Does your mom’s side-eye tell you not to take food from strangers? Well now, you can embrace your inner parent and do something similar on Zoom.
With its latest update, users can now use certain gestures to activate features on Zoom. Want to give a thumbs up, or raise your hands? Do just that and Zoom’s recognition feature will automatically display a corresponding meeting reaction, all without moving your mouse or clicking a button.
The feature has been available on iPad and iPhone since last year and that probably marks the very first time Apple users can say “We had that feature first. 🌚”
There are also a couple of other important updates including the option to turn off in-meeting chat notifications, add videos to waiting rooms, and session branding on Zoom Webinar which allows users create custom backgrounds and name tags.
In today’s edition
Flutterwave’s CEO addresses employees
China’s 4PX partners with Jumia
Netflix may start running ads
Event: Fintech Week London
FLUTTERWAVE’S CEO ADDRESSES EMPLOYEES
A week after allegations of insider trading, fraud, and sexual harassment were levied against him, Flutterwave’s CEO Olugbenga Agboola, on Tuesday evening, addressed the company’s employees.
In an internal email obtained by TechCrunch, Agboola wrote, “The fact that the allegations of financial impropriety, conflict of interest and sexual harassment have been proved false or have already been reported, investigated and addressed by management matters less to me than the reality that these claims may have shaken your confidence in the company. As founder and CEO, it is my responsibility to address the concerns you may have, and this will be a priority for me moving forward.”
What did the CEO say?
Agboola responded to a few of many allegations.
On the allegation that he retained his employment at Access Bank while building Flutterwave, he said, “The allegations about how I started the company are untrue. I shared with you during the retreat that a former boss helped us close one of our enterprise clients. I am thankful for the learning and mentorship I received at the numerous employers I worked at before starting Flutterwave.”
The CEO also corroborated Iyin Aboyeji’s explanation of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) investigation into Flutterwave. While the initial allegation was that the SEC was investigating Flutterwave for insider trading, Aboyeji—and now, Agboola—claim that the SEC’s involvement into Flutterwave was to highlight which of Flutterwave’s 85 investors at the time were not qualified to be investors under US laws.
What did he not say?
One of the allegations levied against Agboola concerned the creation of a fictitious co-founder and CTO, “Greg”, whom Iyin Aboyeji—in his interview with TechCabal—claimed he never met.
In his email to Flutterwave’s employees, TechCrunch notes that Agboola makes no mention of this particular allegation. The CEO also did not address the initial allegations that Flutterwave had been involved in some fraudulent transactions against clients like Arik Airways, and Access Bank.
Flutterwave is putting new measures in place
It does appear, however, that Flutterwave management is taking steps to ensure employee safety.
Agboola’s email stated that the company will focus on “improving its HR policies while working closely with audit and advisory firms, taking a survey of employees—particularly female employees—to get feedback on their experiences in the company”, embarking on “inclusive workplace training, increasing mental health resources, and providing more transparency”.
Same thing UPS wanted: to get access to Jumia’s sprawling last-mile delivery system. Jumia presently has over 3,000 stations across Africa. It’s also created relationships with 600+ logistics partners to help it fine-tune what can be a tedious exercise for both customers and merchants.
According to TechTrendsKE, 4PX Express will leverage Jumia’s last-mile capabilities on the continent. The company will start with dispatching deliveries to Nigeria, then gradually expand to Kenya, Egypt and Morocco in months.
“Our collaboration with Jumia enables 4PX to strengthen our global network and enrich our service offerings. It also solidifies our brand image as one of the world’s strongest global logistic companies,” said Derek Wang, 4PX Express Global cross-border E-commerce Product Director.
Zoom out: It takes more than 30 days for 4PX to process deliveries to its users on the continent but a partnership with Jumia should help reduce the delivery range, and help more users access affordable shipping options.
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There might be cheaper Netflix plans in the future, but they’ll cost you your time.
On Tuesday, Netflix announced that it is considering releasing ads-supported low-cost plans.
This announcement comes after years of insisting on being an ad-free and purely subscription-based streaming company. Leading other streaming services with more than 220 million subscribers, its initial strategy seemed infallible until the company bled 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of this year.
This is its first quarterly loss in the past decade and the company projects another 2 million unsubscriptions in the coming quarter. Consequent to the declaration of these losses, Netflix shares plummeted over 25% in after-hours trading, shaving $30 billion off the company’s market valuation.
Why is Netflix losing subscribers?
Netflix said it lost 700,000 subscribers and forfeited 500,000 new subscribers when it suspended its service in Russia. But that’s not the only reason why it’s losing subscribers.
Another plausible reason is the high cost of its service. Netflix is currently the most expensive streaming service. Its most recent price hike—with the basic plan at $9.99 per month (up from $8.99), its standard tier at $15.49 per month (up from $13.99), and its 4K tier at $19.99 per month (up from $17.99)—makes it a less attractive choice for consumers who are affected by the global increase in the cost of living.
The increased competition for content might also be pulling the number of subscribers. Big TV and film companies including Disney, Apple, Hulu, and Amazon have taken their licensed shows off Netflix and are doggedly competing with Netflix for new projects. These ad-supported competitors are making dissatisfied Netflix subscribers spoilt for choice of alternative streaming services by offering more quality content at competitive prices.
Image source: Trung Phan (@TrungTphan)
While prepping for a big crackdown on password-sharing users, Reed Hastings, the Co-CEO of Netflix said he is “quite open to offering even lower prices with advertising, as a consumer choice.”
Meanwhile, In Africa, Netflix has had a difficult time penetrating the mass market due to its high subscription price. Last year, the streaming giant introduced a $3.99 mobile-only plan that costs 50% less than the standard plan. Even at that, the $3.99 is still a lot to ask from many Africans, as 490 million people in Africa live under the poverty line of $1.90/day according to a 2021 UN estimate.
The ad-supported model might be Netflix’s best chance at unlocking growth on the African continent, which consists of an audience that might not be able to pay higher prices but is comfortable with ads.
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Fintech Week London is a week-long series of events that highlights and celebrates London’s innovative fintech scene, bringing together senior decision-makers from leading fintechs, banks, investment firms, regulatory bodies, media companies, and service providers.
The panels will also cross across several topics including the development of fintech, open banking, crypto and digital sovereignty.
Virtual and in-person ticket options are available from £45 ($58). Register here.
Photographers are invited to apply for The Global Landscapes (GLF) Forum Africa Photo Competition 2022. If you’ve got pictures that showcase the beauty and richness of the continent, submit for the chance to win $900 in prizes. Take a snapshot here.
The YouTube Foundry Programme 2022 is now open to applications from independent music artists looking to grow their voices on YouTube. The programme offers support from YouTube partner managers, seed funding, and marketing and promotion opportunities. Check it out.
The CCW Tech Africa Training Programme for African Youth is now open for applications to its first cohort. The 6-week free virtual programme will empower selected applicants with tech skills, soft skills and entrepreneurial skills. Find out more here.