One important update came to WhatsApp in the past week.
The instant messaging platform is coming after work collaboration tools. Soon, all users will be able to share links to video calls, the same way anyone can share links to Zoom or Google Meet calls.
Users will be able to create the links under the “Calls” tab, and the link expires after 90 days and has no limits.
WhatsApp is the most-used messaging app globally with about 2 billion users. It’s easy to use and most people already have it on their phones. Should other collaboration tools be worried? Do you see this new update positioning WhatsApp to become a meeting tool?
CRYPTO MARKET: KIM KARDASHIAN TO PAY $1.2 MILLION FOR PROMOTING CRYPTO
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* Data as of 05:30 AM WAT, October 4, 2022.
Here’s an interesting revelation to kick off your Tuesday with.
Celebrity influencer Kim Kardashian will be paying $1.2 million to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Why? For promoting crypto on her Instagram page. How’s that a problem? Well, US Federal Securities law has an anti-touting law that mandates celebrities who promote crypto assets to disclose the nature, source, and amount of compensation they received in exchange for the promotion.
In Kardashian’s case, the celebrity uploaded an Instagram story dated June 2021 with the headline “Are you into crypto”; the post was promoting EMAX tokens, the crypto asset security being offered by EthereumMax.
She had been paid about $250,000 for the post but didn’t reveal this. “Investors are entitled to know whether the publicity of a security is unbiased, and Ms. Kardashian failed to disclose this information,” said Gurbir Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.
Celebrity endorsements can increase sales by 4% and consumers are more likely to buy a product if someone they admire is using it. Knowing this, it’s critical that the government keeps an eye out for volatile assets like crypto and other financial instruments.
Kardashian has fully cooperated with the SEC and will pay a disgorgement fee of $260,000 and a $1,000,000 penalty. The billionaire has also agreed to not promote any crypto assets for the next three years.
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In August, South African data-only mobile network operator Rain announced that it wanted to propose a merger with Telkom. South Africa’s Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP) stopped the proposal in its tracks before it even reached the Telkom board.
While publicly proposing a merger with Telkom, Rain professed that it was a perfect match for Telkom because the merger will level the playing field they both share with Vodacom and MTN while saving them costs.
The TRP stopped Rain’s proposal even before it got to Telkom because it had not given Rain the needed approval to make such a proposal.
It seems Rain has finally received said approval hence this second and formal merger proposal to Telkom.
What’s the deal?
The proposed deal will see Telkom acquiring Rain in return for Rain getting issued shares in Telkom. However, the proposal is still non-binding and Telkom’s board is still evaluating it.
Telecom giant MTN has also been courting Telkom for a possible acquisition despite anti-competition concerns from experts. After Rain’s proposal was announced, MTN announced that it has approached the Telkom board with its comments about the new development and that the board stated that it will respond to the MTN letter fully in due course.
Everyone is eyeing Telkom because its fibre network operator subsidiary OpenServe is leading the fibre network market. It is valuable to any telecom in South Africa that is trying to gain dominance in the 5G market.
Whose hand will Telkom take?
HELIOS EXITS TELKOM KENYA
The Kenyan government now owns a 100% stake in its telecommunications company, Telkom Kenya.
Helios Investment Partners, a UK-headquartered private investment company in Africa, has offloaded its 60% stake.
Helios initially acquired the majority stake in June 2016 by Jamhuri Holdings Limited (JHL), a company owned 100% by HeIios Investors III, L.P. (a fund advised by Helios Investment Partners LLP). The transaction also increased the Kenyan government’s stake from 30% to 40%.
At the time of the acquisition, Telkom Kenya had about 2.89 million mobile subscribers across the country. As of June 2022, the telco had 3.4 million subscribers, a small margin of growth during the period of Helios’ acquisition.
According to Capital FM, Helios informed the Kenyan government of its intention to exit in August 2021 and although the reason for the exit is unknown, it’s possible that the failed merger between Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya played a role.
ICYMI: Since 2019, Airtel and Telkom have been in talks to merge their telcos in order to take on Safaricom, the company which dominates Kenya’s telco space with over 60% of the market share. However, the deal has failed at least twice due to regulatory reasons.
Now, Kenya’s government has purchased the7.12 million shares and moves on with its fight for relevance in Kenya’s telco space while Helios moves on to mind its other investments.
NASPERS HALTS BILLDESK ACQUISITION
Image source: ESG Telegraph
Prosus, the technology investor controlled by South Africa-based Naspers, will no longer buy Indian payments platform BillDesk.
A dream team
Prosus offered to buy BillDesk through its PayU subsidiary—a multinational fintech company. Prosus had projected that when acquired, BillDesk and PayU would “create a financial ecosystem handling four billion transactions annually”.
So what went wrong?
The acquisition, announced in August 2021, was worth R84.8-billion ($4.7-billion). Prosus terminated the acquisition because certain conditions were not fulfilled by the September 30 deadline.
Other deals that have gone right
Naspers, through its subsidiary Prosus, has invested about $6 billion in Indian technology companies in about 17 years. Some Indian companies it has invested in include: Food delivery startup Swiggy, agritech startup DeHaat, elearning company Eruditus, home services platform Urban Company, social e-commerce platform Meesho, and online healthcare platform Pharmeasy, which recently bought diagnostic laboratory Thyrocare.
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Applications are open for the UK Research and Innovation African Research Leaders’ Programme. Talented researchers in sub-Saharan Africa leading quality health research in the region can apply to get up to £750,000 in funding. Apply by December 1.
AWS She Builds—a community program with over 25,000 women around the world—is accepting applications for its cohort-based program which prepares women for Amazon’s AWS Solutions Architect Certification and provides sponsored exam vouchers valued at $150. Apply here.
If you want to be a web3 developer, apply for Polygon Bootcamp Africa, an 8-week intensive educational course and hackathon combo. Apply by October 7.
Growth4Her, a 6-month investor readiness accelerator Program for women is currently running cohorts in Cameroon and Nigeria. Application is open to at least 15 and at most 25 women. Apply here by October 7.