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TechNigeria: A weekly digest of what went down in Nigeria’s tech space



Kudi, PAL, Rapido, Opay, Techstar, Umba, Spoilz Games, Simpu, and Kippa. These are some of the names that made the headlines this week.

Simpu, a Nigerian customer engagement startup, raised a $1 million pre-seed funding round to help brands deliver better customer engagement experiences.

Also, instant messaging platform, WhatsApp, during the week, launched a new feature designed to help users to join private communities.

Let’s get into details.

What do you do when your startup is battling an identity challenge where your leads take another company as yours? You rebrand, and make some noise around it!

Nigerian financial technology company, Kudi, during the week, rebranded its business name to Nomba.

The company claims that the rebranding was necessary as it seeks to transit into an omni-channel payment platform providing tools to enable businesses grow.

Ripples Nigeria, however, learnt that the rebranding was informed by its closeness in identity to Nigerian digital bank, Kuda, leading to inherent confusion amongst users. Cool?

Africa continues on its financial inclusion mission. Tech correspondent, Ridwan Adelaja, makes case for a Ghanaian startup contributing its quota to see this through.

A Ghanaian fintech startup, PAL, during the week, launched a payment service infrastructure it developed to help financial institutions solve industry-related challenges.

According to PAL, the new service infrastructure is expected to drive financial inclusion in African countries without proper payment infrastructure.

Founded in January 2020 by Dady Maël and Kader Saka, the startup helps Financial institutions, Banks, global brands and remittance businesses disburse money to different mobile network wallets in multiple currencies across Africa. Amazing?

Heavy raisers have become a commonplace feature in some countries outside Africa. They are so intimidating that some raisers closed by African startups are declared undisclosed.

During the week, Rapido, an Indian commercial bike startup, secured $180M in Series D financing round.

Ripples Nigeria reported that the new raiser was led by Swiggy and saw participation from TVS Motor Company and existing investors to include Westbridge, Shell Ventures and Nexus Ventures.

The funding comes as the Indian startup seeks to broaden its fleet network across the country. Promising?

Read also: P&G Egypt partners UNTAP Technologies to launch Unbox Innovation Challenge

So, you want to build a community of work professionals but you don’t want to do Facebook and other platforms. Guess Whatsapp it’s now an option.

Instant messaging platform, WhatsApp, launched a new feature designed to help users to join private communities.

The Chief Executive of Meta Group, Mark Zuckerberg, disclosed this in a post on his Facebook page Thursday.

According to Mark, the new feature named “Communities” would serve users seeking to organise their group chats and find information. Worth trying?

While Flutterwave is enmeshed in scandals, other Fintech players are opening new fronts and pivoting new products. Here is what Opay is up to.

Chinese fast growing fintech company, Opay, during the week got approval from the Central Bank of Egypt to issue prepaid cards through their OPay application.

Opay’s Head of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships in the region, Mahmoud Khedr, disclosed this in a press release on Thursday.

The development, according to Mahmoud, comes in partnership with Masria Digital Payments, a software company that supports banks, financial institutions, and fintech startups with end-to-end financial solutions. Remarkable?

So, what is the place of Nigeria in the scheme of things? Is the country getting any mention and the necessary attention?

During the week under review, American seed accelerator, Techstar, shortlisted three Nigerian startups for participation in its Techstars NYC accelerator program.

The shortlisted startups include Torche, Vesti, and Voyance, according to the Techstar team.

Since its inception in 2006, the company has accepted over 1,600 companies into its programs with a combined market capitalization of $18.2bn USD. Spectacular?

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