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LATEST TECH NEWS: Utopia opens call for Lagos Urban Innovation Challenge. 4 other things and a trivia you need to know today, May 26, 2020

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

1. Utopia opens call for Lagos Urban Innovation Challenge

Utopia has made another call for startups to enter the Lagos Urban Innovation Challenge, a virtual urban accelerator designed to scale techpreneurs and their ventures. The organisation, as a player in the tech industry, is stepping in to help foster and fund innovation in emerging market cities.

According to Utopia’s Lagos managing partner Emmanuel Adegboye, the challenge aims to promote solutions that can help solve critical urban issues in Lagos, Nigeria. The challenge is open to early stage startups and social entrepreneurs with solutions that can shape the Lagos of the future.

2. Kenya’s Mesozi Group raises $350k

Mesozi Group, leading Kenyan tech company, has raised a $350 000 investment to fund the expansion of its retail tech platform MarketForce 360. The group made this announcement on Tuesday, May 26, acknowledging that the investment came from Viktoria Business Angels Network (VBAN), Growing Africa Capital and a number of global venture capital (VC) companies.

The 7 year old company deals in a wide range of services to include online travel booking service Cloud9xp, which in June 2019 merged with travel company HeartBeat Adventures. According to statements from the company, the investment will go directly into the group’s subsidiary and “flagship” product, MarketForce 360, a field sales and distribution automation software platform.

Tech Trivia:

Which tech company changed its motto to “Do the right thing” in 2015?

A. PayPal
B. Google
C. Twitter
D. Facebook

Answer: See end of post.

3. Ethiopian ed-tech startup launches home-schooling initiative

Ethiopian ed-tech startup, Accelerated, has announced launch of a coaching program for parents, Parentsy, on Telegram to help them adapt to the new reality of home-schooling. The startup, which was founded in 2016, was established to address poor education outcomes by improving the quality of teaching in Africa, starting in Ethiopia.

READ ALSO: LATEST TECH NEWS: Africa’s Access Afya receives funding from America’s MIT. 4 other things and a trivia you need to know today, May 25, 2020

Review on the startup indicated that it blends behavioural sciences, technology and classroom data in order to build a unique teacher-coaching platform for the African context, and has so far trained over 2,000 teachers and impacted over 35,000 students in East Africa. However, with children now stuck at home during the COVID-19 crisis, parents are forced to become teachers themselves. The Parentsy initiative is a mobile-based coaching programme to support parents in Ethiopia who are home-schooling their children.

4. Uber cuts 600 jobs in India

Uber has reportedly cut about 600 jobs in India, a figure equivalent to 25% of its workforce in the country. Uber made this announcement on Tuesday as it looks to cut costs to steer through the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the ride-hailing firm, the job cuts will affect teams across customer and driver support, business development, legal, policy, marketing, and finance. And, is entered into as part of the company’s global restructuring that eliminated 6,700 jobs this month. Reports indicated that the American giant, said it was providing 10 to 12 weeks of salary to the employees who were being let go, in addition to offering them medical insurance for the next six months.

5. Food delivery firm Meituan hits $100B valuation amid pandemic in China

China’s industry reports on shares have revealed that Meituan’s shares hit a record high on Tuesday, May 26, bringing its valuation to over $100 billion. The Hong Kong-listed giant becomes the third Chinese firm to reach the landmark valuation.

Market archive confirmed that Tencent and Alibaba respectively topped the number back in 2013 and 2014. Meituan, as a firm, focuses on food delivery with smaller segments in travel and transportation. Market analysts have noted that the Tencent’s investment in Meituan was responsible for the raise to HK$138 ($17.8) on Tuesday after it earmarked a smaller-than-projected decrease in revenue during Q1.

Tech Trivia Answer: Google

As you likely know, the phrase “Don’t be evil” was the company’s motto for about 15 years from around 2000, Google, has, however, changed it to “Do the right thing” in October 2015 after corporate restructuring under the new conglomerate Alphabet Inc.

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