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Spotify has a new Jam.🎧
Yesterday, it released a new feature—Jam—that allows users create listening sessions together and add songs to queues. It’s social media, but for music.
With Jam, you now can share your questionable taste in music with your friends, and get feedback in real-time! 🤩
Risevest acquires Chaka
Image Source: TechCabal
Yesterday, after months of bargaining, Nigerian trading startup Risevest announced its acquisition of digital trading startup Chaka for an undisclosed sum.
Chaka was founded in 2019 with the mission of helping Nigerians buy shares of publicly traded companies in Nigeria and the United States for as little as $2. Since then, it’s faced a couple of challenges including a ban from Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2020. By 2021, however, it became the first trading startup to receive a digital sub-broker licence.
Mutual benefits: Talks of acquisition began early in 2023 when a mutual investor in the two startups suggested the deal to Risevest co-founder Eke Urum. Informal talks began in March, and the deal was finalised in September.
Urum and Chaka founder Tosin Osinbodu said they got along quickly and shared a similar vision for the future of fintech in Africa. The investors on both sides were also supportive of the deal.
What’s changing? Both companies will continue to operate as separate products, but will collaborate on product development and marketing. The acquisition will give Risevest access to Chaka’s digital sub-broker licence, which will allow it to offer its users more investment products and services.
The deal is expected to benefit both companies and their users. Risevest will be able to expand its product offerings and reach a wider audience, while Chaka will be able to leverage Risevest’s expertise in wealth management and financial education.
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inDrive faces ban in Botswana
Image source: Mmegi
inDrive has found itself in a holdup.
The company, yesterday, responded to calls for its ban in Botswana.
A ban? Yup, local public transport operators want the e-hailing service banned. Earlier in the week, the Botswana Kombi and Taxi Association urged the Department of Road Transport and Safety (DRTS) to ban inDrive, citing concerns about the platform’s lack of necessary licences. This prompted the DRTS to launch an investigation into the matter.
What licence? While traditional kombis and taxis in Botswana pay operating fees to the DRTS, inDrive has largely sidestepped these fees since most of its drivers use their private cars. This distinction places inDrive outside the regulatory purview of the DRTS, which primarily governs public transport. The taxi association argues that inDrive operators should be subject to the same regulations as taxis and kombis, which pay operating fees to the DRTS.
What’s inDrive doing about this? Per Vincent Lilane, inDrive’s business development representative for Southern Africa, while inDrive has yet to officially receive the complaint from the DRTS, the company is actively collaborating with pertinent stakeholders to resolve the issues raised.
The taxi association has also filed a complaint with the Botswana Police Service, seeking charges against inDrive drivers for alleged piracy, which refers to operating public transport services without proper licensing from the DRTS. inDrive has said it is actively collaborating with authorities, including the Botswana Police Service, to ensure clarity regarding their operations.
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Sendy goes into administration
GIF Source: Zikoko Memes
Kenyan logistics startup Sendy has entered into administration after talks for an acquisition fell to the ground.
Administration?? By going into administration, Sendy—which is currently facing financial difficulty—is seeking protection from its creditors while it sorts out its future. What this means is that an independent person or firm will take control of the startup, investigate its finances, and make recommendations for a resolution.
Sendy was considering a firesale in August after the company was reportedly burning $1 million per month.
A $1 million burn rate? Rising fuel prices and Kenya’s election contributed to Sendy’s rise in operating costs. Many manufacturers who use Sendy’s service scaled down their production in the run-up to Kenya’s election, leading to reduced order volumes for the company. Continuous fuel hikes also meant that Sendy was making deliveries at a loss.
Sendy’s road to administration: Sendy’s sad tale began after COVID pandemic. The sectors with Sendy’s clients—manufacturing and retail industries—were grossly affected by the travel and lockdown restrictions which affected Sendy’s revenue. The company began cutting costs and adjusting its business model to extend its runway. Sendy prioritised end-to-end fulfilment and stopped operations in Nigeria. On its Kenyan side, it laid off about 20% of its staff and announced plans for a pivot to connect online buyers with logistics providers.
Zoom out: TechCabal reported in August that Wasoko and Sabi were likely buyers of Sendy, but acquisition talks broke down when both companies were unwilling to take on Sendy’s liabilities. The administration affords Sendy a chance to put its house in order and potentially find a new buyer in the process.
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Kenya fines businesses for data breaches
GIF source: Zikoko Memes
The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) has fined three businesses Ksh9 million ($63,576) for violating data privacy in Kenya.
The ODPC released a statement on Twitter stating that the fines were imposed on a digital credit provider, a nightclub, and a private school, each for distinct breaches.
Fines incurred: Mulla Pride Ltd., the named digital credit provider that operates two online credit platforms, KeCredit and Faircash, faces a Ksh3 million ($20,290) fine. The penalty stems from the company’s use of personal contact details obtained from third parties and used to send threatening messages and phone calls to coerce borrowers into repaying their loans. Furthermore, Mulla Pride Ltd. has not received a licence to operate as a digital credit provider. The two platforms—KeCredit and Faircash—are also not on the approved list by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
Casa Vera Lounge, the nightclub mentioned by the ODPC, was fined Ksh1.9 million ($12,850) for sharing revellers’ images on their social media platforms without obtaining proper consent. The private school, Roma School, incurred a Ksh4.5 million ($30,436) penalty for the unauthorised posting of a minor’s photos on its social media platforms without parental consent. Per the ODPC, this marks the “first and the highest penalty” ever imposed on an educational institution.
Zoom out: In August, the ODPC launched a new office in Mombasa to promote data privacy and awareness. These fines are a reminder to businesses, of the importance of complying with data privacy regulations.
The World Wide Web3
* Data as of 02:55 AM WAT, September 27, 2023.
- Jamit is excited to announce the Hear My Voice Podcast Storytelling Contest, in partnership with Focusrite. Contestants are to record and submit an original podcast entry centred around one or more themes: Black love, joy, bloodlines, sisterhood, friendship and community. The first-place winner will be awarded $500 and the Vocaster Two Studio podcast equipment sponsored by Focusrite. Apply by October 1.
- If you are an aspiring economist entering your first year of undergraduate studies in the 2024 academic year, the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) Economic Research Department in collaboration with the SARB Academy, invites you to apply for competitive SARB bursaries in the field of economics, economics and econometrics, economics and mathematical statistics and economic science. Apply by September 30.
- An opportunity is on the horizon for Zambian entrepreneurs and startup visionaries as X3M Ideas Zambia announces the X-Pitchathon to empower startups across various industries. A competition for MSMEs to win over $50,000 in prizes inclusive of brand and marketing support. Apply by September 28
- Applications are open for the Fast Forward Accelerator 2024. The accelerator provides training and resources applicable to the challenges only a tech non-profit entrepreneur knows. Through the Accelerator, you will receive a $25,000 philanthropic grant, build community among your cohort, meet dozens of mentors from the tech and social sector, and connect with people who can help you scale. Apply by September 30.
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