  • Give them time off. The best way a company can help employees find a work-life balance is by creating room for breaks. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
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HOW THRIVE AGRIC SURVIVED A TURBULENT 2020

2020 was a turbulent year for many businesses, especially Nigerian agritech startup Thrive Agric.

What happened?

In October 2020, hundreds of unpaid, angry retail investors were dragging Thrive Agric online asking for their money. Its network of farmers was recording millions of naira in losses and unable to sell or deliver goods to off-takers—companies that purchase the products from the farmers. Some of its off-takers were owing and made repeated failed promises on repayment.

Wow, sounds like a lot

Yeah, it does. American serial entrepreneur Elon Musk once described the experience of running a startup as being similar to the act of chewing glass and staring into the abyss. “After a while, you stop staring, but the glass chewing never ends,” Musk said. Nigerian Agritech startup ThriveAgric’s experience validates this description.

But fortunately, the story doesn’t end here. As the situation escalated, different parties showed up to help out. In a few months, the presence of additional hands, fresh ideas, and “bridge” capital (temporary financing) helped turn things around.

Why it matters: Within the last 2 years, particularly after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in late 2019, what was once heralded as an innovative agricultural financing method has quickly become associated with Ponzi schemes and fraud accusations. 

๐Ÿ‘‰ Here’s the inside story of how Thrive Agric struggled and eventually survived one of agritech’s biggest crises.

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EVENT: BUILDING FROM GROUND UP

How do you manage distributed teams in a startup’s growth phase?

As your company grows and your team gets wider, your working dynamics change. Maybe when you started, there were just 5 employees working out of your office, but today there are over 80 employees working across different timezones. How do you ensure team synergy and adequately manage processes in such an environment?

This Friday, March 18, we’ll be discussing this with Ire Aderinokun on #BuildingFromGroundUp.

Ire is the co-founder, COO, and VP of Engineering at Helicarrier, a company building cryptocurrency infrastructure for Africa. Helicarrier is behind products such as Buycoins, Sendcash, Sendcash Pay, and more.

Sign up here to attend the event.

The #BuildingFromGroundUp series is powered by the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub in partnership with TechCabal.

Note: By clicking on the registration link for any of these events, you’ve indicated interest in the event and will get an invite to attend. To opt out, please ignore the invite.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • Applications are open for the Sound Connect Funds in Southern Africa 2022 grant. Southern African NGOs and businesses that focus on and support the cultural and creative sector in Southern Africa are invited to apply to get up to €180,000 in grants. Check it out
  • Applications are now open for the United States African Development Foundation/Stanbic Kenya Grant Foundation Programme 2022. MSMEs in Kenya that are 100% African-owned are invited to apply for the chance to get up to $50,000 in grants. Check it out.
  • The VC4A Mentor-Driven Capital Programme Nigeria 2022 is now open to applications. Twenty people—including investors and business professionals—with an interest in Nigeria will participate in the mentor-driven boot camp where they’ll learn valuable insights into building and funding. Invest in yourself here

What else we’re reading

  • #NaireLife: This 36-Year-Old lecturer is also a photographer, marketer and full-time husband.

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Look the part. Check out techcabal.com/shop to start your journey.

SHARE #TCDAILY THIS MONTH

Written by – Timi Odueso & Daniel Adeyemi

Edited by – Kelechi Njoku

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