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AI is coming for TechCabal reporters’ jobs. 💀
Google says it’s working on an AI tool that can source for and write news. Google says it won’t replace reporters though; it’s only here to assist, and we agree.
I mean, how will people enjoy the news if it isn’t laced with the occasional typo and jabs at Elon Musk’s
mismanagement of Twitter?🤷🏾
How Jessica Uche thinks about business
Jessica is at the intersection of businesses and technology. Building a career that spans human resources, media, logistics, consulting, and fintech, she enjoys leveraging technology to drive business, product, and revenue growth while fostering strategic partnerships. She is presently the country director for Native Teams Limited, leading business, revenue, and product development.
Explain your job to a five-year-old.
I enable companies hire and pay their employees and contractors in 59+ countries.
You recently assumed the country director position at Native Teams. What are your biggest learnings?
That strategic partnerships are underrated drivers of business and revenue growth. I have learned to leverage collaboration over competition to scale. In-depth geographical and market research is definitely not one to be overlooked as it is largely key to successful business expansion. Regarding product development, I have learned that it is best to build products based on obtainable market realities, then iterate constantly following direct user feedback. The most interesting of them is that Nigeria is about 90% a commission-based market than subscription-based. This was quite tricky for me to navigate, but we found our way around our target audience after several pricing model iterations.
What skills would you say have been critical to your career growth and trajectory?
Quite a few. Strategic business development, for one. Then business relationship management, stakeholder management, project management and strategic partnerships.
Is there any way you think AI will play into business development?
I believe AI is already in play in core business development. Renowned BD and CRM tools are already AI-embedded and are being leveraged by big tech. However, it is essential to make accessibility to business development AI more revenue level.
What would you say are the steps companies looking to penetrate new markets should take?
Companies should not glide over the market research aspect of business expansion. Not all markets that look attractive from a numbers perspective will generate revenue directly proportional to headcount numbers.
Local and legal compliance should be non-negotiable when considering/entering new markets. An in-depth understanding of regulatory expectations and local compliance should not be underestimated.
Global expansion comes with challenges peculiar to each country and market audience. Hence companies must devise effective go-to-market strategies to navigate unique market complexities, build products to suit specific markets, and scale operations accordingly.
What would you say are your proudest achievements?
Here are three of them:
- Going from BDM to Country Director in one year is definitely top-table.
- Leading a business that is subscription-based in a commission-based market.
- Closing deals worth over $723,000 across twelve different countries.
What interesting pieces are you reading right now?
- Make Your Contact Count by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon
- How to Sell To Nigerians by Akin Alabi
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
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Netflix expands password-sharing restrictions to South Africa
Image source: Zikoko Memes
South Africa’s Netflix users can no longer “Netflix and chill” with people outside their households.
Netflix has cracked down on password-sharing in South Africa, but the country is yet to be included in the streaming platforms’ paid-for-sharing option.
What is paid-for sharing? The paid-for-sharing option allows you to share your Netflix account with someone outside your household by offering an extra membership fee less than a full subscription.
ICYMI: In February this year, Netflix restricted password-sharing in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain. Netflix further expanded its restrictions to the U.S. and more than 100 other countries in May 2023 and also introduced its paid-for sharing options in those countries representing 80% of its revenue base.
The recent update on South Africa’s password-sharing restrictions came after Netflix announced on Wednesday that the restrictions are having a positive effect on revenues and subscription numbers in markets where it’s enforced.
Zoom out: The password-sharing restriction was likely prompted by last year’s subscriber loss, as Netflix claims that as of February this year, over 100 million households share accounts which impacts their ability to invest in new TV and Films. On the bright side, the streaming service noted in its latest report that it gained over 5 million subscribers between April and June 2023, after it stopped users in several regions from sharing passwords.
Ethiopia restores social media access after five months
Image source: Zikoko Memes
On Wednesday, Ethiopia restored access to social media sites like Facebook, TikTok, Telegram and Youtube after a ban was imposed in February this year.
What happened? The ban was imposed after three archbishops from the Oromia region accused the leadership of the popular Orthodox Church of discrimination and a lack of diversity, which caused a rival planned protest.
The authorities banned the protests from happening. However, supporters of the Orthodox Church accused the authorities of supporting the breakaway group. They vowed online to defy the ban and hold a rally to show their support for the Orthodox Church. This led to a ban on social media and a shutdown of schools in the country.
VPN to the rescue:Only those with access to a virtual private network (VPN) could get on social media platforms, which made the demand for VPNs in Ethiopia skyrocket by 1,430% at the time.
The blackout is said to have impacted businesses and cost Ethiopia up to £32 million ($42 million) in losses.
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Image source: TC Insights
This week, Egyptian fintech company Flash raised $6 million in a seed round. The round was led by Addition other participating investors, including Flourish Ventures and angel investors.
Here are the other deals this week:
- Nigerian Health tech company Pharmarun received $10,000 in equity-free funding from the Pitch2Win competition.
- Mycover.ai, a Nigerian-based insurtech company, raised $1.25 million in a pre-seed round. The round was led by Ventures Platform. Other participating investors included Founders Factory Africa and Techstars.
- Tunisian mobility company, Kaco secured undisclosed funding from UGFS North Africa.
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.
The World Wide Web3
* Data as of 04:50 AM WAT, July 21, 2023.
Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors PPMVs have a significant impact on Nigeria’s healthcare delivery. However, they face numerous challenges like a lack of proper regulation and low access to finance among others. These challenges affect their ability to provide high-quality services to their customers.
Join us this morning at 11 AM on Techcabal Live as Adrain Ephraim, Editor-in-chief at TechCabal will be discussing with Charity Ukwo Abah – Deputy Director of Enterprise Development and Promotion Department, SMEDAN; Emeka Okafor – Project Director, IntregratE and Kwesi Arhin- Senior Vice President for Retail Operations in Nigeria, mPharma.
They’ll discuss innovative solutions for easy access to credit for healthcare entrepreneurs and how they can collaborate with relevant regulatory agencies to ensure members’ compliance.
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