We’ve got good news: the stars are finally aligning for you! 🔮
Tonight, right after sunset, five planets—Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Uranus and Mars—will be in alignment. The five-star alignment should be viewable anywhere in the world.
Planetary alignments aren’t rare; they happen every few years. But the next time one like this will occur will be in 2040. For this one, Jupiter, Venus and Mars will be easy to see but you might need binoculars to see Mercury and Uranus.
P.S. This is the best time to test out the camera capabilities of all the fancy Samsung phones that allegedly take clear photos of the moon.
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has sued crypto exchange Binance and founder Changpeng Zhao. CoinDesk reports that the suit, filed on Monday, claims that Binance knowingly offered unregistered crypto derivatives products in the US against federal law. The suit also charges Binance with not implementing know-your-customer (KYC) or anti-money laundering (AML) processes. Following the news, bitcoin prices dropped by 3%.
Cassava Network, a community-first product, a Web3-centred platform, is working to onboard more Africans into Web3. TechCabal reports that the company presently has over 300,000 registered users, and has an all-in-one Web3 growth tool for users to earn rewards and for brands to reach millions of customers.
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KALON’S $50 MILLION PAN-AFRICAN FUND
Kalon Venture Partners
Kalon Venture Partners, a South African venture capital firm is set to launch a fund worth $50 million. Disrupt Africa reports that this marks the first time the firm will be investing outside of South Africa.
Established in 2016, Kalon Venture Partners has supported 11 technology companies in South Africa. Its portfolio includes cybersecurity startup Sendmarc, prop-tech company Flow, payments firm Ozow, and marketing startup Mobiz.
The firm’s previous fund, which closed in 2021, was valued at ZAR250 million (then $17.5 million). It was a Section 12J fund which incentivised local taxpayers to invest in South African firms and receive a tax deduction of up to 100%.
In line with Section 59(2) of the Central Bank of Kenya Act (CBK Act), the apex bank began supervising the digital lending space last year, establishing a transparent licensing process that will see to a saner digital lending space in Kenya.
Following the expiration of the three-day ultimatum by the CBK in 2022, 10 digital lenders—from a pool of 288—were initially licensed to operate in Kenya last year. Then in January, an additional 12 were listed. CBK’s announcement today brings the total number of licensed credit providers to 32, from a combined pool of over 400 applications,
The complete list of licensed digital lenders includes big names like Tala, MFS Africa, M-Kopa Loan, and Jumo. “Other applicants are at different stages in the process, largely awaiting the submission of requisite documentation. We urge these applicants to submit the pending documentation expeditiously to enable completion of the review of their applications,” a statement from the CBK reads.
For users of licensed companies, one thing is guaranteed: increased confidentiality for borrowers. Digital lenders are now barred from sharing customers’ information with all kinds of third parties—including credit reference bureaus—without prior consent from the customer. They are also expected to operate at least one physical office in the country.
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GitHub took down the code on that same day and has also been subpoenaed to identify the individual who leaked the code, as well as any other parties who may have downloaded it.
Who leaked it?
The GitHub account of the person who leaked the code is still online with the username “FreeSpeechEnthusiast”, which seems to be a direct nod to Elon Musk’s self-proclaimed title of “free speech abolitionist”. Twitter’s source code appears to be the only thing the pseudonymous user has posted.
Investigators think that the culprit is one of the 7,500 people who either got laid off or resigned since Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover last October. It seems that Musk was not overreacting when, during his firing spree, he went as far as locking up the offices and restricting engineer access to the website code to prevent any potential sabotage.
What this means for Africans
The leaked source code includes security vulnerabilities that could give hackers the means to extract data or even take down Twitter. This threatens Twitter as a business and also the online safety and privacy of millions of African users.
Moreover, employee theft of company property, such as source code, is not unique to Twitter, and it can happen to any African tech startup, especially at this time when several African tech startups are laying off employees to “streamline business operations” or shut down completely.
STITCH LAUNCHES NEW PRODUCTS
South African fintech Stitch has announced the addition of card and debit order pay-ins, as well as a payments management system PayOS, for payments orchestration and reconciliation.
Through the addition of the new services, Stitch becomes an end-to-end Payments Service Provider (or PSP, defined as a third party that enables businesses to accept, manage and send digital payments through a variety of methods).
According to a statement by Stitch, its clients can now accept payments via Instant EFT, Debit + Credit Card, Direct Deposit, Debit Order, and Cash; track, manage, and reconcile payments received across multiple methods, providers and geographies via PayOS; and easily disburse funds via Payouts.
“We’re really excited to fully serve our clients end-to-end, and meet more of their payments needs,” said Stitch president Junaid Dadan. “We operate as a client-first business and have found that clients see us as a thought partner in the way they run their payments environments. Over time they’ve started asking us to support them with more solutions. This progression is in response to that demand, and an effort to fill gaps we see in the market across the payments stack.”
According to the fintech startup, the evolution was in large part a response to requests received from existing clients to help solve more of their payment needs.
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Here’s a list of all the Twitter Spaces we’ll be holding to celebrate our 10th-year anniversary.
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: Africa is not missing out on AI, you’re just not noticing.
ALX Africa is calling for young African learners who are interested in data analytics, data science, cloud computing, and salesforce administration to apply to its new world-class programmes at no cost to them. Apply to any ALX course here.
Dream VC has announced that it’s now open for its Launch Into VC (LIVC) and Invest Accelerator programmes. Junior professionals keen on breaking into the investor space can apply for LIVC to get a carefully curated investor talent accelerator led by existing venture builders. Senior professionals should apply for its Investor Accelerator 2023 Programme where future investment leaders and ecosystem builders will be upskilled. Apply for LIVC and Investor Accelerator Programme by April 16.
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 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.
The Africa’s 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.
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