Welcome to Nairametrics’ weekly tech news roundup. This week, as always, we bring you a compilation of the major tech events and activities that made the news.
We go behind the scenes, focusing on some of the major talking points and backstories just to keep you updated with the latest developments in the tech space.
This column is dedicated to investors, as well as enthusiasts of Nigeria’s growing tech community.
You know we love feedback, so please keep them coming.
NCC approves new owner for 9mobile
Did I hear you say, “finally!”? So, on Monday, we woke up to the news that the NCC has approved the transfer of 9mobile to new investor, investment holding company, Teleology Holdings Limited. The long journey to this acquisition started in 2017, after the telco defaulted on a $1.2 billion loan it had obtained from a consortium of 13 Nigerian banks led by GTBank. This caused the parent company (Etisalat of the United Arab Emirates) to pull out and relinquish its 45% stake in the company.
Following this development, the CBN restrained the Nigerian banks from taking over the telco, and instead, constituted an interim board to oversee the operations of the company. Some of the affected banks have since made provisions on the loan.
The new owner has also appointed a board of directors to oversee the company’s operations and bring back the glory days of the debt-laden 9mobile.
Africa’s fastest train
Morocco now boasts of having the fastest train in Africa. Morocco’s King Mohammed VI and French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated what has been described as Africa’s fastest train, with a trip from the northwestern city of Tangier to the capital, Rabat.
What is really gist for us is the amount that they claimed was used in completing the project, I mean from start to finish hmmm… guess how much? 22.9 billion dirhams, an equivalent of $2.4 billion and it took them seven years to complete the project. My Nigerian people must not see this.
Terragon Group Acquires Asian Marketing Tech Firm, Bizense
This week, Terragon, Africa’s leading data and marketing technology company, announced that it has acquired Bizense, a Singapore-based mobile technology company, in a cash plus stock deal which is the first of its kind and scale in Africa.
With this new deal, Terragon now controls all intellectual property and assets of Bizense globally, enabling it to further adapt and integrate its marketing technology software for financial services institutions and consumer brands across Africa.
Bizense has core expertise in mobile advertising and targeting technologies, with operations in key Asian markets including India, Singapore and Indonesia. This acquisition will help Terragon scale its digital transformation and data monetisation service, which it currently provides to a number of leading African Telcos.
Alibaba Records $31billion in Sales on Singles’ Day
Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group, has recorded a blockbuster, or let’s say a whooping sum of 168 billion yuan ($30.7 billion) in sales for its Singles’ Day extravaganza, after customers across the world shopped in stores and online on the tenth edition of its November 11 shopping festival. Singles’ Day, also known as Double 11, is the world’s biggest online sales event, outshining US shopping holiday, Black Friday.
This year’s sales started with a gala event that featured US singer, Mariah Carey and a shoe-shopping-themed Cirque du Soleil performance. Items that sold out were smartphones, electronics and other staples such as milk powder and diapers.
Flutterwave is aiming to be the Google of payments
Our very own Flutterwave has big dreams of being the Google of payments, with the recent step-down of Iyinoluwa Aboyeji from his role as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Flutterwave Inc., and Olugbenga Agboola taking over as the new CEO. In a recent parley with the press, the new CEO also revealed that it is on the way to being the Google of payments.
Flutterwave has processed about $2.5 billion for clients through its ‘Rave’ platform across the globe. It’s worthy to note that all these transactions were done within the space of its first two years of existence. “As we often call ourselves, we are ‘the Google of everything payment.’ We process any kind of card, and we can be operated from any part of the world, especially with one of our new trending products called ‘Rave.” Agboola Reiterated.
Happy 2nd year anniversary to Farmcrowdy
In celebrating its second-year anniversary, Nigeria’s first digital agriculture platform, Farmcrowdy, has launched the first ever National Digital Agriculture Day. Farmcrowdy, which was launched in 2016, is a digital agriculture platform aimed at connecting farm sponsors with real farmers in order to increase food production. The CEO, Onyeka Akuma, mentioned that the National Digital Agriculture Day has been registered with the Ministry of Trademark and Patent, and the day has officially been reserved as a day to recognise the contributions of the agritech sector in the Nigerian agribusiness value chain.
African TechPreneurs That Made Forbes 2019 30 Under 30 List
The recently released Forbes under 30 list for 2019 has shown lots of young African entrepreneur that are not lazy. The list recognises accomplished young people in the areas of media, Healthtech, and a number of other industries. Click to see full list.
Nigerian coder among Top 10 CNN Heroes of the Year
Our very own Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin, has been named as one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes of the Year by Cable News Network (CNN). Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin is the founder of Girls Coding, Lady Labs and Pearls Africa Foundation. CNN described the 10 finalists as “remarkable trailblazers who have truly changed the world.” Each Top 10 CNN Hero will be awarded $10,000 and the CNN Hero of the Year will receive an additional $100,000. The honorees will also receive free capacity-building training from the Annenberg Foundation, a leading supporter of nonprofits worldwide.