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Wind down for the week with a one-minute YouTube short on how one startup is helping people borrow from each other.
In this episode of our social video shorts, My Startup in 60 Seconds, Babatunde Akin Moses, the founder of Sycamore, talks about how the P2P lending platform is committed to creating a more seamless lending process for users by connecting them directly with their peers.
THE WORLD WIDE WEB3
Name of the coin
Price of the coin
24-hour percentage change
* Data as of 05:30 AM WAT, March 30, 2023.
Investors have pulled about $1.6 billion out of Binance after the US lobbed a lawsuit at the company and its founder, Changpeng Zhao. Reuters reports that $1.6 billion in cryptocurrencies was withdrawn after US’ Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CTC) sued the company for allegedly operating an illegal exchange, not implementing know-your-customer (KYC) or anti-money laundering (AML) processes.
Both the US and South Korea are requesting the extradition of Terra founder Do Kwon from Montenegro. CoinTelegraph reports that Do Kwon, who stands accused of running a $40 billion crypto scheme, was apprehended last week in Montenegro. Now, several states want him to answer for his crimes against their citizens.
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NIGERIAN FRAUD AGENCY DETAINS KLOUD COMMERCE FOUNDER
Nigeria’s fraud investigation agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has detained founder of Kloud Commerce Olumide Olusanya.
Wait, what did he do?
We’re not sure. It’s unclear at this point whether the EFCC is responding to a petition filed by Kloud Commerce investors, or if this is an entirely different issue.
An email to the lawyers who represented Kloud commerce in 2022 was not replied to at the time of this report.
But here’s what we do know
In October 2022, investors at the startup petitioned EFCC to investigate founder and CEO Olumide Olusanya who has been accused of fraud and misappropriation of funds.
According to an investigation published by pan-African press WeeTracker, Olusanya misled investors to believe that the startup was already powering retail sales for 10 global brands—including Nike and Adidas—in Nigeria and Ghana. The founder also told investors that one product was live in 800 locations across Ghana and Nigeria. Asides from claims of non-existent products, Olusanya also redirected funds meant for the startup, allegedly withdrawing ₦4 million ($9,000) as “entertainment allowance” between August and September 2021, as well as ₦22 million ($50,000) for publicity events in Ghana where he spent $100/night in hotels.
The poor management led the startup to shut down in September 2022 with Olusanya firing several employees despite owing salaries.
Zoom out: This is a developing story, but we’ll share more as soon as we know more.
KENYA GETS SELF-SERVICE SUPERMARKETS
Carrefour has a new service that allows customers to check themselves out. Techweez reports that the retailer introduced the service to reduce the queues at the store and speed up the checkout process.
How does it work?
This self-serve checkout is limited to 15 items, so if you didn’t go wild with your shopping, you can skip the queues and use the self-checkout service.
Once you’re done selecting your items, head over to the easily identifiable self-checkout booth and scan the items you bought. Set aside the items you scan and choose your payment method when you are done. The service accepts a range of options, including card and mobile money.
After paying, bag up your items and head out.
This is the first in Kenya and is currently only available at Carrefour’s Westgate Mall location. It will be coming to Carrefour’s other branches across the country soon.
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PAYDAY RAISES $3 MILLION IN OVERSUBSCRIBED ROUND
PayDay, a Nigerian neobank, has raised $3 million in a seed funding round led by Moniepoint. TechCabal exclusively reported three weeks ago that PayDay was looking to raise $1.5 million in a seed round, and today’s announcement disclosed that the round was eventually oversubscribed.
Other investors include Techstars, HoaQ, DFS Lab’s Stellar Africa Fund, Ingressive Capital Fund II, MFS Africa chief; Dare Okoudjou, Norebase CEO; Tola Onayemi, and existing investors; Techstars and Angels Touch.
With this investment, PayDay has received a total of $5 million in funding since its inception two years ago.
What PayDay does
Payday enables Africans in Nigeria and Rwanda access to global accounts denominated in USD, EUR, and GBP. It also offers virtual dollar and naira cards for Nigerian users, facilitating purchases on international platforms, currency swaps, payment links, local bill payments, and peer-to-peer transfers.
Competition and a rejected acquisition
PayDay is a payment partner for SpaceX’s Starlink. They claim to have processed almost $1 million from Starlink customers in Nigeria and Rwanda. That’s a whole lot of cash.
PayDay says it is making as much profit as possible from the fees it charges on transactions, which have quadrupled with its increasing user base. Founder Favour Ori also admitted to tech publication TechCrunch that the startup turned down a $15 million acquisition offer from an African unicorn.
They plan to use their newfound funding to ramp up their marketing efforts, secure operational licensing in the UK and Canada, and increase their staff.
ALGROWITH ANNOUNCES SECOND ACCELERATOR PROGRAMME
alGROWithm, a Nigeria-based growth agency, has announced the second edition of its growth talent accelerator—Africa’s first-ever growth talent accelerator.
The Growth Talent Accelerator Programme (GTAP) 2023 is designed to upskill key startup team members into expert growth engineers for their businesses. alGROWithm’s GTAP is aimed at solving the scale problem experienced by startups. Scaling requires more than just money, and sometimes startup teams lack the expertise needed to move from start-up to scale-up. alGROWithm’s Growth Talent Accelerator Programme aims to bridge this gap.
According to Seyi Boya, growth marketing ops lead at alGROWithm,“Our training programme is not like many others that are theory-based. Ours is anchored in real-life techniques, frameworks and strategies that we have used ourselves, in delivering growth consistently to our clients.”
Founder and chief growth officer (CGO), Bili Sule, also adds, “Last year, we learned that when startups hire new growth hackers, founders still have to wait for them to learn about the business before they can start creating value. So we started thinking about how to shorten that learning curve and have them deliver impact faster. This is the premise upon which we structured version 2 of the programme. It’s designed to deliver impact faster.”
For its second edition, GTAP will hold an intensive three-day in-person growth hacking boot camp, two months of intensive online lectures and workshops on growth skills, and one month of guided practical growth projects based on the company’s growth goals, with impact monitoring. Participants will also get access to a curated private community of African growth hackers for ongoing peer-to-peer learning.
Here’s the kicker though: only business leaders and founders can nominate team members for the programme so if you’re interested in becoming a growth hacker, you’ve got to show this to your boss. Per alGROWithm, leaders can nominate up to four team members by April 17.
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EVENTS: TECHCABAL AT 10
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
CBK’s slow licensing process is an existential risk for Kenyan lenders.
EnteringTech #25: How to become a frontend engineer.
How to do a SIM swap on MTN in South Africa.
- 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.
What else is happening in tech?
Written by – Timi Odueso & Ngozi Chukwu
Edited by – Kelechi Njoku
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