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OLX’s acquisition of auto marketplace AutoTrader warning sign to Ringier’s Cheki Africa

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Naspers‘ owned OLX Group has officially acquired online vehicle marketplace AutoTrader after approval by South Africa authorities.

According to AutoTrader CEO George Mienie, “We are excited to work with the OLX Group that is part of a global company. Our customers can stand to benefit substantially from investment in product innovation as a result.”

“Our vehicle shoppers can look forward to continuous improvements to further enhance consumer experience through investment in online vehicle shopping tools” he added.

Though now owned and part of OLX Group, AutoTrader will remain a separate brand, but will gain access to OLX’s tech teams and experience to grow the platform to reach more users in the country. OLX too, is likely to expand AutoTrader to various of its markets across Africa where Cheki Africa, a Ringier-owned company is operating.

OLX had already started investing heavily in the auto category.

In April, the firm introduced OLX Champs, to help users sell their items on the site. The auto category was the one hugely in focus. After a few months, OLX followed it up with verified cars category to boost safety of buyers looking for cars on their site. Verified Cars now have verified badges and OLX is more involved in the transaction.

Speaking at the time, Mr. Peter Ndiang’ui, OLX country manager said, “Our new verified cars category is a further step to ensuring that car buyers are guaranteed of safety when buying cars in our platform. It is very different from our normal vehicles category in that, a buyer is now able to buy cars that have been checked and verified by OLX car experts before being uploaded to our site.”

With AutoTrader, OLX will likely go back to its core business and leave its sister auto vertical platform AutoTrader to focus on cars.

“Based on what we see in other markets around the world, the pace of innovation in the vehicle buying and selling space is picking up and global consumer facing technology platforms are entering” said Sjoerd Nikkelen OLX Group General Manager for Africa, Middle East and Asia.

NIkkelen added that the acquisition will give them the scale to lead this coming wave of innovation and disruption and employ deep data skills to benefit dealers and consumers alike.

 

French telco Orange Group launches Orange Bank, a 100% mobile-based bank

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French telco Orange Group has launched its new banking offer in mainland France. This 100% mobile-based offer dubbed Orange Bank will offer free real-time balances, mobile payment and a virtual adviser that is available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

The telco says the Orange Bank is 100% mobile and all operations and interactions between the customer and the bank can be carried out using a mobile phone.
Customers of Orange Bank can pay either with their bank card or their mobile (2);   Send money by SMS (3);   Temporarily deactivate their card, and reactivate it again if the card is retrieved (4);   Check their bank balance in real time (5);   And, by interacting with the virtual advisor, get answers to requests 24/.

For customers who prefer some form of human contact, Orange Bank also relies on the strength of Orange France’s network of stores with its 890 specially trained employees in 140 authorized stores in France.

Even if the virtual advisor is able to answer a large majority of questions, customers can also contact one of the advisors of Orange Bank’s customer relations centers.

From the outset, Orange Bank offers all the attributes of a traditional bank: a current account, a bank card, an authorized overdraft, a free complementary insurance package, a savings account remunerated at 1% interest.

Anyone can open an Orange Bank account, regardless of revenues, and customers will benefit from a completely free service for the vast majority of daily banking services.

The launch of the Orange Bank offering illustrates Orange’s ambition to diversify its services, particularly in mobile financial services. The Group also has recognized expertise in financial services with Orange Money (34 million customers in the Africa and Middle East region) and Orange Cash (500,000 users in France). This expertise was reinforced by the acquisition of a majority stake in Groupama Banque in 2016, which became Orange Bank in 2017.
The Group’s objective is to reach 400 million euros in revenues in 2018 in the mobile financial services sector, across all of its markets. Orange Bank’s ambition is to reach more than 2 million customers in France within 10 years.

According to Stéphane Richard, the Chairman and CEO of Orange: “With Orange Bank, this is an important new chapter in our history: Orange is now also a bank. A 100% mobile-based bank that is dedicated to providing an incomparable user experience. A bank that combines the best innovations available on the market today into a single offer.”

The Group is yet to announce when the platform will be launched into its other markets like Africa and Middle East.

African youth are the greatest consumers of digital advertisements-Report

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African youth are the biggest consumers of digital consumers, a fact that points to the need for businesses to seek deeper insights on their marketing strategy around this demographic.

This is according to a report commissioned by GeoPoll in June and that sought to understand how youth consumers are interacting with the advertising they encounter from the multiple sources of media consumed daily.

“We interviewed 3,710 youth aged between 15-35 years old in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa with the aim of determining the specific media platforms they consumed the ads from and how online advertising is fairing against above the line advertising media namely TV, radio and print, in terms of reach and effectiveness,” said GeoPoll in a blog post.

“The insights from this survey, though not representative of the total population in these countries, provides valuable insight into the consumption of advertising by youth and the rise of digital advertising’s reach,”   read another part.

According to the survey, the top three most consumed forms of media on a daily basis are the internet (46%), TV (25%) and radio (24%) with the internet having the highest daily usage rating of

“Today’s youth has become more outspoken about their buying experiences and interactions with brands before, during and after purchasing goods and services. The age of the second screen phenomenon in which these young consumers are more likely to be on their smartphone as they watch TV, encounter outdoor media or even as they listen to the radio. This is due to the increased growth in smartphone in usage as compared to other media forms. Digital ads are the most encountered advertising media consumed mostly through smartphones,”   read the report.

According to the poll, those who encountered advertisements reacted by either buying the product, going online to seek more information or going on social media to share their thoughts and opinion on the ads.

As observed from the report, things are way different than they were in the pre-internet era as youth no longer have to wait until the next time they are out shopping to get more information about a new product or service. The information seeking phase of the consumer buying process is shorter thanks to the internet. This new channel has enabled consumers to easily search for, inquire about or discuss the product or service from whichever device is closest to them when encountering an advertisement.

 Information search is crucial to consumers who encounter ads from various sources. 22% of respondents indicated that they went online to read up on the product/service they saw in an ad. Social media is increasingly becoming a popular platform for consumers to discuss and engage with brands.  In fact, 8% of respondents also indicated that they had used their social channels to speak about an ad with 15% reaching out and engaging the brands in the ads directly on their online channels.

 
Now GeoPoll says that as the internet continues to enjoy increased usage among the surveyed age group,   actions such as online information gathering on brands and social media interactions about and to brands continue to see a surge in growth as consumers who encounter brand advertisements seek to be better informed.

French Energy Group ENGIE acquires 100% of Uganda-based solar home systems firm Fenix International

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Images of branding, products and clients in and around the town of Kitale, NW Kenya, for M-KOPA SOLAR, a mobile technology innovating company who believe in the huge potential of transformative, affordable products such as solar panels and lights, the D10 and D20, designed for underserved consumers.

French energy group ENGIE has acquired 100% of Fenix International, a next generation solar home systems well known for its ReadyPay Power system which provides lighting, phone charging and power for TVs and radios in Uganda and Zambia.

Fenix International’s ReadyPay Power is offered on a lease-to-own basis so that off-grid customers can finance their power system through micro instalments over mobile money. Fenix uses the financing of the solar home system to build a credit score for each customer which can then be used to power and finance other life-changing products and services from Fenix.

Founded in 2009, Fenix employs over 350 people and has its main activities in Uganda where it is the leading SHS player with more than 140,000 customers. Fenix recently expanded into Zambia and plans further roll-outs in other countries across Africa.

Fenix will be the first SHS Company to join a major worldwide energy company, which puts the fight against climate change and energy access at the very center of its purpose.

Bruno Bensasson, CEO of ENGIE Africa: “We believe that combining the strengths of ENGIE, a global energy player and Fenix, a successful company with very strong customer focus, high-quality products and an experienced team anchored in the heart of Sub-Saharan Africa, will enable faster deployment of SHS to the large African population still lacking access to electricity. ”

The acquisition will see Fenix fuel the firm’s SHS business in Africa and enable it to become a leading profitable off-grid energy services company on the continent, reaching millions of customers by 2020. The firm will launch national grids extension, local micro-grids and solar home systems, depending on the local characteristics of the energy demand across Africa.

To date, Fenix has delivered reliable solar power to over 900,000 people in East Africa. By joining forces with ENGIE – one of the world’s largest independent utility companies with a firm commitment to a decentralized, decarbonized and digital energy revolution, it will greatly accelerate the path to its vision.

Lyndsay Handler, CEO of Fenix International said, “Our values and our team will remain at the core of Fenix. We will continue to relentlessly pursue an exceptional customer experience in all we do and we will invest even more in building a great team with a strong culture. Together with ENGIE’s ambitions, experience, talent and long-term investments, we will deliver affordable power and other life-changing products to customers across Africa and make universal access to modern energy a reality.”

 

 

SolarNow raises $6m in debt financing from SunFunder, responsAbility and Oikocredit to expand its reach

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SolarNow has received a $6 million facility lead by SunFunder with the participation of  responsAbility Investments AG and Oikocredit to expand their pay-as-you-go or solar lease offerings to reach more people living without access to energy.

The $6 million facility is SolarNow’s second structured asset finance instrument, SAFI will help the firm expand its client’s pay-as-you-go or solar lease offerings to reach more people living without access to energy.

According to Willem Nolens, SolarNow CEO, “This new step of our partnership will enable us to continue tackling the massive unmet market opportunity in East Africa of providing affordable energy to millions of off-grid households, and to reach 70% of Uganda’s off-grid population with solar home systems.”

SunFunder acted as the Arranger, Lender and Facility Agent for the $6 million facility, with each lender providing $2 million to the facility.

SolarNow sells, finances and installs modular solar systems and solar appliances (TVs, fridges, water pumps, etc.) to rural households and entrepreneurs through a network of 55 branches and 750 staff in Uganda and Kenya.

HyundaiPay & the African Union to launch a blockchain-based African Union Coin

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Have you ever envisioned a situation where all the countries in Africa have a single currency for streamlining settlements, payments and remittance? Are we even ready for it? Well, HyundaiPay and ABA think so because they have inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate for the African Union Coin, which is aimed at uniting African countries’ complicated currency markets.

The two companies arrived at the MOU came after HyundaiPay held a technical seminar in Johannesburg, South Africa to teach about virtual currency and a blockchain-applied-IoT. This was the first time a Korean company had done such a thing.

According to the Korea Times, two more Korean companies — Double Chain and Korea Digital Exchange — have also joined the MOU.

“The fintech industry of Africa has been developed with a great opportunity. Especially, it is the most suitable place for HyundaiPay, Double Chain and Korea Digital Exchange to play the given roles for each company,” CEO Kim Byung-chul said.

ABA Vice Chairman Cromet Molepo said, “Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency have drawn attentions in South Africa, but it’s hard to find a local company that has the related technology.”

He added: “I am glad to have this business alliance with HyundaiPay, Double Chain and Korea Digital Exchange — the companies that have highly progressed blockchain and internet of thing (IoT) technologies.”

The three companies are also in separate discussions with German fintech company MyBucks, ABA technology partner Touchside and South African consulting company Trapeace.

Mobisol and Baobab+ launch pay-as-you-go solar systems in Ivory Coast

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Mobisol which operates in East Africa and Baobab+, a principal solar distributor in West Africa, have joined hands in a partnership to boost the solar revolution in Ivory Coast.

Baobab+ will be distributing Mobisol’s all-in-one solar system throughout the country in a move to provide reliable high-tech solar hardware and innovative software solutions and finance in West Africa.

According to Klaus Maier, Mobisol’s Head of Partnerships & Expansion: “We are pleased to team up and deliver our state-of-the art hardware and software solutions to Baobab+ as an experienced partner on the ground. This is the first step towards further supporting Baobab+ to provide tens of thousands of Ivorian households and businesses with reliable, affordable and sustainable energy.”

The partnership with Mobisol as a hardware and software provider enables Baobab+ to focus on sales and distribution strategies through Microcred’s existing distribution network of 20 branches and 100,000 clients in Côte d’Ivoire.

The deal will see Baobab+ clients, have successfully completed their PAYG purchase, will become eligible to a Microcred digital loan. Baobab+’s deep understanding of local characteristics and operational experience within the West African market positions them ideally to quickly establish scalable structures for logistics, sales and marketing as well as a comprehensive after-sales network for households and micro-entrepreneurs throughout Côte d’Ivoire.

The Mobisol system includes PV panel, inbuilt battery, large flatscreen HD TV with aerial & sat receiver, ultra-efficient LED lamps and charges customers’ mobile phones. By providing robust and reliable solar solutions with compatible DC appliances in Côte d’Ivoire, the Germany-based company builds upon their success story in East Africa, where they have already electrified nearly half a million people to date.

Mobisol provides their proprietary software suite SolarHub, enabling convenient pay-as-you-go (PAYG) financing via mobile banking and comprehensive customer experience support.

Alexandre Coster, CEO and founder at Baobab+ said, “We are thrilled to officially launch our operations in Côte d’Ivoire with larger solar systems that empower entire communities. This way, we will help to vastly boost electrification in Côte d’Ivoire – thus raising households’ quality of life and socio-economic opportunities, while mitigating global climate change.”

Gates Foundation partners Ripple to launch Mojaloop to promote financial inclusion in Africa

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has partnered Ripple among others to launch Mojaloop to promote financial inclusion in Africa.

Mojaloop, a decentralised and open source payments platform aims to simplify and reduce the cost of developing inclusive payment platforms. It will also enable an individual’s digital wallet to connect with her employer’s bank account and her children’s school account to complete monthly transactions.

According to Kosta Peric, Deputy Director, Financial Services for the Poor, at the Gates Foundation, “Just as the internet revolutionized digital communication, open-source solutions like Mojaloop can spark innovation and democratize access to digital payments, empowering billions of new customers and driving massive economic growth in developing markets.”

Mojaloop was created in partnership with fintech developers Ripple, Dwolla, ModusBox, Crosslake Technologies and Software Group, using cutting-edge technology such as the Interledger Protocol, a solution for settling funds among multiple providers across their individual systems.

Developers can access the new software on GitHub to build interoperable systems which connects bank accounts to mobile money wallets and merchants in an open loop directory service layer which easily identifies accounts on each side of a transaction to make payments instant and irrevocable; hence cutting fraud.

Mojaloop is working with Ericsson, Huawei, Telepin, and Mahindra Comviva mobile money systems to develop an Open API for mobile money interoperability. These APIs will allow mobile money providers to integrate seamlessly with Mojaloop and products built from it.

“In order to achieve the full potential of mobile money, we must evolve today’s complex and often fragmented digital payments ecosystem,” said Mr. Shi Yaohong, President of Software Product Line at Huawei. “I look forward to exploring opportunities to leverage Mojaloop to help us achieve our goal of bringing digital financial services to all poor and low-income customers.”

Azuri Tech raises £300,000 led by Virgin Unite to enable Kenyan families install affordable home solar systems

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Azuri Tech has raised £300,000 through a crowdfunding platform from over 100 investors to help more Kenyan homes get connected to affordable home solar power systems.

The investment will help Azuri distribute four light solar home systems to Kenyan homes at affordable installments of over 18 months. Virgin Unite provided an up-front match of £75,000 while other investors put in the rest.

Founded in 2012, Azuri is addressing the problem of energy access that affects over 600 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa due to a lack of access to the grid. The firm has sold more than 100,000 systems since 2012 which is approximately reaching 500,000 people with access to solar energy.

Azuri home solar systems operates in 12 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa with offices in the UK, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Nigeria and Ghana. The Cambridge-based firm generated £1.9 million in revenues in 2016.

The £300,000 investment bond matures in 24 months and the investors will earn an expected interest rate of 5% per annum.   Azuri’s PayGo service model enables customers to pay back the cost of the system over time (typically 18 months) after which they fully own the system and can continue to use it for free. The Quad system includes a 10W solar panel, a rechargeable battery, 4 powerful LED lights, a rechargeable torch and radio, and a USB port to recharge a mobile phone.

The £300,000 will help the firm to manufacture and distribute at least 3,000 Quad systems together with their local distribution partners across Kenya, where approximately 4 million households do not have access to mains electricity.

The bond was raised via Energise Africa – an initiative that provides working capital to businesses that sell solar home systems in sub-Saharan Africa. The aim is to provide more than 111,000 rural families access to clean and renewable energy over the next three years. Energise Africa is a platform run by Lendahand Ethex Ltd, made up of two online impact investing platforms,UK’s Ethex and Dutch’s Lendahand which joined forces to provide UK based retail investors with investment opportunities which will significantly improve off grid energy access for families in Sub Saharan Africa.

Truecaller to set up Africa headquarters in Nigeria or South Africa in 2018

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In a move to increase its presence on the continent and make Africa a key priority region, Truecaller is shopping for a great city to set up headquarters in Africa.

According to Ted Nelson, Chief Commercial Officer at Truecaller,“The tremendous growth we’ve had across Africa the past two years has truly been amazing and yet we feel it is still only the starting point of what is about to come. With the positive momentum, we are confident this is the right timing for us to expand our presence and start engaging more deeply with the eco-system.”

Apart from picking either Nigeria and South Africa for a location for its Africa headquarters, Treucaller will also be recruiting for a Business Development Director and Sales Director to drive business on the continent.

South Africa and Nigeria are Africa’s two biggest economies but also have the highest number of cold and spam calls according to a recent study conducted by the firm itself. The two are followed by Kenya and Egypt rank among the top 20 countries in the world being plagued by unwanted spam calls.

The Truecaller app, which allows people to see who’s calling and filter out spam calls and SMS, has more than 50 million users in Africa. The service is helping users block more than half a billion spam calls on a monthly basis in the region, and more than 50% of all messages being filtered is considered as spam.

The company will also launch its Developer Program with Truecaller SDK, its mobile identity product for digital start-ups and app developers in Africa.

Recently, Truecaller Ads was launched across Africa. The Truecaller Developer Program starting with its mobile identity product, Truecaller SDK is a big plus for firms that want to integrate their apps to verify end users quickly and frictionlessly by utilizing their Truecaller profile with a one touch and password free experience.

“Truecaller SDK is a catalyst in our journey to become the mobile identity platform of choice. The ubiquitous phone number is already the native identity for millions of users both online and who are yet to come online, especially in Africa. For the next billion connected users, the email based web identity will not even be a relevant option.  With the smartphone penetration and digitisation increasing at a rapid pace, we believe it’s the right time to launch our Global Developer Program for local app developers, start-ups and online businesses in the African continent.” says Priyam Bose, Director & Head of Worldwide Developer Relations at Truecaller.

Pay-as-you-go solar firm M-KOPA raises $80m to finance solar installations for one million plus homes

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Images of branding, products and clients in and around the town of Kitale, NW Kenya, for M-KOPA SOLAR, a mobile technology innovating company who believe in the huge potential of transformative, affordable products such as solar panels and lights, the D10 and D20, designed for underserved consumers.

Nairobi-based pay-as-you-go energy provider to off-grid homes M-KOPA Solar has secured US$80 million to provide finance for pay-as-you-go solar installations in one million homes in East Africa.

The facility will be utilised over the next three years on top of the 500,000 already connected.

According to Jesse Moore, CEO and Co-Founder, M-KOPA Solar,“ This facility offers lenders the chance to connect low-income homes to power and information – while delivering sustainable returns. It’s part of an emerging trend for development partners and investors to look at more cost effective ways to fund last mile connectivity.”

The debt facility is backed by customer receivables, paid over mobile money payment plans. Stanbic Bank is leading a US$55 million local currency equivalent debt facility and has committed US$9 million. CDC (US$ 20 million), FMO (US$ 13 million) and Norfund (US$ 13 million). M-KOPA has also secured US$25 million in US$ debt from responsAbility, Symbiotics, and Triodos Investment Management.

To date M-KOPA has connected well over 500,000 homes in East Africa to affordable, safe and clean energy. Its predominantly low-income customer base is accessing lighting, phone charging, radio and TV on daily mobile money payment plans that are less than the typical cost of kerosene.

M-KOPA customers now enjoy over 62.5 million hours of kerosene-free lighting per month and they will save over 600,000 tonnes of CO2 over four years. Customers who complete their payment plans are upgrading with M-KOPA for more lights, TVs, energy-efficient cooking stoves, smart phones and water tanks. The company has sold well over 160,000 upgrade units to date – including 90,000 Solar TVs.

 

 

How to find Investors for your Startup

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Africa has experienced a rampant rise of inventions and startups that have gone a long way from the minds of inventors to disrupting the Sub Saharan ecosystem solving very many problems that have been a setback to the growth of the continent for ages. From the rise of startups in fintech helping in payment related challenges, innovations in media and advertising mechanisms, health sector, eCommerce and so many others. It is evident that through technology Africa will unleash its potential as a continent on the rise with new opportunities coming up thus entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas have the chance to bring them to life.

Starting a startup and scaling it up has not been a walk in the park to many African change makers due to so many prevailing factors and conditions. One of the biggest factor is the struggle to have a sustaining financial muscle that makes it possible  for startups to develop their products and services and growing their customer base. The ability of a startup to attract a pool of investors is one of the ways of ensuring a startup survives  its initial stages. Investors who believe in an idea have the power to determine the success of a startup but the big question remains on where to find the suitable investors who will pump in finances and advice. Here are several primary strategies startups can use to meet investors.

Cold Call Submissions

There are countless lists of Angel Investor groups online over the internet where you can research and find out what firms do deals in what industries and then send them a proposal to them for review. Be sure that your chances of even getting an answer is at best one percent and your chance of that answer being a yes is about the same as that of getting hit by a car crossing the street while reading this article. The main point is that you really need to have your idea pitched at its best since you are using email to reach out to investors.

Using a Deal Broker

Way back before the internet when dinosaurs roamed the earth, If you wanted to get the attention of an Angel Investor, Venture Capital firms or Private equity firms you had to go to a broker pay a good sum of money to have them develop a plan for you and then use their connections as a broker to introduce you to deal makers. Most of these ‘plan sharks’ as I would call them, are just looking to take money and have no more chance of getting your startup funded than one percent and above.

Online Communities

There are so many online communities such as Gust, SeenInvest and Crunchbase which are a den of high profile investors that out lay what each of the investors are looking to invest in. It is therefore hard to go wrong with a strategy like that and often has a good chance of hearing from the investors

Local Angel Investor Network

Some investors prefer to invest locally. Local investors have access to inside data on local business startups and can plug in you into a good number of opportunities. Most of these networks have a range of the amount of funds they are wiling to put in startups but they offer a good chance for entrepreneurs. A good example is Kenya’s KCB Lions Den.

Retain a Business or Patent Legislator

The best way to get introduced to ‘people who know people’ is to hire the best lawyer or attorney that money can buy, pay the retainer, take them to lunch once in a while then have them introduce you to other clients of theirs that are in a similar industries that can help you move your deal forward. This has a high chance of success and lunch is always good.

Crowdfund It

This happens to be one of the widely used means of funding startups where many small amounts of money are raised from a large number of people over the internet. It involves  three parties: The project initiator who proposes the project, individuals or groups who support the project as see it being viable and a moderating organization which brings the parties together Kickstarter being an example

Private Investors

The best chance of getting funded are private investors who are actively seeking and building opportunities. This is a much better odds if you have your act together. If you have something that is ready then it is the best chance of moving forward you will find.

 

Jambojet, Safaricom partner to promote Lipa na M-PESA service & increase bookings

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Low cost airline Jambojet has announced a joint campaign with Safaricom that will see customers of the budget airline who pay their airfare using the Lipa Na M-PESA service rewarded with discount vouchers and redeemable points.

Dubbed Buy and Fly with Lipa Na M-PESA and Jambojet, the three weeks campaign is aimed at increasing the bookings of the local airline by encouraging customers to book their tickets ahead of the upcoming holiday season. More than 2,000 customers will be rewarded with KSh. 500 air ticket vouchers or 10 minutes of talk time in this promotion.

The airline, which recently clocked over 2,000,000 passengers since inception, will be relying on the popular M-PESA service to drive business, especially to the holiday’s destinations of Mombasa, Diani and Malindi.Commenting on the partnership, Jambojet CEO Willem Hondius said, “This is part of our strategy to promote air travel in the country. Without a doubt, technology remains key in our service delivery and thus working with an innovative partner like Safaricom opens up more opportunities for the business.

Currently, Jambojet operates 73 flights per week to on its domestic routes from Nairobi to Mombasa, Eldoret, Kisumu, Malindi and Ukunda (Diani).   It set a regional record earlier on this year.

 

 

DumaPay adds mVisa, simplifies online payments using Email Pay to take on Mula

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Direct pay Online Group has revamped its little known payments app Dumapay pairing the card reader and the merchants’ phone using Bluetooth to help merchants save time every time they want to make a sale.

The company said through a statement that merchants will also enjoy the DUMAPAY app 2.0 as it comes with a more detailed transaction history and they will be able to know which payments were accepted and which ones failed in real- time.

Dumapay is taking on Cellulant’s Mula which is proving to be a hit with over 10,000 installs compared to Dumapay’s less than 100 downloads. The revamped app will see merchants receive instant payment transactions through Quick Pay or email Pay in real time via Visa, Mastercard, American Express, M-PESA, Airtel Money, MTN Money and Tigo.

The revamped app will also allow merchants to receive payments in multiple currencies and show them their transaction history via the app to track payments going in and out.

Direct pay Online Group says the new DUMAPAY version 2.0 supports multiple payment options in Africa and merchants using the app will be able to accept card, e-wallets and mobile payments such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, M-PESA, Airtel Money, MTN Money, Tigo and mVisa.

“This new version of the DUMAPAY payments app ensures that our merchants are efficient and offer greater security when dealing with customer information. It also opens them up to accept payments from all major credit cards, mobile money and e-wallets” Eran Feinstein, the DPO Group CEO stated.

 

Legal SaaS platform Libryo secures $1M to expand across Africa & Europe to help solve regulatory complexity

UK and South Africa-based online legal compliance platform Libryo has closed a £787k ($1million)to solve the problem of regulatory complexity in organisations.

The round was led by Seedcamp and Nextlaw Lab as well as Innogy UK Innovation Hub, Force Over Mass and various angel investors including Steve Gledden and Chris Field.

According to Tom Wilson, Investment Manager at Seedcamp: “We’ve been really impressed with the Libryo team since our initial investment and are delighted to be following on in this round. We see a real demand in the market for their product as evidenced by their strong traction to date across a number of jurisdictions. We’re excited to see the team take the business forward and are confident in their ability to execute on their vision.”

Co-founded in 2016 by Peter Flynn, Garth Watson and Malcolm Gray as a platform for multinational companies to understand the legal regulations faced at each operation.

Libryo offers its users (who are often not legally trained), intuitive search, real-time updates and truly site and context specific regulatory information, anywhere, at any time. For Lawyers, the platform is helping to alleviate some of the legal research work, which their clients are often unwilling to pay for, so that they can focus on adding premium value to their clients in other areas.

“We’re already seeing a huge appetite for our service across Africa, particularly in the legal domains of environment and occupational health and safety,” said Flynn. “We’re at a key moment in our business as we look to expand our offering even further across the world and into other legal domains.”

Since inception, Libryo has expanded from a global reach of five to 50 countries (45 across Sub-Saharan Africa). The $1million seed round will enable further expansion across four continents; Africa, Europe, North America and Australia – in the next 18 to 24 months.

 

 

Lagos, Accra, Nairobi, Johannesburg among 20 cities to get ‘soot-free’ buses

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Less than 20% of all buses sold globally meet the definition of soot-free, with the vast majority being diesel powered. Older generation diesel technology produces high levels of black carbon emissions, or soot, which are amongst the most dangerous pollutants for public health and a major contributor to climate change.   The cleanest buses today can reduce these emissions by more than 99 percent.

Today, Abidjan, Accra, Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi were named among the 20 cities chosen by four bus and engine manufacturers as test cities to purchase buses equipped with low emissions technologies, in order to tackle climate change and toxic air pollution.

The African cities will join Bangkok, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Casablanca, Dhaka, Istanbul, Jakarta, Lima, Manila, Mexico City, Santiago, Sao Paulo, and Sydney which have been named among the 20 to benefit from this technology from BYD, Cummins, Scania and Volvo Buses.

The Soot free technology is defined as including any engine that meets Euro VI norms first established in Europe or EPA 2010 norms first established in the United States, and any diesel engine with a diesel particulate filter, gas-powered engine, or a dedicated electric drive engine. Further reductions in climate impacts of soot-free buses are achievable with low-carbon fuels and engines that deliver the lowest lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions.

The Global Industry Partnership on Soot-Free Clean Bus Fleets is an initiative led by C40 Cities, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), and International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), Centro Mario Molina Chile and UN Environment. The commitment was announced at the CCAC Clean Buses for Clean Air Workshop in Paris.

“Air pollution is the leading environmental health risk today affecting millions of people, particularly those in our growing cities. This agreement between some of the world’s leading bus manufacturers and some of the biggest cities in the world is an example of forward thinking private and public cooperation,” said Erik Solheim, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme. “Investment in technology, products, and business models that benefits people and our environment isn’t just good for the planet, it’s good for business.”

 

 

 

AON Kenya unveils cyber insurance cover to online enhance safety for businesses

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Cyber Security Specialist Dr. Bright G. Mawudor (right) demonstrates how systems are hacked to Aon Kenya Chief Executive Officer Sammy Muthui and Aon Kenya Chief Broking Officer Anne Mkala
Cyber Security Specialist Dr. Bright G. Mawudor (right) demonstrates how systems are hacked to Aon Kenya Chief Executive Officer Sammy Muthui and Aon Kenya Chief Broking Officer Anne Mkala

Businesses in Kenya will now be able to operate in a safer online environment thanks to a range of cyber insurance solutions unveiled by AON Kenya.

According to AON Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sammy Muthui, the move was in response to the growing cyber criminality threatening both corporates and SMEs. He added that hackers were increasingly targeting sectors that are digital-savvy especially with the rise of financial technology and internet banking, although it was not just not just limited to financial sectors.

The cyber insurance cover will guard against cybercriminals, data loss and the potential ramifications arising from a cybercrime.

Additionally, the cover will also offer users a comprehensive cyber risk cover that includes cover for any damages on property caused by network security breach, business interruption and extra expense coverage arising out of systems failure, contingent network business interruption for IT vendors and the supply chain; cyber terrorism coverage; privacy/security liability and event expense coverage; and media liability and technology errors and omissions by endorsement.

 “Data is an organization’s most valuable asset but it’s also the most vulnerable asset. However, as businesses and companies grow, so do their exposure to cyber risk. This simply means that that as the value of a business grows, it raises its profile among hackers,” said Muthui.

“Our simplified policy wording and holistic approach to risk management and incident response mean clients and brokers can feel confident about what they are getting,” Mr. Muthui said.

The cyber insurance cover, which also covers products liability to address Internet of Things exposures, offers comprehensive and integrated enterprise-wide coverage against cyber risk.

 

China Europe International Business School(CEIBS) Alumni Nigeria Chapter Hold AGM, Induct 2017 Executive Committee

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The Nigerian chapter of China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) Alumni held their annual general meeting and induction ceremony at the City Mall in Lagos, Nigeria.

CEIBS with the largest MBA in the world, the number one MBA in Asia according to Forbes, financial times, Bloomberg and Business week, and 11th in the world according to the financial times has with its programmes created a model for professional development and innovation across industries in emerging economies.

China in the past decade has experienced tremendous growth with a rapid rise of the middle class and tremendous developments in technology and infrastructure.

Many emerging economies are looking to growth in China and part of Europe as models for developing their economies, and CEIBS with its in-depth knowledge of China, extensive global reach, and world class faculty is well positioned to equip the business and political leaders that will help create this.

L-R: Samuel Ocloo-Dzaba, Alumni and Corporate Affairs Manager(Africa) CEIBS; Hector Okposo, FCA, VP, CEIBS Alumni Nigeria Chapter; Mr Sunday Adebayo Agboola, President CEIBS Alumni Nigeria Chapter/Group Head Private Sector, eTranzact; Tega Tonukari, Gen Sec, CEIBS Alumni Nigeria Chapter; Professor Mathew Tsamenyi, Executive Director, CEIBS Africa and Omoyemi Chukwurah, Council Member CEIBS, Alumni Nigeria Chapter during the annual general meeting and Induction ceremony of CEIBS Alumni Association, Nigeria Chapter held in Lagos.

 

The annual general meeting and induction ceremony was organized by the CEIBS Nigeria chapter led by President, Mr Adebayo Sunday Agboola, Hector Okposo, FCA, VP and Tega Tonukari, General Secretary.

The event allowed Professor Mathew Tsamenyi, Executive Director, CEIBS Africa to talk about some of the new partnerships CEIBS had entered into for the growth and development of businesses and economies in Africa as well as some of the strategic changes in its Global Executive MBA and Women Entrepreneurship & Leadership for Africa Programme (WELA).

The President of the CEIBS Nigeria Alumni chapter, Mr Sunday Adebayo Agboola in his remarks said; “Today marks the first of many great steps that the Alumni will embark on towards greatness.

Together, we are entering another phase and taking the necessary steps towards building a CEIBS Alumni Nigeria chapter that is both progressive with fresh ideas and initiatives as well as responsive to the changing global climate. I enjoin us to remain even more committed to our body as we create an enduring legacy to define the status and standard of CEIBS in Nigeria and all over the world”.

Mr Sunday Adebayo Agboola, President, CEIBS Alumni Nigeria Chapter

The role of the Alumni as he identified in later remarks would be to extend the CEIBS opportunity to more Africans as well as to create a blueprint for rising Asia- Africa relations.

The CEIBS Africa project was launched in 2008 with a mission to prepare highly competent innovation oriented managers and executives who are capable of leading and growing their organisations in the increasingly dynamic African economic environment. These are leaders who are capable of negotiating the forces of globalisation and international competition for the benefit of their organisations.

Local smart commerce platform KOKO exploring options in wifi, digital goods & payment of e-gov services

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Local smart commerce platform KOKO Networks is looking at expanding its platform to include wireless broadband, digital content distribution and payment of e-government services in its planned second phase of growth.

Speaking to TechMoran, KOKO’s Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Sagun Saxena, explained that the firm’s first business line, an ethanol cooking fuel solution branded SmartCook, is progressing well.  The company has installed its “KOKOpoint” fuel dispensers in nearly a dozen different parts of Nairobi, and will continue to expand its presence gradually this year while it focuses on building up a large agent pipeline for city-wide launch next year.  By the end of 2018, it expects to have a very dense network of KOKOpoints throughout Nariobi, serving mass-market consumers within 300 meters of their front-doors.

KOKO says the response to SmartCook’s “Soft Launch” earlier this year has been tremendous, with users appreciating the cleanliness, safety and bite-size affordability of the modern cooking solution.

Saxena tells TechMoran that distribution of SmartCook fuel via these automated fuel dispensers is working safely and efficiently, and the firm is very pleased with the feedback from customers and Agents alike.

And although KOKO is focused on scaling up access to the SmartCook solution via its network of KOKOpoints in the short term, back in its labs, its team is working on some exciting opportunities to expand the platform.

“Our team is working closely with several companies on expanding the KOKO platform to include e-commerce, wireless broadband connectivity, digital content distribution, fintech and e-government services,” Saxena explains.

Since its public unveiling in April 2017, KOKO has moved to establish a basic presence in Nairobi and is preparing for significant expansion across the city and in other large urban African markets in 2018.

“The experience we’ve gained so far in Nairobi is feeding continuous improvement of our technology and operating processes, resulting in valuable safety, performance and efficiency gains,” Saxena said.  “Major new software features have been released for KOKO’s customers, shopkeepers and partners.  For example, the new myKOKO android app enables customers to easily earn cash for convincing friends and family members to join SmartCook.

During its April launch, Saxena says major oil marketing companies showed a lot of interest in the firm and are now positioning themselves to use KOKO’s technology to supply ethanol cooking fuel to KOKOpoints near their petrol stations.  KOKO is currently running a process to cement an oil industry partnership that will help accelerate KOKO’s network buildout as it continues to expand production capacity of its consumer and fuel dispenser hardware to support next year’s city-wide launch.

The firm is also working closely with relevant bodies to strengthen the certification standards and regulatory environment for the nascent ethanol-based cooking industry that it is leading, to ensure that this innovative new energy industry segment develops to its full potential.

Yes, it’s a cliché, but nevertheless… watch this space!

Online kitchen & homeware store Yuppiechef is opening offline stores across South Africa

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Yuppiechef, an 11-year-old online kitchen & homeware store is on 1 October opening up physical stores across South Africa  in a move expected to help users look at a product online, and then come into a store to make a final decision and walk away with a purchase.

According to Yuppiechef’s co-founder Andrew Smith, the move will help shoppers browse in a store, but then have their order delivered to their homes to avoid carrying it around.

“You can stand in a store and look on your phone to see product reviews or videos to help you make a final decision. Through the combination of online and physical stores you will have access to a huge range, bigger than any single store,” he said.

“It has been 11 years since we shipped the first Yuppiechef order from my lounge,” Smith added. “Ecommerce enabled us to start a retail business with no stock, staff or expensive rentals.”

The firm still loves selling online and deliver to every corner of the country around the clock. Yuppiechef first store will be at Willowbridge Shopping Centre nestled on the edge of a pristine river parkland in the heart of Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs. The store, designed by renowned interior design firm, ARRCC.

“We were wrong….We believe that the future of retail is ‘omnichannel’, which means a combination of physical stores and ecommerce,” he concluded.