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Editor’s Note

  • Week 05, 2023
  • Read time: 5 minutes

This week, Amazon launches in Nigeria, while Elon Musk brings his internet service Starlink to the country. In other news, while MTN Nigeria announced revenues of ₦2 trillion (a number that fairly boggles the mind), Gokada is still battling empty pockets and Jumia hits a shocking low.

Dive in for more stories from the tech ecosystem are in this week’s edition of TC Weekender.

Pamela Tetteh Editor, TechCabal.

Editor’s Picks

MTN Nigeria declares trillions in revenue

MTN is the most profitable company in Nigeria, according to public financial records. Despite a rocky 2022, it recorded a ₦2.01 trillion revenue. Since it crossed the ₦1 trillion mark in 2018, the company has continued to record a steady and impressive growth rate, doubling its revenue in just 5 years.

Learn more.

Africa’s newest unicorn: MNT-Halan

MNT-Halan, an Egyptian fintech and e-commerce company, has galloped its way to unicorn status! The firm secured $400 million in equity and debt financing, including $260 million in equity and $140 million in debt. Egypt now has two of Africa’s nine unicorns: Fawry and MNT-Halan.

Learn more.

Cash scarcity in Nigeria

The central bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that the old notes will continue to be redeemable even after they cease to be legal tender on February 10th. Due to the deadline extension by the CBN, bank traffic has decreased, and ATMs are overcrowded. As a result, some POS agents are turning away customers seeking to withdraw money or charging them excessive fees due to cash scarcity.

Learn more.

Jumia’s concerning low

Jumia’s liquidity has hit a concerning low. Despite raising over half a billion dollars in 2020, cutting advertising spend, and launching a logistics business, Jumia failed to meet its goal to be profitable by 2022. It is now in a precarious cash situation due to high general and administrative costs.

Learn more.

Is the end of Tech Nation in sight?

The end of Tech Nation, a UK’s tech startup support system, is near. After losing its funding to a Barclays Bank program, its doors may close by the end of March. CEO Gerard Getch remains optimistic and seeks a buyer to keep Tech Nation’s initiatives alive.

Learn more.

Starlink launches in Nigeria

Elon Musk’s SpaceX internet service, Starlink, has finally landed in Nigeria, offering speed that may feel like a shooting star compared to those of the country’s existing internet service providers. The monthly service fee of ₦19,260 ($42) might seem low, but the one-time hardware cost and a ban on international transactions on domestic cards may dent users’ wallets.

Learn more.

The State of Tech in Africa Report

Technology in Africa is growing at an unprecedented rate and we want you to have a bird’s eye view of it. The State of Tech in Africa report has launched.

You can download it here.

CBK approves 12 more digital lenders

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) handed out 12 more licenses to digital lenders, bringing the total number of licenses given out to 22, out of the 381 applications the CBK has received. Some providers say the CBK was delaying their license, but the apex bank says it is doing all the legal evaluations for the safety and protection of consumers.

Learn more.

Ghana’s back tax list

Ghana’s playing a loud debt tune and demanding back taxes from multinationals like MTN Ghana, Gold Fields Ltd, Kosmos Energy and Tullow Oil Plc. The companies are refusing to dance, disputing the back taxes. MTN is already out of the woods; the telecom announced yesterday that Ghanaian tax authorities have withdrawn the GHC8.2 billion (~$665 million) fine it slapped on MTN’s door.

Learn more.

Convergence Partners raises $269 million

Convergence Partners is making waves with a $296 million pool to power Africa’s digital ecosystem! The funding pool is named the Convergence Partners Digital Infrastructure Fund and is ready to invest in digital infrastructure solutions like fibre networks, cloud services, and AI.

Learn more.

Gokada lays off staff…again

Last-mile delivery company, GoKada, gave 54 employees from its quality assurance and rider-ops teams the boot without notice or pay. The startup which is trying to raise $100,000 through crowdfunding reportedly considered selling the business to a competitor, Kwik Logistics, in 2022.

Learn more.

Zipline aces Kenyan test

Kenyans, get ready for a high-flying healthcare experience. Zipline, the global drone delivery company, nailed its test flights in Kisumu County and is ready to launch its instant logistics operations in the country and bring healthcare to new heights.

Learn more.

Amazon launches in Nigeria and delays SA launch

So, it seems South Africa’s “Prime” time has not come. Ecommerce giant Amazon launched in Nigeria but postponed its South African launch till the end of the year due to a “challenging environment”. Amazon has faced several challenges, including protests over building on sacred land.

Learn more.

MAFAB launches 5G in Nigeria

MAFAB Communications is rebranding as Mcom and has joined MTN as the only two licensed to offer 5G in the country. Mcom plans to roll out the service across 6 cities, relying on partnerships and existing infrastructure for nationwide coverage.

Read more.

Who brought the money this week?

  • This week, Egyptian fintech company MNT-Halan received $340 million in equity & debt funding from Chimera Abu Dhabi and Commercial International Bank (CIB).
  • South African fintech Lulalend raised $35 million in a Series B funding round led by Lightrock and with participation from DEG, Triodos Investment Management, Women’s World Banking Asset Management, IFC, and Quona Capital.
  • Trade Lenda, a Lagos-based fintech startup, secured $520,000 in a pre-seed funding round from Africa-focused investors, including Sovereign Capital, ARM Labs, and Expert Dojo, as well as Nigeria-based angel investors.
  • Three African agritech startups, ThriveAgric from Nigeria, DigicCow from Kenya, and Brastorne Enterprises from Botswana, won the 2022 AYuTe Africa Challenge securing $1.5 million in grant funding. 

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