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Happy Valentine’s Day 💝

Today’s a good day to remind you that Wordle, the word-game that was sold for $1 million, was created by James Wardle who wanted to find a way to keep the love of his life engaged. The game has now been played over a billion times. Locket, an app that helps users share their photos to their friends’/lovers’ home screens, was built by Matt Moss as a present for his girlfriend. Even Zoom was the product of a founder who wanted to connect with his girlfriend long distance. 

Don’t settle for any less, people! Get your own million-dollar gift today.👍🏾

Funding

Did Flutterwave invest $3 million in PiggyVest?

Since its inception in 2016, PiggyVest has reshaped the savings landscape in Nigeria, offering a platform for users to stash their funds and build financial discipline, with over $1.37 billion paid out to its customers

Now, in a move set to amplify its impact, PiggyVest’s parent company, PiggyTech, secured an undisclosed investment from Flutterwave, Africa’s most valuable payment technology firm in mid-2023.

The deal, structured as a SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity), involves a cash injection by Flutterwave into PiggyVest, with the promise of equity in a future funding round.

What do we know? Sources familiar with the matter estimate Flutterwave’s investment at $3 million. Before now, Piggytech had only disclosed $1.1 million in venture funding raised in 2018. But the company shared that it has received $5 million in venture funding since 2016.

What does this deal mean for PiggyVest? Find out here.

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Regulation

Nigeria’s corporate watchdog says content creators will pay tax

Nigerian content creators have been caught in the middle.

Yesterday, we reported that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) made a swift reversal of initial plans to tax content creators, clarifying that personal income tax falls under state government purview.

Amidst this taxation shift, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)—an agency responsible for registering businesses operating in Nigeria—has reportedly issued a directive for social media content creators, particularly those with sizable followings on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, to register their businesses in accordance with the Company and Allied Matters Act 2020.

Why? The Registrar General of CAC, Hussaini Magaji stated that “ignorance of the law isn’t an excuse” and social media content creators, who are deriving substantial income from their online activities, are obligated by law to register their businesses with the Commission. 

Expanding the tax net: Magaji announced the directive during a recent meeting with representatives from Opay, a leading fintech company in Nigeria, that will see 300,000 business names from the fintech registered with the Commission. Last week, the Commission also began the registration of two million small businesses in partnership with Moniepoint, another fintech company in Nigeria.

Magaji also disclosed the commission’s ambitious target to register 20 million businesses by 2024, aiming to create 50 million jobs for Nigerian youths. 

Zoom out: To enforce compliance, Magaji also announced that the commission would soon commence compliance checks to ensure that these businesses fulfill their tax obligations to the government.

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Startups

Expensya’s 2023 acquisition rewards employees with $10 million

African tech startups are learning to think global and reap big rewards.

Remember Tunisia’s InstaDeep, the AI powerhouse acquired by BioNTech for $682 million in January 2023? And Paystack, the Nigerian fintech giant snapped up by Stripe for $200 million in October 2020? Another great example is Expensiya. 

 In June 2023, Expensya—a Tunisian expense management startup—joined the ranks of African tech success stories and was acquired by Medius, a private equity firm for over $100 million. 

While Expensya’s acquisition is a testament to the potential of African tech, it also shows how Africans can benefit from these global transactions. Selma Ribica, an angel investor in Expensya, shared her experience of reaping eightfold returns on her investment. Per TechCrunch, employees also received cash payouts, with 180 shareholders collectively earning $10 million from the deal. 

A journey to global success: Founded in 2014 by Karim Jouini (CEO) and Jihed Othmani (CTO), the Tunis-born but Paris-headquartered Expensya provides expense management tools for businesses—startups and big corporations—in Europe. It helps companies manage the reimbursable expenses incurred by their employees on one single platform. 

The spend management startup initially aimed for global markets. They knew their home market needed to be bigger and needed more maturity for their product. So, they built a solution for European businesses, starting in France and quickly adapting to other countries.

Zoom out: Before its acquisition, Expensya reportedly grew its customer base to 6,000 businesses and 700,000 active individual users spread across 100 countries, securing $25.6 million in total funding.


Internet

UN asks Sudan to halt Internet shutdown

United Nations Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths, has asked Sudan to end its latest 1-week-old internet shutdown even as paramilitary forces turn to Starlink for reprieve. 

Zoom in: Last week Wednesday, Al Jazeera reported that all three —MTN, Zain Sudan, and the state-owned Sudatel Telecom Group—of Sudan’s main internet operators were offline. The latest halt in internet service which began Feb 2, 2024, is just another episode of internet shutdown in the war-torn country.

In June 2019, Sudan experienced a 36-day internet blackout after President Omar al-Bashir was overthrown by the Sudanese army. Similarly, in 2020, the country experienced limited internet disruption during protests against the transitional government. Sudan also experienced an internet blackout following an attempted coup against the transitional government.

The country also experienced similar shutdowns in 2021 and 2023. 

The big picture: While all episodes of internet shutdowns in Sudan have been related to political reasons, it paints a grim big picture of a worrying trend in Africa. Governments are increasingly using these blackouts to silence dissent, control information, and play digital whack-a-mole with their citizens’ basic rights.

In the run-up to Senegal’s election, President Macky Sall grounded the country’s internet, representing the third time in nine months for the French-speaking country. Senegal and Sudan are a tiny fraction of 30 other African nations that have experienced internet shutdowns over the last four years for politically motivated reasons. These internet shutdowns have cost the continent over $2 billion. 

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Funding

Injaro secures $17.5 million fund

Injaro Investments Advisors Limited has announced the close of its $17.5 million fund. Stylised “Injaro Ghana Venture Capital Fund (IGVCF)”, the investment firm says it will invest the funds into small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) across Ghana and Ivory Coast. 

Injaro? Launched in 2009 by Jerry Parkes and Dadie Tayoraud, the investment firm launched with a mission to fuel economic growth by providing much-needed capital to Ghanaian small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). Currently, Injaro has $65 million under management across multiple funds, including Injaro Agricultural Capital Holdings and Agri-Business Capital Fund

Why SMEs? SMEs are the backbone of both economies. In Ghana, they contribute a staggering 70% of the GDP, employing over 80% of the workforce. Similar figures hold true for the Ivory Coast. By empowering these businesses, Injaro fuels economic growth, creating jobs, generating income, and driving overall prosperity.

How do SMEs benefit? Injaro isn’t just throwing money at businesses; they’re strategically deploying their $17.5 million fund using a flexible toolkit of debt, equity, and quasi-equity instruments. This ensures both financial returns for their investors and the healthy growth of the selected companies.

To be eligible for Injaro’s support, businesses need to have at least three years of operation, a minimum revenue of GHS 20 million ($1.6 million), and a strong financial track record demonstrated by a net income (EBITDA) of at least GHS 3.5 million ($280,000).

Depending on the specific business model, Injaro can take a controlling or minority stake in the company. Their future exit strategies prioritise generating cash flow, allowing founders to buy back ownership, pursuing strategic mergers and acquisitions, or even considering an initial public offering.


Crypto Tracker

The World Wide Web3

Source:

OneLiquidity  logo

Coin Name

Current Value

Day

Month

Bitcoin $49,941

– 0.83%

+ 15.57%

Ether $2,634

– 0.49%

+ 3.33%

Jupiter

$0.49

– 7.77%

– 69.96%

Solana $111.52

– 2.31%

+ 16.39%

* Data as of 06:20 AM WAT, Febraury 14, 2024.

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Opportunities

  • For African founders, applications are open for the Accelerate Africa accelerator for startups on the continent. Founders will receive coaching from two of Africa’s top operating founders, access to a network of 75+ investors on demo day, and Clinics and office hours for your legal, finance, and tech needs. Apply by February 16.
  • Are you a young girl with a passion for technology and innovation? Apply now for the National Girls in ICT Competition 2024. The competition is an initiative that creates a platform for girls in secondary school to showcase their skills and creativity in various ICT-related domains. Apply by February 18.
  • Applications are now open for the 10th cohort of the Orange Corners Nigeria Incubation Programme(40,000 Euros in funding). The programme empowers aspiring entrepreneurs to transform their dreams into thriving realities. Apply by February 18.
  • Report for the World once again invites independent news organisations across the globe to join its growing network of host newsroom partners. Newsrooms will be asked to make the case for the beat they want to cover and how they will provide support and mentorship to their prospective corps members. In turn, Report for the World will fund half the salary of the reporters for up to three years. Apply by February 20.

Written by: Mariam Muhammad & Faith Omoniyi

Edited by: Timi Odueso

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