Welcome to Corporate News roundup for the week ended October 20, 2018. Corporate News roundup is a weekly roundup of corporate news and action that took place the previous.
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Telcos in Nigeria, under the auspices of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), inaugurated the Telecommunications Financial Inclusion Committee, laying down a roadmap for “deepening financial inclusion and financial literacy across Nigeria.”
In what sounded like a major move to disrupt the financial services sector, the group said that its mandate is to drive an awareness programme that will deepen financial literacy across the country within the next three months, to leverage the committee’s assets in order to deliver the promised access to financial services to 90 million Nigerians over the next 30 months.
Through a combined mobile base, integrated identity systems, and distribution network, and to work in collaboration with other stakeholders and engage proactively with the government to ensure that the telecommunications sector contributes its quota to the national goal of attaining 80 per cent total financial inclusion and 70 per cent formal financial inclusion by 2020.
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They also said that in the short term, they aim to deliver financial services to about 35 million Nigerians and increase financial literacy and awareness within 12 months. Considering the database and reach these guys have, the banking sector and other smaller players looking to push for financial inclusion should gear up for the mother of all competitions.
Last week, we mentioned that a Euromonitor report gave Transsion Holdings, maker of Tecno mobile phones, the largest market share in the country. During the week, Transsion claimed that its itel Mobile phone brand commands 25.8% of the retail volume market share, making it number 2. They also claimed that Transsion Holdings has remained a dominant force within the Nigerian mobile phone industry with a retail market share of 75.2 percent, taking an increase from 73 percent in 2017. It will be hard to argue this one.
Facebook announced during the week that it will be working with Africa’s first independent fact-checking organisation, Africa Check and AFP, to curb the menace of fake news in Nigeria. It explained that “Local articles will be fact-checked alongside the verification of photos and videos. If one of the fact-checking partners identifies a story as false, Facebook will feature it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution.”
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In related news, WhatsApp reported that it banned about 100,000 accounts in Brazil ahead of its runoff elections. According to WhatsApp, “We have cutting-edge technology to detect spam that identifies accounts with abnormal behaviour so that they can’t be used to spread spam or misinformation,” a WhatsApp spokesperson wrote in an email.
“We are also taking immediate legal measures to prevent companies from sending mass messages via WhatsApp and have already banned accounts associated with those companies.” Brazil has about 120 million WhatsApp users. Facebook even setup a “war room” to spot and bring down fake news. Nigeria’s upcoming election anyone?
Flutterwave’s co-founder, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, announced during the week that he has stepped down from his role as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Flutterwave Inc. Aboyeji disclosed this in a statement on his Twitter account. “Today will be my last day at Flutterwave. After much thought and prayer, I decided to step down from my role as CEO and focus on giving back to the startup community I owe so much of
my success to.” Insiders in the tech community believe that this decision has been in the offing for a while now, suggesting that Gbenga, rather than Iyin has been the main decision-maker in the burgeoning startup. Flutterwave was founded by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and Olugbenga Agboola.
Just as the tech community was digesting news of Iyin’s resignation, Flutterwave Inc announced the completion of its Series A Extension round of financing. Investors from this round of investment include Mastercard, CRE Ventures, Fintech Collective, 4DX Ventures, and Raba Capital, among others. Flutterwave has now raised over $20 million to date, and its largest investors include Green Visor Capital and Greycroft Partners.
According to a statement by the firm, in a restructuring exercise, the current Green Visor Capital Chairman & General Partner and former Chairman & CEO of Visa, Joe Saunders, has joined the Flutterwave Board of Directors while Flutterwave Co-Founder, Olugbenga Agboola, would replace Iyinoluwa Aboyeji who, like we earlier mentioned, has stepped down as the CEO.
AppZone, a banking and payment service provider for microfinance banks in Nigeria, emerged winner of the “Best Microfinance Technology Solutions Provider” at the 2018 National Association of Microfinance Banks Conference and Awards. The organizers claim that AppZone won the award for its foremost product, BankOne, which is a tech platform that manages the entire operations involved in the delivery of financial services to individuals and micro businesses in the informal sector.
AppZone claims that its BankOne app is being used in over six countries and has over 350 Microfinance banks on its platform. AppZone was cofounded by Obi Emetarom, Emeka Emetarom and Wale Onawunmi in 2008. The company also offers several Fintech related services.