Egypt-born mass transit startup Swvl has received its third delisting warning from Nasdaq. Per the warning, dated March 31, Swvl has 180 days—or until September 25—to raise the value of its publicly held shares above $15 million.
Swvl struggles: Swvl’s high-cash burn model financed its expansion and acquisition efforts, but its efforts did not make it profitable. In H1 2022, it made $40.7 million in revenue but lost over $161.6 million. Since its initial public offering (IPO) in April 2022, Swvl’s shares have dropped by 99%, and its valuation from $1.5 billion to just over $6 million.
Low on cash and losses, the firm, earlier this year, tried to raise money by reversing its $40 million acquisition of Turkish startup Volt Lines. The losses have also forced the company to lay staff off, and scale back operations; it exited Pakistan in December 2022.
Is acquisition a way out? Sources close to Swvl have reported that the company has received acquisition and partnership offers from unknown “strategic investors”.
Personnel losses: Meanwhile, the company is also facing other strategic losses in personnel. Two of its board members and members of its audit committee—Steve Albrecht and Gbenga Oyebode—resigned last week. Its CFO Youssef Salem, who was with Swvl since June 2021, also resigned at the end of March. The company stated that Youssef’s resignation was not related to any disagreements he had with Swvl. Salem will act as an external advisor for a period while Abdullah Mansour, who served as CFO for Swvl’s Middle East operations, is now interim CFO.
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KENYA FINES TWO COMPANIES FOR DATA ABUSE
Kenyan loan company, WhitePath Company Limited and workspace provider Regus Kenya are feeling the heat for not playing by the data protection rules, Techweez reports.
Each company has been slapped with a hefty penalty of Ksh5 million ($37,000) as per the Data Protection Act and Complaints Handling Procedure and Enforcement Regulations.
It turns out that WhitePath has been receiving a barrage of complaints, with close to 150 users claiming that their applications have been accessing their phone contacts without permission and bombarding them with unwanted text messages. To make matters worse, WhitePath’s staff has allegedly been harassing the complainants and their contacts.
As for Regus Kenya, they’ve been accused of spamming improper information to a complainant despite attempts to make them stop.
But that’s not why the fines were expensive
They suffered such an expensive penalty for refusing to cooperate with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC).
According to the ODPC, WhitePath failed to comply with an enforcement notice dated January 10, 2023, while Regus Kenya was non-cooperative and ignored multiple complaints, reminders and an enforcement notice.
The Data Commissioner, Immaculate Kassait, sternly emphasised that it’s the responsibility of every company to prioritise protecting personal data and challenged businesses to do so by design and by default.
AFDB GRANTS $525,000 FOR FINTECH HUB
The African Development Bank (AfDB) is dishing out a $525,000 grant to support the Africa Fintech Network (AFN) in building a digital hub for fintech founders across the continent.
What kind of a digital hub?
The hub is an online portal where fintech associations across Africa can exchange knowledge, strengthen relationships, and show off their incredible innovations and achievements. The AFN digital hub aims to boost competitiveness and innovation in the African fintech sector and, consequently, bridge the financial inclusion gap in Africa.
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According to that deal, Twitter would merge with X Holdings II, but keep its name and general corporate structure while continuing to operate under Delaware law.
X Holdings I, controlled by Musk, would then serve as the merged entity’s parent company, while X Holdings III would take on the $13 billion loan that a group of big banks provided Musk to help cover the $44 billion purchase.
An official structure? X Holdings II was slated to be defunct after it merged with Twitter. So the official structure after Musk’s takeover was: X Holdings I oversees Twitter Inc, while X Holdings III handles the cash. But that has not been the case.
According to the Nevada secretary of state’s online business portal, Elon Musk registered two new businesses in the state on March 9, 2023: X Holdings Corp and X Corp. Then, on March 15, Musk applied to merge those Nevada businesses with two of his existing companies: X Holdings I with X Holdings Corp, and Twitter Inc with X Corp.
Big picture: In the latter’s case, the articles of the merger mandate that X Corp fully acquire Twitter—meaning that, for all intents and purposes, “Twitter Inc” no longer exists as a Delaware-based company. Now, it’s part of X Corp, whose parent company is the $2 million X Holdings Corp. And that means X Holdings I no longer exists, either.
The SaaS Accelerator Program: Africa 2023 has opened applications for its accelerator programme to enable early startups in Africa to receive funding. Selected startups will receive up to $70,000 in funding. Apply by September 7.
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 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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