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Coronavirus

Impact of COVID-19 on startups

COVID-19 has had an immediate impact on travels, the hospitality industry, sporting events, movies, restaurants and schools.

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Nigerian tech companies are struggling, but they will be just fine, Impact of COVID-19 on startups

COVID-19 has had an immediate impact on industries that cluster people: all types of travel, the hospitality industry, sporting events, movies, restaurants and schools. Large companies are telling employees to work from home, and large retail chains are shutting down their stores.

The ripple and feedback of all of these closures will have a major impact on our economy, so if you are leading any startup or small business, you have to be asking yourself, “What is Plan B? And what is in my lifeboat?” Here are a few thoughts about operating in uncertainty.

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Survive

This is pretty obvious. If you do not survive, there is no upside. So all of the strategies below are about survival. It is time to put aside the wonderful plans to become a huge company with world-beating products. None of these matters if you don’t survive.

Cash is king

Startups don’t generally die for a lack of ideas. They die because they run out of cash. Put in place a plan to conserve cash. Early action will be much more impactful than later action. Have at least 12 months of cash on hand, because that is likely what you will need. Even if the COVID-19 crisis resolves itself much sooner than that, the turmoil left in its wake will persist, particularly for startups.

[READ MORE: Lessons for Nigerian fintechs, as Square gets nod for banking license)

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Revenue is likely to be curtailed

Unless you are supplying a product or service that is considered absolutely mission-critical, you should expect that revenue will be deferred for at least three months, probably longer. If your existing contracts have cancellation clauses, expect that some will be exercised.

Ex-PPMC Boss dies of COVID-19

Impact

It’s no longer business as usual for the rest of the economy. Millions of jobs may be lost in the next few months, as entire industries are devastated. The questions every startup or small business CEO needs to ask now are:

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  • What’s my burn rate and runway?
  • What does my new business model look like?
  • Is this a three-month, one-year, or three-year problem?
  • What will my investors do?

Burn rate and runway

To answer the first question, take stock of your current gross burn rate: How much cash are you spending each month? How much of that goes towards fixed expenses (those you can’t change, such as rent)? And how much goes toward variable expenses (salaries, consultants, commission, travel, supplies, etc.)?

Now take a look at your bank account. See how many months your company can survive burning that amount of cash each month. This is your runway – the amount of time your company has before it runs out of money. This math works in a normal market. Unfortunately, it’s no longer a normal market. All your assumptions about customers, sales cycle and most importantly, revenue, burn rate, and runway are no longer true. If you’re a startup, you’ve likely calculated your runway to last until you raise your next round of funding. Assuming there was going to be a next round. That may no longer be true.

Your new business model

It’s the nature of startup CEOs to be optimistic, however, you need to quickly test your assumptions about customers and revenue. Next, you need to take a deep breath and try to gauge how long this problem will last. Is the shutdown of businesses going to be a temporary blip in the economy, or will it drive Nigeria into a long recession? If it’s just three months, then an immediate freeze on variable spending (hires, marketing, travel, etc.) is in order.

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But if the effects are going to reverberate in the economy longer, you need to start reconfiguring your business. You need a lifeboat strategy. If you were selling online versus in-person, you may have an advantage (assuming your customers are still there). Or you could change sales strategy. Do you need to alter the product? Revise your sales revenue goals and product timelines, create a new business model and operating plan, and communicate them clearly to your investors, and then to your employees.

Remember, no winter lasts forever, and in it, smart founders and VCs will be planting the seeds for the next generation of startups.

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Patricia
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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 10th of July 2020, 575 new confirmed cases and 20 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continue to record significant increase as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 31,323 confirmed cases.

On the 10th of July 2020, 575 new confirmed cases and 20 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,725 samples across the country.

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To date, 31,323 cases have been confirmed, 12,795 cases have been discharged and 709 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 175,656 tests have been carried out as of July 10th, 2020 compared to 171,931 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 10th July 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 31,323
  • Total Number Discharged – 12,795
  • Total Deaths – 709
  • Total Tests Carried out – 175,656

According to the NCDC, the 575 new cases are reported from 18 states- Lagos (224), Oyo (85), FCT (68), Rivers (49), Kaduna (39), Edo (31), Enugu (30), Delta (11), Niger (10), Katsina (9), Ebonyi (5), Gombe (3), Jigawa (3), Plateau (2), Nassarawa (2), Borno (2), Kano (1), Abia (1)

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 12,051, followed by Abuja (2,433), Oyo (1,689), Edo (1,593), Delta (1,348), Rivers (1,343), Kano (1,303), Ogun (1,063),  Kaduna (946), Katsina (655), Ondo (606), Borno (586), Gombe (527), Bauchi (519), Ebonyi (508), Plateau (499), Enugu (469), Abia (402),  Imo (359), Jigawa (321).

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Kwara state has recorded 311 cases, Bayelsa (299), Nasarawa (238), Osun (212), Sokoto (153), Niger (135), Akwa Ibom (134), Benue (121), Adamawa (100), Anambra (93), Kebbi (86), Zamfara (76), Yobe (62), Ekiti (46), Taraba (27), while Kogi and Cross River state have recorded 5 cases each.

 

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020.

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READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

DateConfirmed caseNew casesTotal deathsNew deathsTotal recoveryActive casesCritical cases
July 10, 2020313235757092012795178197
July 9, 202030748499689512546175137
July 8, 2020302494606841512373171927
July 7, 2020297895036691512108170127
July 6, 202029286575654911828168047
July 5, 2020287115446451111665164017
July 4, 202028167603634611462160717
July 3, 2020275644546281211069158677
July 2, 2020271106266161310801156937
July 1, 2020264847906031310152157297
June 30, 202025694561590179746153587
June 29, 20202513356657389402151587
June 28, 20202486749056579007149957
June 27, 20202407777955848625148947
June 26, 20202329868455458253144917
June 25, 20202261459454977822142437
June 24, 20202202064954297613138657
June 23, 20202137145253387338135007
June 22, 20202091967552577109132857
June 21, 202020242436518126879128477
June 20, 202019808661506196718125847
June 19, 202019147667487126581120797
June 18, 20201848074547566307116987
June 17, 202017735587469145967112997
June 16, 202017148490455315623110707
June 15, 20201665857342445349108857
June 14, 202016085403420135220104457
June 13, 20201568250140785101101747
June 12, 20201518162739912489198917
June 11, 2020145546813875449496737
June 10, 20201387340938217435191407
June 9, 2020134646633654420688937
June 8, 2020128013153617404084007
June 7, 20201248626035412395981737
June 6, 2020122333893429382680657
June 5, 20201184432833310369678157
June 4, 2020115163503238353576467
June 3, 2020111663483151332975227
June 2, 20201081924131415323972667
June 1, 20201057841629912312271579
May 31, 20201016230728714300768687
May 30, 2020985555327312285667267
May 29, 202093023872612269763447
May 28, 202089151822595259260647
May 27, 202087333892545250159787
May 26, 2020834427624916238557107
May 25, 202080682292337231155247
May 24, 202078393132265226353607
May 23, 202075262652210217451317
May 22, 2020726124522110200750337
May 21, 2020701633921111190748987
May 20, 202066772842008184046377
May 19, 202064012261921173444757
May 18, 202061752161919164443407
May 17, 202059593881826159441837
May 16, 202056211761765147239737
May 15, 202054452881713132039544
May 14, 202051621931683118038154
May 13, 202049711841646107037374
May 12, 20204787146158695936704
May 11, 202046412421521090235894
May 10, 202043992481421777834794
May 9, 202041512391271174532784
May 8, 202039123861181067931154
May 7, 20203526381108460128184
May 6, 20203145195104553425071
May 5, 2020295014899548123704
May 4, 2020280224594641722912
May 3, 2020255817088240020702
May 2, 20202388220861735119522
May 1, 20202170238691035117512
April 30, 2020193220459731715562
April 29, 2020172819652730713692
April 28, 2020153219545425512322
April 27, 20201337644102559942
April 26, 20201273914152399942
April 25, 20201182873632229252
April 24, 202010951143312088552
April 23, 20209811083231977532
April 22, 2020873912931976482
April 21, 20207821172631975602
April 20, 2020665382311884662
April 19, 2020627862221704362
April 18, 2020541482021663562
April 17, 2020493511841593172
April 16, 2020442351311522772
April 15, 2020407341211282672
April 14, 202037330111992632
April 13, 202034320100912422
April 12, 20203235100852282
April 11, 202031813103702382
April 10, 20203051770582402
April 9, 20202881471512302
April 8, 20202742260442262
April 7, 20202541661442042
April 6, 2020238650351982
April 5, 20202321851331942
April 4, 2020214540251850
April 3, 20202092542251800
April 2, 20201841020201620
April 1, 2020174352091630
March 31, 202013982091280
March 30, 2020131202181210
March 29, 2020111221031070
March 28, 20208919103850
March 27, 2020705103660
March 26, 20206514102620
March 25, 2020517102480
March 24, 2020444102410
March 23, 20204010112370
March 22, 2020308002280
March 21, 20202210001210
March 20, 2020124001110
March 19, 20208000170
March 18, 20208500170
March 17, 20203100030
March 16, 20202000020
March 15, 20202000020
March 14, 20202000020
March 13, 20202000020
March 12, 20202000020
March 11, 20202000020
March 10, 20202000020
March 9, 20202100020
March 8, 20201000010
March 7, 20201000010
March 6, 20201000010
March 5, 20201000010
March 4, 20201000010
March 3, 20201000010
March 2, 20201000010
March 1, 20201000010
February 29, 20201000010
February 28, 20201100010

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Patricia
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Coronavirus

African Union begins COVID-19 vaccine trial group

CONCVACT plans to capture more than ten late-stage vaccine trials at the earliest.

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coronavirus, COVID-19: Infections rise to 42 as 2 new cases are confirmed, COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

The African Union Commission just recently facilitated a program called the new Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) Consortium for COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trial (CONCVACT).

The program is part of the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for stopping the deadly COVID-19 onslaught that has disrupted human activities. The goal is to prevent severe COVID-19 infections and deaths in African countries, reduce the economic damage caused by the pandemic, and help minimize the general disruption to everyday life.

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READ MORE: Covid-19: Pfizer, BioNTech’s vaccine ready before end of the year

Quick fact about COVID-19: Although for some individuals, the COVID-19 virus causes only mild illness, it can make other individuals seriously ill. The disease can be very fatal, especially among older individuals, and those with compromised immunities (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart problems) appear to be more susceptible.

South Africa’s leader, Cyril Ramaphosa, said, “Success in developing and providing access to a safe vaccine requires an innovative and collaborative approach, with significant local manufacturing in Africa.

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“We need to support the contribution of African scientists and healthcare professionals. We need to act with urgency.”

CONCVACT plans to capture more than ten late-stage vaccine trials at the earliest, via collaborations with global vaccine developers, sponsors, and African businesses that enable clinical studies.

Explore Economic Research Data From Nairametrics on Nairalytics

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The African group also hopes to secure the safety and efficacy data of promising vaccine candidates for the African population in order to validate their launch after approval.

Patricia
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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Pfizer, BioNTech’s vaccine ready before end of the year

BioNTech is in partnership with Pfizer to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

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BioNTech's vaccine, Pfizer, WHO, Partners to deliver 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines, Coronavirus blamed for Monday’s negative performance by Nigerian stocks, Experiment centre requests volunteers to infect with coronavirus and pay them N1.6 million, Airlines cut down capacity to raise capital, as Coronavirus takes a continuous hit at their revenue

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of German biotech firm, BioNTech, has announced that the company and New York-based pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer’s Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate is expected to be ready to obtain regulatory approval by the end of 2020.

The German biotech firm which is in partnership with Pfizer to develop this coronavirus vaccine is confident that it will be ready for regulatory approval by the end of the year.

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READ ALSO: Covaxin: COVID-19 vaccine candidate cleared for human trials 

The co-Founder and CEO of BioNTech, Dr Ugur Sahin, said that several hundred million doses could be produced even before approval and over 1 billion by the end of 2021, according to a wall street journal report.

The experimental vaccine which has shown a lot of progress against the fast-spreading respiratory illness in early-stage human testing is expected to move into a large trial stage that will involve 30,000 healthy participants later this month while waiting for regulatory approval.

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According to an earlier report from Reuters, Pfizer and BioNTech are getting set to produce up to 100 million doses of the vaccine by the end of the 2020 and another 1.2 billion doses by the end of 2021 at sites in Germany and the United States.

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It can be recalled that earlier this week, U.S. vaccine specialist, Novavax said in its statement that it will receive $1.6 billion from the federal government to support the development of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate as a new member of the government’s Operation Warp Speed (OWS) program, which aims to accelerate the development of a vaccine.

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