TechNigeria: A weekly digest of what went down in Nigeria’s tech space

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AltSchool Africa, eBay, Ministry of Transport, Interswitch, Opay, DXwand, Mira, NCC, Crysp Farms, Fund Park, Alviere, Shamba Pride, Google, are some of the names that made the headlines this week.

Nigerian edtech startup, AltSchool Africa, has extended its reach to Kenya, marking the second-largest market in revenue.

Also, A player in Africa’s digital payment and commerce sector, Interswitch, has announced a partnership with OPay, facilitated through the Interswitch Payment Gateway (IPG).

Let’s get into details

Nigerian edtech startup, AltSchool Africa, has extended its reach to Kenya, marking the second-largest market in revenue.

The startup has also appointed Tabitha Kayvu, as the Country Manager, to lead operations.

Founder Adewale Yusuf confirmed the expansion in a statement seen by Ripples Nigeria on Wednesday, January 24, 2024.

Ahead of the launch of its Smart National Transport Databank initiative, the Nigerian government has kicked off an actively engagement strategy with industry stakeholders.

The Minister of Transport, Senator Sa’idu Ahmed Alkali, made this known during his keynote presentation at the opening session in Abuja yesterday.

The Minister emphasized the significance of the initiative, noting that the databank will function as a central repository for all transportation data, facilitating informed decision-making with comprehensive, real-time information.

Middle East-based artificial intelligence startup, DXwand, has announced closing a Series A funding round, securing $4 million.

The funding, according to the startup, was spearheaded by Shorooq Partners, Algebra Ventures, and Dubai Future District Fund, an existing investor.

Ahmad Mahmoud, CEO of DXwand, confirmed the funding milestone in a statement seen by Ripples Nigeria on Thursday, January 25, 2024.

A player in Africa’s digital payment and commerce sector, Interswitch, has announced a partnership with OPay, facilitated through the Interswitch Payment Gateway (IPG).

Muyiwa Asagba, Head of Digital Commerce & Merchant Acquiring (Paymate) at Interswitch, confirmed the collaboration in a statement obtained by Ripples Nigeria on Tuesday, January 23, 2024.

This alliance claims to streamline the payment process for OPay users, allowing users to make direct payments for goods and services on merchants’ sites through the OPay Wallet.

OPay, a fintech startup, has declared that accounts not integrated with the National Identification Number (NIN) will face blocking starting March 1, 2024.

Ikponmwosa Odiase, OPay’s Director of Partnerships, disclosed this directive in a media statement seen by Ripples Nigeria on Thursday, January 25, 2024.

Ripples Nigeria gathered that the action aligns with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s guidelines to strengthen Know-Your-Customer (KYC) practices within the financial system.

Online marketplace giant, eBay, has unveiled its intention to lay off approximately 1,000 employees, constituting around 9% of its workforce, citing prevailing economic conditions.

The CEO, Jamie Iannone, confirmed the decision in a statement seen by Ripples on Wednesday, January 24, 2024.

The e-commerce company also disclosed its plans to scale back on contract positions in the coming months.

Crysp Farms, a UAE-based agritech firm has secured a $2.25 million pre-Series A funding round spearheaded by Gate Capital with participation from various regional investors based in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Maan Said, the CEO and founder of Crysp Farms confirmed this in a statement seen by Ripples Nigeria on Wednesday 24, 2024.

Established in 2019 by Maan Said, Crysp Farms specializes in constructing and operating customized hydroponic farms on-site, serving diverse sectors such as hospitality groups, healthcare facilities, restaurant, and hypermarkets.

FundPark, a Hong Kong-based capital financing provider catering to global exporters and importers, has doubled its asset-backed securitisation (ABS) facility to $500 million through an extended collaboration with Goldman Sachs.

Anson Suen, CEO and co-founder of FundPark confirmed this in a statement seen by Ripples Nigeria on Tuesday January 23, 2024.

This expansion follows a previous $250 million ABS facility secured by the fintech in April 2022, where Goldman Sachs led the deal as the senior facility provider followed by Integrated Alternative Credit Fund and Cypress Capital Hong Kong as mezzanine investors.

Alviere, a global integrated finance platform provider, has announced a strategic partnership with Onafriq, a leading African digital payments network.

The collaboration aims to streamline payments and remittances between the United States and Africa.

The confirmation of this partnership was made by Dare Okoudjou, CEO and founder of Onafriq, in a statement seen by Ripples Nigeria on Tuesday, January 23, 2024.

Dr. Aminu Maida, Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has disclosed that the commission is looking at ways in which telecommunications consumers in the country will only need one SIM card and one device, against the need to own multiple SIM devices.

Maida who disclosed this at a media parley in Lagos over the weekend, said the commission would be using data to leverage its plans for a situation where consumers will only have one SIM card and one device.

Due to the quality of service from telecom operators in the country, many Nigerians have adopted multiple SIMs and multiple devices in order to stay connected, by switching from one SIM/device to another.

Shamba Pride, a Kenyan agricultural technology startup, has announced raising $3.7 million in debt-equity pre-Series A funding from the EU agriculture financing initiative EDFI AgriFI and Seedstars Africa Ventures (SAV), with $1.7 million designated as equity.

This latest funding round follows a capital infusion of $1.1 million in 2021 from SAV and Gray Matters Capital.

Founded in 2016 by Samuel Munguti, Shamba Pride specializes in digitizing agro-dealers to streamline business management and inventory ordering, ensuring the efficient distribution of essential supplies.

A Cairo-based direct-to-consumer (D2C) beauty and wellness startup, Mira, has closed a $200,000 in funding from Wingoo Investment and Technology.

Founded by Amira Dawood, Mira claims to specialize in a diverse range of cosmetic and skincare products.

The announcement of the funding coincides with the imminent launch of Mira’s inaugural local brand later this year.

Google, facing a $5 billion lawsuit accusing it of tracking user activity in Incognito mode, has reached a settlement over the 2020 allegations of using tools like Analytics, apps, and browser plugins to obtain users’ data.

The lawsuit contended that Google misled users about their control over information shared in “Incognito” mode.

In response, Google is updating the warning displayed during Incognito mode use in Chrome.

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