20 DECEMBER, 2022

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Tweeters do not like their new landlord, Elon Musk. Well, most of them don’t.

They disagree with his leadership style and  work culture, and do not appreciate his plans for the social media platform. He has been venomously criticised and booed, and more recently, voted against. 

On Sunday evening, the Musk launched a poll asking if he should step down as head of Twitter, and more than 17.5 million people responded. About 57.5% voted for his step-down, while 42.5% asked him to remain as head of Twitter.

This might be good news for Tesla investors who have been concerned Musk has been spreading himself too thin following the Twitter deal. Tesla shares have already lost nearly 60% of their value this year.

CRYPTO MARKET

Bitcoin

$16,726

+ 0.16%

Ether

$1,215

+ 1.04%

BNB

$247

+ 0.12%

FTX Token

$1.05

+ 0.12%

Name of the coin

Price of the coin

24-hour percentage change

Source: CoinMarketCap

* Data as of 05:25 AM WAT, December 20 , 2022.



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VENTURES PLATFORM CLOSES ITS FUND AT $46 MILLION

Image source: CEO Business Africa 

Editor’s note: In the TC Daily edition we sent out to you on Friday, December 16, we reported that Ventures Platform, an early-stage, Africa-focused VC firm, closed an early-stage and intercontinental fund at $40 million. That information was incorrect. The fact is that $40 million was Ventures Platform’s initial target, but the fund was oversubscribed by its final close, reaching $46 million instead.

The investment saw participation from Standard Bank, the International Finance Corporation, British International Investment, A to Z Impact, Proparco with FISEA, AfricaGrow, and HNIs. 

About Ventures Platform

Ventures Platform was launched in 2016 by Kola Aina, and it has made about 81 investments in sectors such as fintech, insurtech, health tech, edtech, agritech, enterprise SaaS, digital infrastructure plays, and digital talent accelerators. 

The majority of these investments are pre-seed and seed, but it also now issues Series A cheques to its portfolio companies, some of which can directly access follow-on capital (Series B and above).

Some of the companies in Ventures Platorm’s portfolio include PiggyVest, Marketforce, Reliance HMO, Mono, PayHippo, Mono, SeamlessHR, Tizeti, Printivo, and Nomba.


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ARM LABS LAGOS TECHSTARS ACCELERATOR APPOINTS OYIN SOLEBO AS MD

The new ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator Programme has announced Oyin Solebo as its managing director. The accelerator programme is the brainchild of a partnership between global startup accelerator Techstars and Lagos-based innovation ARM focused on helping fintech and proptech startups that serve the African market. 

Solebo holds an executive MBA with distinction from London Business School and a BSc Hons in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Before joining the team at Techstars, she worked as an Investment Associate at Goldman Sachs, a strategy consultant at Roland Berger and co-founded Movemeback in 2014, where she worked for eight years before joining the team at Techstars.

Solebo has been hired to lead the accelerator programme which is due to commence its inaugural three-month cohort in January 2023. The programme will select 12 startups to receive capital, one-on-one mentorship, customised programming, and access to the Techstars worldwide network on an annual basis.


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PAYSTACK TERMINAL

Paystack Terminal

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ONECOIN’S CO-FOUNDER PLEADS GUILTY TO $4 BILLON SCAM

Image source: CoinDesk

In 2014, two co-founders, Ruja Ignatova and Sebastian Greenwood, told the world that they’d built OneCoin, a cryptocurrency which would rival—or “kill bitcoin”.

They lied. 

What they actually built was a centralised currency, which, in reality, fell short of what cryptocurrency is. The “coin” was neither mined through computers nor did it have a public or verifiable blockchain. According to the prosecutors, the operators arbitrarily fixed the coin’s price, before finally pulling the plug and conning its global user base of $4 billion.

Eight years after the big loot, Greenwood, one of the co-founders, has pled guilty in a US court and is set to spend 2023 in prison. 

The biggest scam in history?

Probably.

US Attorney Damian Williams and The Times think it is one of many big scams in history.

OneCoin operated as both a pyramid scheme and Ponzi scheme, and it survived by paying early investors with money it obtained from newer ones.

For the past four years, OneCoin has been under the radar of international law enforcement agencies, and major arrests have been made in connection to the case, including that of Ruja Ignatova’s brother, Konstantin Ignatov, who pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering in 2019.

Konstantin Ignatov remains at large today, having etched her name in Europol’s “Europe’s Most Wanted” list, and the FBI’s list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.

Greenwood, 45, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. His sentence will be on April 5.


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EcoFlow

EcoFlow

EcoFlow, a portable power, and renewable energy solutions company is seeking distributors in Ghana for its industry-defining portable power stations, smart solar technology, and the world’s first portable home power station with an expandable ecosystem.

EcoFlow was founded with a mission to empower people and communities around the world through portable, clean, reliable power for lasting impact and dethrone the traditional gas generators through innovation.

The first products from EcoFlow’s powerful lineups to be revealed in Nigeria will consist of:

RIVER Pro is a flexible and portable device with a quiet operation that does not run on gasoline or fuel.

DELTA features a first-of-its-kind two-way inversion technology that converts AC to DC power and vice versa with a 6x AC Outlet and charges safely from 0-80% in under an hour with the X-Stream Fast Charge.

DELTA Max unit packs a 2kWh capacity that is expandable up to 6kWh with DELTA Max Smart Extra Batteries, X-Stream technology, and the ability to power most home appliances including heavy-duty devices up to 3400W.

Those interested in becoming a distributor of Ecoflow products, should contact sales.rest@ecoflow.com or to learn more visit: www.ecoflow.com

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TC INSIGHTS: GROWTH HANDBOOK

Are you an early-stage startup trying to hack growth?

TechCabal Insights has created a handbook to help you on your growth journey. It contains useful insights from experts that touch on key areas such as building a growth strategy, maximising online and offline channels, building a strong community, and others.

In this handbook, we share some top tips and best practices for startups looking to scale their growth efforts and effectively reach their audience.

To get a sneak peek into the handbook, click here.

You can also pre-register here to get paid access once it goes live.


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IN OTHER NEWS FROM TECHCABAL

KYC can serve as a catalyst for DeFi adoption in Africa.

How African finance apps can succeed on mobile in 2023.

Cyber threats in Africa’s e-commerce and payment sectors.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

  • Developers and techies from across Sub-Saharan Africa can now apply to win the grand prize of $10 000 in the Lesotho Public Financial Management hackathon which will run from 24 to 26 January 2023. Apply by 21 December.
  • African startups are invited to apply for the Making More Health Business Accelerator, a structured business growth programme targeted at social entrepreneurs with innovative solutions in the health sector. Apply by January 13.
  • The GROW Impact Accelerator is now accepting applications from agtech startups offering solutions to the problems facing the processing, packaging and transportation of food. Apply by January 30.
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Written by – Ngozi Chukwu & Caleb Nnamani

Edited by – Kelechi Njoku

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