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Chowdeck, the Y Combinator-backed Nigerian food delivery startup, says it has crossed ₦1 billion ($1.2 million) in monthly gross merchandise value (GMV). 🤯
This marks a 10x growth spurt for a company that reportedly crossed ₦100 million monthly GMV just ten months ago.
Want to know how they did it? Chowdeck founder Femi Aluko breaks it down in this TechCabal exclusive.
Norrsken22 closes $205 million fund
GIF source: Zikoko Memes
Africa-focused venture capital firm Norrsken22 has closed its debut Africa Tech Growth Fund at $205 million, $5 million more than its $200 million goal.
The VC firm launched its Africa Tech Growth Fund in January 2022 with $110 million, but support for the fund slowed as Africa’s funding scene tightened between 2022 and 2023.
Side bar: While African startups raised about $5 billion in 2022, funding in 2023, as of October 2023, stood at $2.7 billion.
The $205 million completes the firm’s debut fund. The round was supported by a group of 30 unicorn founders globally including Flutterwave CEO Olugbenga Agboola, Skype Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström, iZettle co-founder Jacob de Geer, and Delivery Hero co-founder Niklas Östberg.
What’s the money for? Norrsken22 is looking to invest in growth-stage startups across the continent. The fund is looking to invest in 20 startups, with its ticket size averaging $10 million.
According to managing partner Natalie Kolbe who spoke to TechCrunch, 50% of the fund will be used to build its portfolio with Series A and B companies, and the rest for investment in Series B and C companies.
Its portfolio of companies presently includes B2B retail startup Sabi, auto-financing startup Autochek, identity verification platform SmileID, fintech Shara, and digital bank Tymebank.
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Showmax to discontinue services outside Africa
Showmax is maxing out its efforts in Africa…and Africa alone.
The MultiChoice streaming service announced, last week, that it would discontinue its streaming services outside Africa by December 1, 2023. This means Showmax users outside the continent will no longer be able to access the service by then.
Why? In a statement shared with customers, the company said, “For the moment, we will be focused specifically on the African market and on meeting the needs of our growing customer communities across the dynamic continent.”
This move comes weeks after the company also announced the shutdown of its paid tier Showmax Pro which offered users access to live sports and news from SuperSport.
Showmax 2.0 is coming to screens: It’s also a part of Showmax’s total revamp to Showmax 2.0.
Image source: Showmax
The full details of Showmax 2.0 are unknown for now, but it does include a partnership with NBC Universal’s Peacock which will bring new content to Showmax. The partnership saw MultiChoice sell 30% of its stake in Showmax to NBC Universal for $30 million.
While Showmax 2.0 is set for launch in March 2024, prices for the service have already been increased since July 2023 with its Premium Plus subscription tier getting a $2 increase.
Zoom out: Meanwhile, MultiChoice is also increasing the prices of its DStv and GOtv services across the continent. Its Nigerian viewers, last Friday, received news of a 19% increase across subscription packages—the country’s second increment of 2023 since May when an 18% increment was implemented.
So far, MultiChoice is scrambling to compete with an incursion from international streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and DisneyPlus. As of 2021, Netflix had the highest number of subscribers at 2.6 million, beating Showmax’s 800,000 subscribers.
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Twitter continues to ignore ex-Africa team
Image source: Twitter
A year after abruptly laying them off, Twitter—now X—is yet to give its Africa team their severance packages.
The team of 20, headquartered in Ghana, had announced the launch of a new office a week prior to their layoffs. While teams across other continents received—in emails informing them of their layoffs—emails to the Twitter Africa team included no details on severance packages. All requests to the Twitter headquarters were also not responded to.
BBC reported that the team then engaged a team of lawyers from Agrncy Seven Seven who were in contact with the Elon Musk-led company, but Twitter stopped responding to the lawyers in May 2023, right when discussions were almost at a close.
Now, the team is once again considering legal action against Twitter/X for violating Ghanaian labour laws.
Last week, BBC once again reported that the team has yet to get its severance package from Twitter/X. While the ex-Twitter Africa team had reestablished contact, and both parties had agreed that all settlements would conclude by October 5, the BBC reports that Twitter/X once again ignored the deadline, the latest in a string of missed deadlines.
“Every time we get close, they go silent for weeks on end with no explanation. It has been one year since they were all laid off, defeating the entire purpose of a redundancy package, which is meant to cushion employees against the adverse effects of being laid off,” said Carla Olympio from Agency Seven Seven.
The big picture: The ex-Twitter Africa team is just one of several ex-Twitter employees who are being taunted by billionaire Musk’s indifference. There are reportedly over 2,200 arbitration cases against Twitter/X by ex-employees who, after Musk’s bungled Twitter takeover, were left without severance packages. The company globally owes at least $500 million in severance packages, an amount Musk doesn’t seem to be interested in paying—just as he’s not interested in paying the rent on the Twitter/X headquarters or paying its Google Cloud bills.
Image source: TC Insights
This week, AFEX, the Nigeria-based commodities platform, raised $26.5 million in funding from British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor.
Here are other deals for the week:
- Almouneer, an Egyptian healthtech company, raised $3.6 million in seed funding in a round led by Global Ventures with participation from investors like Proparco, Digital Africa (via the Bridge Fund), Wrightwood Investments, and others.
- Tunisian fintech startup My Easy Transfer, secured $420,000 in funding from VC firm 216 Capital.
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.
Attend the Norrsken Africa Week
For two days in November, Africa’s biggest hub for entrepreneurship and innovation will welcome more than 1000 investors, founders, public officials and business leaders from Europe, Africa and the Middle East with one goal. To connect global capital with African innovation.
Will you be there?
The World Wide Web3
* Data as of 09:40 AM WAT, November 5, 2023.
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FTX founder and CEO Sam-Bankman Fried has been found guilty on all counts. The 31-year-old, on Thursday, was convicted of looting $8 billion of customer assets from his now-bankrupt cryptocurrency firm. A 12-man jury found him guilty of two counts of fraud, and five counts of conspiracy. Bankman-Fried’s sentencing has been set for March 28, 2024, and he faces decades in prison. He will also face another trial next year as prosecutors charge him with foreign bribery and bank fraud conspiracies. The sentencing comes almost exactly a year after Bankman-Fried’s firm crashed on November 11, 2023.
NFT marketplace OpenSea is laying off 50% of its staff. Decyrpt reports that the company is cutting its staff to focus on building a “more nimble—and ultimately better—version of OpenSea”. This is the company’s second round of layoffs; in July 2022, it laid off 20% of its staff due to—you guessed it—“macroeconomic conditions” and a crypto winter. The NFT market has shrunk since early 2022 when weekly trading volumes of NFTs were at least $270 million. Since January 2023, however, trading volume has fallen by 41%.
What else is happening in tech?
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