In a bid to continue to expand its services into the international market, Nigerian Fintech firm, Lidya has launched in Poland and Czech Republic.
The fintech company said that it plans to disburse €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in the next five years to small businesses unable to get bank loans.
Speaking about the launch, Lidya’s co-founder, Ercin Eksin reiterated the company’s objective to support the SMEs through the provision of loans in order to solve their funding challenges.
“We have built a world-class business that is helping SMEs to access the credit they need to grow, often for the first time. Our technology is proven in Nigeria where we have helped thousands of businesses to create wealth and employment. Improving access to credit for SMEs is a global problem and we have ambitious international expansion plans to meet this challenge.
“Through Lidya, we have the opportunity to empower the growth of SMEs in Africa, Europe and around the world. SMEs create the most number of jobs and significantly contribute to GDP. We are on a mission to support the creation of 100 million jobs in fast-growing economies,” Eksin said.
The company further announced that Tomasz Sekalski would be leading the Lidya team in Poland while Libor Vanicek would lead the team in the Czech Republic. Lidya made it known that it had disbursed more than 10,000 loans in Nigeria as it aimed to become the biggest SME digital lender in the market by the end of the year.
[READ ALSO: Fintech: CBN issues new license]
Why this matters: The role of SMEs in enhancing economic growth and development has, over time, been widely acknowledged globally. Economic wealth all over the world is created through enterprises and the expansion of their output. This is why it is important to give SMEs the much-needed support as they create value and enhances the gross domestic product.
What you should know: Lidya was founded in 2016 by Tunde Kehinde, who also co-founded Jumia Nigeria. Since its establishment, Lidya has raised up to $10 million in funding. This current expansion adds to Lidya’s operations in New York, Lagos, Nigeria Porto, Portugal and Warsaw, Indiana, USA.
TikTok to relocate headquarters to London following approval by UK ministers
The technology firm has been under heavy scrutiny and criticism from the US government.
ByteDance Ltd, the parent company of TikTok, is in the process of relocating its headquarters from Beijing to London, following a deal that was approved by UK ministers.
A report by Reuters also noted that the Chinese company’s founders will soon officially announce their intention to set up an office in London.
This move may likely upset President Donald Trump, who had announced plans to ban TikTok in the United States of America. The US considers the UK as a reliable ally.
Nairametrics had reported about 2 weeks ago that the Beijing-based video-sharing social networking firm, had been in discussions with the British Government over the relocation of its headquarters to London. The move has been perceived by analysts/observers seen as part of ByteDance’s strategy to distance itself from its Chinese ownership.
The technology firm has been under heavy scrutiny and criticism from the US Government over suspicions that China could be forcing it to turn over data. Earlier this year, the company was even labeled a potential counterintelligence threat by senior members of the US congress.
ByteDance recently came under intense pressure from the White House and US lawmakers to sell off TikTok’s US operations. It now has a 45-day deadline to negotiate with Microsoft over such a deal.
ByteDance Ltd is looking at all the available options to resolve its dispute with the American Government. In the meantime, Chief Executive Officer, Zhang Yiming, said no decision has been taken regarding the proposed sale of its US operations to Microsoft Corp.
READ ALSO: Microsoft is in talks to buy TikTok
The relocation of its headquarters to London might come as a surprise considering the current tension/dispute between the technology firm and the United States Government, who are close allies of the UK.
It can be recalled that amid tensions between China and some Western Countries and in solidarity with the United States, the British Government recently banned Chinese Telecom firm, Huawei’s 5G networks in the country. According to the UK Government, Huawei’s products posed a threat to the security of the UK’s infrastructure.
Data war: MTN takes over, gains 1.7 million subscribers, as Glo outshines Airtel in June
MTN gained 1.74 million data subscribers in June against the 882,458 it recorded in May 2020.
Although competition in the Nigerian telecommunication space has always been stiff, latest data seen by Nairametrics indicated that the competition is getting stiffer.
Telecommunications operators, especially in the data section, are giving each other a hot chase. Gone are the days when the biggest telecommunication firm automatically retains the top position. Recently, companies that were once described as fringe players are catching up really fast in terms of attracting new subscribers every month.
For instance, in May 2020, Glo took other operators by surprise, dwarfing them to lead the chart as the telco with the highest number of subscribers in a month when it gained 8.302 million data subscribers. The indigenous telco grew from 28.934 million in December 2019 to 37.236 million by the end of May 2020, while MTN gained 4.75 million data subscribers. Airtel, which used to be the second-highest in subscriber growth after MTN, recorded 2.795 million. Unfortunately, 9mobile lost 812,827 subscribers within the same period.
MTN regains top position
According to data released by the Nigerian Communication Commission for the period ending June 2020, Nigeria’s largest mobile telecommunication company, MTN, gained 1.74 million data subscribers against the 882,458 it recorded in May 2020.
Also, at the end of June 2020, the total number of data subscribers on MTN data network rose to 60.60 million from the 58.86 million it recorded in May. This means the telco added 1.74 million data subscribers.
Glo attracted more subscribers, outshining Airtel (subscribers base) for the first time in years
Despite a challenging year for Globacom in terms of its data subscriber base, the telco took industry watchers by surprise, as its subscriber base chased, met and overtook Airtel’s In June 2020.
For the first time in years, the once second largest telco (subscribers base) lost its position to the indigenous company as the latter increased its base from 34.24 million in May to 37.97 by the end of June 2020. The Indian-owned telco only managed to increase its base from 37.32 million to 37.57 million within the same period.
On the other hand, 9mobile ended the month without attracting any data subscriber. According to the NCC data, 9mobile continues its steady decline, as a total of 16,000 subscribers dumped the network for others when it fell from 7.26 million subscribers to 7.10 million within the same period.
In terms of market share, Glo is now trailing behind MTN, as the latter expanded its overall market share in June.
At the end of June 2020, MTN’s total data market share rose further to 60.60 million subscribers. On the other hand, Glo had 37.97 million, followed by Airtel’s 37.57 million and 9mobile’s 7.10 million.
Internet remains slow in Nigeria despite the advent of 4G network
The advent of 4G/LTE in the global telecom industry was accompanied by the expectation of fast internet speed. The 4G is the fourth generation of wireless mobile telecommunications technology, succeeding 3G. Potential and current applications include amended mobile web access, IP telephony, gaming services, high-definition mobile TV, video conferencing, and 3D television.
While GSM companies continue to jostle for market share, it has often come at the expense of poor service and lack of accountability. Quite frankly, as an average internet user in Nigeria, one is usually left at the mercy of poor mobile internet services which frustrate one to seek limited alternatives.
Nigeria’s internet download speed remains among the slowest in the world, and while the telcos continue to rake in heavy gains from data sales, consumers continue to groan for lack of fast and affordable internet services.
Microsoft is in talks to buy TikTok
Microsoft is reportedly in talks to buy TikTok
The world’s biggest software maker, Microsoft, is reportedly in talks with ByteDance, the Chinese owners of TikTok, over a possible acquisition of its US operation.
The offer by Microsoft seems to be an escalation of President Trump’s recent attacks on TikTok and other Chinese tech startups, Bloomberg reported.
President Trump, in June, had raised security concerns about TikTok’s entry into the world’s largest economy.
A TikTok acquisition could make the software maker a major provider of enterprise software, more focused on consumer technology, which Microsoft has exited from in the past few years in business segments such as e-book markets, phone hardware, and fitness hardware.
It should be noted that TikTok has been adjudged the world’s fastest-growing social media app.
The deal brings a rare opportunity for Microsoft to gain profit from the momentum of the fastest-growing social media app in America. TikTok valuation according to private sources is estimated to be worth between $20 billion to $40 billion, meaning just a few brands like Microsoft can afford to pay such premium TikTok commands.