In partnership with
Good morning ☀️
Today’s newsletter is dedicated to everyone who tweeted about Blue Eye Samurai🗡️ on Netflix.
It may not have changed this editor’s life as many of you claimed it would 😐, but it sure helped him have several satisfactory meals. Speaking of Netflix, ICYMI, it’s not leading Africa’s streaming market anymore. Showmax now leads with 1.8 million subscribers across the continent while Netflix has 1.6 million.
What’s more, South Africa is the only giant of Africa Netflix knows as the country accounts for majority of the subscribers. Anyway, that’s old news. Here’s today’s.
SEC halts trading of Tingo Group shares
Image source: Zikoko Memes
Remember Tingo Group—that Nigerian agri-fintech that was called an “exceptionally obvious scam”?
Well, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has suspended trading activity of its shares on the stock exchange from November 14 to November 28, 2023. There has been alarming information in public documents by and about the company, and the SEC wants to make sure that Tingo Group is not deceiving the public.
What is Tingo saying now? The company did not comment on the SEC’s announcement. Yesterday, Tingo released its financial reports for the third quarter of 2023, claiming $586.2 million in net revenues and gross profits of $137.9 million.
ICYMI: Six months ago, Hindenburg Research, an investigative firm wrote a scathing report about Tingo. Hindenburg alleged that Tingo’s public financial statements were fabricated.
It also alleged that Tingo falsified reports about partnerships, projects, and expansions. Tingo denied the allegations, but the company’s share price crashed by 55% following the damning report.
Zoom out: One week ago, Tingo Group’s CEO Dozy Mmobuosi announced that he had founded a new club football called Club 1472. The news came seven months after his £115 million ($124.89 million) takeover of Sheffield United failed. His new club will compete with Nigerian clubs like Sporting Lagos which is also owned by a Nigerian tech founder, Paystack’s Shola Akinde.
Access payments with Moniepoint
Moniepoint has made it simple for your business to access payments while providing access to credit and other business tools. Open an account today here.
Google asks court to dismiss Nigerian’s $150 million lawsuit
GIF source: Tenor
In a legal twist that could rival a Silicon Valley drama, Google, the tech juggernaut, is facing off against a Nigerian, Chianugo Peter, in a $150 million lawsuit.
The lawsuit, which also involves GoDaddy.com, revolves around the shutdown of Peter’s domain name—YouTubeAudio.com—which Peter bought eight years ago from GoDaddy to host his application.
Google, the parent company of YouTube, says that Peter’s domain name infringes on its trademark rights. On the other hand, Peter says that he bought the domain name in good faith. He also alleges that GoDaddy and Google encouraged him to make use of the YouTubeAudio.com domain name for the past eight years.
Unmeritorious or Unstoppable? Google, the second defendant in this legal showdown, isn’t pulling any punches. In a statement filed on November 10, the company asked a high court in Abuja to dismiss Peter’s claims as “unmeritorious” and “unworthy.” They argue that Peter didn’t act in good faith and even approached Google before starting operations, acknowledging the tech giant’s rights.
What Peter wants: A number of things. Peter wants a declaration that he rightfully registered the YouTube Audio business name and secured the YouTubeAudio.com domain name in good faith from GoDaddy. He also wants $50 million for the 8 years of promotional work and marketing efforts. He also wants to be paid $100,000,000 for loss of anticipated profits associated with the brand equity and goodwill of YouTube Audio and YouTube Audio.com domain name. He also wants ₦50,000,000 ($62,292) for fresh registrations and securing an alternative domain name, along with ₦10,000,000 ($12,458) for legal expenses in prosecuting this suit.
Google’s reaction: Google counteracts, claiming that Peter lacks a bona fide claim and doesn’t own the YouTube trademark. According to Google, they are the international owners of the “YOUTUBE” trademark, registered in Nigeria since 2007, predating Peter’s use by eight years.
Missing from the spotlight: During a recent court appearance, Google’s defence was acknowledged, but GoDaddy.com is yet to join the legal dance floor. The court granted an extension to Google’s legal team, and the next hearing is set for February 12, 2024.
Get faster ZAR payouts with Paystack
In August 2023, Paystack reduced payout time for ZAR payments in South Africa to just 2 working days. See what Paystack has been up to in 2023 →
Nigeria to provide 3,000 paid tech internships with UNDP
Bosun Tijani. Minister of Comms, Innovation, and Digital Economy. Image source: TechCabal
Nigeria’s plan to upskill its citizens is coming with practical applications.
Yesterday, the minister of communications, innovation and digital economy Bosun Tijani announced that the country had partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to provide 3,000 internships to its 3MTT fellows.
JSYK: In October, the ministry announced its 3 Million Technical Talent Programme (3MTT) which is set to see three million Nigerians trained in digital skills by 2027. Per Tijani, 3MTT has a 1-10-100 plan in place: 1% of the three million trained in three months, then 10% over a defined period, then 100%. In the first phase, which is set for November 2023–February 2024, 3MTT will focus on twelve technical skills including software development, UI/UX and AI/Machine Learning.
Now, the 3MTT fellows will also be provided with practical experience as well. The UNDP will provide a 12-month paid internship for 3,000 fellows to “allow them to apply the skills they learn in the programme.”
It’s unknown, at this time, if the internships will apply only to the first cohort of 30,000 fellows who are set to graduate in February 2024, or if it will be offered to other applicants of the 3MTT programme. So far, over 1 million Nigerians have applied for the programme.
This announcement also comes three weeks after the minister revealed a ₦1 billion ($1.1 million) partnership that would see learning communities for the 3MTT programme set up across all Nigerian states and the FCT.
The first phase of the programme is set to kick off today, November 15 by 4 PM WAT. If you’re interested, you can watch the programme on YouTube.
The big picture: Meanwhile, the 3MTT is just one of the programmes upskilling Nigerians announced by the minister. Over the past two weeks, Tijani has announced the Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme which will provide 45 AI researchers with grants of up to ₦5 million ($5,914), and Code Clubs to teach 7–17-year-olds coding.
Vodacom’s earnings shrink due to Ethiopian foray
Image source: Safaricom
This week, South Africa’s biggest telecom company, Vodacom, reported a 4.2% drop in half-year earnings per share (HEPS) caused by the cost of starting operations in Ethiopia, and higher interest rates.
Vodacom launched Safaricom in Ethiopia last year and has reportedly reached 5 million customers. Despite this impressive growth rate, it is still behind the market leader, Ethio Telecom, by a wide margin. Ethio Telecom, meanwhile, reported a 23% rise in half-year revenue for the same period.
Since its foray into the Ethiopian market, Safaricom, which is partly owned by Vodacom alongside the Kenyan Government, is competing directly with state-owned Ethio Telecom, which provides telecom services to about 70 million people in Ethiopia.
Can Safaricom emasure up? A month after Safaricom launched in October 2022, it acquired 740,000 subscribers. By November, it announced one million subscribers. The company is aggressively marketing its services to the Ethiopian market, but it’s unclear how it still plans to challenge Ethio Telecom’s 129-year monopoly.
So far, both services currently charge the same 30 birr ($0.54) for SIM Cards, but Ethio Telecom charges less than 849 birr for 100GB, while Safaricom charges 1000 birr.
Mobile money revenue report: Safaricom’s M-Pesa—its mobile money service—on the other hand is reportedly widening in Ethiopia. The company made KES 7.2 million ($47,384) in M-PESA revenue three months after it launched in August 2023. M-PESA Ethiopia has a customer base of 1.2 million users, with 67% actively using the product. The service still faces stiff competition from Telebirr, Ethio Telecom’s mobile money service which has 34.3 million subscribers across Ethiopia.
Attend the Tek Experts Webinar
Tek Experts, a leading global provider of technical talent solutions through its cybersecurity brand, is set to hold a webinar themed “Ensuring Cybersecurity Resilience in Financial Services Companies in Nigeria”, to address cybersecurity challenges in the industry,
Date: Wednesday, 22nd November, 2023 at 12:30 WAT. To register for free, please click here.
The World Wide Web3
* Data as of 22:05 PM WAT, November 14, 2023.
Sourcing for institutional size liquidity for African currencies to G25 currencies including USD, GBP and EUR is a pain. Oneliquidity is Africa’s leading Liquidity provider; we provide the best prices and reliable liquidity for institutional players 24/7 via OTC, API and GUI. Onboard now and start getting quotes.
- Applications to the New Venture Competition by the HBS African Business Club are now open. The competition is aimed at fostering and supporting innovative businesses on the African continent. Ten semi-finalists will be invited to pitch their business in front of over 1,000 attendees at the conference, and the three top companies will receive non-dilutive cash prizes of $30,000, $15,000, and $10,000. Apply by November 15.
- Applications are open for the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Dissertation Research fellowship 2024(up to $15,000). The Social Science Research Council offers fellowships to support the completion of doctoral degrees and to promote next-generation social science research in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. The fellowships support dissertation research on peace, security, and development topics. Apply by February 11, 2024.
- The citizens of Commonwealth countries in Africa can now apply for the Commonwealth Africa Cyber Fellowship Programme 2024. Selected experts will serve as fellows for a year, and get exclusive access to academic research opportunities, networking events and annual conferences, with a focus on enhancing cybersecurity policies and institutions across Commonwealth countries in Africa. Apply by December 10.
What else is happening in tech?
Want more of TechCabal? Sign up for our insightful newsletters on the business and economy of tech in Africa.
- The Next Wave: futuristic analysis of the business of tech in Africa.
- Entering Tech: tech career insights and opportunities in your inbox every Wednesday at 3 PM WAT.
- In a Giffy: business decisions powered by data-driven insights and analysis you can trust.
P:S If you’re often missing TC Daily in your inbox, check your Promotions folder and move any edition of TC Daily from “Promotions” to your “Main” or “Primary” folder and TC Daily will always come to you.