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What are you doing later today?

We’re going to be launching our comprehensive roundup of funding, acquisitions, and significant developments in Africa’s tech ecosystem for Q4, 2023.

Join Moses Kemibaro, Nadayar Enegesi, and Ory Okolloh as they discuss The State of Tech Report for Q4 2023 by 11 AM (WAT) today. 

Want to attend? Click this link to register


Nigeria has a new telco on the horizon

Nigeria’s 5G scene has seen its fair share of interest with big telecoms like Airtel or MTN snapping up licences two years ago. One interesting bit, though, is that both telecoms will soon find themselves competing with a newcomer: Mafab Communications. 

Nigeria’s telecom regulator has announced that Mafab plans to launch its services later this year, which would increase the total number of telecom players to five, with three telecoms—MTN, Mafab and Airtel—offering 5G services.

In December 2021, Mafab secured a 5G licence with a $273.6 million bid. Now, the Lagos-based telecom is set to launch 5G services across Nigeria, with about 30 cities currently boasting such coverage in the country.

Unlike counterparts like MTN known for infrastructure sharing with IHS Towers, Mafab chose to build its network from the ground up, which required navigating regulatory hurdles like securing a Universal Access Service License (UASL) licence—an operational licence for the 5G spectrum, which cost ₦374.6 million ($415,521).

Having secured the UASL licence in July 2022, Mafab now faces the task of investing billions to build its network infrastructure.

Failed market entry attempts:  After missing the August 24, 2022 deadline set by Nigeria’s telecom regulator to roll out the network across the country, the telco was granted a five-month extension to begin its own roll-out. However, there have been inconsistencies. Despite targeting six cities—Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano, and Kaduna—for initial deployment, its 2023 launch in Abuja and Lagos, which was also an unveiling event of its new logo and brand name, Mcom, lacked concrete product demonstrations and a definitive launch date. The recent push to sell 5G routers before a confirmed network launch also raised questions about their readiness to hit the ground running.

Zoom out: For MTN, who won the auction for the 3.5GHz 5G spectrum alongside Mafab, the telco became the first to roll out 5G in Nigeria and is now present in 13 cities and over 700 sites in Nigeria.

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Public Sector

Nigeria government agencies to spend $9.6 million on software

Two key government agencies in Nigeria will spend a combined sum of 8.7 billion ($9.6 million) on software this year. 

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC)—the body responsible for safeguarding your bank deposits—and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria’s tax office will spend ₦5.2 billion ($5.7 million) and ₦3.5 billion ($3.5 million) respectively on software it needs to run this year.

The price isn’t right: While the price tag might have you howling, Nigeria has a long history of spending huge sums on software. Last year, it forked out ₦105.25 billion ($116 million) for BVAS Biometric tablets, the tech that allowed for voter verification during its last elections. One report revealed that the tablets were overpriced and surpassed market estimates by 30.4%

While the need for robust software for these agencies is undeniably evident, it still requires scrutiny as Nigerian agencies haven’t always gotten the tech right. The Nigerian government also approved ₦2.8 billion ($3.1 million) for digital census software for its 2023 census which it has postponed on multiple occasions. Several of the country’s agency websites are either inoperable or clunky. 

More spends: The National Pension Commission (NPC) and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), have also budgeted ₦384 million ($498,000) and ₦255 million ($287,000) respectively for software acquisition this year. That’s a total of ₦9.3 billion ($10.4 million) across four agencies.

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Cloud computing

Sama activates multi-cloud integration in Kenya

In 2023, Sama started the year with its head stuck in a cloud of lawsuits between its former content moderators and Meta. The company, which had ended its content moderation partnership with Meta, had to fire over 230 employees with whom it’s now locked in a court battle. 

This year, though, Sama’s head is in a different type of cloud. 

The platform which preps datasets for AI training, ensuring models meet high accuracy standards, now connects to three cloud storage providers: AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

Customers can now keep their data on their preferred cloud and Sama can still access it securely, train their models faster and more efficiently. What’s more, the new integration has rolled out in Kenya.

With multi-cloud integrations, customer onboarding time reduces to one day, expediting the entire process by up to seven times.

High cloud bills are a concern: Remember the Twiga Foods saga in Kenya? Where Twiga owed Incentro, a Google cloud reseller $261,000 in unpaid invoices. High data transfer charges and complex integrations can quickly burn through budgets.

With Sama’s multi-cloud integration, your data stays on your chosen cloud platform (AWS, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure), potentially lowering data transfer and development expenses. 

Zoom out: In Kenya, the activation is supported by Safaricom Fiber Optic connectivity links, which enable the download and upload speeds required for Machine Learning models to operate well.

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Netflix records $8.8 billion in revenue

Netflix is in the news again, this time it is reporting surging revenue and subscriber count. The streaming service which recently inked a $10 billion deal to stream live WWE matches has announced the addition of 13 million new users and $8.8 billion in revenue in its latest earnings report. 

Crunching the numbers: Netflix recorded a 12% growth in the last quarter of 2023. The service also welcomed 7.66 million new users to its platform in Q4 2022. The latest result brings Netflix’s total subscribers to about 260 million. Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) regions contributed 5.05 million subscribers to Netflix’s new user count. 

Q4 2023 was Netflix’s best-performing quarter in terms of subscriber signups, only behind the first quarter of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a surge in sign-ups as people stayed home.

Why the surge? One theory is that Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing might have led to this rise in growth. The crackdown on password sharing, which began last May in several countries, barred multiple users from using the same account.

The company however admits that the surge in subscribers created by the crackdown might be slowing. “We believe we’ve successfully addressed account sharing, ensuring that when people enjoy Netflix they pay for the service too,” Netflix said in a statement.

TC Insights

Funding Tracker

This week, DXwand, an AI startup operating out of Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), received $4 million in Series A funding. Shorooq Partners and Algebra Ventures led the round, while a previous investor, Dubai Future District Fund, also participated.

Here are other deals for the week:

  • Kenyan agri-tech startup Shamba Pride raised $3.7 million in pre-Series A debt and equity funding. The funding round was led by EDFI AgriFI with participation from Seedstars Africa Ventures.
  • Morocco-based copyright management startup Crealo raised $1.42 million in seed funding. 212 Founders Programme, operating under CDG Invest, led the round, while Kima Ventures, Evolem, Super Capital, and some angel investors participated.
  • Egyptian ed-tech startup Edura raised an undisclosed pre-seed amount in a funding round led by Smart Zone Startups Studio featuring some angel investors.
  • Egyptian beauty startup Mira raised $200,000 from Wingoo Investment and Technology.

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.

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Crypto Tracker

The World Wide Web3


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Coin Name

Current Value



Bitcoin $39,896

– 0.56%

– 8.57%

Ether $2,218

– 0.77%

– 2.49%



– 0.55%

+ 9.20%

Solana $86.80

– 2.07%

– 28.60%

* Data as of 00:45 AM WAT, January 26, 2024.

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  • TechCabal is excited to bring you a comprehensive roundup of funding, acquisitions, and significant developments in Africa’s tech ecosystem for Q4, 2023. We’re launching the State of Tech Report for Q4 2023 on Friday, January 26, 2023. Want to attend? Click this link to register
  • This Friday, The Enablers Meetup is organising an event in Abuja for founders and other stakeholders in the tech ecosystem. Come prepared to unwind and network with other people in the tech space. Click on this link to register and attend. There will be fun activities and exciting prizes.

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