29 MARCH, 2022

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Good morning โ˜€๏ธ

Big news from WhatsApp. 

A new file-sharing limit may be coming to our screens. 

As it stands, users can only share files less than or equal to 100MB on the app. 

According to WABetaInfo though, WhatsApp is testing out a 2GB file-sharing limit in Argentina

While the possibility offers easier cloud sharing services for certain users, it also means that many others African parents will spend more hours and data downloading and sharing unsolicited videos of people whose phones exploded while they were asleep. 

Image source: WABetaInfo

In today’s edition

  • Crypto market
  • Mandela’s arrest warrant sells for $130,000
  • Airtel is shedding its assets
  • Eksab raises $3million
  • Opportunities

CRYPTO MARKET

MANDELA’S ARREST WARRANT SELLS FOR $130,000

Anything can be an NFT. Images, videos, memes and even flavours. Don’t believe me? Then you probably missed this edition of TC Daily where we spoke about Pringles’ limited-edition NFT flavour, Crypto Crisps. 

Enough about Pringles though, let’s talk about another unique NFT: arrest warrants, specifically Nelson Mandela’s.

Image source: The Crypto Times

In 1961, an arrest warrant was issued for South African anti-apartheid activist, Nelson Mandela, who was later jailed for 27 years from 1962 to 1990. Mandela, who was later the first elected president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, and over 250 different awards during his lifetime.

In 2004, his original arrest warrant was donated to the Liliesleaf Museum Heritage Site

Now, the museum has minted the arrest warrant as a non-fungible token (NFT) to raise proceeds for the upkeep of the museum.

Liliesleaf Museum Heritage Site might be a museum today but was the base of operations for some anti-apartheid campaigners in the 1960s. While the museum saw a bit of traffic pre-COVID, the pandemic brought a decline in tourism which cost the sector R164 billion ($11 billion)

To address its funding gap and keep its sites afloat, the museum created an NFT of Mandela’s arrest warrant and auctioned it to the public. 

The NFT was auctioned on Momint, a London-based digital art site where it was sold for $130,000. According to Ahren Posthumus, chief executive officer of Momint, the buyer will also have exclusive access to the original document which is still domiciled at the Liliesleaf Museum in Sandton, South Africa.

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AIRTEL IS SERIOUS ABOUT GOING ASSET LIGHT

Airtel Africa, one of Africa’s largest telecom companies, has announced that it will sell off its cellular tower infrastructure in all 14 regions where it provides internet and telecommunication services.

Why? The telecom giant is doing this in order to reduce its ownership of tower infrastructure, opting to lease them in order to save costs. The leases will be predominantly paid in local currency.

This move by Airtel Africa is popular amongst telcos that are moving towards asset-light models through sale and leaseback agreements of mobile towers with tower companies. 

Airtel has operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Chad, and Congo Brazzaville.

Malawi, Madagascar, Gabon: On March 25, Airtel Malawi announced a record sale of its tower assets to Helios Towers, a market-leading telecom tower infrastructure company, for $54.7 million. Airtel Africa earlier sold its tower assets in Madagascar to Helios Towers for a record $51.7 million. Helio Towers has announced plans to acquire further tower properties in Gabon. 

Big picture: This announcement by Airtel Africa comes 3 weeks after the company paid off a $505 million guaranteed senior notes (debt) a year ahead of its due date. Since its IPO in June 2019, Airtel Africa has reduced its US dollar debt by $1.7 billion. The company is successfully pursuing a strategy of reducing its debt, especially its US dollar debt.

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EKSAB RAISES $3 MILLION

For the first time ever, the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be held in the Middle East, in Qatar. There are many ways startups in the MENA region can take advantage of this opportunity from brand placement to logistics and hospitality. One startup, however, is focused on growing MENA’s football gaming market and It’s raised money to this end. 

Eksab, a Cairo-based fantasy football platform, announced the close of its $3 million seed round yesterday.

The round was led by 4DX Ventures with participation from Darwazah Capital, Golden Palm Investments, P1 Ventures, and a number of strategic angel investors from the local and global sports and entertainment ecosystem.

Side-bar: For non-football people, here’s how fantasy football works. You choose a virtual team of real-life footballers, and if their real-life counterparts play well, your virtual players get points that can be redeemed for cash. 

Backstory: Launched in Egypt in 2018 by Aly Mahmoud, Eskab was founded to “make football exciting for every football fan in the Middle East”. On the platform, users can create fantasy lineups and participate in free or premium competitions. Eksab also has a leaderboard that shows how well users’ virtual teams perform, and top-scoring users on the board win cash and other prizes. 

Since its launch, Eksab claims to have onboarded over 700,000 registered users on its platform with its user base making over a million “picks” each month. It has also partnered with 10 top-tier Egyptian football players and content creators and is rapidly becoming a household brand name amongst football fans

What’s next for Eksab?

With its recent raise, Eksab plans to dominate the football gaming market as Egypt’s only licensed fantasy football platform. The platform also plans an expansion into other markets, as well as a Web3 integration that will enable it to become the go-to platform for play-to-earn gaming, digital collectables, and football content. 

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JOB OPPORTUNITIES

  • Applications are open for the 2022 edition of the African Business Heroes Competition for African Entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries who are contributing to the development of sustainable economies are invited to apply. Ten winning entrepreneurs will share $1.5 million, get access to mentorship opportunities, and gain global recognition. Shoot your shot
  • The Habitat for Humanity Africa Housing Forum Innovation Awards 2022 is now open to African organisations, startups, researchers and entrepreneurs focused on improving access to affordable housing on the continent. Three winners across 3 categories – ShelterTech, Best Practices, and Public Policies – will get $5,000 each as well as fully paid trips to the World Urban Forum in Katowice, Poland in June 2022. Check it out
  • The Acumen Accelerator 2022 for Ventures Serving Displaced People is now open to applications from East African businesses and startups that create sustainable living solutions for displaced people in East Africa. Selected startups will share up to $75,000 in grants. Find out more.
  • 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

What else we’re reading

  • The Next Wave: Why are tech startups partnering with your favourite celebs?

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Written by – Timi Odueso & Daniel Adeyemi

Edited by – Kelechi Njoku

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