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.
Top 10 Nigerian tech companies and capital raised in 2020
These are the top 10 tech companies and the capital they raised in 2020.
These are the top 10 rankings of the highest fundraisers for 2020.
The startup provides digital payments infrastructure and services which enable global merchants, payment service providers, and pan-African banks to accept and process payments across various channels.
It raised a $35M Series-B round led by US venture capital firms Greycroft and eVentures in January 2020. The funding was invested in technology and business development to grow market share in the countries it operates in.
The startup is equalizing precision medicine by including underrepresented Africans in global genomics research. It raised $15M in a Series A funding round in April 2020 led by Adjuvant Capital – a life sciences fund backed by the International Finance Corporation, Novartis, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
These new funds will be used to address the gap that exists in precision medicine for people on the African continent.
The startup is a one-stop app for all your financial needs. Aella makes it super easy for anyone to borrow, invest, and make payments. It secured a $10 million debt financing round from a Singaporean company – HQ Financial Group.
The new capital raised from Singapore is expected to facilitate the credit company’s effort to provide financial inclusion to many more of the people who are currently unbanked across Nigeria, West Africa, and other emerging markets.
The startup has become the leading provider of full-service technology solutions for healthcare stakeholders in Africa. It raised a $10 million Series A round in April 2020.
Global Ventures and Africa Healthcare Master fund (AAIC) co-led the investment round. Helium plans to use the latest funding round to hire and expand to North and East Africa, including Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Morocco.
The startup provides a full banking service on your smartphone. It secured a US$10 million seed round in November 2020 – the biggest seed round ever to be raised in Africa, led by Target Global with participation from Entrée Capital and SBI Investment.
The funding will be used to help accelerate its growth plans and keep up with customer demand. Specifically, funds will be used for key hires, product development, and to expand operations across Africa.
The startup is a Nigerian B2B eCommerce company that utilizes an end-to-end distribution platform aimed at connecting the world’s top consumer goods companies directly to retailers in Africa.
It raised $10-million in a pre-Series B equity round co-led by Partech, International Finance Corporation, Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), and MSA Capital in July 2020.
The new investment will enable Trade Depot to continue connecting international brands with small businesses in Nigeria, expand into other African cities, launch a suite of financial products, and credit facilities aimed at supporting its retailers.
The startup is helping governments and businesses make good on the promise of healthcare in the fastest-growing parts of the world by making the pharmaceutical supply chain radically simple, affordable, and easily accessible.
It raised a $3.6 million Series A round in March 2020, led by Blue Haven Initiative, with investors including Newtown Partners via the Imperial Venture Fund and Accion Venture Lab.
The investment will be used to scale Shelf Life expansion throughout Nigeria and Kenya, as well as the development of additional services for Shelf Life clients and their patients.
The startup connects suppliers to hospitals and pharmacies directly to make the pharmaceutical supply chain more efficient. The health start-up raised $3.5M in a seed funding round in December 2020. It will use this funding to expand to other African countries.
The company is an automotive technology company that aims to build solutions for the African market. It raised $3.4 million in pre-seed funding round in November 2020, co-led by TLcom Capital and 4DX with inclusion from Golden Palm Investments, Lateral Capital, Kepple Africa Ventures.
Auto Chek will use the investment to grow its Nigerian and Ghanaian markets, invest in its tech, and grow its team.
Despite the ravaging impact of Covid-19, Nigerian tech start-ups raised millions of dollars in funding. We hope to see more investors in the first quarter of 2021.
The startup allows qualifying companies throughout Nigeria and West Africa to start selling Power-as-a-Service (PaaS) to their customers.
It raised $3 million from Proparco, with the support of the European Union under the Africa Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility (ARE Scale-Up). The funding will be used to contribute to facilitating energy access in the context of a significant and growing energy gap in Nigeria and support the development of innovative solar energy solutions.
Okonjo-Iweala speaks on Twitter’s suspension of Donald Trump
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has given her opinion on Twitter’s suspension of US President, Donald Trump.
Twitter board member and candidate for the DG of the WTO, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said Twitter has rules under which it operates and CEO Jack Dorsey’s statement contains all that needs to be known concerning the suspension of US President, Donald Trump from its platform.
Okonjo-Iweala disclosed this in an interview with Arise TV on Friday evening.
- “Twitter tries to help the public conversation in the world and gives people a means to engage on important issues,” she said.
On the decision to censor Donald Trump
She said the Board agreed as a team to have one voice on the decision to suspend Donald Trump from the service and that CEO Jack Dorsey gave all that needed to be known.
- “Being on the Twitter board, I have to respect our rules for communications on what is happening. I have to be very honest that we as a board agreed that we have a team that will deal with this, to make sure that we have one voice. But, I can tell you that if you want to know why the decisions were taken, please look at the statement by the CEO, Jack Dorsey, I think it tells you all you want to know.
- “Twitter is an organization that has rules under which it operates, and if you read what it puts out, you will see that things are being implemented according to the rules.
On welcoming rules and regulations for the social media giant
- “Let’s wait and see, I don’t want to pre-judge or comment on anything. I don’t want to go beyond what I am willing to say, but let’s wait and see. These are very difficult times in the world. We all saw what happened in the United States. We have to be very careful. We would see what the future would be for the tech companies.”
- Nairametrics reported that social media network, Twitter, permanently suspended U.S President, Donald Trump, citing the risk of further incitement of violence.
- Jack Dorsey, the CEO and founder of Twitter, said that the decision to ban Donald Trump from the social network was the right decision, but one that sets a dangerous precedent.
CES 2021: LG Transparent Smart Bed TV and other key gadgets showcased
Smart Bed TV, smart glasses were some of the innovative gadgets showcased at this year’s edition of the world’s most influential tech event.
CES 2021, the most influential tech event in the world, which provides a platform for emerging technologies came to a close yesterday, showcasing innovative gadgets like LG Transparent Smart Bed TV, amongst others.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s edition was held virtually between 11-14 January and featured live-stream keynotes from leaders of tech giants like Verizon, Microsoft, as well as General Motors, Mastercard, amongst others.
Highlights of some of the gadgets
Lenovo’s New ThinkReality A3 Smart Glasses
- This is a new pair of smart glasses that uses augmented reality to project up to five virtual desktops right in front of your eyes. These smart glasses are suitable for people working from home because it depicts the perfect multi-monitor setup ever. You can position and resize this virtual monitor however you like. They also fit perfectly in front of prescription glasses.
- According to Jon Pershke, Lenovo Vice President of Strategy and Emerging Business, “The A3 is a next-generation augmented reality solution — light, powerful and versatile, whether working in virtual spaces or supporting remote assistance, the ThinkReality A3 enhances workers’ abilities to do more wherever they are.”
- The A3 glasses also include a 1080p 8-megapixel camera, which Lenovo imagines you could use for “remote expert use cases.” Bundled in are dual fish-eye cameras for room-scale tracking.
LG Transparent Smart Bed TV
- LG showcased a 55-inch Oled transparent TV that can roll up from the foot of a bed. The company stated that it had achieved 40% transparency on this TV as opposed to the 10% transparency over the years. The TV comes with a set of built-in speakers that are embedded in the transparent frames despite the small panel.
- Jong-sun Park, LG Display’s Senior Vice President and Head of Commercial Business said: “Transparent OLED is a technology that maximizes the advantages of OLED and can be used in various places in our daily lives, from stores, shopping malls, and architectural interiors to autonomous vehicles, subway trains, and aircraft. It will grow into a next-generation display that can change the existing display paradigm.”
Razer Project Hazel Smart Mask
- Razer made a high-tech face mask that filters air and amplifies your voice. It qualifies as a surgical N95 respirator, and it also features a silicone seal on the top that glasses wearers will rejoice over.
- The face mask also comes with a nifty case, which both charges it and keeps it clean thanks to the UV sterilization inside.
Petpuls A.I-powered Dog Collar
- There is also something for dog lovers. This dog collar is one of the intriguing pet-specific gadgets. It uses voice recognition technology to detect and track five different emotional states. It analyses the tone and pitch of your dog’s bark to tell you whether your pup feels happy, anxious, angry, sad, or relaxed.
- It pairs through Wi-Fi with an iOS or Android app to give you a readout of what your pet is ‘saying’.
- In addition to tracking mood, Petpuls includes an accelerometer to track your dog’s activity and better manage diet. Think of it as a FitBit for your dog. The range is only around 15 feet, but your phone will pair whenever you come back in range.
Razer Project Brooklyn Gaming Chair
- The new gaming chair by Razer aims to change your gaming experience. It is stylish and designed with ergonomics in mind. It can serve as a desk-side chair for PC gaming. It comes with a clever trick that allows it to transform into an immersive gaming experience.
- Unlike traditional monitor mounts that use multiple flat gaming displays or a larger curved screen, Project Brooklyn uses a roll-able OLED panel, which provides a bigger radius curvature to place you in the middle of the on-screen action.
- Brink Bionics Impulse Neuro Controller.
- Cadillac eVTOL flying taxi concept.
- Panasonic Automotive AR HUD.
- Kohler Stillness Bath.
- Samsung’s Micro-LED TV’s come home.
- Rollable smartphone by LG.
- Nobi Smart Lamp, amongst others.
What to expect: Most of the amazing gadgets displayed at CES 2021 will be available for sale by the middle of the year.