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Thepeer founders face scrutiny as they plan to return $350,000 to investors

Thepeer, an API startup focused on connecting business wallets, shut down in April 2024. While the company announced plans to return $350,000 of the funds raised to investors, questions regarding its financial management have emerged.

For starters, two investors suspect discrepancies in Thepeer’s finances after a November investor report showed a lower-than-expected bank balance of $450,000. The investors requested an audit in March 2024, and asked for more details on its cap table before the company shut down. 

Sidebar: A cap table is a document that details ownership in a company. It lists all the securities or shares in a company including stock, convertible notes, warrants, and equity grants.

Adding to the complexity are claims by the co-founders—Michael Okoh and Chike Ononye—that some investors failed to fulfil capital calls during a June 2022 fundraising round of $2.1 million, leading to a $750,000 shortfall.

Despite a low reported burn rate of about $17,000 and limited operations, questions linger about how the remaining funds were used compared to estimated expenses.

Hide and seek with the books: Both co-founders are allegedly stonewalling. According to an anonymous investor, they haven’t responded to requests for an audit or shared financial documents, hoping the issue will fade away if they ignore it. However, an audit of the company’s bank statements is expected to provide answers.

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Kenya to regulate cryptocurrency trading

Amidst Nigeria demanding Kenya to extradite Nadeem Anjarwalla, a Binance executive who managed to evade detention after being accused of tax evasion, Kenya, one of the largest cryptocurrency markets in Africa, has moved to regulate the operations of cryptocurrencies in the country. 

This follows Kenya’s new Finance Act which levies a 3% tax on the revenue generated by citizens trading digital assets.

Why? The government seeks to reduce scams, fraudulent investments and money laundering with cryptocurrencies. This is to be achieved with the establishment of a multiagency technical working group.

The technical working group has the mandate to develop a regulatory and monitoring framework for the usage of cryptocurrencies also referred to as Virtual Assets (VAs) and those providing crypto assets and other virtual or digital assets services otherwise called Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs).

The risks of cryptocurrencies: In September 2023, Kenya’s Financial Reporting Centre (FRC) conducted a risk assessment on Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers. The FRC report identified the potential use of VAs and VASPs for money laundering, financing terrorism, fraud, scams and data theft. Based on these identified risks, the FRC recommended establishing regulations for VAs and VASPs.

A 2022 report by the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) also urged Kenya to establish regulations for Virtual Assets (VAs) and Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) revealed that at least KES2.5 billion ($18.6 million) was irregularly pumped into the economy in 2023 through M-Pesa withdrawals in payments to Kenyans who had their irises scanned by the operatives of cryptocurrency Worldcoin before its activities in the country were hurriedly suspended by the government.

Like many countries, Kenya finds itself in a new frontier with cryptocurrency. The country is on the right path as the lack of a regulatory framework to monitor its operations exposes consumers to potential fraud and scams.

Currently in Nigeria, Binance the leading cryptocurrency exchange platform and its executives face charges in Nigeria for tax evasion, currency speculation, and money laundering of an alleged $35.4 million. More updates on that after this short ad break.

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Detained Binance executive remanded in custody till May 17

Yesterday, the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Abuja adjourned the bail hearing of Tigran Gambaryan, a detained executive of cryptocurrency exchange Binance to May 17, 2024. The Judge, Justice Emeka Nwite fixed the new date to rule after hearing arguments on whether the Binance agent should remain in custody at the correctional centre from Gambaryan’s legal team and the Nigerian government’s lawyers. 

Gambaryan has been remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre for over 40 days by the trial judge after he pled not guilty following his arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on money laundering charges. He denies any wrongdoing and his lawyers argued for his release, stating the prosecution’s evidence is weak.

The accusations: The Nigerian government, through the EFCC, accuses Binance, Tigran Gambaryan, the regional manager for Africa at Binance and his colleague named Nadeem Anjarwalla, the head of financial crime compliance at Binance (who fled from detention) of hiding the source of $35.4 million in alleged illegal activities. This case falls under Nigeria’s Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act. Recently, Anjarwalla, who fled to Kenya, was arrested in the country after the Nigerian government requested his extradition. 

Arguments in Court: Gambaryan’s lawyer, Mark Mordi, criticised the EFCC for lacking credible evidence to support its claims. He called the allegation that Gambaryan planned to escape “false” and devoid of any concrete proof.

Meanwhile, the EFCC lawyer, E. Iheanacho, argued against bail, citing concerns about Gambaryan’s ties to Nigeria and potential flight risk. He noted Gambaryan’s attempt to acquire a new US passport while his current one is in state custody. Iheanacho suggested keeping Gambaryan in EFCC custody until the trial concludes.

What next? Justice Emeka Nwite will deliver his verdict on Gambaryan’s bail request on May 17. Until then, the Binance executive remains in detention.

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Hope for Mt. Gox hack victims as it makes effort toward repayment.

It’s not all gloomy news about crypto though. Some investors are about to get their monies back. 

Mt. Gox, a once dominant cryptocurrency exchange platform between 2010 and 2014, accounted for over 70% of all bitcoin transactions. Its prominence in the cryptocurrency scene, however, made it a target for hackers, leading to its downfall after a 2014 hack.

The Japan-based platform suspended withdrawals due to unexplained discrepancies in its bitcoin holdings, and subsequently reported a significant loss of 650,000 to 850,000 of both customer and company bitcoin. 

Fortunately for Mt.Gox, it recovered about 200,000 bitcoin but the remaining missing cryptocurrency, and the exchange’s financial strain led to its bankruptcy filing in April 2014.

In September 2023, the defunct crypto exchange set a deadline of October 31, 2024, as the date for the repayment of the recovered bitcoin worth over $10 billion.

Mt. Gox appears to be making progress on that front.Per MyBroadBand, some creditors have received updates on their claims, including the number of bitcoin they’ll receive and, in some cases, repayment dates. The trustee overseeing the wind-up process aims to distribute bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and fiat currency to creditors by the end of October 2024.

Zoom out: A potential impact on the bitcoin market exists. If creditors choose to sell their recovered bitcoin all at once, it could cause a price drop, disrupting the usual balance between supply and demand.


Microsoft and Coca-Cola forge $1.1 billion AI deal

In 2020, Coca-Cola and Microsoft solidified a five-year agreement valued at $250 million, with the beverage giant leveraging Microsoft’s cloud and business software solutions. Now, their partnership has taken a significant leap forward.

Yesterday, Microsoft announced a new $1.1 billion, five-year deal with Coca-Cola.

What does it entail? Under the new agreement, Microsoft and Coca-Cola will embark on joint experimentation with Azure OpenAI, a service integrating technology from Microsoft-backed startup OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT.

As part of the deal, Coca-Cola is said to have migrated all its applications to Microsoft Azure, with most major independent bottling partners following suit. Coca-Cola has already established itself as a forerunner in AI adoption. They’ve been innovating with generative AI for almost a year, leveraging Azure OpenAI Service to reimagine everything from marketing and manufacturing to supply chain operations and beyond.

Zoom out: This initiative enables customers to develop chatbots and AI services within Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure. Coca-Cola will also explore Microsoft’s Copilot tools to enhance productivity within its operations.

Attend GITEX Africa

GITEX Africa returns a second time on May 29–31, 2024, to Marrakech, Morocco, discussing ways to accelerate the continent’s digital health revolution. GITEX is the continent’s largest all-inclusive tech event renowned for uniting the brightest minds in the technology industry. 

Grab your tickets here.

Crypto Tracker

The World Wide Web3


Coinmarketcap logo

Coin Name

Current Value



Bitcoin $66,358

– 0.14%

+ 2.14%

Ether $3,204

– 0.04%

+ 3.60%



+ 1.34%

– 4.54%

Solana $156.41

+ 0.86%

– 13.88%

* Data as of 22:40 PM WAT, April 23, 2024.


  • The fourth edition of Pitch2Win is open for applications. Pitch2Win aims to connect visionary founders with potential investors, fostering growth, collaboration, and investment opportunities. The 3 Finalists will win from a prize pot of $20,000. They will also receive an all-expense paid trip to the IVS2024 Kyoto Event, Japan’s largest startup conference. Apply by May 5.

  • Applications are open for the FC Startup Innovation Challenge. African tech entreprenuers will get a chance to win a $1,000 equity-free cash prize plus up to $300,000 worth of incredible perks from Paystack, Google for Startups, Intercom, AWS, Founders Factory to fuel your startup’s growth. Apply by April 28.

  • Applications are open for the 5th edition of Wema Bank’s startup-focused tech competition, Hackaholics, themed “Meta-Idea: DigiTech Solutions for Africa’s Prosperity”. The edition will be executed over six months, touring 10 universities across Africa and challenging the youths to pitch unique, innovative, and practical Digi-Tech solutions to positively impact the acceleration of progress, development, and prosperity in Nigeria and across the African continent. The best innovators in Africa will be awarded ₦70 million. Apply here.

Written by: Mariam Muhammad & Towobola Bamgbose

Edited by: Timi Odueso

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