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Thank you for sticking with us through our month-long 10th-anniversary celebration.
If you want to catch up, here’s a list of some of our most critical articles.
If you’ve opened TC Daily 10 days in a row this month, your name will be entered into a raffle draw and you’ll be eligible to win merchandise if you’re in Nigeria, and a $20 voucher if you’re outside Nigeria.
Here’s to 10 more years! 🥂
THE WORLD WIDE WEB3
Name of the coin
Price of the coin
24-hour percentage change
* Data as of 05:10 AM WAT, March 31, 2023.
In more crypto hacking news, a hacker has made off with $8.9 million after exploring a vulnerability in DeFi exchange Safemoon. Crypto News reports that the attacker exploited a public burn function introduced in the latest upgrade. The function included a bug that allowed the hacker to compromise the project’s liquidity pool and drain almost $9 million worth of assets.
The Indonesian government is planning to protect its cultural heritage with non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Per CoinTelegraph, the country has entered a partnership to tokenise tangible assets and reform intangible cultural heritage as digital assets. The project will reportedly create “immutable archives of culture, transparent alternative income streams through royalties, and recognition for cultural creators”.
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MTN PLANS TO GO OFF SOUTH AFRICA’S NATIONAL GRID
MTN is accelerating investments in alternative power sources and expects to be completely off-grid at most sites in future, according to CEO Charles Molapisi.
According to Molapisi, the reason for going off the grid is to reduce cases of theft and vandalism which have spiked during hours of load shedding.
Molapisi stated that MTN’s internal data shows that over 390 unique sites had been vandalised since January 2022 alone, with criminals returning to the same sites more than five times after each repair.
Additionally, over 1,000 vandalism incidents have been recorded during this period in the Eastern Cape, with cable, battery, equipment, and air conditioner theft all on the rise. Other items damaged and stolen are doors, containers, fences, security systems, and locks.
The telco also announced that it’s injecting R1.5 billion ($83 million) into a network resilience programme that will reduce the impact of load shedding.
Zoom out: Last week, Molapisi told the Business Times that MTN will have to raise prices to invest in backup power and theft-proofing their sites, further proof of the debilitating effects Eskom’s seemingly endless challenges continue to have on South African businesses.
MICROSOFT LAYS OFF KENYAN STAFF
At the start of the year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that the company would be laying off 5% of its workforce, about 10,000 workers.
At the time, Nadella announced that the layoffs were part of an effort to reduce the company’s overhead costs and “remain a consequential company in this industry that is unforgiving to anyone who doesn’t adapt to platform shifts”.
This week alone, over 2,700 employees have been affected in the US alone. It appears that the layoffs have now reached its African arms. Earlier this week, rumours that the company had laid off staff at its Africa Development Centre (ADC) in Kenya started circulating on social media.
The rumours were confirmed yesterday when a senior manager product management, Kipkorir Arap Kirui, took to LinkedIn and Twitter to announce his forced exit from the company. “At 4:30 pm, I was informed that Microsoft had made my role redundant. I have many unanswered questions, and it will take some time to come to terms with this news. However, I do find solace in knowing that it was not due to any performance-related issues,” Kirui wrote in the LinkedIn post.
In June 2022, Microsoft announced that it had hired over 500 software developers in its ADCs across Nigeria and Kenya. It is presently unknown how many were affected and what their severance terms are.
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KENYA RECEIVES $378 MILLION TO ELECTRIFY BRTS
Kenya’s public transit infrastructure is powering up.
The country has reached a Ksh50 billion ($378 million) financing agreement with the European Commission to construct Africa’s first electric bus rapid transit (BRT) system.
The agreement was made after a meeting with Kenyan president, William Ruto, and president of the European Commission, Ursula von de Leyen, at the European Union Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
Per the agreement, the upcoming Green Mobility-Nairobi core bus rapid transit line 3 (BRT 3) will feature zero-emission electric buses and will introduce intelligent transport system features; affordable fare setting; inclusion of access to the public transport system for youth, women and low-income households; and address traveller safety.
The big picture: Since 2019, Kenya has had plans to join other African countries like Nigeria and Ghana with its own BRT system. In February 2022, it announced that it had ruled out petrol and diesel buses and would only operate electric vehicles (EVs) for its transit system. By September, however, it announced that the launch—scheduled for June 2022—had been stalled due to a $46 million funding constraint. This new financing deal should help it keep things running.
Zoom out: The country is late to its own game, though, as Kenya already has several electric vehicle transit options. In August 2022, Swedish firm Roam Limited launched its Roam Rapid Bus, a mass transit EV service; and other companies like BasiGo are operating EV ride-hailing services.
TC INSIGHTS: FUNDING TRACKER
This week, PayDay, a Rwanda-based neobank, raised $3 million in an oversubscribed seed funding round led by Moniepoint Inc (formerly TeamApt Inc).
Other investors in the round include Techstars, HoaQ, Angels Touch, DFS Lab’s Stellar Africa Fund, Ingressive Capital Fund II, and angel investors such as MFS Africa CEO, Dare Okoudjou, and Norebase CEO, Tola Onayemi.
Here are the other deals this week:
- Nigerian logistics startup, Fez Delivery, closed a $1 million seed round from Ventures Platform, with participation from Voltron Capital, Acasia Ventures, and other angel investors.
- Nigeria’s HouseAfrica, a prop-tech, received US$400,000 in funding from investors such as Future Africa, SSE Angel Network (SSEAN), ARM Labs, CV VC, StartupBootcamp AfriTech, Niche Capital, and Rebel Seed Capital.
That’s it for this week!
Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for more funding announcements. You can also visit DealFlow, our real-time funding tracker.
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EVENT: TC LIVE
Some companies are downsizing just to stay competitive in the fast-changing world. while some are restructuring due to the economic downturn. But how has this affected tech talent? Has this led to a slowdown in technology development? What does the future hold for employees within the tech sector?
Join us this morning at 11 AM (WAT) on TechCabal Live as we’ll be discussing layoffs and the future of talent management in tech. Chiazagom Anisebo, Talent Management Associate at Big Cabal Media will be speaking with:
- Juliet Odumosu – Co-founder/CMO, Nguvu Health,
- Yewande Jinadu – Head, People and Culture, Traction apps
- Diseye Ami Naasin – Happiness Engineering Lead, Eden Life
This conversation is open to startups/founders/professionals, HR managers, regulators, policymakers, and tech workers.
To join this conversation, register here.
IN OTHER NEWS FROM TECHCABAL
Inside the reluctant decision of investors to petition Kloud Commerce founder.
- 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, Ayomide Agbaje & Ephraim Modise
Edited by – Kelechi Njoku
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