These 5 latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.
1. Nigeria’s IderaOS launches ListBuy to help scale MSMEs
In a bid to reposition African marketers to leverage technology to scale their venture, e-commerce service firm IderaOS has launched ListBuy as an e-commerce software platform. Built with an escrow payment technology, ListBuy will not only protect online buyers and sellers against fraud but also serve as a promotional mobile station for vendors. Commenting on the drive behind the new product, Ridwan Rasheed, COO and product lead ListBuy, noted that the vision of the team was “to empower 50,000 small businesses in Nigeria with Listbuy within the “next 12 months.”
According to industry reviews, the product is designed for entrepreneurs, MSME owners and dropshippers, hence, enables business owners to manage their storefront from one control panel and customise it while displaying and organising products for onward transaction with a wide range of payment options. On how the product would bring about fortune into the African space, the founder Quadry Olalekan while explaining the ListBuy initiative would accelerate business expansion said: “We chose to work on this idea because it presents an opportunity to reduce poverty and create prosperity by accelerating the creation and expansion of small businesses.”
2. US regulator declares China’s Huawei as national security threat
The U.S. regulatory body on communication matters, Federal Communications Commission, has announced on Tuesday, June 30, that China’s Huawei Technologies poses as a threat to the American national security. This comes alongside the statement that paints ZTE, another Chinese company, as a threat on similar grounds. According to industry experts, the notorious statement will prevent firms in the U.S. from accessing an US$8.3-billion government fund to purchase equipment from the companies.
Reaching this point, the US telecommunications regulator had earlier voted in November 5 to issue the declaration. With this declaration, the U.S. would require rural carriers to remove and replace equipment from the two Chinese companies from existing US networks. Confirming this development, FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, said: “We cannot and will not allow the Chinese Communist Party to exploit network vulnerabilities and compromise our critical communications infrastructure.” Observing the trend, the recent roll of events indicates a re-fired US-China trade war.
When an ecommerce website provides an account where money can be held by a third party on behalf of transacting parties, what is this account called?
A. Escort Account
B. Escrow Account
C. Express Account
D. Escape Account
Answer: See end of post.
3. Google integrates its AI-powered SmartReply on YouTube
Tech gaint Google has embedded its SmartReply, an AI technology that suggests responses to messages, on YouTube. This development is expected to ease communication within the community. According to the Google team, the new feature will come to play whenever there is a need for users to reply to comments on the platform. At launch, the feature support two international languages, English and Spanish.
On it objective of easing communication, Google Research scientist Rami Al-Rfou noted that “[SmartReply for YouTube] helps creators engage more easily with their viewers.” He explained further that: “This model learns comment and reply representation through a computationally efficient [AI model], and represents the first cross-lingual and character byte-based SmartReply.” This SmartReply from Google already features in common products such as Inbox, Gmail, Android Messages, Android Wear, and the Play Developer Console.
4. Tech Hub Harare opens call for its incubation programme
With more startups springing up daily, adding to a long list of ventures needing mentorship, co-working space and innovation hub Tech Hub Harare has opened call for its incubation programme. While startups on the shores of African generally need this initiative, the team is looking at offering this to Zimbabwean startups. According to the board, successful applicants as startups will have access to mentorship and funding opportunities.
In a statement to the media, Tech Hub Harare said the goal of its programme was to develop tech-driven startups that solve problems in the communities they serve and beyond. The programme, hence, will help convert ideas into MVPs over a six-month period, taking in ideation, validation, product-market fit and business training. In the end, startups will receive cloud computing and business support, and will be allocated a mentor who will provide weekly feedback on their development.
5. Team communication and engagement platform OurPeople raises $2M in Series A
U.K. startup OurPeople has raised $2 million in Series A funding. This new raiser is expected to further boost its operations as it builds a team communication and engagement platform for desk-less workers. According to press, the new raiser was led by Alpine Meridian, an investment firm that specialises in digital media, e-commerce and healthcare. However, the fund also saw the participation of entrepreneur Robert Neveu, who also joins OurPeople as managing partner.
Industry reviewers have speculated that this might take the firm to global fronts, as the new raiser brings its total funding to $3 million. The 4 year old company offers a secure mobile platform that allows businesses communicate digitally with employees, ensuring teams can stay connected. The startup primarily works in industries with large numbers of desk-less workers, such as fitness and leisure. With a growing trend of users, its clients include West Ham United Foundation, Virgin Active UK, Paulton’s Park and Serco Leisure.
Tech Trivia Answer: Escrow account
Escrow generally refers to money held by a third party on behalf of transacting parties. An account in this name, therefore serves same purpose. It is mostly used regarding the purchase of shares of a company, products of a store or paying for services rendered by another party. A typical escrow system can be found on ListBuy.
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