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Facebook buys start-up, Mapillary, to take on Apple and Google at street-level mapping

For Facebook, Mapillary could further strengthen the accuracy of the maps it offers on its platforms.

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Facebook’s employees protest over Mark Zuckerberg’s stance on President Trump’s post ,Facebook's cryptocurrency, Tech Hub, Here is why Facebook is under probe again, Facebook Accelerator Nigeria Opens with Season Two Bootcamp, Nigerian, Ghanian startups to participate in Facebook Accelerator Programme , Facebook acquires tech startup , Facebook deletes multiple accounts in Nigeria, others , COVID 19: Facebook provides free Ads to help WHO combat Misinformation

Facebook has acquired Swedish mapping start-up, Mapillary, in another effort towards taking on tech giants, Apple and Google, at mapping the world at ground level. While the acquisition price was not disclosed, start-up tracker, Crunchbase revealed that the acquired company had successfully raised $24.5 million from investors within the last seven years.

Founded in Malmo, Sweden, in 2013, the company built a street-level imagery platform using photos uploaded by members of the public. The company then uses computer vision software to determine what exactly is in an image, like traffic signs, allowing map builders to incorporate this data in their own maps.

For Facebook, the company’s street-level data could further strengthen the accuracy of the maps it offers on its platforms.

READ ALSO: Researchers discover malicious add-on on Google’s Chrome browser with over 32 million downloads 

Mapillary’s co-founder and CEO, Jan Erik Solem, explained that “From day one of Mapillary, we have been committed to building a global street-level imagery platform that allows everyone to get the imagery and data they need to make better maps. With tens of thousands of contributors to our platform and with maps being improved with Mapillary data every single day, we’re now taking the next big step on that journey.”

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Apple and Google have invested heavily in street-level mapping over the last 10 years, but Facebook so far, has not built a name in mapping. Facebook had also earlier noted its use of a combination of machine learning, satellite imagery and partnerships with mapping communities to improve its maps.

READ ALSO: So, who is Supporting the Non-Tech Ecosystem?

Mapillary’s platform, which could not be used for commercial purposes previously, now has the option, making it even more relevant for users.

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Today, we’re excited to share that Mapillary has joined Facebook to be part of their open mapping efforts. Starting today, it will also be free to use for commercial users as well. While we previously needed to focus on commercialization to build and run the platform, joining Facebook moves Mapillary closer to the vision we’ve had from day one of offering a free service to anyone,” Solem added.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 4th of December 2020, 324 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 68,627 confirmed cases.

On the 4th of December 2020, 324 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 7,101 samples across the country.

To date, 68,627 cases have been confirmed, 64,467 cases have been discharged and 1,179 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 791,539 tests have been carried out as of December 4th, 2020 compared to 779,708 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 4th December 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 68,627
  • Total Number Discharged – 64,467
  • Total Deaths – 1,179
  • Total Tests Carried out – 791,539

According to the NCDC, the 324 new cases were reported from 11 states- Lagos (115), FCT (110), Kaduna (57), Taraba (9), Akwa Ibom (8), Plateau (6), Bauchi (4), Ekiti (4), Kano(4), Katsina (4) and Rivers (3).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 23,660, followed by Abuja (7,101), Plateau (3,910), Oyo (3,730), Kaduna (3,302), Rivers (3,009), Edo (2,705), Ogun (2,237), Delta (1,824), Kano (1,803), Ondo (1,728), Enugu (1,332),  Kwara (1,110), Ebonyi (1,055), Katsina (1,034), Osun (947), Gombe (938). Abia (926), Bauchi (782), and Borno (745).

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Imo State has recorded 681 cases, Nasarawa (507), Benue (496), Bayelsa (456),  Ekiti (381), Akwa Ibom (348), Jigawa (331), Niger (298), Anambra (285), Adamawa (261), Taraba (172), Sokoto (166), Yobe (100), Kebbi (93), Cross River (90), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

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

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.

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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. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

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

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Tech News

Stripe plans corporate banking services for merchants, vendors

Stripe Inc is partnering with American elite banks in offering corporate-banking services to its merchants and vendors.

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Stripe plans corporate banking services for merchants, vendors

Stripe Inc, one of the most valuable start-ups on this planet, is partnering with American elite banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. in offering corporate-banking services.

This is as the fast-rising startup, known for simplifying payment, seeks to diversify its business offering, amid a competitive ecosystem that includes PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Adyen.

READ: MainOne Cable: A decade-old journey to bridging the digital divide in West Africa

What this means

Stripe, best known for handling millions of online businesses and e-commerce web pages, will soon start offering some of its client’s interest yielding bank accounts, debit cards, and other cash-management services, according to a report credited to WSJ.

However, these service offerings listed are for its merchants and vendors that do business with Stripe.

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READ: Edlyft raises over $1.4 million venture capital during pandemic

  • Recall Nairametrics revealed how Stripe had raised $600 million to invest and acquire payments companies in developing nations. It disclosed that Nigerian startup, Paystack, had been on Stripe’s bucket list for a while since 2018 when Stripe led an $8 million funding round for it.
  •  Stripe acquired Paystack for an undisclosed deal believed to be worth over $200 million, making it the biggest fintech startup acquisition to date to come out of Nigeria, as well as Stripe’s biggest acquisition to date.

READ: America’s biggest food delivery app, DoorDash seeks for IPO approval

Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe, spoke on the company’s strategy at the time it acquired Paystack. He said:

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“Stripe thinks on a longer time horizon than others, because we are an infrastructure company. We are thinking of what the world will look like in 2040-2050.”

He added that Stripe also planned to understand the ecosystem and keep its eyes open so it would see where help was needed, as the company did not tie up its investments into “complicated strategic investments.”

READ: Kaduna Inland Dry Port woos more partners with better service delivery ahead of 2021

READ: Nigeria owes foreign airlines $53 million as proceeds from ticket sales – IATA

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WorldRemit and The Nest partner to empower entrepreneurs in Nigeria, 3 others

WorldRemit has partnered with The Nest to empower entrepreneurs in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Zimbabwe.

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WorldRemit and The Nest partner to empower entrepreneurs in Nigeria

WorldRemit, a global fintech platform, has partnered Nigeria’s tech innovation hub, The Nest, to empower entrepreneurs in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Zimbabwe.

This was disclosed by the company via a statement issued on Wednesday, and seen by Nairametrics.

According to the statement, the partnership is to build scalable business models across Africa via the WorldRemit Entrepreneurs Program.

READ: Where to invest your N5m to N500m safely and securely

In its quest to go beyond digitalizing payment methods across the globe, strengthen its renewed commitment to creating opportunities, and facilitate development in Africa, WorldRemit will now equip African entrepreneurs with effective skill sets and tools to build, innovate, and scale their businesses.

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Country Manager (Nigeria and Ghana), WorldRemit, Gbenga Okejimi, explained that the partnership came right in time for impact, as many small businesses had taken a hit in the course of the tumultuous year.

READ: FG proposes additional tax exemption for small businesses

He lauded the efforts of the team at The Nest Hub for their resolve at ensuring continuous education, and enabling a thriving environment for start-ups and small businesses.

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He said, “Much of what Africa is today is due to its entrepreneurship, which is a key driver for socio-economic progress through significant job creation and innovation.

READ: Unilever announces the appointment of Jaime Aguilera as Non-Executive Director

“At WorldRemit, we want to be known for fostering the African entrepreneurship spirit. We want to be a part of Africa’s future prosperity. By helping build entrepreneurs across our African markets, we are enabling growth and development.”

Co-founder, The Nest, Oluwajoba Oloba, explained that the Entrepreneurs Program will serve as a catalyst in building scalable business models across Africa as the continent enters into a new wave of business revolution.

READ: Conventional insurance firms can now set up their Microinsurance department – NAICOM

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He said, “The entrepreneurs will be equipped with effective skills and tools required to build and scale their businesses. The Nest definitely plays a big role in this important partnership, as the project partner leads the designing of the digital business course, otherwise known as the learning modules, that would be used in training selected entrepreneurs while also mentoring them on innovative ways to manage and scale their businesses.”

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He added that beyond training and mentoring, The Nest provides entrepreneurs, creatives, start-ups, and small businesses with dynamic facilities and workspaces.

READ: CBN takes another major step towards regulating Nigerian fintech firms

What you should know

  • The WorldRemit Entrepreneurs Program will run simultaneously in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Zimbabwe, from November 2020 through January 2021.
  • It is expected to empower 50 aspiring and budding entrepreneurs.

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