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3 MARCH, 2023


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Would you like to be gifted a luxury customised iPhone?🤩

Here’s all you have to do to get one: have a personal connection with Lionel Messi.

This week, the “balloon d’organic” winner purchased 35 customised iPhones for each of his fellow teammates in the Argentine national football team, after they won the 2022 World Cup.

Image source: IDesigngold

The cost of the customised iPhones is estimated to be around £5,000 each, which means that Messi spent over $175,000 on the gifts for his teammates and backroom staff.


MultiChoice has announced that it is relaunching its streaming service platform Showmax through a partnership with NBCUniversal and Sky.

The new version of Showmax will be powered by NBCUniversal’s Peacock technology platform and broadcast English Premier League matches.

Doubling down on streaming

MultiChoice has been doubling down on streaming for a while now as subscriber numbers for DStv, its flagship satellite television platform, have been tanking.

The partnership will be in the form of a holding group, EarthCo, which will be 70% owned by MultiChoice and 30% owned by NBCUniversal. In Nigeria, one of MultiChoice’s major markets, NBCUniversal will hold an indirect 23.7% stake in the local subsidiary.

Zoom out: NBCUniversal, on the other hand, seems to want to use the partnership to further expand its presence on the continent by leveraging MultiChoice’s 50-market footprint in sub-Saharan Africa, at a time when Africa is approaching an inflexion point in terms of broadband connectivity and affordability.

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More coworking spaces are coming to Africa!

Global flexible space provider WeWork has entered a partnership with SiSebenza, a pan-African real estate investor, to operate WeWork’s existing locations in South Africa.

The deal also grants SiSebenza exclusive rights to grow and operate the WeWork franchise in Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius and Nigeria. WeWork opened its first South Africa location in 2019 at WeWork The Link in Rosebank, Johannesburg, followed by WeWork 80 Strand in Cape Town, and WeWork 155 West Street in Sandton, Johannesburg.

WeWork claims to have seen strong demand from companies seeking flexible space solutions and will use the partnership to power growth and unlock the significant market opportunity in the region.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates our continued progress in pursuing asset-light growth where local capital and expertise strengthen our business. With its in-depth understanding of the market, SiSebenza will build on WeWork’s success in South Africa and power its growth across the continent. This partnership enables us to simultaneously meet the growing demand for more flexible space solutions whilst further strengthening our underlying business,” said Sandeep Mathrani, CEO and chairman of WeWork.

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Fast Company, the world’s leading business media brand, has released its 2023 list of most-innovative companies across the world. 

Every year since 2010, Fast Company examines which startups across the world have survived despite all odds, and flourished.

For 2023’s list, the publication lists 540 companies across 54 categories, including artificial intelligence, edtech and virtual reality. While its top 50 most-innovative companies globally does not—curiously—include an African company, two African startups, Sabi and uLesson, thankfully made it to its list of top 10 companies across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 

What’s innovative about them?

Well, according to Fast Company, uLesson is taking on the challenge of Africa’s underbanked underserved 61 million schoolchildren. The Nigerian-based edtech company, however, is helping many of these students across five countries access live lessons taught by expert tutors, a pre-recorded video library tailored to national curriculums, and test prep for key entrance examinations. 

So far, uLesson has reached more than 3.5 million downloads and raised $22.5 million since its launch in 2019.

Sabi, on the other hand, is a B2B marketplace targeting Africa’s informal economy, where 41 million small businesses are still yet to be online. Since 2021, Sabi has raised $28 million to provide over 175,000 merchants across Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa with tools that help them manage their sales, track inventory, and connect with distributors or manufacturers.

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This week South African e-health company, Envisionit, raised $1.65 million in an undisclosed round from New GX Ventures SA.

Here are the other deals this week:

  • Hollydesk, a fintech company based in Egypt, raised $1 million in debt funding from undisclosed investors.
  • Morocco-based ed-tech company KoolSkools raised $960,000 in an undisclosed round from the Azur Innovation fund. 
  • Nigerian blockchain company Wicrypt Network received $150,000 in grants from LEAP 2023 Rocket Fuel Pitch Startup Competition.

That’s it for this week!

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

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Today, the fintech industry in Africa provides a large range of services, and its central mission is to drive financial inclusion. They power payments, manage wealth, provide credit, and tackle the limitations of traditional banks through digital banking, among other offerings. But the question here is, what are the untapped opportunities that lie within payments and what problems are innovators yet to solve within this industry?

Join us on Friday, March 10, for a TechCabal Live session where we’ll be discussing beyond payment: what’s the next big thing in African Fintech.

We will be looking at other sub-sectors in the fintech industry that investors and other stakeholders are not paying attention to and the untapped opportunities that lie within the payments industry for innovators. 

To join this conversation, register here.

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Nigeria’s presidential elections might be over, but its cash crisis continues

Here’s the ultimate guide to a social media arsenal.

Finding a clear exit path as an investor in Libya.


  • AfricaCheckCopy Editor – Johannesburg, South Africa

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Are you a startup leveraging blockchain? Do you care about social impact? Mercy Corps Ventures is offering $1 million in grant funding to startups to pilot scalable web3 solutions that can drive resilience for underserved users in Africa.

Apply here.

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Written by – Timi Odueso, Ephraim Modise & Tomisin Bamidele

Edited by – Kelechi Njoku

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