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Nigeria’s Kuda raises Africa’s all-time seed round of $10 million

Kuda joins the list of other notable startups like Paystack (which was recently acquired by Stripe) and Interswitch that crossed the $1billion valuation benchmark.

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Despite the impact of the pandemic on businesses and income, fintechs in Africa have been in the spotlight recently, due to news of recent growth, acquisition and merger.

In a recent development, Kuda, a Nigerian startup that operates a popular mobile-first challenger bank consumers, has announced raising $10 million. This is the biggest seed round ever to be raised in Africa, according to reports by Tech Crunch

The recent announcement is a sequel to an upsurge in the demand for the firm’s services and its ambition of becoming the ‘go-to bank’ not just in the continent, but for Africans living in the diaspora also.

Kuda joins the list of other notable startups like Paystack (which was recently acquired by Stripe) and Interswitch that crossed the $1billion valuation benchmark in the list of startups that make the continent proud.

What you should know

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• The $10 million is being led by Target Global, Entrée Capital and SBI Investment, in addition to a host of reputable individual fintech founders and angels.

These individuals include; Raffael Johnen (founder of Auxmoney), Johan Lorenzen (founder of Holvi), Brandon Krieg/Ed Robinson (founders of Stash), and Oliver and Lish Jung (angel investors in Nubank, Revolut, and Chime).

• Prior to this, Kuda had earlier announced that it had raised $1.6 million in a pre-seed round to launch a beta of its services, with one of its founders, Ogundeyi announcing that he is already working on a much bigger series A.

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• Following the license of microfinance granted to Kuda by CBN, unlike other fintechs, it manages payment transfers, issues debit cards (in partnership with Visa and Mastercard). It also has partnerships with the incumbent banks’ Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust and Access Bank for people to come in for physical deposits and withdrawals when needed.

Why it matters

Experts have attributed the recent upsurge and remarkable performance of fintech in Africa to the growing population, as Africa is one of the most populous continents in the world.

In addition, digital inclusion has become intertwined with financial inclusion. So, as the population begins to adopt mobile technology in fullest, those users represent a big potential or market.

There is pent-up demand, and competition is relatively sparse. This has resulted in a number of innovative efforts which leveraged on the growing number of mobile phone users to adapt high demand technological services which make financial transactions cheaper, easier and more efficient.

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Lastly, Nigeria being one of the biggest single economies in Africa — has also been at the centre of a lot of fintech activity, and Kuda has been taking that opportunity by the horns.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 27th of November 2020, 246 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths 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 67,220 confirmed cases.

On the 27th of November 2020, 246 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 7,101 samples across the country.

To date, 67,220 cases have been confirmed, 62,686 cases have been discharged and 1,171 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 756,237 tests have been carried out as of November 27th, 2020 compared to 749,136 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 27th November 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 67,220
  • Total Number Discharged – 62,686
  • Total Deaths – 1,171
  • Total Tests Carried out – 756,237

According to the NCDC, the 246 new cases are reported from 10 states- Lagos (81), FCT (73), Plateau(39), Kaduna (25), Ogun (13), Bauchi (5), Rivers (4) Ekiti (2), Taraba (2) and Kano (2).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 23,164, followed by Abuja (6,744), Plateau (3,852), Oyo (3,721), Kaduna (3,044), Rivers (2,973), Edo (2,696), Ogun (2,215), Delta (1,824), Kano (1,791), Ondo (1,728), Enugu (1,332),  Kwara (1,096), Ebonyi (1,055), Katsina (1,014), Osun (945), Gombe (938). Abia (926), Bauchi (770), and Borno (745).

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Imo State has recorded 662  cases, Benue (496), Nasarawa (488), Bayelsa (445),  Ekiti (359), Akwa Ibom (339), Jigawa (331), Niger (296), Anambra (285), Adamawa (261), Sokoto (165), Taraba (159), Yobe (94), 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

Tech innovations driving businesses to new success

Here, we have mentioned some significant tech innovations that help businesses to get more success.

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In the last few years, the development of new technologies has changed the way we function in our daily lives. The things that were quite impossible to think about a few decades ago can be done within seconds with the help of newly developed gadgets. New technologies have made easy and quick communication as well as it has transformed the way of thinking and processing information. This evolution of new techs is also creating a revolution in the business sectors. Most of the people are diverting to online businesses and these tech innovations are necessary to maximize the chances of getting success. The technological revolution has also impacted offline businesses as well. Here, we have mentioned some significant tech innovations that help businesses to get more success.

Innovative Business Management Systems

Whether it is an online business or the offline business, such business management systems help businesses to manage all the necessary information. They automate the information processes and simplify it. The management of finance, marketing, sales, purchase, and all the other important processes of any company to function have become easier thanks to ERP.

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is in trend as well as a basic necessity for businesses. Such systems allow businesses to have a centralized database and make it easier to have proper control and the security of the products or the services. The proper arrangement of data and the information allow better decision power.

Mobile Application

The introduction of mobile phones and similar devices with internet connectivity has impacted the behavior of people as well as businesses. In order to create a communication channel with potential buyers or customers, mobile applications are being developed by businesses. These days when people use the smartphone more than other devices, businesses are reaching their customers through such apps.

In this category, we can take the example of online gambling. Online gambling services were initially available for computer users, but now seeing the huge target market among smartphone users, they offer a mobile application for the services to offer a customized experience. For instance, sport888 bet online offers mobile applications for mobile platforms so, their customer can have access to their betting service anytime anywhere. However, there are various things that need to be considered while implementing the use of the app in businesses. For example, the design, objective, potential profit in the future, integration of multiple services, and enriching customer experience.

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CRM Systems

Customer is said to be king of the market and that is why relations have to be maintained with all the customers. With customer relationship management systems, even international businesses can maintain relations with customers from all parts of the world. This includes three main services that are related to the customers i.e. marketing, sales, and after services.

By incorporation these systems, businesses can adapt to the complication of the demands of the new customers while improving the services for the current as well as old customers.

Digital Marketing and Artificial Intelligence

These two things are interconnected and help businesses in many ways to maximize success. Nowadays, most people use a smartphone and the internet. So, digital marketing help businesses to approach customer where they are. However, one needs to account that not all the customers can be potential customers and that’s where artificial intelligence arrives. AI technology processes the data of the consumer and helps the businesses to reach their potential customers.

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For instance, when a customer wishes to buy a shoe and searches various deals on the internet, with the help of artificial intelligence, such customers can be reached by the online/offline shoe store. Apart from selling ads, digital marketing, and help the businesses to understand the target market so it can be reached with proper blogs, tutorials, news, and many other things.

Online Communication

The internet has changed all the businesses. Now even a small store from one corner of the world can reach customers from all across the globe with the internet. The Internet has not only bridged the gap between business and customer, but the communication channel inside the businesses has improved. With one online platform, all the employees can be in touch and share all the information. This helps in smoother and quicker functions of the business operation which eventually leads to fast success of the business. The regular updates on the services and products lead to efficient management. Additionally, video conferences for conducting meetings, interviews, and online training has benefited the business in several ways. Thus, the latest communication technology helps businesses to reach their goals quickly.

Data Management Systems

Any business has to manage a bunch of data. Earlier, it was tricky to manage such big data on physical papers. The latest data management systems do not only store the big data without acquiring physical space, but they make it possible to sort this data in a way that it can be accessed and analyzed easily in the future.

Information/data is knowledge, and it can be accessed easily and quickly with the new data management system. The proper management system can help in making better decisions for businesses as well as customers in the future.

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Cryptocurrency

28 million merchants to be granted crypto usage on PayPal

PayPal CEO, Mr. Schulman recently hinted the company will allow the usage of crypto funding for 28 million merchants.

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PayPal acquires shopping browser extension company for $4 billion

PayPal CEO, Mr. Schulman, recently hinted that the company would allow the usage of crypto funding for the 28 million merchants on its payments platform.

In a report credited to CNBC, the CEO of the payment juggernaut company elaborated further by saying, “Early next year, we’re going to allow cryptocurrencies to be a Funding Source for any transaction happening on all 28 million of our merchants and that will significantly bolster the utility of cryptocurrencies.”

READ: Why PayPal dropped 6% after posting its strongest earnings growth

The Chief Executive also disclosed that it was just a matter of time for digital currency to replace the old traditional forms of fiat currencies (paper money).

He said:

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“As paper money slowly dissipates and disappears from how people are using transactions; Central banks, especially on the retail side, will need to replace paper money with forms of digital fiat currency.”

READ: Ripple emerges as fourth biggest fintech company globally, worth $10 billion

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READ: NIPC releases its Q3 2020 report on Pioneer Status Incentive (PSI) applications

What this means

About a month ago, Nairametrics reported on PayPal Holdings Inc’s announcement that it would provide its users the opportunity to buy, hold, and sell cryptos directly from their PayPal accounts by early 2021.

It also hinted at a strategy to significantly boost its crypto’s utility capability, by making it readily available as a funding source for purchases with its 28 million clients globally.

READ: Unknown identity moves $117 million worth of Ethereum

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In a press statement seen by Nairametrics, Dan Schulman, President and CEO, PayPal, gave key insights on why the global payment company was going crypto:

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“The shift to digital forms of currencies is inevitable, bringing with it clear advantages in terms of financial inclusion and access, efficiency, speed, resilience of the payment system, and the ability for governments to disburse funds to citizens quickly.”

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