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👨🏿‍🚀TechCabal Daily – Is Amazon the competition leader in South Africa?

Good morning ☀️

This morning, the TechCabal team would like to ask you to take a few seconds out of your day to speak up for press freedom.

One of our colleagues, Daniel Ojukwu, who works for the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), was unlawfully detained by the Nigerian police for nine days. Daniel’s detention stems from his investigative report into mismanagement of funds by Nigerian officials.

Daniel has not yet been brought to justice as required by Nigerian law and has been transferred to the Federal Capital Territory without due process. Please lend your voice #FreeDanielOjukwu on social media and help us ensure that all journalists have the opportunity to uncover the truth and hold leaders accountable.

NIBSS in 1.4 billion yen lawsuit

What is an unexpected event called? The black Swan.

The biggest black swan in Nigerian waters today may be allegations of fraud and financial irregularities involving the country’s financial infrastructure backbone, the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS).

How? Last year, Temidayo Adekanye, former chief risk officer at NIBSS, observed fraudulent activities at various divisions of the company, including AfriGo, the national card system launched in 2023, and NQR, a QR code payment platform. Court documents show he also expressed similar concerns about the cloud migration project.

Adekanye then requested details of the company’s financial records and third-party contracts, but was denied access.

Shortly thereafter, Adekanye was asked to resign and was offered a severance pay of 160 million yen ($112,700) or face immediate termination after meeting with the company’s HR director, legal secretary/company secretary HOD, executive director of business development and director financial.

His request to see the offer was denied and he was ultimately fired.

What’s next? The former director of NIBSS filed a lawsuit and is now asking the National Industrial Court to award 1.4 billion yen ($986 million) in damages for wrongful termination and breach of contract.

Dig deeper.

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Takealot and Amazon in the early stages of competition

Days after Amazon launched in South Africa, the e-commerce company is being greeted by fierce competition.

What’s going on? Takealot, South Africa’s largest online retailer and owned by Naspers, offers South Africans a subscription service similar to Amazon Prime.

You see, Amazon Prime is a paid subscription service offered by Amazon that provides its members with a number of benefits, including free and faster shipping, streaming services, and exclusive discounts. However, this feature is not yet available to South African residents.

Yesterday, Takealot announced a similar feature called “TakealotMore”, which is scheduled to launch on May 13. This feature offers free deliveries to subscribers, which aligns with one of Amazon Prime’s main selling points.

It will offer a new subscription with a tiered approach to cater to different budgets. This means there will be two plans to choose from: the TakealotMore Standard plan costs R39 ($2.11) per month, and the Premium plan costs R99 ($5.36) per month.

Competition is the fuel that ignites innovation: It has taken over a decade – operating in South Africa since 2011 – and a threat from an international giant for Takealot to offer its top-notch service. However, the company had years to observe customer preferences and develop its own offer.

Currently, it appears that Takealot remains a leader in South Africa, offering high-quality products at friendly prices. Amazon advertises the same core, focusing on matching the same good prices for local customers. This is just the beginning, but only time will tell which platform will achieve market leader status.

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Safaricom becomes the most profitable company in East Africa

Kenyan company Safaricom is very successful with M-Pesa, but is losing profits as it expands into Ethiopia.

Financial rollercoaster: On the one hand, Safaricom’s net profits increased by a modest 1.2%, from $474 million in fiscal 2022 to $480 million in fiscal 2023. On the other hand, another indicator – operating profits – shows an increase of 20% to $1 billion, making Safaricom the first billionaire profit chief in East Africa.

The magic of M-Pesa: The driving force behind Safaricom’s growth is M-Pesa, Safaricom’s mobile money platform. Increased revenue by 20% (due to growth in both business and personal payments). Data usage is also growing, with revenues up 18%; that alone brought in about $1.4 billion.

This means Safaricom’s core business of providing mobile services and M-Pesa transactions is highly profitable. Although the expansion in Ethiopia has had an impact on the company’s overall net income, Safaricom’s day-to-day operations in Kenya generate significant profits.

Expanding in Ethiopia is a hungry endeavor: Safaricom’s big move to Ethiopia is exciting for the future, but is currently losing profits due to startup costs. Over two years, the company spent about $700 million to expand into another East African country. It currently faces an uphill battle with state-owned Ethio Telecom, which boasts 72 million mobile subscribers compared to Safaricom’s 9 million. Similarly, Safaricom’s M-Pesa service – with 3.1 million users as of February 2024 – requires significant development to catch up with Ethio Telecom’s dominant mobile payments platform with 41 million users.

Good news? Unit profits in Kenya continue to grow by 13.7%.

Conclusion: Safaricom’s core business in Kenya is on fire, but expansion into Ethiopia is risky. Investors will be watching closely to see how they manage costs and integrate the new market.

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Elon Musk’s Neuralink crashes in test patient

When Elon Musk launched Neuralink, a brain technology company, it was unthinkable. A device that would enable disabled people to communicate with computers using thoughts was bordering on a miracle.

In the weeks that followed the first implant in his first human patient, Noland Arbaugh, who was paralyzed in a diving accident eight years ago, was able to use the link to control his laptop from various positions, including while lying in bed. Nolad could play computer games with friends, surf the Internet, and watch live broadcasts, all by controlling the cursor with his mind! 🤯

Everything was going well for a while the brain technology company wrote in a blog post published two days ago that some of the threads in the device began to retract in the patient’s brain tissue, causing the device to malfunction. The company made rapid software fixes that it said “resulted in rapid and sustained improvements that have now outpaced Noland’s initial performance.”

Brain implant experts say the complication may have resulted from the location of the threads in the brain. Typically, brain implants are located on the surface of brain tissue, but the strands of neural connections are located in the skull bone.

It’s not just Neuralink that’s gloomy, However. While the current Neuralink product may not be perfect, it is important to remember that this is the earliest and most basic version of the product. The company is actively working on improvements such as making typing and cursor control easier.

Neuralink also plans to make ten new implants for new patients this year.

Funding tracking

This week, Seamfix, a Nigerian digital identity solutions provider, secured $4.5 million in private equity funding from Alitheia IDF. (May 7)

Here’s another deal for this week:

  • Egypt-based fintech Swypex announced its launch following a $4 million investment round led by Accel, with participation from Foundation Ventures, The Raba Partnership and business angels. (May 7)

Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for more funding announcements. Before you go, our Report on the state of technology in Africa for the first quarter of 2024 is absent. Click thisdownload link.

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more funding announcements. You can also visit DealFlow, our real-time financing tracker.

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World Wide Web3

Source:

Coinmarketcap logo

Coin name

Current value

Day

Month

Bitcoin $62,581

+2.20%

– 9.51%

Ether $3,024

+1.81%

– 13.89%

Jupiter

$1.10

+5.76%

– 18.38%

Solana $151.47

+6.80%

– 12.89%

* As of 23:35 CET, May 9, 2024.

  • Second edition TechCabalMoonshot conference will be held on October 9-11, 2024 at the Eko Convention Center in Lagos, Nigeria. Moonshot will bring together Africa’s greatest thinkers, players and problem solvers on a global launchpad for change. If you want to join stakeholders in the African tech ecosystem for three days of insightful conversations, get an Early Bird ticket with a 20% discount.
  • Attention all music lovers! On Saturday, May 11, 2024, Zikoko invites you to a day full of meetings, games, drinks and live performances at Muri Okunola Park in Lagos. Strings Attached is an opportunity for friends to reconnect, lovers to bond, and individuals to make friends and build community. To receive your free ticket, download the Onebank by Sterling app and register using ZIKOKO as your referral code. When tickets are available, you will receive them by email. Click here to download the application.

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