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LATEST TECH NEWS: Lagos Urban Innovation Challenge unveils winners. 4 other things and a trivia you need to know today, August 3, 2020

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

1. Lagos Urban Innovation Challenge unveils winners

Utopia, world’s first urban innovation group, organisers of the Lagos Urban Innovation Challenge, has unveiled winners of the contest. The innovative challenge, according to Utopia, was aimed at finding solutions that can help solve critical urban issues in Lagos. Tech experts have praised Utopia for investing in the project, lauding it as the world’s first urban innovation group focused solely on emerging cities and their slums.

Reviews established that the firm has been investing in African cities through its Megacity Fund in a bid to help urban entrepreneurs to transform their cities through a network of CITYLABS in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Utopia stated that the contest saw a pool of over 170 contestants. Listing its final winners, the Utopia board has unveiled 8 winners who have passed through scrutiny from leading tech investors. Speaking on the announcement, Utopia said “entrants were evaluated on the originality of their idea, its scalability, and viability, whether it addresses a critical challenge, and the capacity of the team to build the solution.”

2. South Africa’s Grindstone Accelerator launches early-stage VC fund

South Africa-based business accelerator Grindstone has announced launching a new venture capital fund called Grindstone Ventures. According to the new venture, the initiative is dedicated to providing early-stage equity funding to its cohorts. Speaking on the company’s structure, industry insights reveal that Grindstone Accelerator is operated as a structured entrepreneurship development programme jointly owned by venture capital fund manager Knife Capital and market access specialist Thinkroom Consulting.

While the accelerator is expected to take South African SMEs with proven traction through an intensive year-long review of their strategies, it is also envisaged to provide them with the necessary support to “build a foundation for growth in becoming more investable, sustainable and exit-ready.” Andrea Bӧhmert, partner at Knife Capital, has acknowledged how the new fund is complementary to the company. He said: “Linking a funding vehicle to our accelerator model complements the Knife Capital value chain approach where companies can be de-risked before raising follow-on capital from our Series A and later-stage funds.”

Tech Trivia:

Pick the odd tech leader in the pack

A. Mark Zuckerberg
B. Jack Dorsey
C. Jack Ma
D. Allen Zhang

Answer: See end of post.

3. Trump grants Microsoft two months to seal TikTok deal

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Following Microsoft’s interest in acquiring Chinese short video app TikTok, which is currently facing a ban sanction over insecurity issues, President Donald Trump has reportedly granted the Bill Gates company the go-ahead to negotiate its acquisition. Although, media reports on the development noted that the president’s permission was appended by a clause of 45 days, the move, according to analysts could further inflame U.S.-China relations. Recall that on Friday, August 1, Trump said he was planning to ban TikTok amid concerns that its Chinese ownership “represents a national security risk because of the personal data it handles.”

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Commenting on the prospect of the acquisition of TikTok, tech and product analysts have stated that TikTok’s milestone which boasts of hundreds of millions of U.S. users, would offer Microsoft a rare opportunity to become a major competitor against social media giants such as Facebook and Snap, bearing in mind that Microsoft owns professional social media network, LinkedIn. The negotiations between ByteDance and Microsoft will be overseen by CFIUS, a U.S. government panel that has the right to block any agreement, according to media reports. However, a key issue in the negotiations will be separating TikTok’s technology from ByteDance’s infrastructure and access to alleviate U.S. concerns about the integrity of personal data.

4. iPhone looks to build payment terminal with new Apple acquisition

Developments from Apple, makers of iPhone, have indicated that iPhones may soon be able to function as mobile payment terminals. This comes on the heels of its latest acquisition, Mobeewave. The technology company, which is a Montreal, Canada-based allows shoppers to make payments by tapping their credit card or smartphone on another smartphone. According to reviews, the startup’s app only requires NFC chips to work, eliminating the need for additional hardware such as card terminals.

Speaking on the cost of the acquisition, press disclosed that Apple purchased Mobeewave for about $100 million. Following the acquisition, Apple retained Mobeewave’s dozens of employees, who will continue to work out of Montreal. If Apple integrates Mobeewave’s technology into Apple Pay and Apple Card on iPhones, it will relatively compete with Square, which equally provides hardware and software for mobile payment options.

5. Google earmarks $450M as investment into smart home security solutions


On Monday, August 3, tech giant Google revealed its intent to invest $450 million in ADT as it looks to work with the Florida-headquartered firm’s 20,000 technicians to sell and install the search giant’s Nest family of smart home products. Google has stated that the long-term investment will grant it a 6.6% stake in ADT. However, the two companies will first attempt to reach more individual consumers and small businesses, and then work on building and selling next-generation smart home security offerings.

Speaking further on the deal, both companies noted in a press release that they have also committed $150 million each, “provided they reach certain milestones, for co-marketing, product development, and investment in technology and employee training.” Rishi Chandra, Vice President and GM at Nest, who also confirmed the new development stated that Nest’s devices will enhance ADT’s security monitoring and become the “cornerstone of ADT’s smart home offering.”

Tech Trivia Answer: Jack Ma

Jack Ma built an ecommerce product, Alibaba while other techpreneurs on the list built a social media platform. Mark Zuckerberg built Facebook, Jack Dorsey built Twitter while Allen Zhang built WeChat.

Mark Zuckerberg is a Chinese business magnate, investor and philanthropist. According to his portfolio statement, he is the co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate. Ma is a strong proponent of an open and market-driven economy.

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