These 5 latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.
1. Nigerian mobility startup Plentywaka thrusts into B2C logistics
Nigeria’s Plentywaka, earlier running a small scale bus transportation network in Lagos, has announced thrusting its foot into the logistics space. Tagged “Logistics By Plentywaka”, a B2C delivery service, the platform will begin to facilitate goods delivery like other leading players such as the GIG Logistics. Plentywaka, by this development, no doubt becomes one of those companies venturing into logistics in direct response to the city-wide lockdown and restriction of movement.
Confirming this, Johnny Enagwolor, managing director and co-founder of Plentywaka, stated that the pandemic has brought loss to businesses since its incubation, adding that its effect is being felt globally. He said: “The effects of COVID-19 are being felt everywhere; the world has seen a mass loss of life, a sharp downturn to global economies and a fundamental shift in how people move about, work, and go about their domestic lives.” Therefore, the co-founder further stated that it was in this light that the company thought of launching the new offering. According to him, it is hoped that the startup can “continue to innovate and support both businesses, and people who need access to goods.”
2. African VC deals round $3.9bn in five years
The African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) has revealed that African VC deals rounded $3.9bn in five years, a period marked between 2014 and 2019. According to the association, which published a report on the development, noted that the period equally saw 613 venture capital (VC) deals play out, promoting and enabling private investment in Africa gain visibility.
The report titled “Venture Capital in Africa: Mapping Africa’s Startup Investment Landscape” analysed the exponential growth of VC in Africa over the 2014-2019 period, focusing on deal trends. According to the report, 2019 marked a six-year high in VC activity with 139 deals worth US$1.4 billion – the highest year on record. It, however, confirmed that the number of deals more than doubled between 2014 and 2019, while the value of deals almost doubled between 2018 and 2019. On the leading industry, Fintech and IT dominated the African startup scene, with each sector accounting for 19 per cent of the total volume of VC deals reported on the continent in the period under review.
Which of these tech companies was founded in a one-car garage in Palo Alto, California?
B. Hewlett Packard
Answer: See end of post.
3. Ingressive Capital to grow African tech with $10m
To back high-growth, tech-enabled startups across Africa, Lagos based venture capital (VC) fund Ingressive Capital has announced doubling its investment fund to $10-million. The venture capital (VC) fund, which was founded in 2017, made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. According to the VC, the fund targets pre-seed and seed-stage tech-enabled businesses in the B2B space that provide tech solutions to Africa’s traditional billion-dollar industries, as well as B2C fintech and internet companies.
However, as a player in the market, Ingressive Capital’s average ticket size is between $200 000 and $400 000 and it takes a 10% equity stake in companies in its portfolio. The VC profile shows that about 20% of the fund’s investors run some of Africa’s largest traditional businesses. Leveraging this to access business development insights and pan-African markets, they, equally, help companies get follow-on funding from abroad. Some of the fund’s new investors include the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Plexo Capital, Platform Capital and other institutional capital.
4. Brazil rejects WhatsApp payment weeks after launch
Whatsapp’s latest payment option has reportedly been rejected by the Brazilian central bank. The rejection comes just weeks after the launch of the novel money payment method by the chatting app. While the suspension of the payment feature (facilitated by Facebook) in the country comes shocking, it signals a threat to Whatsapp’s business as Brazil is the app’s second biggest market, pulling more than 120 million users.
According to the apex bank, the decision aims to “preserve an adequate competitive environment, that ensures the functioning of a payment system that’s interchangeable, fast, secure, transparent, open and cheap.” The monetary authority, in a public notice on its website, has ordered bank authorities to request Mastercard and Visa partners to stop payment and money transfer activities through the app. Industry expert Tiago Severo Gomes has, however, condemned the action, stating that a suspension without presenting further arguments is “an unusual, extraordinary move by the central bank, especially in payments arrangements and technology market.”
5. TikTok launches TikTok For Business for marketers
In what industry reviewers have seen as TikTok taking on Snapchat, TikTok has launched TikTok For Business, an ads offering for marketers. Breaking the news, on Thursday, TikTok announced to advertisers that it is open for business. According to the app, the new offering will serve as home for all its current and future marketing solutions for brands. This will see it to provide marketers access to TikTok ad formats, including its marque product, TopView, which is the ad that appears when you first launch the TikTok app.
Furthermore, other products under this TikTok For Business umbrella include Brand Takeovers, In-Feed Videos, Hashtag Challenges, and Branded Effects. Explaining the significance of some of the offerings, it noted that its Brand Takeovers are the 3-5 second ads that can be either a video or image. Moreso, In-Feed Videos can be up to 60 seconds in length and run with the sound on. However, Branded Effects will allow brands to insert themselves more directly into the content creation experience. The effects will further allow a brand or product to be added to a video in a 2D, 3D, or now AR format in either the foreground or background of the video.
Tech Trivia Answer: Hewlett Packard
The company was founded in a one-car garage in Palo Alto, California by Bill Hewlett and David Packard, and initially produced a line of electronic test and measurement equipment. The HP Garage at 367 Addison Avenue is now designated an official California Historical Landmark and is marked with a plaque calling it the “Birthplace of ‘Silicon Valley'”.
The company got its first big contract in 1938, providing its test and measurement instruments for production of Walt Disney Pictures’ hugely successful animated film Fantasia. This success led Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard to formally establish their Hewlett-Packard Company on 1 January 1939. The company grew into a multinational corporation widely respected for its products, and its management style and culture known as the HP Way which was adopted by other businesses worldwide. HP was the world’s leading PC manufacturer from 2007 to Q2 2013.