These latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.
1. Toyota Tsusho leads round in Kenyan mobility company
Kenyan mobility company, Data Integrated (DI), has announced the receipt of an undisclosed investment from Toyota Tsusho, the trading arm of the Toyota Group. The new raiser for DI, which provides matatu cooperatives with bus management and digital ticketing systems, go on to stand as one of Totoya’s numerous channels to enrich society by creating social and capital value. Industry insights revealed that the 8 year old company provides around 3,000 bus operators under 40 matatu cooperatives with access to bus management and digital ticketing platform as it helps to make public transport systems in Kenya more efficient.
Speaking on the development as an equity investor, Toyota Tshusho stated that it saw huge opportunities in the Kenyan mobility space as the Kenya Transport Authority imposes a cashless payment policy in the public transport sector as a preventative measure against COVID-19. “Under such circumstances, Data Integrated launched its cashless payment system approved by the authority as well as a passenger application for bus searching, booking and payment, which fully leverages its operators’ network in order to further contribute to hygienic public bus services together with the government,” the company said in a statement.
2. Karri launches feature to help schools screen students for COVID-19
A South African startup, Karri, which initially helps schools collect payments from parents via a mobile app, has launched a new feature that allows schools to screen students for COVID-19 before they arrive in the premises. The 3 year old company, which started out in partnership with Nedbank, launched with a pilot in four schools across the Western Cape, but is now in use across hundreds of schools across Africa. According to press, the payments platform allows schools collecting funds for various things to message parents, who are able to quickly make payments via the app. It reconciles what payments have been received and sends reminders, leveraging supports from Nedbank.
Doug Hoernle, founder of Karri, in an interview with press, stated that the Karri team had thrown “enormous effort” into enhancing and improving both the Karri dashboard and app over the course of 2020, releasing a free feature which helps schools effectively screen students for COVID-19 before they arrive on the school premises. Explaining its functionality, the team head noted that the new attendance feature requests parents to screen their child via the Karri app from the comfort and safety of their home, by simply filling out a questionnaire which is instantly returned to schools via the Karri dashboard.
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. Jack Ma’s company steps forward to become world’s biggest share offering at £26bn
Ant Group, a financial technology company belonging to Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, has stepped new heights as it reportedly aims to raise more than $34bn (£26.15bn) through public stock. The feat, if achieved, will rank the group as the world’s biggest initial public offering, valuing the business at more than $313bn. The group, snubbing the U.S., plans to list on Shanghai and Hong Kong stock markets. As of Monday, Oct. 26, Ant Group sets the price for its much anticipated flotation to beat the record $25.6bn sold by state-backed oil giant Saudi Aramco in its flotation last December, sources familiar with the bid reported.
According to the Jack Ma company, its management team had decided to bypass US markets, acknowledging that it is splitting its shares equally between the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock markets as it seeks to raise about $17.2bn in each city. Analysts noted, however, that the snub of US markets, which are already replete with tech giants from Google and Facebook to Apple and Amazon, is a coup for Asia’s financial centres and comes amid rising political and trade tensions between Beijing and Washington. Recall that the Donald Trump’s administration has proposed legislation that could force Chinese companies to delist from US markets if they refuse to provide regulators with access to their audit reports.
4. Botswana’s Ponatshego launches digital marketplace to support vendors
In a bid to help vendors sell all types of goods to customers online, Botswanan startup Ponatshego has launched a digital marketplace. Founded only three months ago by Motshidisi Joseph Ngaiti and William George Whittle, Ponatshego, according to startup’s blueprint, was built to ease the way in which business is done in Botswana and the rest of Africa. With the hardship of vendors in mind, Ngaiti, one of the company’s founder stated that the vision was to ease this difficulty that has been crippling businesses from thriving. He said: “The main mission of Ponatshego is to ease the difficulty all vendors face in getting their goods to the final consumer.”
In achieving this, the company through its online venture, gives vendors of products such as electronics, clothing and luxury products a platform to showcase their wares and make a final sale to a customer anywhere in the world. Speaking on the market size and opportunity, Ngaiti said there were few competitors in Botswana that provide a similar service, but none of the existing players has been able to secure adequate market share. Today, however, the self-funded Ponatshego has built a steady user base and already made BWP40,000 (US$3,500) in revenues.
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.
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