Financial solutions company, Paystack, has bagged a seed funding of $1.3 million from both international and homegrown investors. Founders Ezra Olubi and Shola Akinlade become headline news when their company became the first Nigerian startup to be accepted into the world-famous Y Combinator program, based in Silicon Valley.
Coming from solid technology backgrounds, both founders saw the need for a world class payment software to solve the issues associated with online payments. ‘The challenge was to solve the issue of online payments in Africa, somehow connecting the super-fragmented aspects of the sector. What we did was develop multi-channel payment options for merchants across the country, enabling them to accept payments from around the world, via credit card, debit card, and direct bank transfer on web and mobile’ Olubi told Forbes.
Next came the invitation to the Y-Combinator program, where they obtained initial $120,000 seed funding and further technical advice. The program also aided them in determining what was most important and focusing their funds and expertise on these.
Paystack offers seamless transfer of funds from customers to companies and sellers, such that payments are received within the hour. Already, top Nigerian companies like Hotels.ng, Jobberman and Payporte use Paystack for their payments solution while Paystack claims to have over 1,500 users despite just coming out of beta stage.
AirSmat joins NVIDIA Inception
AirSmat is focused on helping businesses harness the power of drone and satellite data.
Our approach in capturing data, ingesting data to our platform, and processing same in an intelligent way and its ability to digest large amounts of data and draw precise conclusions will help businesses gain insight into creative, beneficial strategies for the future.
We are starting out with data intelligence in farming. AirSmat is on a journey to ensure food security in Nigeria and the African continent by helping farmers and farm owners have access to useful intelligence that helps them take proactive steps to solve problems on their farms before the harvest season.
With this, we are sure of maximum yield for farmers, increased profitability, and cascading effect of food security for Nigerians and everyone on the continent. We are starting out in Nigeria, but our market is Africa.
NVIDIA Inception will allow AirSmat the needed tailwind for AirSmat and the implication is clear – Artificial Intelligence capabilities development on a steroid.
AirSmat will not only network with fellow startups, venture capitalists, and industry leaders at exclusive Inception events but have access to industry-leading technical guidance on which GPU-accelerated platforms, tools, and hardware in addition to co-marketing support from NVIDIA marketing channel.
The program will also offer AirSmat the opportunity to collaborate with industry-leading experts and other AI-driven organizations.
“Being part of NVIDIA accelerator program is a major milestone in our journey to build a world-class pan-Africa AI-driven business” AirSmat CTO, Adeoluwa Ibikunle reiterated.
According to the CTO, “AirSmat’s simple goal is – Using AI, we save farmers and farm owners valuable time and resources in identifying problems on their farms before these affect the yield of the planting season; being part of NVDIA accelerator program is the best thing that has happened to AirSmat as it will help us to achieve this goal with precision.”
NVIDIA Inception is a program that helps startups during critical stages of product development, prototyping, and deployment.
Every Inception member gets a custom set of ongoing benefits, such as NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute credits, marketing support, and technical assistance, that provides startups with fundamental tools to help them grow.
AirSmat was founded on the belief that Artificial Intelligence will shape the future.
We provide cutting edge AI solutions to many rapidly growing industries adopting drones into daily operations by helping to transform the way businesses collect, manage, and interpret drone data. We help businesses unlock the power of drone and satellite data.
Multichoice acquires 20% stake in BetKing
The value of the deal is said to be worth R1.8 billion.
South African pay TV operator Multichoice has announced that it acquired a 20% stake in BetKing, a gambling company with major operations in Nigeria. The value of the deal is said to be worth R1.8 billion.
The BetKing 20% acquisition was disclosed this week by Multichoice CEO, Calvo Mawela, during a news briefing to discuss MultiChoice’s new deals.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported in 2018 that an estimated 60 million Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 40 were involved in active sports betting, with almost ₦2 billion being spent on sports betting daily in Nigeria. This translates to nearly ₦730 billion in a year.
Several sports betting companies have emerged in the country, such as Bet9ja, Nairabet, Merrybet, Naijabet, BetKing, Sporting Bet, Surebet24, and many others.
Nairametrics reported in July that BetKing announced a sponsorship deal with the Football Kenya Federation (FKF). This was adjudged the biggest sponsorship deal in the history of Kenyan football.
Valued at $11 million (1.2 billion Kenyan shilling), the new sponsorship deal will end in 2025. According to the FKF, each club in the Kenyan league will receive 8 million Kenyan Shillings a year ($1= 107.85 Kenyan shillings) thanks to this partnership.
MultiChoice CEO added that sport betting augments their business as sport is major revenue source for the company. He also stated that BetKing has grown fast in Nigeria and plans on expanding to South Africa.
“We have a lot of sport on our platform, and many people that are betting watch more games.” he said.
“They plan to be pan-African and will be entering South Africa at some stage too,”
Reuters reports that the deal would be valued at $81 million upfront, “with a further $31 million performance-dependent payment possible later.”
CAP Plc set to merge with Portland Paints and Products Plc.
CAP Plc and Portland Paints have taken a decision to merge their respective businesses in accordance with applicable laws.
The Board of Directors of Chemical and Allied Products Plc (CAP Plc), and Portland Paints and Products Plc (Portland Paints), have decided to merge their respective businesses in accordance with applicable laws to drive growth and expansion within the Nigerian and African markets.
This is according to a press release signed by Bolarin Okunowo, the Managing Director of Portland Paints, made available on NSE, Monday, 26th October 2020.
The completion of the proposed merger is subject to approvals being obtained from the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the Federal High Court, as well as shareholders of CAP and Portland Paints.
What you should know
- Should the proposed merger go ahead, CAP Plc will emerge as the resultant entity.
- The proposed merger will be executed by way of a Scheme of Merger (the “Scheme”) in accordance with Section 711 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020, and other applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
- The Scheme will involve the transfer of all Portland Paints Plc’s assets, liabilities and business undertakings including real property and intellectual property rights to CAP Plc.
- In consideration for the transfer, CAP Plc is offering shareholders of Portland Paints a choice to receive N2.90 cash for every Portland Paints share held OR 1 new ordinary share of CAP Plc, credited as fully paid up for every 8 Portland Paints shares held.
- The proposed consideration represents a 45% premium to the last traded share price of Portland Paints Plc on October 16, 2020, being the last business day prior to the date on which CAP Plc sent its merger proposal to the Board of Portland Paints and a 41% premium on the trading price as at close of trading on October 23, 2020.
What they are saying
Commenting on the proposed merger, David Wright, Managing Director of CAP, said, “The decision to pursue the proposed merger, is driven by the Board’s strategic plan to aggressively grow within the Nigerian and African markets.
“We believe that the Proposed Merger presents a unique opportunity that will benefit all stakeholders, from shareholders to customers, as well as the broader economy. I am excited by the prospect of an enlarged company with a broader decorative paint portfolio covering the premium, mid-market and affordable segments and the inclusion of marine and protective coatings, all of which will benefit our customers and shareholders.”
The Managing Director of Portland Paints, Bolarin Okunowo, submitted that “In recent months, the Board and Management of Portland Paints have evaluated various strategic options with a view to positioning our company to capture emerging growth opportunities.
“CAP Plc’s business is complementary to ours, and both companies will be better able to serve our respective customers by coming together. I believe the combination of Portland Paints and CAP will yield significant benefits for all of our stakeholders.”
Portland Paints and Products Nigeria Plc – with 85.98% of the company’s issued share capital owned by UAC Nigeria Plc, manufactures and sells decorative, industrial, and marine/protective coatings for the construction of oil & gas industries in Nigeria. Portland Paints is the Nigerian representative of Hempel. It is listed on the NSE.
Chemical and Allied Products Plc (CAP) – a subsidiary of UAC Nigeria Plc – which holds 51.49% of the company’s shares, manufactures and sells premium and standard paints and coatings, and is the sole technological licensee of Akzo Nobel Coatings International B.V. in Nigeria. It is listed on the NSE.