Hindenburg Research, a US-based investment research firm, has accused Tingo Group, a Nigerian company, of being an “exceptionally obvious scam with completely fabricated financials”.
Tingo’s lies: Hindenburg accused Tingo’s founder and CEO Dozy Mmuobuosi of lying about creating the first mobile payment app in Nigeria. It also reported that the Malaysian university which Dozy claimed gave him a PhD said that no one by his name was found in their verification system.
Tingo founder Dozy Mmuobuosi
More fabrications: In 2021, Tingo announced that it had partnered with Nigerian bank FCMB to expand its mobile services, which would birth its payment group, TingoPay. Two days after the announcement, FCMB debunked the claim. Hindenburg also reported that Tingo photoshopped its logo on another PoS operator’s devices and claimed that the PoS and other merchant products were offerings of its payment group, TingoPay. The firm also said it found that no links to the TingoPay app are on the Google Play Store or the Apple Store.
The company also reportedly photoshopped pictures of aeroplanes which it posted online in 2019 as planes of its airline “Tingo Airlines”. The Athletic reported in February that Tingo Airlines’ registered address was removed from its documents, with a note saying that the address was “invalid or ineffective and was forged”.
Disappearing acts: Tingo also claimed that its mobile handset leasing, call, and data segments generated $128 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2023. Hindenburg reported that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) showed no record of Tingo being a mobile licencee, despite the company’s claims of having 12 million mobile customers.
Hindenburg also debunked Tingo’s claim that its agricultural export business, Tingo DMCC, was on track to deliver over $1.34 billion in 9 months—more than Nigeria’s export in the whole of the previous year. Even worse, the company was not listed in the Nigerian customs database. In addition, Hindenburg found that the links on the website for NWASSA Twigo’s marketplace for farmers in Ghana are not working.
More drama in store: Tingo Group’s share price has been plummeting since Hinderberg Research published its findings and announced that it is shorting the company’s shares. Tingo’s shareholder’s meeting is, however, set to hold at 2 PM WAT today.
MONIEPOINT RANKED 2ND FASTEST-GROWING AFRICAN COMPANY
Moniepoint is Africa’s second-fastest growing company, as shown in FTs latest report. We also processed 1 billion transactions worth $43 billion in Q1 alone. Read all about it here.
The first layoffs in December coincided with the resignation of a co-founder Kate Kallot and the collapse of crypto exchange FTX, a sister company of Alameda Research, one of Mara’s investors. The startup, however, told TechCabal that the job cuts had nothing to do with the crash of the exchange.
The second layoff: The second round of layoffs happened in May. While one report described a pattern of frivolous spending by Mara’s management team, a source told TechCabal that the startup restructured the team with a renewed focus on existing users and launching other projects that will drive crypto adoption in Africa.
One source said the layoff mostly affected staff in marketing, communications, and community management. Another source told TechCabal that a number of staff in other teams were laid off too. But it appears that the startup has not frozen hiring. A source disclosed to TechCabal that the company has just hired several engineers despite the layoffs.
UPDATES FROM APPLE’S WORLDWIDE DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE
Apple is investing heavily in mixed reality (MR).
On Monday, at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), it unveiled Vision Pro, its mixed reality and first 3D camera headset.
Here’s everything that was announced at the WWDC.
The Vision Pro AR Headset: Although there’s no exact release date, we know Apple’s new product costs a whopping $3,499 and will be launched in early 2024. With a new spatial operating system called Vision OS, a bunch of iPad and iPhone apps will be ready to go on Vision Pro when it launches.
Per CNN, the new mixed reality headset will work with apps like Apple’s new Reality Composer Pro, an innovative app simplifying the creation of complex scenes featuring life-like objects. Popular productivity apps like Microsoft Word, Excel, and Teams, as well as video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Cisco’s Webex, will be included on Vision Pro.
A report by Apple Insider gives a more detailed explanation of the new product.
New Macs: Apple had some exciting news for its Mac line, with updates that include a fresh 15-inch MacBook Air with a price that starts at $1,299, a revamped Mac Studio, and a Mac Pro featuring the advanced Apple M2 Ultra Silicon.
Software updates: Apple also announced iOS 17, its next update for the iPhone and iPad. iOS 17 brings new updates to FaceTime, Messages, and the phone app to make your iPhone experience more user-friendly and personal. It offers interactive widgets, iPhone-like lock screen customisation options and live activities on the lock screen for iPads. iOS17 will not support the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus.
More announcements were made, like the new operating system for Apple’s Mac desktops and MacBook called MacOS 14 Sonoma and WatchOS 10 for the Apple Watch. You can find the rest of the announcement here.
JUMIA PLANS TO EXPAND TO RURAL UGANDA
Jumia announced its plans to expand its services to rural Uganda during its 11th-year celebration in Uganda.
CEO Vinod Goel revealed that under Jumia’s inaugural expansion project report, the e-commerce company plans to leverage its Jforce offline sales model for expanding beyond Uganda’s capital Kampala and into the rural parts of the country.
What is Jforce? Jforce is an offline sales branch of Jumia Africa, which operates through a network of sales representatives who earn commissions by placing orders on behalf of customers, creating a mutually beneficial system within the community.
Speaking at the celebration, Goel stated, “Uganda, with its unique population distribution and demographics, presents a significant opportunity for e-commerce growth. The rural consumer, who often faces challenges in accessing quality products at competitive prices, is at the heart of this opportunity.”
Goel did not give a timeline for the expansion, and the details of the reports are yet to be publicly available.
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THE WORLD WIDE WEB3
Name of the coin
Price of the coin
24-hour percentage change
* Data as of 00:00 AM WAT, June 7, 2023.
Following its suit against Binance, the US Securities and Exchange Commission wants to freeze Binance’s assets. CoinDesk reports that the agency asked the court to grant a temporary restraining order to freeze assets tied to Binance.US on Tuesday. Already, users have withdrawn over $600 million worth of assets from Binance since the suit was announced on Monday.
Louis Vuitton is ready for its NFT debut. The fashion house is gearing up to release a new physical-linked NFT collection called Via Treasure Trunks, which customers can purchase for €39,000, or about $42,000.
EVENT: THE MOONSHOT CONFERENCE
This is Moonshot by TechCabal.
Moonshot is a conference that will bring together Africa’s tech ecosystem to network, collaborate, share insights and celebrate innovation on the continent.
Click here to join the waiting list to get more news and updates about this conference.
The SaaS Accelerator Programme: 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.
Wise Guys SaaS Accelerator Program is looking to help SaaS startups level up through tailored guidance and support from world-class mentors and experts. Apply before September 7.
The AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards 2023 ($5,000 prize) is now open to applications from reporters doing work for independent news organisations around the world, with articles readily accessible to the public by subscription, newsstand sales or online access, with the submitted work available in English, are eligible to Apply by August 1.
Applications are open for the US $100,000 Africa Food Prize. Applicants must contribute to reducing poverty and hunger or improving food and nutrition security in measurable terms. They must also make a contribution to providing a vital source of income or employment in measurable terms. Apply by June 17.
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