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Editor’s Note

  • Week 06, 2023
  • Read time: 5 minutes

This week, we’ve got a mix of good and bad news. On the bright side: Orange is lighting up Sierra Leone with a brand-new Orange Digital Center. Nigerian fintech unicorn Flutterwave expanded into North Africa and flew out of financial crime allegations in Kenya, while Partech closed the largest Africa-focused fund.

On the other hand, logistics start-up Hytch has shut down, and Kenyan telco Safaricom has fallen victim to a massive fraud scheme. Read on for full details.

Pamela Tetteh Editor, TechCabal.

Editor’s Picks

Safaricom loses $4 million to SIM card fraud

Kenyan telco Safaricom has fallen victim to a fraud that investigators say is worth over Ksh500 million ($4 million). It was perpetuated by scammers who were using fraudulently generated SIM card numbers to apply for Safaricom’s Fuliza loans.

Learn more.

Kenya drops case against Flutterwave

In a much-needed public win Kenya has dropped its charges of financial impropriety such as money laundering which were filed against Flutterwave in July 2022.

Learn more.

Kenya keeps Meta in court

Last year, Meta questioned Kenya’s judiciary right to preside over its company’s affair in court. The law has responded and refused the Facebook parent company’s request to throw a lawsuit alleging harsh working conditions for its content moderators out of the court. The court has ruled that the hearing will go on as scheduled.

Learn more.

Hytch hits the brakes

Nigeria’s logistic market claims another startup as Hytch shuts down. In its 9 months of doing business, logistics startup Hytch has lived two lives—transporting humans and moving goods. Now it has shut down right on the heels of other logistics companies like Oride and Gokada.

Learn more.

Flutterwave goes North

Nigerian fintech unicorn, Flutterwave, has acquired its Payment Services Provider and Payment Facilitator licenses in Egypt The licenses will enable Flutterwave to act as an official payment service provider in Egypt, collect payments on behalf of its customers and settle payments locally and globally.

Learn more.

Partech’s Africa II fund closes at $263 million

Investment firm Partech has closed its Africa II fund at €245 million (~$263 million). The Africa II fund is the largest Africa-focused fund in the world. Partech intends to invest in over 20 African startups and also increase its ticket size to $15 million.

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.

Sierra Leone’s new digital centre

Orange and the German Development Cooperation have announced the opening of an Orange Digital Center (ODC) in Sierra Leone. Orange has also built similar digital centres in Tunisia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Madagascar, Morocco, Liberia, Botswana, and Guinea.

Learn more.

Bard’s $100 billion mistake

Microsoft announced that it will be powering its search engine Bing and its browser Edge with ChatGPT rival, Bard. However, the AI recently made a “mistake” which wiped over $100 billion off its market value.

Learn more.

More big tech layoffs

This week, pandemic-era darling Zoom, Yahoo and Disney announced that they will be axing thousands of staff, with Zoom cutting off 1,300 and Disney 7,000 employees.

Learn more.

Netflix cracks down wider

Streaming giant Netflix announced that it’s rolling out revamped user plans that’ll reduce password sharing to more countries including Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain. With this new plan, users in these countries will be asked to set a “primary location” for their Netflix accounts

Read more.

Who brought the money this week?

  • Egyptian health tech company Yodawy received $16 million in Series B funding from Delivery heroes, AAIC investment, and Saudi’s Dallah Al-Baraka.
  • Sendmarc, a cybersecurity company based in South Africa raised $7 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Atlantica Ventures. Other participating investors include Allan Gray, E-Squared Ventures, Fireball Capital, Endeavor Catalyst, 4Di Capital, Endeavor Harvest, Alpha Private Capital, and Kalon Venture Partners.
  • Sand to Green, a Moroccan agritech company, closed $1 million in seed funding from Catalyst Fund, Katapult, and some angel investors.
  • Moroccan B2B e-commerce startup Chari received $1 million in an undisclosed funding round from Orange Ventures.
  • Moroccan fintech company, Gwala, raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-seed funding round from a group of investors.

Guess the word: A billion-dollar horse

Guess the word. Hint: It’s a billion-dollar horse, a 7-letter word and you have 6 chances to guess it correctly. Play! Don’t forget to share your play with me on social media!

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Written by: Ngozi Chukwu

Edited by: Pamela Tetteh

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