Let’s talk about Paystack very quickly, and no, it’s not because they’re sponsors of TC Daily. 😉
It’s got many important milestones and successes. Over 70,000 businesses across the world use the fintech platform; the company does at least ₦10 billion ($23 million) in transactions every month, and its acquisition by Stripe is one of the biggest in Africa at $200 million.
Another mark of success at Paystack, though, is its people. How do we know? Well, we did a bit of digging and found that a number of startup founders scoring millions of dollars in valuation and dominating headlines in the tech world are alumni of Paystack.
There’s Abdulhammid Hassan of Mono, Idorenyin Obong of Grey, Emmanuel Okeke of Brass, and many more.
Paystack isn’t just building a fintech solution for African businesses, it’s also building a club—a mafia, even—of emerging African founders.
Days after announcing intentions to merge with Telkom, South African mobile-data-only network Rain has retracted the announcement.
ICYMI: There’s a battle for who will bed Telkom. In July, the telco announced it was exploring the possibility of getting acquired by MTN. Since then, at least 2 offers have been made by different companies who would also like a piece of Telkom.
Rain’s retraction follows a rebuke by the Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP) of South Africa which is tasked with evaluating all merger and takeover documents submitted in compliance with the country’s Companies Act. On Friday, TRP stated that the announcement by Rain was issued without the TRP’s prior approval as required by the Companies Act.
Rain initially refused to withdraw the press release, saying that its view was that a request to present to the Telkom board was not notifiable to the regulator, and that it was seeking legal advice on the matter. However, following further engagement with the regulator, it decided to retract the press release.
Moving forward: Rain’s not done falling for Telkom, though. The company still intends to submit an offer to Telkom in the future. According to its statement, Rain intends to submit a formal, non-binding proposal to Telkom in due course.
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JUMIA LAUNCHES ITS 20 MINUTES QUICK COMMERCE PLATFORM
Believe it or not, Jumia is attempting to do what many would think impossible: the e-commerce startup is attempting to deliver groceries within 20 minutes to customers in Lagos, one of Africa’s busiest cities.
Quick commerce for quick groceries
Quick commerce (Q-commerce) is the instant or rapid delivery of ordered products to customers. This e-commerce subsector is taking form across the world today and minting unicorns in the process. Jumia has now joined the list of q-commerce operators with the launch of Food Mart, a q-commerce platform for online grocery shopping.
Of all its products, Jumia chose groceries because they, together with everyday essentials, constitute the most requested items on its platform, according to the Africa e-commerce index report.
For us, the best part of Jumia’s story is its claim that orders will be processed and delivered in less than 20 minutes. Sounds like big dreams, doesn’t it?
Well, Jumia plans to make this dream come true.
How are they doing this?
Jumia will station micro warehouses in the areas Food Mart will launch, and deliveries will be made from these warehouses. To augment their last-mile delivery services, they have partnered with Errand360, a Lagos-based bicycle delivery company known for its local reach.
Great plans, but can it work?
We really can’t say, but some factors make this 20-minute gist tough to swallow. For example, the average Lagosian experiences 4 hours of traffic daily, and moving across neighbouring landmarks can take hours on a normal day.
Except Jumia intends to plant warehouses at every 10-minute walking distance or do something with a similar effect, the possibility of meeting its promised quick deliveries remains questionable.
M-KOPA PARTNERS WITH ROAM
Now more Kenyans can go green without going in the red.
Electric vehicle firm Roam, formerly known as Opibus, has partnered with credit platform M-KOPA to facilitate the credit sales of electric motorcycles. The partnership will offer affordable payment plans for its electric motorcycle—Roam Air—which was launched one month ago.
Roam Air costs KES 180,000 ($1,505) and will be mass deployed in early 2023. With this pay-as-you-go plan, M-KOPA customers, which were reported to be 2 million early this year, will be able to pay for their electric vehicles on a loan basis without collateral.
A boost to man and nature
According to Roam’s calculations, this will lower the operational costs of drivers by over 70%, and consequently, increase their daily income by 50%. Kenya’s motorcycle mobility industry currently sees 22 million rides each day from over 1.4 million riders. This will, directly and indirectly, boost the livelihoods of the drivers and millions of Kenyans who are directly or indirectly supported by the sector.
Big Picture: There are other greentech mobility startups in Kenya like Ecobodaa, Fika Mobility, Kiri EV, Mazi Mobility, and Jua Bike. Some of them, like Ecobodaa, have implemented the pay-as-you-go model to increase access to their clean energy products. If the model is increasingly welcomed with open arms, Kenya will inch closer to its green energy goals.
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TOGO AND THE UNECA TO ESTABLISH AN AFRICAN CYBERSECURITY CENTER
The Republic of Togo and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on establishing the “African Centre for Coordination and Research in Cybersecurity” in Lomé, the Togolese capital.
The centre will independently and objectively contribute its expertise to the investigation of cybercrime, promote cybersecurity in the region, and support African countries in executing the Lomé Declaration.
What is the Lomé Declaration?
The Lomé Declaration is a pledge by member states to cooperatively fight against cybercrime and adopt the Malabo Convention. The Malabo Convention advocates for a unified, autonomous, and strong legislative framework to safeguard all African countries’ data and privacy.
How will the centre achieve its goals?
The centre will develop cybersecurity capacity and help establish cybersecurity organisations in African countries. It will also collaborate with African governments, policymakers, law enforcement, and security experts to establish effective frameworks for detecting and managing cyber threats and promote cybersecurity throughout the area.
The centre will also supply highly specialised technology and research skills to promote cybersecurity in Africa.
The UN’s Youth Climate Innovation Lab is calling all young innovators in MENA that are creating climate technology solutions to join a 3-day launchpad. Winners from the launchpad will participate in the 6–8 week Climate Innovation Academy Programme, and the top 3 teams will receive a cash prize as well as the chance to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) happening in Egypt this November 2022. Apply by September 4.
DigiFemmes is finally accepting applications for its holistic technical assistance programme that enhances the capacity of women in Côte d’Ivoire to run and grow successful businesses. Selected women will undergo a nine-month training through which they will be equipped with data and digital skills for their businesses. Apply here.
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.