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LATEST TECH NEWS: S’Africa’s TG Boost considers expansion into Nigeria. 2 other things and a trivia you need to know today, October 19, 2020

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

1. South Africa’s TG Boost considers expansion into Nigeria

After its latest seed funding round, South African startup TG Boost has expanded its offering into Nigeria. The startup, which launched as an online mentor-guided data science school to accelerate learning processes, revealed that the funding round was led by Dr Dumebi Okwechime, the chief decision scientist at Renmoney who previously headed the Data Science team at Barclaycard in the United Kingdom (UK). Reports noted, however, that the startup launched its “Introduction to Data Science” course, aiming to make digital learning more effective by combining it with mentorship, something would be more relevant in Nigeria.

TG Boost, through this development, looks to build on its portfolio, as some of its students have been hired by high profiled companies such as Sparkle, Spacepen and Investec. With the new raiser, TG Boost will offer students in Nigeria the opportunity to join its four-month programme without paying any upfront costs.

Speaking on the opportunity while commenting on the startup, co-founder Emmanuel Sibanda noted that the new raiser was a testimony of the led-investor to the belief in the vision and mission the organisation has set out to achieve. He said: “The funding is a mixture of him resonating with our vision,our team, our business model and the gap in data science talent that he observed from building a Data Science team from scratch at Renmoney, and seed funding to help us continue paying the mentors on our platform, our Teaching Assistants and other key hires we will be making.”


Tech Trivia:

Which of these is the first web-based e-mail service?

A. Hotmail
B. Yahoo Mail
C. GMail
D. Rediff Mail

Answer: See end of post.


2. Catalyst Fund, others, launch $4.3m inclusive digital commerce accelerator in Ghana

To launch an Inclusive Digital Accelerator programme in Ghana, Catalyst Fund has partnered the Mastercard Foundation and MEST. The partnership and launch become the first expansion of Catalyst’s flagship inclusive fintech programme. Managed by BFA Global, Catalyst Fund said the Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator was aimed at scaling digital commerce companies in Ghana, and would officially launch at a virtual event in November. Reviewers, familiar with the initiative, noted that the accelerator was aimed to improve the livelihoods and financial resilience of informal micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in Ghana.

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Recall that Ghana is one of the hardest hit by the impact of the COVID-19 economic crisis, hence, the accelerator will select innovative companies that can enable informal MSEs to reap the benefits of digital commerce. To achieve this, however, six digital commerce companies will he selected to be scaled over the next two years. These startups will be assisted leveraging Catalyst Fund’s model to combine flexible grant capital of up to US$120,000. In addition, they will benefit from expert-led venture acceleration support, portfolio meet-ups and curated cohort-based workshop sessions, and connections with Catalyst Fund’s growing global Circle of Investors and Circle of Corporate Innovators

3. Township entrepreneur, Karabo Mogajane, launches South African e-hailing service

LATEST TECH NEWS: S'Africa's TG Boost considers expansion into Nigeria. 2 other things and a trivia you need to know today, October 19, 2020

Karabo Mogajane, popular Mamelodi Township resident and entrepreneur, has committed his finance to launch a new local ride e-hailing service in South Africa. Local press reported that Mogajane plans to launch the e-hailing platform, Ambee, at the Innovation Hub by the Festive Season or in the early months of 2021. Mogajane told media correspondents that he sees himself as a “very passionate entrepreneur” that aims to assist in developing South Africa’s tech infrastructure. “I believe there is so much untapped potential, especially within our youth, developing innovative and sustainable solutions to tackle environmental, economical, and social problems are where I believe we can truly make an impact and drive our nation forward,” he said.

Industry insights and press interview further revealed that Mogajane first got the idea to develop Ambee in 2018 after speaking to a driver for a popular e-hailing service, while on his way home from an event at the University of South Africa (UNISA). Hence, Ambee aims to provide solutions that both drivers and their clients face with a subscription-based model for the drivers. Drivers will pay a monthly fee and keep the profits that they make from the rides. The founder also explained that he was shocked when learned that drivers felt that they were being unfairly treated and that they were unable to earn money due to the market being oversaturated.

Tech Trivia Answer: Hotmail

Hotmail service was founded by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith in 1996, and was acquired a year later (1997) by Microsoft for an estimated $400 million. Upon acquisition by Bill Gates, it was further developed into a personal information manager web app from Microsoft consisting of webmail, contacts, tasks, and calendaring services under a new name: OUTLOOK.

Before the name change, however, it was first relaunched as MSN Hotmail, and later rebranded to Windows Live Hotmail which was featured as part of the Windows Live suite of products. Microsoft phased out Hotmail in October 2011, relaunching the service as Outlook.com in 2012.

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