11 NOVEMBER, 2022

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The iPhone 14 has been out for two months now, but it’ll take the average Nigerian—earning ₦71,500 ($165)—305 work days before they can afford the base Pro model.

The iPhone Index by Picodi shows that Nigerians have one of the lowest possibilities for affording the newest iPhones. 

In South Africa, it would take 26.9 workdays for an average earner to afford the phone while Dutch people in Switzerland can afford the phone on five days of work.

That’s all the not-so-phone facts we can take today. Onto the newsletter! 

CRYPTO MARKET: BINANCE BACKS OUT OF FTX ACQUISITION

Bitcoin

$17,026

+ 3.48%

Ether

$1,231

+ 4.77%

BNB

$291

+ 2.42%

FTX Token

$3.04

+ 32.16%

Binance Coin

$1.00

0%

Name of the coin

Price of the coin

24-hour percentage change

Source: CoinMarketCap

* Data as of 06:00 AM WAT, November 11, 2022.

Bitcoin keeps dipping, and it’s all thanks to FTX’s implosion.

A day after Binance founder, Changpeng Zhao, announced his company’s intent to bail out competitor FTX with an acquisition, Binance has backed out.

According to the company, it’s backing out after doing its due diligence and discovering allegations of mishandling of funds and investigations into FTX by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodities Future Trading Commissions (CFTC)

“In the beginning, our hope was to be able to support FTX’s customers to provide liquidity,” Binance tweeted. “But the issues are beyond our control or ability to help.”

FTX reportedly used customers’ deposits to fund Alameda Research, its sister trading company founded by FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. In total, FTX loaned Alameda $10 billion in customers’ assets, an amount the trading company cannot repay. 

Before its implosion, the company presently had $16 billion in customer assets. Since news of its troubles hit the streets on Monday, the company has received withdrawal requests worth $5 billion from customers, but no one can access their coins. 

In a Twitter thread where Bankman-Fried apologised to the public for his failures, the founder said only the company’s international arm was at risk; its US arm was not affected by the financial crisis. The founder also said the company is desperately trying to raise money so it can pay back all affected users.

Since the debacle started, crypto prices have dropped as users wind down trading, and move to liquidate their crypto assets. Governments across the world are also calling for tighter crypto regulations. 


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ICASA APPROVES VODACOM’S ACQUISITION OF DARK FIBRE

The race for 5G dominance in South Africa is on, and Vodacom just got a head start. 

Yesterday, South Africa’s telco regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) announced that it had approved Vodacom’s acquisition of fibre network operator Dark Fibre Africa.

Side bar: Fibre networks are wired infrastructures that transmit network frequencies. 5G networks, albeit wireless, rely on fibre networks. 5G waves can only transmit short distances and network providers need fibre—via small cell sites—to make sure the waves reach more people.

Back to Vodacom

DFA is South Africa’s second largest fibre network operator (FNO), after Telkom-owned Openserve.

Control of DFA’s assets will give a significant boost in South Africa’s telco’s fibre battle to Vodacom, the country’s biggest mobile network operator by subscriber base.

ICASA stated that it only gave its approval after taking into consideration a number of elements of the application, including its impact on competition in the country’s ICT sector, whether the deal would be in the best interest of consumers, and whether it would have equity ownership provisions for historically disadvantaged persons.

A strong fibre network will ensure that Vodacom will be able to support its own push for 5G, as well as lease out its network to other operators for their 5G services.


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ELEVEN AFRICAN STARTUPS WIN AT AFRICA TECH FESTIVAL

Image source: Africa Tech Festival

For the 15th year, Africa Tech Festival (formerly AfricaCom) has awarded brilliant startups that are changing the game in the African tech ecosystem, spotlighting industry players and solutions that are contributing to the digital revolution sweeping across the continent. 

Africa might still be in its day one with respect to technology, but many minds on the continent are concerted in their efforts to make day 100 a reality, and spotlighting them is a good way to boost continent-wide morale. 

The one-week event was held in Capetown, South Africa.

Let’s meet the eleven

  • Womenovate as the Startup of the Year: Womenovate, a female-focused edtech product, helps women to grow in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, agriculture, and mathematics) disciplines and career opportunities.
  • Nextwear Technologies as Healthtech Innovation of the Year: This Nigerian startup builds wearable technology such as bras that detect breast cancer in its early stages. This award was introduced in 2022.
  • Meridiam as VC / Investor of the Year: Meridiam is a pan-African VC with large-scale impact investments across the continent, including four solar power plants in Senegal, a geothermal power plant in Ethiopia, a hydropower plant in Gabon, a biomass site in Côte d’Ivoire, and solar home systems in West Africa.
  • Kyanda Africa as Fintech Innovation of the Year: Kenyan one-stop-shop startup whose solutions include payment services, utility services, insurance provision, money transfer services, and fintech APIs bagged the fintech innovation of the year award.
  • Dr Olufunso Somorin, Regional Principal Officer at the African Development Bank, won the Green ICT champion category.
  • Nuran Wireless won the Connectivity Project of the Year, for its contributions towards ensuring connectivity in environments with high demands.
  • Samuel Chiwanda, CEO of Malawi’s Click Mobile won the CXO of the Year award, usually given to “recognise the outstanding achievements of CEOs, CTOs, CIOs, and CDOs”.
  • Oladiwura Oladepo, Tech4Dev’s co-founder, won the Female Innovator of the Year award.
  • Orange’s Mahali mobile app won the Most Innovative Product/Service award for its target market, with new opportunities for growth.
  • Joseph Lumbahe, lead engineer Computer Vision at Aizatron Group, received the African Rising Star award.
  • Hormuud Telecom received the Award for Changing Lives, recognising the humanitarian portal built by the firm.

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TC INSIGHTS: FUNDING TRACKER

This week, Yassir, an Algerian super app, received $150 million in Series B funding. The round was led by BOND, with participation from DN Capital, Dorsal Capital, Quiet Capital, Stanford Alumni Ventures (aka Spike Ventures) and Y Combinator, among other investors.

Here are the other deals this week:

  • Egyptian fintech firm, Blnk, closed $32 million in pre-seed and seed funding. The rounds were led by Emirates International Investment Company (EIIC) of Abu Dhabi and Sawari Ventures of Egypt, with participation from local and international angel investors.
  • Nigeria-based products and services firm, CutStruct, raised $600,000 in a pre-seed funding round. The round was led by Zedcrest with participation from angel investors, including Kola Aina.
  • Egypt-based food-tech startup, Brotinni, raised $600,000 in a seed funding round led by Innlife Investments.
  • Kenyan logistics company, Sendy, received an undisclosed amount in funding from MOL PLUS.

That’s it for this week!

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for more funding announcements.


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EVENT: THE STATE OF TECH IN AFRICA Q3

We are launching our State of Tech report for Q3 today!

Africa has recently made significant progress towards becoming a launchpad for innovative high-tech companies, with a 44% increase in acquisition deals Q-on-Q in Q3 2022. However, according to our Q3 State of Tech Report, funding, which is the most available metric on the continent, has decreased by 46% in Q3 compared to the previous quarter.

Want to get more insights on important happenings in African tech? Join us this morning on a special edition of TechCabal Live where we’ll launch the State of Tech in Africa report.

Speaking with us this morning are Muyiwa Olowogboyega, PR and content manager at Lemonade Finance; Chijioke Dozie, co-founder and CEO at Carbon; Temilade Denton, head of impact and ESG at Alitheia Capital; and Joseph Benson-Aruna, partner at DFS Lab.

They will discuss insights drawn from the report, looking at the shifts brought about by innovative tech companies, government activities, and more.

Do not miss the event! Click here to register.

IN OTHER NEWS FROM TECHCABAL

Kuda joins the African cross-border payment space.

Inside Nigeria’s used iPhones market: Only 10.36% of smartphone users in Nigeria use iPhones. 

OPPORTUNITIES

  • TechPR is open for aplications to its Be Seen with TechPR programme.Two startups will get media coverage on two relevant media platforms, introductions to key journalists covering their sectors, media relations training, and media assessment worth $5,000. Apply by November 14.
  • 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.
  • The Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme and the Institut Français de Recherche en Afrique of Nairobi are offering a three-month-long fellowship in France for postdoc researchers from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and Eastern Congo (Kivu) who have presented their thesis from 2017. Laureates will receive a monthly stipend of €1,600 at the start of each month. Apply by December 9.
  • If your startup or innovation is focused on climate-smart agriculture practices, apply to the THRIVE|Shell Climate-Smart Agriculture Challenge for a chance to win $100,000, a spot in a prestigious accelerator, publicity and more. Apply by December 11.
  • Applications are now open for Apple’s Entrepreneur Camp. The immersive virtual camp will give founders and developers from underrepresented communities mentorship, technical support and access to the alumni network. Apply by December 5.
  • If you have a business in the agricultural sector, apply to the  African Development Bank’s AgriPitch competition—a 2-week virtual program—-to get business mentorship and win access to a grant pool of $140,000. Apply by November 4th.

What else is happening in tech?

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Written by – Timi Odueso, Caleb Nnamani & Tomisin Bamidele

Edited by – Kelechi Njoku

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