Yekeen is a Senior Engineering Manager at Deimos who enjoys working with multiple engineering teams to help set direction, improve processes, and guide them towards delivering world-class solutions at scale.
He has a deep cross-functional technical skill set and has mastered the art of simultaneously delivering stellar architecture with a user-friendly experience.
Explain your job to a five-year-old
I work with some of the best engineering teams to build technology that makes lives better across the continent.
What’s something you wish you knew earlier in your career/life?
While I knew about it, I wish I had explored the possibilities of blockchain technology a lot earlier.
What’s the most promising thing about tech in Africa?
Many people in Africa and beyond are waking up to tech’s myriad opportunities on the continent. It’s an exciting time to see the type of solutions and ideas being built across the continent. This, coupled with the growing technical talent, puts Africa in a better place than ever to identify and solve her problems, along with the resources to solve them.
What’s one misconception people have about software engineering?
That it’s hard and only for the elite.
Too many people think software engineering requires genius-level intellect and the ability to speak Klingon. However, software engineering does need lots of practice so it will cost you time.
What are the most overlooked careers in software engineering?
Quality engineering. A lot of companies struggle with getting a good balance of releasing quickly while making sure their existing users aren’t affected. Unfortunately, this isn’t given as much consideration and careful forethought as it should, resulting in buggy, inconsistent experiences.
What advice would you give anyone looking to get into software engineering?
Just start. Get a book, course, something, and start. Then stick with it. Don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis choosing the “perfect language”. Don’t stop practising. Don’t stop reading and learning more. In software engineering, standing still is usually the same as going backwards, so embrace it and keep learning every second.
What (singular) achievement are you most proud of?
I have worked with a lot of fantastic people in my career and my favourite achievement is definitely the people I have mentored and supported along the way. Seeing them doing so great now is always a great feeling.
What’s something you love doing that you’re terrible at. And what’s something you don’t love doing but are great at?
I love dancing, but I am absolutely rubbish at it. On the other hand, I am great at multitasking, but it’s not my favourite thing to do.
What do you think about Web3, and is it something Africa needs?
Web3 represents a natural evolution of most of the current internet-powered platforms and gives the opportunity for more inclusive, equal platforms than we have now. Definitely something Africa needs.
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Over the past year, Nigerian investment startup GetEquity has steadily gained recognition. Its platform makes funding easier for African startups and also allows everyday Africans get equity by investing in these startups.
Yesterday, in an investigative report released by WeeTracker, the legitimacy of GetEquity’s 11-month-long operations was brought to question.
What did GetEquity get wrong?
The report claims that GetEquity has wide legal compliance gaps in Nigeria, where it mainly operates, and in the US, where it is registered.
Side-bar: There are certain laws that startups must adhere to before they can operate. These laws range from registration to financial requirements. Upon completion of the requirements, the startups will be fully licensed to operate. This helps keep startups accountable to regulators and to the people.
For GetEquity, it appears that the startup has failed to receive the necessary operating license from Nigeria’s Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). Nigeria has strict rules for operators of crowdfunding platforms—which GetEquity arguably falls under—and the platform has failed to stick to them. According to the SEC, “GetEquity is neither registered with the Commission, nor has it filed an application, nor is it in any conversation with the Commission in that regard.”
In the US, where GetEquity is registered, the startup’s legitimacy is also being questioned. Although the US Securities and Exchange Commission declined to respond to WeeTracker’s questions, the startup’s partnership with Wefunder—which gives discounts to startups on GetEquity’s platform—has been frozen for “legal reasons”.
Image source: WeeTracker
Last week, the startup admitted to its users that it had not abided by regulatory requirements at the time of its launch. The startup, however, shared that it had engaged regulators and would be working to address its compliance issues.
GetEquity’s platform is still up, but it might be seeing a lot of scrutiny from users, founders, investors, and regulators going forward, especially as Nigeria’s SEC has made a formal assessment request for the platform.
TWITTER HAS BEEN FINED $150 MILLION
Earlier this week, we spoke about how Facebook was fined $5 billion for its role in the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal.
Yesterday, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Justice Department, announced that the social media platform would have to pay a $150 million fine for mishandling the data it collected from users.
What’s Twitter’s offence?
To register for an account on its platform, Twitter collects phone numbers and email addresses from users in order to enable features like 2-factor authentication (2FA) or to help users recover locked accounts.
In 2019, however, the platform confessed that it had mishandled that data and instead funnelled it to its ads system, using it for ad targeting.
This is similar to Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal where data from Facebook users was used to create targeted political ads during the 2016 elections in the US.
Zoom out: The fine is approximately 13% of Twitter’s $1.2 billion revenue from the first quarter of 2022. Some critics are concerned that the fine is not hefty enough, but the FTC and Justice Department have also levied other sanctions including an audit of Twitter’s data privacy programmes.
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TC INSIGHTS: FUNDING TRACKER
This week, Egyptian online used car retailer, Sylndr, raised $12.6 million in a pre-seed funding round led by RAED Ventures, with participation from Algebra Ventures, Nuwa Capital, 1984 Ventures, Global Founders Capital, and a number of prominent regional and global angel investors.
Here are the other deals for the week:
Namibia-based JABU, a B2B e-commerce startup, raised a $15 million Series A round led by Tiger Global. Other investors in this growth round include Box Group, Knollwood, D Global Ventures, Afore Capital, Oldslip, and FJ Labs.
Untapped Global raised a $10.3 million debt and equity pre-seed round from undisclosed investors.
Egyptian healthtech startup, Esaal, received a $1.7 million seed investment from A15.
Foondamate, a South African edtech startup, secured$2 million seed funding in a round led by LocalGlobe. Other participants include Emerge Education, Odunayo Eweniyi via FirstCheckAfrica, Iyin Aboyeji via Future Africa, and LoftyInc, alongside angels from Luno (Marcus Swanepoel) and Justworks (Isaac Oates).
Egyptian e-health startup, Doxx, raised a $1.5 million seed round from Openner and Elevate Healthcare.
Europe’s biggest start-up and tech event is back! Viva Technology brings together start-ups, CEOs, investors, global tech actors, and well-pronounced speakers. It will take place on June 15-18, in Paris.
How can you get started as an angel investor in Africa?
Today, more people want to become angel investors because they want to support teams they strongly believe in, or because they want to diversify their asset portfolio. But not everyone knows how they can get started or what it takes to succeed at angel investing.
Next Friday, June 3, join us on an edition of TechCabal Live where Tomiwa Aladekomo, CEO, Big Cabal Media, will speak with Tomi Davies, Chief Investment Officer at Greentec Capital Partners, and Biola Alabi, co-founder and GP at Atika Ventures.
They will be discussing what it takes to get started as an angel investor, and sharing useful learnings from their experience. If you have your sights set on the angel investing space, this is a conversation you don’t want to miss.