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You made it…but the same can’t be said for Twitter—or X—Circles.
Elon Musk has placed the feature on the chopping block. Starting October 31, Circles will be disabled across X mobile and web, and users will not be able to tailor posts to Circles.
Y? X is yet to clarify. But this user suggests that the Musk-led company might be disabling the feature because Elon Musk himself isn’t in too many Twitter Circles, and so thinks people aren’t using the feature.
Absa Bank to invest $665 million in Kenyan MSMEs
Image source: Absa Bank
Absa Bank, a commercial bank in Kenya, has announced plans to invest KES100 billion ($665 million) in Kenyan MSMEs over the next three years.
According to managing director and CEO Abdi Mohamed, the financial institution is offering working capital to help businesses weather unexpected downturns.
MSMEs play a pivotal role in Kenya’s economic growth and development. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), MSMEs account for over 98% of all businesses in Kenya and employ over 14.9 million Kenyans. They also contribute approximately 40% to Kenya’s GDP. Absa’s latest commitment to MSMEs comes after it recently launched Wezesha Stock, a real-time digital platform that helps SMEs manage their inventory and trade.
Lights out: The investment in MSMEs is particularly timely, given the current economic challenges facing Kenya. The country is experiencing high inflation and rising interest rates—the Central Bank of Kenya has raised interest rates three times this year to combat inflation—which is making it difficult for businesses to access capital. Absa Bank Kenya’s investment will help to cushion MSMEs from these challenges and support their growth.
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Patricia set to repay its customers
Image source: Zikoko Memes
Patricia is trying to regain trust by reimbursing its customers.
In its latest move, the Nigerian-focused crypto platform has partnered with DLM Trust, a trust company licensed by Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to facilitate the repayment of $2 million in customer assets which were lost during a hack last year.
DLM Trust will serve as an escrow trustee, holding the funds on behalf of Patricia and its customers until they are ready to be disbursed.
When? In a statement published by Nairametrics, DLM Trust stated that the first batch of repayments to Patricia’s customers is set to commence on November 20, 2023. Kehinde Lawal, a senior associate at DLM Trust, stated that Patricia has already provided funds to expedite the refund process and that these funds stem from Patricia, its partners and investors. Lawal emphasised DLM Trust’s role as a trustee ensuring timely payments, with specific payment plans and disbursement strategies to be communicated to users in the coming days.
This comes after the CEO, Hanu Fejiro, confirmed last week that users with assets on the platform can now exchange their assets for shares, which are to be managed by an SEC-licensed third-party trustee. Per Lawal, plas for this are still in the works.
Zoom out: Patricia’s repayment announcement comes at a perfect time as its users, more recently, started discussing plans to stage peaceful protests to demand release of their assets.
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After 10 months in private beta, Paystack announced that all business in Kenya could now accept payments with our growth tools. Learn more →
Capital Films launches ₦500 million ($653,250) film fund
The Milkor 380 Drone
Capital Film Productions, a film financing firm, has launched a ₦500 million ($653,250) fund, to invest in several Nollywood movies.
According to Adim Isiakpona, CEO of Capital Film Production, the firm is closing its third fund which will fund six movies in 2024. Capital Film previously raised $800,000 across two funds to support the production of seven films. Isiakpona told TechCabal that the fund will grow to $50 million.
Capital Film Productions invests between ₦50 million ($65,325) and ₦100 million ($130,650) in each film, covering only 50% or less of the movie project’s cost, per the CEO. The firm also offers advisory services to filmmakers, and works with them on the scripting and casting stages to ensure the film’s marketability and a viable return.
The fund is the latest episode of tech players who are pouring investment into Nigeria’s teeming film industry. Nollywood’s appeal to these investors is its fast return on investment of 24 months or less, which is typically shorter than the return cycle on other tech investments. Investors also reportedly earn up to 3x of the amount invested in the movies.
The big picture: New investments from tech players in Nollywood represent a mutually beneficial relationship. The Nigerian film industry will gain valuable business advisory insights that would help the film industry compete globally. Investors on the other hand will make up to 3x returns in record time. “Black Book” a Nigerian movie which got a slew of investment from Nigerian tech prodigies like Nadayer Enegesi (Eden Life), Olumide Soyombo (Voltron Capital), and Ezra Olubi (Paystack), recently became the most streamed African film across 69+ countries on Netflix.
VALR partners with Visa to issue payment cards
Image source: VALR
VALR customers can now use their cryptocurrency anywhere Visa is accepted.
The South African crypto exchange has announced its partnership with payment giant, Visa, to issue Visa cards and develop digital payment solutions in South Africa and beyond.
VALR customers will now be able to use their cryptocurrency holdings to make and receive payments globally using the Visa network. According to a report from Mariblock, the digital payment solutions are “soon-to-be-announced.”
Zoom out: So far, Visa has partnered with over 50 cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance and the now-defunct FTX. The partnership between Visa and Binance allowed users to buy and sell things in local currencies using their cryptocurrency from the exchange. However, Visa ended its partnership with Binance in August 2023 due to concerns about regulatory compliance.
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The World Wide Web3
* Data as of 21:45 PM WAT, October 24, 2023.
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- The Digital Nigeria International Conference 2023 is set to hold from October 24–26, 2023 at the Abuja International Conference Centre. The 3-day programme will see technology enthusiasts within the Nigerian startup ecosystem dive deeper into areas and aspects where startup founders seek support, education, or real-world problems, challenges facing their businesses and roles of government, especially NITDA, in supporting Nigerian startups. This year’s Digital Nigeria International Conference will attract over 10,000+ in-person and 5,000+ virtual attendees. Find out more about the speakers here.
- DICE is holding the next edition of its quarterly gathering. This edition is themed “Solve for Africa: Co-Creating a Tech-Enabled Future” and will feature startup founders, investors, venture capitalists and tech leaders answering questions on how tech can be harnessed as a catalyst for change in Africa. Join Jim Ovia, chairman of Zenith Bank, Bosun Tijani, Nigerian minister of comms, and Funke Opeke, founder of Mainstreet Technologies amongst others by 6 PM on November 8, 2023, as they co-create a shared future. Register to attend here.
- Interested in discovering how tech is driving Africa’s economic boom? Then the 2023 Africa Tech Festival is for you. With over 200+ speakers including South Africa’s minister of mineral resources Gwede Mantashe, the event is set for November 13–16, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in South Africa. Tickets are available here, and you can get 15% off paid passes with the code “TECHCABAL15”.
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