Google has updated its Developer Program Policy with changes that will remove apps with obnoxious, intrusive advertising and apps that fraudulently impersonate legitimate applications on its store. Get ready to say a sweet goodbye to adverts that you didn’t opt into, full-screen adverts that interrupt your gaming, apps that do not let you cancel your subscriptions, health misinformation apps, and more.
The changes will roll out on different dates over the next few months.
As oil revenue thins, the Nigerian government is knocking on doors, looking for other ways to generate income. Now, it has approved the implementation of a 5% excise duty on telecoms services. In addition to the already existing 7.5% value-added tax (VAT), Nigerians will be paying as much as 12.5% to use broadband services.
Sidebar: Excise duty is the tax imposed at the time of manufacturing while VAT is the tax imposed on the sale of goods.
Bad idea or bad timing?
Nigeria’s minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami, has rejected the planned taxation. He said that due processes were not followed because the chairman of the House Communications Committee was not involved in the decision making.
He thinks it is a badly timed and harsh burden on the people, and that it will negatively impact the sector’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
What do others think?
The Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) also thinks this attempt by the government to share the responsibility of revenue generation is burdensome. They have asserted that they are not in the best position to align with the incoming taxation. Facing revenue challenges due to the rising cost of operation, they had requested for a 40% increase in the price of their services 3 months ago. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) dismissed the request.
Moreover, according to the president of ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo, they currently pay 39 other taxes. He asserted that any other tax will be footed by subscribers without any subsidisation from their end.
Some others like national president of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, Adeolu Ogubanjo, have made gloomy predictions about the effect of the new tax. He said the burden will also translate to job losses across the industry.
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AFRICA-FOCUSED OUI CAPITAL LAUNCHES $30 MILLION FUND
In 2018, a Nigerian, Olu Oyinsan, left his high-profile role at Ingressive Capital to kickstart a venture capital firm that would support early-stage founders in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.
Four years later, Oui Capital, the result of Oyinsan’s decision, has invested in 18 high-growth tech startups across 7 African countries. Launched today, a $30 million fund dubbed Oui Capital Mentors Fund II is Oui’s latest investment vehicle to power tech startups in Africa.
$30 million for 30 Startups
With this latest fund, Oui Capital intends to deepen its investment portfolio by supporting pre-seed and seed-stage companies in Africa. It will now be able to write cheques of up to $750,000 and expand its investments to more startups in North and francophone Africa.
The company also told TechCabal that from this new fund, it plans to say yes—or oui—to 30 early-stage startups.
Bigger picture: Oui Capital’s latest fund emphasises the narrative that investment in African startups are soaring exponentially, sharply contrasting the decline in other parts of the world. In Q2 of 2022, African startups raised 2.25x the amount invested in Q2 2021. However, the majority of these investments come from outside the continent, creating a local financing gap that VCs like Oui Capital are taking strides to bridge.
In line with this, Oui Capital’s latest $30 million fund has a fine mix of local and international investors, underscoring a much-needed trend in the investment ecosystem.
HOMZMART RAISES $23 MILLION
Egypt-based furniture and home supplies marketplace, Homzmart, has raised $23 million in its Series B funding. Participants in the Series B round include venture capital fund STV, Impact46, Outliers Ventures, Rise Capital, and NUWA Capital.
By the second quarter of last year, the startup had raised $17.5 million. This additional round brings its total funding to about $40 million.
What will the funding be used for?
The startup says it will use the funding to finance the development of its logistics offering, improve its existing products and expand its product suite.
Homzmart has come a long way from where it started. It went from being a bridge between customers and manufacturers of furniture and home good brands to being a marketplace with a logistic arm facilitated with about 100 trucks.
Homzmart expanded to Saudi Arabia earlier this year and now accounts for 25–30% of the total business volume from the region. It also acquired Berlin-based home interior design firm MockUp Studio in March. Mockup uses artificial intelligence to create designs.
The startup has more than 150,000 products on its platform and serves 25 million houses in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
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TIKTOK’S PARENT COMPANY IS BUILDING A MUSIC STREAMING APP
Since 2020, TikTok has helped millions of people around the world to experience music and discover artistes. Despite doing that pretty well, the future of the social media company seem to have a lot more music in it.
TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is reportedly working on a separate app that will enable users to find new music. The company recently filed a trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office for an app that will be branded “TikTok Music”.
Although the app’s release date is still unknown, a music streaming service from TikTok will no doubt rival streaming giants like Spotify and Apple Music.
Like Resso, Like TikTok?
In 2020, ByteDance launched Resso, a music streaming service which, according to app tracker, AppBrain, has gone on to gather 100million downloads. The app was however launched in limited markets, excluding the US and Africa.
With this new move, it seems ByteDance is trying to replicate Resso to a wider audience. But this time around, the music will go hand in hand with video content.
Per the trademark, users will be able to “live stream audio and video interactive media programs in the sphere of entertainment, fashion, sports, and current affairs”.
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Nigeria’s House of Reps passes the Nigeria Startup Bill.
FEC considers NITDA bill that seeks to tax and fine Nigerian tech companies.
igital Nomads: How creatives can japa with the UK Global Talent Visa.
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.
The GrowUp Incubator Programme is now open to applications from social business entrepreneurs who are providing sustainable solutions to tourism and mobility issues. Entrepreneurs in Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Burundi can apply for the chance to get 6-month training, networking opportunities, and support. Apply by August 28.
Factor[e] has launched a venture studio based in Kenya that invests $1 million per venture to build companies from scratch in energy, mobility, and agriculture with African and female co-founders. It offers a round-trip ticket anywhere in the world for successful co-founder referrals. Recommend a co-founder, become a sector advisor to the studio, and or learn more about venture studios here.