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Gokada Founder, Fahim Saleh murdered in New York apartment

Mr. Fahim Saleh’s body was found decapitated and dismembered with an electric saw.

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Gokada Founder Fahim Saleh murdered in New York apartment, Saleh’s murder: Prosecutors discover video of ex-PA buying electric saw

Fahim Saleh, the entrepreneur who founded Gokada, has been murdered in his luxury New York City apartment, according to the New York Times.

Police detectives in New York disclosed that Mr Saleh’s body was found decapitated and dismembered with an electric saw. His head, limbs, and torso were said to have been found in different parts of the apartment after whoever murdered him tried to clean up the crime scene.

The police also revealed that plastic bags were found on the scene of the murder, which they say could have been an effort to “clean up” evidence of the murder.

The casualty was identified as 33 years old, Fahim Saleh, tech entrepreneur and Gokada founder who owned the apartment. His body was found by his sister, 3:30 pm New York time after she went to check on him after not hearing from him in 24 hours, calling the police immediately after finding the body.

Police also believe his sister’s arrival may have interrupted the evidence clean up, as the electric saw was still plugged in. Police are investigating it as a case of homicide.

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READ MORE: Bike-hailing firms in talks with Lagos State to resume operations

Surveillance video showed Mr. Saleh entering the elevator with someone else in a black mask and suit, the person also follows Saleh as he enters his apartment, and a fight began between the two. Police say there is a second exit through a service entrance in the apartment.

Fahim Saleh was born in Saudi Arabia to Bangladeshi parents before settling in New York with his family and started coding as a teenager. He founded PrankDial after graduating from Bentley University where he recorded his first success in tech.

READ ALSO: Gokada returns amidst price war, market expansion and government regulations 

He founded the bike hailing company Gokada, which began operations in Lagos 2 years ago. Gokada has raised $12.4 million according to Startup listing site Crunchbase. During their venture capital raise of $5.3 million in 2019, Saleh announced plans to expand Gokada services into a club with restaurants, letting drivers relax and get things they need from a  Gokada shop such as food.

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Gokada had to reduce operations in Lagos after the February Okada ban. The Lagos Sate Government had banned okada services in Apapa LGA, Apapa Iganmu LCDA, Lagos Mainland LGA, Yaba LCDA, Surulere LGA, Itire-Ikate LCDA, Coker-Aguda LCDA,  Ikeja LGA, Onigbongbo LCDA, Ojodu LCDA, Eti-Osa LGA, Ikoyi-Obalende LCDA, Iru-Victoria Island LCDA, Lagos Island LGA and Lagos Island East LCDA.

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Jumia confirms COVID-19 lockdowns did not help e-commerce revenues

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Jumia is optimistic of COVID-19 boost, despite poor Q1 2020 earnings report

Africa’s leading e-commerce firm Jumia released its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday showing it incurred a loss of Eur 37.6 million (N17.1 billion) in the second quarter of 2020 despite the rampaging effect of COVID-19.

According to Jumia, it did not experience any “meaningful change in consumer behavior” following the COVID-19 induced shutdown.

READ MORE: Apapa Command’s revenue rises 10.59% to N227.3 billion in the first half of 2020 – Customs 

Contemporary views suggest e-commerce firms were one of the winners in the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdown. However, the company reported significant challenges to its operations. Here is how Jumia responded;

  • In Nigeria and South Africa, we faced significant disruption as a result of movement restriction.
  • This disruption persisted during the early part of the second quarter of 2020, before gradually easing towards the later part of the quarter.
  • Our food delivery business, Jumia Food, which was negatively impacted by restaurant shutdowns starting mid-March, resumed normal operations in late May/early June in most cities where we operate the service.
  • Across the majority of our addressable market, we experienced no meaningful change in consumer behavior, aside from increased demand for essential and every-day products and reduced appetite for higher ticket size, discretionary purchases.
  • The nature of lockdown measures put in place consisted mostly of localized restrictions of movement and partial curfews rather than nationwide lockdowns, with the former leading to less drastic changes in consumer lifestyles and behavior than all-encompassing, nationwide lockdowns.

READ ALSO: Jumia CEOs to take salary cut, create support fund for workers

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What this means

Jumia’s revelations confirm fears that the COVID-19 lockdowns may not have positively impacted on the e-commerce sector whose business model requires that their gross merchandise volumes increase for them to improve margins.

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However, by confirming that Nigerians focussed more on essentials, the negative impact of the COVID-19 appears to be more severe than even expected.

Nigerians are perhaps also cautious about their spending, avoiding expenditures that do not speak to their immediate need such as food supplies, medicare, and utilities.

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Jumia reports N17.1 billion loss in Q2 as COVID-19 fail to boost revenue

Jumia reported a loss after tax of Eur 37.6 million (N17 billion) in the second quarter of 2020.

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Q3 ’19: Jumia grows revenue by 52%

One of Africa’s leading e-commerce companies, Jumia reported a loss after tax of Eur 37.6 million (N17 billion) in the second quarter of 2020 despite the rampaging effect of COVID-19.

E-commerce firms were expected to be one of the major beneficiaries of COVID-19 pandemic as consumers gravitated to online orders to meet essential needs.

The losses were a much improvement from the Eur 66.7 million loss reported in the same period in 2019 as Jumia strives to dig itself out of massive loss hole. However, the losses wiped out Jumia’s revenue of Eur 34.9 million reported in the quarter under review.

READ ALSO: Despite shutdown, Caverton rakes in N8billion in Helicopter and Aircraft revenues

On Customer Acquisition, Jumia reports it now has 6.8 million active customers as in the second quarter of 2020 up 40% when compared to the same quarter in 2019. Orders also reached 6.8 million up 8%, while GMV was €228.3 million, down 13% on a year-over-year basis.

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Jumia explained the results as follows;

“We have made significant progress on our path to profitability in the second quarter of 2020, with Operating loss decreasing 44% year-over-year to €37.6 million. This was achieved thanks to an all-time high Gross Profit after Fulfillment expense of €6.0 million and record levels of marketing efficiency with Sales & Advertising expense decreasing by 51% year-over-year,” Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec, Co-Chief Executive Officers of Jumia.

He continued, “We are navigating these uncertain times of COVID-19 pandemic with strong financial discipline and operational agility which positions us to emerge from this crisis stronger and even more relevant to our consumers, sellers, and communities.”

READ MORE: Nigerian Treasury bills fall to 5.3% per annum

Results Review

A cursory look at the results reveals Jumia reported revenue of Eur 34.9 million compared to Eur 38.8 million same period in 2019. Whilst Jumia reported significant revenue growth in key Platform revenue segments such as Commissions, Fulfillment, Marketing & Advertising it lost big in its First Party revenue. The First Party revenue are closed sales leads generated when customers directly visit an e-commerce website or call or contact them directly to make purchases.

READ MORE: Exclusive: Best bank in Nigeria judging by the numbers

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Jumia reported that First Party revenue fell a whopping 49.1% YoY to Eur 11 million compared to Eur 21.6 million the same period in 2019. Despite the drop in revenues, Jumia experienced a growth in gross profit as a change in its business model helped reduce the direct cost of sales. In the quarter under review, gross profit rose 38.2% to Eur 23.3 million.

The company claims cost-cutting was driven by cost efficiency initiatives. For example, it explains that it “changed the volume pricing model from a price per successfully delivered package to a price per successful stop which led to a c. 8% reduction in cost per order for a given route. Our third party logistics partners are now paid per successful stop at customer address, regardless of the number of packages included in the delivery”.

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It also claimed it adopted a mother-daughter warehouse system which brings warehouses stocked with “essential products” closer to customers helping reduce last-mile delivery cost.

Jumia’s Ebitda closed at Eur 32.9 million compared to Eur 44.4 million the same period last year representing a 25.9% drop in Ebitda losses. Jumia’s accumulated losses are now a staggering Eur 1.17 billion while its net assets are just Eur 108.4 million. Jumia’s loans total about Eur 10 billion.

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Tech News

Facebook unveils F2 for payment and commerce plans, appoints David Marcus to head group

The F2 group will also pursue commerce opportunities across all the apps in the company.

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COVID 19: Facebook provides free Ads to help WHO combat Misinformation, Facebook to change Libra unveiling plans, Facebook launches new messaging app, 'Tuned', just for couples, Facebook bans racist ads, in response to ad boycotts by big brands

Facebook Inc has unveiled a new group, the Facebook Financial (F2), to run its payment projects including Facebook Pay, the universal payments plan which will run across all its apps. The F2 group will also pursue commerce opportunities across all the apps in the company.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the group will be headed by David Marcus, co-creator of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project and head of Novi, the division building a digital wallet for the new crypto.

Marcus will also be involved in WhatsApp’s payments efforts in India and Brazil, while he will be assisted by former Upwork Chief Executive Officer, Stephane Kasriel who will serve as a payments vice president.

READ ALSO: President Trump finally bans TikTok, WeChat

“We have a lot of commerce stuff going on across Facebook, It felt like it was the right thing to do to rationalize the strategy at a company level around all things payments,” Marcus said.

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According to the statement, this is only the latest effort to bring all of Facebook’s apps and products closer together. CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, had on many occasions announced plans to integrate all the company’s messaging services.

The president of the group, Marcus, explained that with users making more purchases across Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, the company’s advertising revenue is expected to grow. This is bearing in mind that users would be spending more time in the apps.

The top priority to be handled by the group is activating the payment solutions in India and Brazil, where regulations have stalled the company’s efforts to make WhatsApp a foremost destination for commerce.

READ MORE: Facebook brings digital payment to WhatsApp, begins test-run in Brazil

The Backstory: While presenting the company’s Q2 2020 results in July, Zuckerberg had expressed his excitement about the commercial aspect of the company’s messaging apps, saying that the trend will likely grow as payment options are rolled out in the company’s apps.

Note that the head of the new group, Marcus, is a payments expert who joined Facebook in 2014 from PayPal Holdings Inc. where he was president. He ran Facebook Messenger for four years before he was appointed to take charge of Libra and get the cryptocurrency running for cross border payments.

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