LATEST TECH NEWS: New Fintech player Sparkle launches digital bank in Nigeria. 4 other things and a trivia you need to know today, June 3, 2020 | Ripples Nigeria
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LATEST TECH NEWS: New Fintech player Sparkle launches digital bank in Nigeria. 4 other things and a trivia you need to know today, June 3, 2020

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

1. Ventureburn and Techpoint Africa sign intra-continental partnership

South Africa-based Ventureburn and Nigeria’s Techpoint Africa have a new partnership deal that will see both tech publishing platforms share contents and strategise together on tech matters and opportunities.

Explaining the nature of the partnership, a publication on Ventureburn noted that the two will be republishing select articles covering news and insight on the continent’s growing tech startup sector, from each other’s platforms on their respective platforms. The publication further added that the two also plan to co-operate on surveys, reports and events covering the continent’s tech startup sector.

2. S. Africa’s Sticitt secures R3m from VC

Sticitt, Cape Town based cashless payment platform has announced securing a R3-million investment from a new SA venture capital (VC) company, Crucis VC. The 2 year old company was founded by Mitch Dart, Dennis Wevell and Theo Kitshoff. The company which started with few workers has grown to operate with nine employees, today.

Coming from a humble background, the startup was only previously able to tap funding from a family member and a friend, who is an asset manager. The new raiser, thus, comes as the company’s first major external investment. Industry analysts have noted that through a deal with D6 Group, Sticitt is able to reach almost 2000 schools with its cashless payment solution.

Tech Trivia:

How much did the first CD recorder cost?
A. $10,000
B. $90,000
C. $20,000
D. $34,000
Answer: See end of post.

3. New Fintech player Sparkle launches digital bank in Nigeria

After being granted its banking license, Nigeria’s, and perhaps, the newest fintech player, Sparkle, has launched its digital banking platform to compete with existing players like Kuda Bank et al. Sparkles, following this CBN license will bring to customers a digital ecosystem providing financial, lifestyle and business support services to Nigerians across the globe.

According to reports, the digital bank was founded August last year by tech investor and financial inclusion advocate Uzoma Dozie, the former CEO of Diamond Bank. Commenting on the new development, Dozie expressed excitment, noting that the new digital bank would be “transformational” for Nigerians across the globe.

4. Kenyan, Nigerian entrepreneurs emerge winners in social innovation accelerator

In the just concluded 2020 ASME ISHOW, a Kenya Virtual Event hosted by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Kenyan and Nigerian innovations in clean cooking, feminine hygiene and medical diagnostics have won US$30,000 in cash funding and technical support.

Hosted to focus on hardware-led social innovation, a total of eight socially-minded teams of inventors from Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt presented their design prototypes in a virtual event held on May 19-21, with three inventors emerging as regional winners. The winners were Kenya’s Ecobora, which is equipping rural marginalised schools with its patented solar-powered cook stove; Kenya’s Inteco, which focuses on the distribution and supply chain management of donated sanitary pads to adolescent girls in schools; and Nigeria’s MicroFuse Technologies, which has developed a tool that enables users to diagnose and detect cerebral malarial retinopathy with a smartphone while also capturing other individual patient data.

5. SoftBank launches $100M+ Opportunity Growth Fund

To further invest in founders of colored background, and as a way to show solidarity as the U.S. continues to see protests, which was sparked by the killing of George Floyd by police in Minnesota, SoftBank has announced a new investment vehicle to back entrepreneurs of color. According to SoftBank, this was part of its contribution to trying to redress the imbalance of power as it has played out in the tech world.

Today, Wednesday, June 3, the financial institution launched the Opportunity Growth Fund, which “will only invest in companies led by founders and entrepreneurs of color.” To achieve this, SoftBank’s spokesperson stated that the fund will initially start with $100 million, meaning that there is scope for SoftBank (the primary limited partner) or other limited partners to add more over time.

Tech Trivia Answer: $20,000

While it wasn’t marketed toward consumers, the first audio CD recorder was unveiled in 1991 at the annual National Association of Broadcasters Convention in Las Vegas, where Japanese manufacturer Denon demonstrated its model DN-700R hoping to attract the interest of radio stations, which could use the device to make demo discs or to copy and distribute content to other outlets.

According to an article written by The Syracuse Newspapers at the time, the DN-770R was the first of its kind and was being propositioned by Denon for $20,000: “Denon DN-770R audio CD recorder debuts as the first of its kind…The CDs it produces can be played on any CD player.”

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