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If you struggled to use ChatGPT this week, it’s because the platform is under attack.
Yesterday, OpenAI revealed that its viral chatbot is the target of a DDoS attack. So far, the company said no user information has been compromised, and it is working to mitigate the attack.
The attacks are suspiciously coming in the same week that the company announced a GPT Builder that will let anyone build their version of ChatGPT. 👀
Kenya withdraws case against Flutterwave
Image source: YungNollywood
Flutterwave has weathered the storm.
A Kenyan high court has approved the withdrawal of the second and last case against the fintech.
What happened? In August last year, the country’s Asset Recovery Agency (ARA)—an agency that investigates and recovers proceeds of crime—froze $3 million belonging to Flutterwave, Hupesi Solutions, and Adguru Technology Limited on suspicion of money laundering and fraud.
The ARA filed a suit requesting the withdrawal of the case but was denied in July when the high court judge asked for the reasons behind the ARA’s request to withdraw the case. However, the ARA withdrew the case after further investigations showed Flutterwave was not involved in money laundering and fraud allegations.
ICYMI: This is Flutterwave’s second rodeo at fraud suspicion in the country. In July 2022, the ARA froze $52.5 million belonging to Flutterwave and six other companies on the account of money laundering. However, in March this year, the ARA formally withdrew the case.
Zoom out: The development comes as the fintech pushes a move into the East African country, seeking to acquire a payments service provider and remittances licence from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
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Bolt Food bolts from Nigeria
Image source: YungNollywood
Bolt is shutting down its food delivery service in Nigeria.
From December 7, 2023, Nigerians will no longer have access to the service.
Why? The company announced its decision as a move to streamline its resources and maximise its overall efficiency.
Bolt, which currently offers food delivery services in 16 countries and 33 cities across the world, launched Bolt Food in Nigeria in October 2021 after increased demand for food delivery services during the pandemic. Since its launch in the country, Bolt Food claims it has partnered with over 10,000 restaurants, delivered over 1 million meals, and onboarded 23,000 agents and 12,000 merchants.
Zoom out: Food delivery businesses in Nigeria are facing stringent macroeconomic challenges which have affected their operations. Rising fuel prices, for example, have led logistics startups like Bolt to up delivery fees by 20-50%. The country experienced a 215% hike in fuel prices after its subsidy was removed in May 2023.
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Safaricom records 1.2 million M-Pesa users in Ethiopia
Image source: Reuters
Safaricom is adding M-PESA customers faster than you can say “mobile money”.
The telecom announced in its 2023/2024 half-year results that it has registered 1.2 million M-Pesa customers in Ethiopia since its launch in the country.
More numbers: Safaricom also noted that it had onboarded 23,000 M-Pesa agents and 12,000 merchants on its platform. The telecom revealed that its recorded transaction volume has grown to KES43.7 billion ($287.97 million) since its launch.
Although Safaricom officially opened shop in Ethiopia in 2022, it didn’t launch its M-Pesa service until August this year. In May 2023, Safaricom Ethiopia reported revenues of KES1.8 billion ($16.2 million), with service, voice, data, and messaging accounting for KES600 million ($5.4 million), KES100 million ($900,000), KES400 million ($3.6 million), and KES3.9 million ($36,000), respectively.
Zoom out: Safaricom, which provides services to more than 51 million customers across seven countries in Africa, says that it will deepen financial inclusion and promote a cash-lite economy in Ethiopia.
Flutterwave scores international transfers license in Malawi
Image source: Zikoko Memes
In more news about Flutterwave, the African payments company has secured a licence to process payments in Malawi, including remittances.
Malawi’s remittance market has grown exponentially since 2016, presenting a growth opportunity for the $3 billion-valued African fintech. The International Money Transfer Operator (IMTO) license from the Reserve Bank of Malawi allows the company to process international payments from the Malawian diaspora into the country.
Opportune time: Over 200,000 Malawians work and reside outside the country, presenting an opportunity for Flutterwave to enter the international remittances market which has grown by 300% since 2016 and now represents 2% of the country’s $13.2 billion GDP, according to the World Bank.
The remittance service will be offered through the company’s Send App, the international payments app that was relaunched in August. Send App allows users to transfer funds from over 34 countries worldwide, including the US and Canada. Egypt and Sénégal were also recently added to the network.
Zoom out: Flutterwave has achieved a slew of licences over the past year including a switching and processing one in Nigeria, a payments service provider one in Egypt, and an electronic money issuer one in Rwanda.
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This week, Ivorian-based startup, StarNews Mobile, secured $3 million in funding led by Janngo Capital. The round also included investment from three French professional footballers.
Here are the other deals for this week:
- Egyptian e-commerce startup Awfar secured an undisclosed amount in funding from Saudi Arabia-based venture studio, Value Maker Studio (VMS).
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 23:00 PM WAT, November 9, 2023.
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Yesterday, bitcoin value reached $37,000 for the first time since May 2022. CoinDesk reports that the currency surged recently amid optimism that US regulators will approve ETFs that hold BTC. Those hopes increased Wednesday following a report that the Securities and Exchange Commission has opened talks with Grayscale Investments on the details of the company’s application to convert its bitcoin trust, known as GBTC, into a bitcoin ETF.
Polygon Labs is offering 110 million of its native token, MATIC, to projects in DeFi, gaming and social media, among others. Per CoinDesk, Direct grants of up to 2 million MATIC ($1.55 million) will be offered to later stage projects, Polygon Labs said in an emailed announcement on Thursday. Early stage projects can apply for so-called quadratic funding grants, whereby community members make donations that act as votes on where they are allocated.
- 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”.
- Kwarabuild is hosting no its annual tech conference from November 10–13, 2023. The event will feature global technology organisations, educational institutions, development organisations and state offices working together for ICT, job creation and youth empowerment to bring skills, knowledge and opportunities to Nigeria’s youth. Tickets are available here.
What else is happening in tech?
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