Later today, we’ll be hosting the first Twitter space to celebrate our 10th anniversary.
By 7PM WAT, our EIC Adrian Ephraim and newsroom editor Muyiwa Olowogboyega will lead the discussion on how TechCabal has evolved beyond telling simple funding stories to investigating startup culture. If you’re interested in knowing what TechCabal’s future looks like, save a seat here.
P.S. Just in case you forgot, we’re also running a giveaway. All you have to do to qualify is open TC Daily 10 editions in a row. Winners will win TC merch—totes, caps, shirts and mugs—delivered to them, or a $20 voucher for readers outside Nigeria.
Amidst the SVB crisis, US regulators have shut down Signature Bank, one of the few US-based banks that accepts deposits in cryptocurrency. The New York Times reports that the bank, which had deposits in SVB, fell victim to the panic and US regulators warned that keeping it open could threaten the stability of the US financial economy.
Meanwhile, crypto exchange platforms Coinbase and Paxos have both disclosed that they have $240 million and $250 million in Signature Bank. As Decrypt reports though, both banks have assured users that the funds will be fully recovered and that the US government would cover any shortfall.
Cassava Network, an African Web3 platform,has launched the third version of its app. PerCoinTelegraph, the move features an interrelation with smart contract provider UniPass which will allow users to use email addresses to access their wallets and accounts.
Japanese automotive brand Nissan has ramped up its Web3 efforts by filing three new Web-3-related trademarks. CoinTelegraph reports thatthe filings signal Nissan plans to sell virtual clothes, toys, cars, gear, tickets and even NFTs in the metaverse.
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ICYMI: Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the go-to bank for tech startups in the US, was abruptly shut down by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) after an announcement triggered a bank run during the week. At first, the FDIC announced that only 15% of the deposits—those less than $250,000—were insured and would be refunded, while the rest would have to wait till the bank was dissolved. Now though, the US government has assured all affected startups that both insured and uninsured users will be able to access their funds.
The crisis reached as far as North Africa. Nclude general partner, Basil Moftah, told Enterprise that “tens” of local Egyptian startups had deposits with SVB, including one of Nclude’s eight portfolio companies. Three of Acasia Ventures’ 10 portfolio companies were also affected.
Forty-six startups in total are said to be victims of the financial crisis.
Fortunately though, it looks like they’ll get reimbursed as soon as possible with the US government’s bailout plan.
Zoom out: Elsewhere on the continent, only fintech Chipper Cash and VC firm Future Africa have disclosed their exposure to the bank.
Post the sunsetting of the fund, the Foundry will continue to maintain the investments it has made, which include in startups like Naked Insurance, SweepSouth, and most recently, Planet42’s $100 million mega-round.
“The global investment environment, as well as the local SA one, has changed and we have made clear the need for our business to adapt,” a Naspers spokesperson told BusinessDay.
“In line with changes across the wider business, we have reviewed our early-stage investment strategy within SA to bring it in line with our international approach. Naspers will continue to support the development of SA’s early-stage tech sector, assessing the market and new opportunities in a way that is consistent with our other global markets.”
Since its launch in 2019, Naspers Foundry has funded over nine startups to the tune of over R740 million (~$40 million).
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The UK arm of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has found a new home.
HSBC UK Bank, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings, has acquired Silicon Valley Bank UK for £1 ($1.21) after the bank was closed down by regulators due to panic withdrawals.
The sale was facilitated by the UK government and the Bank of England, who are trying to wind up failing lenders without hurting taxpayers and the economy. Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt announced the deal on Twitter and boasted that “deposits will be protected, with no taxpayer support”.
Will the revenue from the sale be enough?
The profits from the deal are yet to be announced, but it is worth remembering that Silicon Valley Bank UK had deposits worth $8.1 billion and loans worth $6.6 billion, as of March 10th.
According to Hunt, the acquisition will mitigate the economic fallout from the bank’s collapse. It will also strengthen the commercial banking franchise of HSBC. Talk about a win-win.
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Here’s a list of all the Twitter Spaces we’ll be holding to celebrate our 10th-year anniversary.
March 14—Beyond Funding: Meet the team leading TechCabal’s newsroom. Why is TechCabal telling the kinds of stories we are telling now, and how this thinking has influenced our expansion drive. How is TechCabal’s editorial leadership driving this? Register here.
March 16—Building newsletters readers want. How has TechCabal grown to build seven newsletter products, and what drove this growth? How does TechCabal measure success when it comes to its newsletter products, and what are its plans? Register here.
March 21—Meet the team telling African tech stories that matter. TechCabal captures the players, human impact and business of tech in Africa. We provide the content, reporting, data, and context to help the world understand how tech is changing Africa. Who are the journalists doing all of this important work? Find out here.
March 23—What is the future of tech in Africa? In the last 10 years, the African tech ecosystem has evolved quickly. We know this firsthand at TechCabal. What does the future look like? Join us for an insightful conversation with Ola Brown, Stephen Deng, Hope Ditlhakanyane, and Ngozi Dozie where we answer these questions. Set a reminder here.
March 30—The role of the media in covering African tech. How can the media help Africa’s developing tech ecosystem? What responsibility does the media owe the ecosystem, and what can the media expect in return? Should the media only cover the good stories? Find out here.
IN OTHER NEWS FROM TECHCABAL
The Next Wave: How leverage crisis is strangling food commerce startups.
The Jasiri Talent Investor Programme is looking for highly driven individuals with a history of achievement and/or entrepreneurial action who aspire to launch a high-growth venture. Apply by April 23.
The Growth Africa Accelerator Programme is calling for applications from ambitious and committed entrepreneurs from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia or Ghana with the potential to grow and create impact through their businesses. Apply now.
The HiiL Justice Accelerator Programme is now open for applications from Kenyan startups with solutions that help people resolve their legal problems. Eight selected startups will receive $10,000 in equity-free funding as well as the chance to win up to $21,000 on Demo Day. Apply by March 31.
Google has announced that the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund is now accepting applications from Black founders across the African continent. Apply by March 26.
The Africa Business Heroes (ABH) Prize Competition, a philanthropic initiative sponsored by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Philanthropy, is calling for participation from Africa’s entrepreneurial talent. Apply by May 12.
Rwandan startups have been invited to apply for the ZEP-RE InsurTech Programme, which will support scalable startups in creating new markets and optimising efficiency. Apply by March 15.