If you are not superstitious, nothing. Both of the African companies are based in Dubai, but the layoffs have nothing to do with their location. Rather, it has everything to do with the negative trajectory of the global economy. Globally, startups in different sectors are cutting costs to pursue profitability.
In fact, over 140,388 tech workers have lost their jobs since the second week of March due to this negative trajectory.
In the past, another round of funding may have catered to the cost of labour, but due to the economic downturn, follow-on funding isn’t guaranteed.
So Vezeeta is running out of cash?
Not particularly. Till now, the company hasn’t hinted at a need to cut costs. In fact, the healthtech company has received $73 million in total funding, $40 million of which was raised from a Series D funding round in 2020.
Launched in 2012, Vezeeta’s business has grown from the “Uber for ambulance” model to a subscription-based doctor booking and consultation platform. Its software-as-a-service solution offers doctor consultations, pharmacy, and diagnostics. It currently caters to 10 million patients across 78 cities (including Nigeria and Kenya).
Seeing that major players in Africa like Vezeeta and Swvl are not immune to “the great layoffs”, it would be a (pleasant) surprise if we do not hear any more layoff news about African startups in the near future.
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In partnership with the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business, international coding bootcamp Le Wagon will launch in Cape Town, South Africa. It launched in Mauritius in 2020 and in Casablanca last year. South Africa will be the third African country the highly-acclaimed boot camp operates in.
What does Le Wagon do?
Le Wagon is a coding bootcamp. Coding bootcamps teach people coding and help them get jobs.
Le Wagon says it has trained over 15,000 students globally. According to the school, 93% of graduates received a job offer, started a freelance career, or created their own startup within 6 months of completing a programme.
What programmes are in Le Wagon’s coding boot camp?
Le Wagon offers short and intensive bootcamps in web development and data science. To complete the bootcamp, you’ll need 360 hours of study, coding, digital exercises, and group projects.
Who can enrol in the programme?
Anyone who wants to gain practical skills in web development and data science, whether they have prior coding knowledge or not. You can take the programme full-time for 9 weeks or part-time for 24 weeks.
Asides from the technical skills, the programme offers a network of thousands of alumni in 25 countries worldwide.
As though the great community is not enough, Le Wagon drives the extra mile and assists students in finding work after their training. It has partnerships with recruiters which it takes advantage of to improve employment chances for its students.
How to enrol
Le Wagon Cape has online bootcamps which facilitate remote study. You can participate in the remote bootcamp from anywhere in the world.
It also has physical campuses across different countries. The campus in Cape Town will be based at the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business in Woodstock. Its first full-time web development bootcamp will start in August.
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Carr and Trump’s concerns are not completely unfounded. There is a decade’s worth of news on the espionage war between China and the US.
Everyone is worried about one another. Just as the US worries about its citizens’ data on TikTok, the EU is worried about how Facebook and Twitter are using user data from Europe.
Several other countries, including India and the UK, also have concerns about how China is using user data. In fact, India has banned over 42 different apps with ties to China—including UC Browser.
What happens if TikTok is banned in the US?
For starters, the product managers at Instagram and Facebook will get bonuses; that’s for sure.
Other than Meta’s certain joy, TikTok’s US banishment would mean that the platform is losing a huge chunk of its user base. The US has the highest number of TikTok users with 136 million active users. Only Indonesia comes close with 99 million active users.
If the US succeeds in banning TikTok, it will set a precedent for other countries. There’s nothing governments copy faster than oppressive regulations, and African governments will be at the forefront of this.
Zoom out: All this, however, is unlikely to happen. TikTok fought the ban attempt by Trump and is reportedly already gearing up for this latest fight.
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Simpu wants to make things simple for online businesses.
Online business owners have become jugglers. They have to juggle 3 or 5 apps to connect with their customers—Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, and others.
Software-as-a-service startup Simpu is solving that problem by simplifying communication and customer engagement for businesses.
Superhero or super app?
Launched in 2021, Simpu provides a communication super app that allows businesses to receive and send messages across different platforms—email, Whatsapp, SMS, iMessage, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter—from one place.
This might sound simpu simple, but it is not. Globally acclaimed brands like Intercom, HubSpot, Bitrix 24, Salesforce, and even Zoho (which is reported to be opening a Lagos office in July) are solving this problem too and have been at it for years.
However, Simpu says that customers have been switching from these established platforms to Simpu to manage their communications with customers.
Seriously? How come?
We asked the same question too. Why are people dumping notable and older brands for a 2-year-old Simpu? Simpu says it is because they offer something extra that these other omnichannel services don’t: local nuance. This is understandable considering that though it has international customers in the UK and US, most of the customers of the Nigerian startup are in Nigeria.
Moreover, in addition to its communication platform, Simpu provides sales funnel optimisation tools, website live chat, and third-party integrations like core banking backends, databases for SMS and email marketing, and more.
Simpu’s simple goal
For now, Simpu’s goal is to expand its product suite and gain more market share. Although it is still in private beta, the startup has made over $80,000 in SaaS revenues from selling monthly and yearly subscriptions to its users.
When it lands more market share, making more money would be…simple.
develoPPP Ventures is offering €100,000 ($107,831) grants to high-potential startups from Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania. Young high-growth startups with less than €2 million ($2.15 million) in funding so far can apply for the grant here.
Snapchat’s Snap 523 Accelerator Programme is now open to applications from black content creators. Twenty-five selected creators will receive $10,000 per month for 12 months and a Google Pixel 7 Pro. Apply by August 12.
Applications are now open for the Decentralised Umoja Algorand Bounty Hack II, by Algorand and Reach. The hackathon is a great opportunity for African developers to learn and build blockchain projects and win up to $3,000 in prizes. Apply by July 15.