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👨🏿‍🚀TechCabal Daily – Rain finds its voice | TechCabal

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17 MARCH, 2023

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More governments are banning the use of TikTok on work phones.

Yesterday, the UK government banned its workers from the download and use of the short-form video platform on any official devices.

The reason? Well, similar to the European Commission and the US and Canadian governments, all of whom banned staff from using TikTok on official phones, the UK is worried about China, where TikTok was founded and is headquartered, spying on sensitive information.

Meanwhile, The Verge reports that the US government is pushing TikTok to separate from its Chinese parent company ByteDance or face a ban in the US where it has over 113 million users.

THE WORLD WIDE WEB3

Bitcoin

$24,881

+ 1.56%

Ether

$1,661

+ 0.33%

BNB

$328

+ 6.59%

Solana

$19.44

+ 0.74%

Name of the coin

Price of the coin

24-hour percentage change

Source: CoinMarketCap

* Data as of 22:00 PM WAT, March 16, 2023.

The US Federal Deposit Insurance Corp has forced the prospective buyers of Signature Bank to agree to one crucial demand: no more crypto business, CoinDesk reports. Before its shutdown last week, Signature Bank was one of the few US banks that accepted crypto deposits. Crypto accounted for a quarter of the bank’s deposits but investigators now say that the bank’s lax supervision may have enabled money laundering.

Salesforce is the latest company to jump on the Web3 chain with a new slew of NFT products. CoinDesk reports that the cloud services provider is expanding its services to include management of NFTs. Salesforce Web3 will help “build, manage and integrate NFTs into their businesses”.

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QUICK FIRE 🔥 WITH NICOLAS GOLDSTEIN

Nicolas Goldstein is co-founder of Talenteum.Africa. He currently lives in Mauritius. He is very involved in the tech ecosystem and startups in the Indian Ocean region and in Africa. He was recently elected president of the Label French Tech Mauritius. 

Explain your job to a five-year-old

Talenteum Africa sources, hires and pays remote talents in Africa, and we drive a positive impact for their country. Talenteum Africa is a pan-African platform designed to help companies source and employ remote-working teams mainly in Africa. 

What’s something you wish you knew earlier in your life or career?

I started my entrepreneurial life when I was 20. I wish I knew earlier how to measure to target a market and to fix a plan to achieve goals. 

What’s the most promising thing about tech in Africa?

Africa has the fastest-growing, most youthful population in the world at a time when the rest of the world’s workforce is shrinking. Africa is really well positioned to solve the global shortage of technology talent. Africa will nearly double its manpower size by 2035.

Which tech startups in Mauritius do you think the world should keep its eyes on?

Talenteum.com, the largest full-time talent ready to work remotely from Africa. There’s also Expat.com, the largest expats community website; and Inspexion.com, the world’s leading B2B inspection marketplace.

Is talent still Africa’s biggest tech resource?

Africa’s tech and startup coverage has grown massively over the past few years. Its technology ecosystems have experienced incredible growth these years as they have rapidly expanded in recent years, with 600+ active tech hubs providing the backbone of Africa’s tech ecosystem.

I would say that we should reach around 900,000 tech Talent in Africa by 2023, several of whom are still under training, but more training schools and boot camps have emerged in Africa recently.

What singular achievement are you most proud of?

We have given full-time jobs to more than 300+ talents in seven countries in Africa. These people would have moved to Europe or the US, but they decided to remain in their country. 

Talenteum was also named in the top 100 of African startups to invest in 2019 while accumulating several other awards. We were a finalist of IOE and Seedstars’ migration challenge and received the award of “most likely startup to succeed in 2022” by Globalization Partners. 

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ARE AFRICAN VCS STICKING WITH SVB?

It’s been a week since Silicon Valley Bank (SVB)—the go-to bank for tech investors—was shut down

While the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has assured all SVB customers that they’ll get their money back, the bank’s new CEO, Tim Mayopoulos, urged the failed bank’s VC clients to return their deposits to Silicon Valley Bridge Bank, the new entity created by the FDIC to replace SVB.

Some African startups, like Chipper Cash, have announced that they were affected by the SVB crash. There are several African VC firms that also banked with SVB, including Quona Capital, EchoVC, Future Africa, Volition Capital, and 4DX Ventures.

Some are confident in SVB or its new entity, Silicon Valley Bridge Bank, and will continue to bank with it.

“Currently on a call with the new CEO Tim Mayopoulos of SVB and many other VCs/LPs. I’m confident keeping some of our capital at SVB,” tweeted Eunice Ajim, founding partner at Ajim Capital, a $10 million fund that invests in early-stage African companies.

On his part, Eghosa Omogui, general partner at EchoVC, says his firm never left SVB. “We stuck with SVB & advised portcos to be prudent [and] buy T-bills/money [market] ETFs,” he tweeted late on Friday evening. “We’ve always spread our exposure. Maybe it’s my treasury & risk mgmt experience. We’ll be fine,” he added.

When asked if VCs are returning deposits to SVB, he replied. “Yes, VCs are asking their portcos to return any deposits they wired out of SVB. And quite a few VCs that I know that got money out are sending some of it back. I imagine a few African VCs may have been affected,” Eghosa told TechCabal.

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RAIN IS PLANNING TO MOVE INTO MOBILE VOICE MARKET

South African data-only network Rain is planning to spread its wings into offering mobile voice services, according to one of its investors.

This will make rain the latest mobile network operator in South Africa in a market which includes the likes of MTN, Vodacom, Telkom, and Cell C.

Rain on a good run

ARC Investments, which holds a 20.3% interest in Rain, said the provider will use the newly acquired spectrum bought last year in an auction to launch its mobile service.

Additionally, ARC Investments also stated that Rain is on course to achieve earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of more than R2-billion for the year ended February 2023.

Zoom out: After merger talks with Telkom collapsed, expanding into mobile voice might be the best way for Rain to enter the market which is currently being dominated by the duopoly of MTN and Vodacom.

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TC INSIGHTS: FUNDING TRACKER

This week, Nuru, an energy company based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), secured $1.5 million in a Series B funding round. The company is on track to build 13.7MWp of isolated solar-hybrid grids by mid-2024 and aims to provide world-class connectivity to five million clients in the DRC. 

The Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP), Proparco, and E3 Capital each invested $500,000 in Nuru, bridging the financing gap for its $25 million Series B equity fundraising. 

That’s it for this week!

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for more funding announcements. You can also visit DealFlow, our real-time funding tracker.

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EVENTS: TECHCABAL AT 10

Here’s a list of all the Twitter Spaces we’ll be holding to celebrate our 10th-year anniversary.

  • March 21—Meet the team telling African tech stories that matter. TechCabal captures the players, human impact and business of tech in Africa. We provide the content, reporting, data, and context to help the world understand how tech is changing Africa. Who are the journalists doing all of this important work? Find out here.
  • March 23—What is the future of tech in Africa? In the last 10 years, the African tech ecosystem has evolved quickly. We know this firsthand at TechCabal. What does the future look like? Join us for an insightful conversation with Ola Brown, Stephen Deng, Hope Ditlhakanyane, and Ngozi Dozie where we answer these questions. Set a reminder here
  • March 30—The role of the media in covering African tech. How can the media help Africa’s developing tech ecosystem? What responsibility does the media owe the ecosystem, and what can the media expect in return? Should the media only cover the good stories? Find out here.

IN OTHER NEWS FROM TECHCABAL

How startup cereal brand got Ronaldo, Dwayne Johnson, Serena Williams, and Michael Jordan to endorse their products on a budget.

We tried South Africa’s new real-time payments system PayShap. Here’s what we found.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • The Jasiri Talent Investor Programme is looking for highly driven individuals with a history of achievement and/or entrepreneurial action who aspire to launch a high-growth venture. Apply by April 23.
  • The Growth Africa Accelerator Programme is calling for applications from ambitious and committed entrepreneurs from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia or Ghana with the potential to grow and create impact through their businesses. Apply now.
  • The HiiL Justice Accelerator Programme is now open for applications from Kenyan startups with solutions that help people resolve their legal problems. Eight selected startups will receive $10,000 in equity-free funding as well as the chance to win up to $21,000 on Demo Day. Apply by March 31.
  • Google has announced that the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund is now accepting applications from Black founders across the African continent. Apply by March 26.
  • The Africa Business Heroes (ABH) Prize Competition, a philanthropic initiative sponsored by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Philanthropy, is calling for participation from Africa’s entrepreneurial talent. Apply by May 12.
  • Oui Capital is organising a 2-day masterclass for female founders taking the bold step to build and execute on the African continent. Apply by March 17.
  • Dream VC has announced that it’s now open for its Launch Into VC (LIVC) and Invest Accelerator programmes. Junior professionals keen on breaking into the investor space can apply for LIVC to get a carefully curated investor talent accelerator led by existing venture builders. Senior professionals should apply for its Investor Accelerator 2023 Programme where future investment leaders and ecosystem builders will be upskilled. Apply for LIVC and Investor Accelerator Programme by April 16.

Written by – Timi Odueso & Ephraim Modise

Edited by – Kelechi Njoku

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Jay Ndungu

Jay is a computer scientist and journalist with a passion for the intersection of technology and society. He has a background in computer science, developing a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the industry, including programming languages and software development methodologies. Currently, He writes for Nairobi Times, covering a wide range of topics including technology, politics, sports, and entertainment. With his unique combination of technical knowledge and journalistic experience, Jay brings a unique perspective to the stories he covers, able to explain complex technical concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. His work is dedicated to bridge the gap between technology and society, and to make people more aware of the potential of technology to make the world a better place.

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