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LATEST TECH NEWS: Facebook launches e-commerce Shop across apps. 4 other things and a trivia you need to know today, May 20, 2020

These 5 latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.

1. Facebook launches e-commerce Shop across apps

Social networking site, Facebook, has launched an e-commerce feature Shop, a service that will allow businesses to display and sell products on the world’s largest social network’s platforms. This development was revealed by CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, May 19, explaining details of the new trade-focussed feature.

This move to build up e-commerce offerings follows Facebook’s launch last year of limited shopping options on photo-sharing app Instagram and messaging app WhatsApp. Making its platforms more business-friendly will generate fresh ad revenue, no doubt, for Facebook. According to Zuckerberg, Facebook Shops will tie at least some of those efforts together, enabling businesses to set up a single online store accessible via both Facebook and Instagram.

2. Kenya’s Apollo Agriculture closes $6m Series A fund to scale

Kenyan agri-tech startup Apollo Agriculture has closed a US$6 million Series A funding round to continue rapidly scaling by partnering with more farmers, expanding its product offerings, and growing its team.

Based in Nairobi, Apollo Agriculture is a commercial farming platform for small-scale farmers that uses machine learning and automated operations technology to help them access everything they need to maximise their profitability, from financing and insurance, to farming products and optimised advice. Today, Apollo has partnered with close to 25,000 farmers so far in 2020.


Tech Trivia:

What was the first website to display banner ads?

A. MTV.com
B. HotWired.com
C. Lux.com
D. StandingLead.com

Answer: See end of post.


3. Nigeria’s Recyclan establishes pan-African presence by exporting waste globally

Nigeria’s a tech-enabled recycling company, Recyclan, has established operations across Africa as it collects waste and exports it to the rest of the world. The 2 year old Chime Okwuokenye, Rob Homan and Molawa Adesuyi founded startup is on a mission to reduce Africa’s carbon footprint and make the world greener by recycling plastic waste. With its business model that helps reduce plastic waste on beaches, landfills and in the ocean, it drives home revenue by leveraging technology.

Read also: LATEST TECH NEWS: Jack Dorsey endorses permanent remote work policy. 4 other things and a trivia you need to know today, May 19, 2020

Reviewers have noted that its mobile app and SMS service offers incentives to people to recycle their waste, opening users to opportunities to things like access to health insurance, sanitary towels, and schools fees in exchange. Eventually, it then processes and packages this waste to customer specification and then exports it to North America, Europe and Asia.

4. Villgro pumps $100k grant cash into Kenyan, Ugandan startups

Nairobi-based healthcare incubator and investor Villgro Kenya has invested a total of US$90,000 into Kenyan startup The Pathology Network and Uganda’s clinicPesa. The 3 year old firm is an early-stage business incubator and impact investor that offers mentoring, funding and access to networks to startups in the healthcare and life sciences sector in East Africa.

Earlier this week, the organisation awarded US$150,000 in grant funding to 12 startups from East Africa that could help in testing, monitoring and managing aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak, provides equity-free capital and support to innovative healthcare-focused startups. This comes on the heels of its initial announcement of grantees in March.

5. AI technology reunites 30 year old man with family

Facial recognition technology has, on Monday, helped a Chinese man, Mao Yin, reunited with his original parents 32 years after being sold off following an executed abduction while on his way home from nursery school. Mao, according to media report, was only 2 years old at that time and was immediately sold off to a childless couple. Li Jingzhi, Mao’s biological mother, resigned from her job to search for him, what will later continue for 30 years.

Media sources from China noted Li’s several failed attempts to find her baby, moving from one TV show to another to discuss details with authorities and the public. With a facial recognition technology, Investigators were able to analyze old photos of Mao as a boy to come up with a simulated image of what he might look like in 2020. Following an image data base match up, they were able to track down a man living in the city of Mianyang, going by the name of Gu Ningning whose through personality was later detected by a DNA test.

Tech Trivia Answer: HotWired

Wired magazine’s HotWired.com was the first website to display banner ads. Although it’s commonly said that the first banner was sponsored by AT&T, HotWired’s advertising roster included other companies such as Club Med, Zima and Volvo. While it was more than just AT&T who prepared a campaign for the web’s official debut of banner ads on October 27, 1994, the telecom company reportedly saw remarkable click-through rates of 44%, which is likely why it’s cemented into the memories of early web users.

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