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



Meta, TikTok, Andela, Google, Wattpad, Capital One, Lightspark, La Famiglia, Alerzo, Contanna, Over-C were some of the names that made the headlines in the tech ecosystem this week.

Elon Musk, during the week, apologised to a former employee of Twitter, Haraldur Thorleifsson, who was locked out of his account along with 200 others.

Also, Tabulio, a Nigerian startup, launched a social networking platform aimed at connecting African tech talent with global opportunities.

Let’s get into details.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is reportedly considering the development of a standalone platform for sharing text updates.

The new platform, which is codenamed P92, could potentially pose a threat to Twitter, which seems to be struggling under the new leadership of Elon Musk.

Meta’s spokesperson who spoke with CNN noted that the platform would be a separate space for creators and public figures to share timely updates about their interests.

Bytedance-owned TikTok, during the week, convinced a federal jury in Los Angeles that its Stitch function does not infringe upon the trademark rights of British video editing company Stitch Editing Ltd.

A Stitch spokesperson, while confirming the development, expressed disappointment with the verdict in a statement on Friday.

Ripples Nigeria gathered that Stitch Editing had requested $116 million in damages.

Also, Mark Zuckerberg-owned tech company, Meta, has announced working on a decentralized text-based app.

In a statement on Friday, Meta acknowledged this development but withheld further information regarding the app’s anticipated release date.

Read also:TikTok introduces new data security regulations. 2 other stories and a trivia

Ripples Nigeria gathered that this new decentralized app, codenamed P92, is still under development.

On acquisition, Andela, a global job placement network, during the week, announced the acquisition of the technical skills assessment platform, Qualified.

Jeremy Johnson, founder, and CEO of Andela confirmed the acquisition in a media release seen by Ripples Nigeria on Friday.

Jeremy Johnson, Nigerian businesswoman Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, American education reformer Christina Sass, and Canadian startup creator Ian Carnevale are the minds behind the 2014 launch of Andela in Africa.

Meanwhile, a new data security policy known as “Project Clover” has been introduced by popular short-form video hosting service platform, TikTok.

Theo Bertram, VP of government relations and public policy, confirmed the development in a statement on Thursday.

Ripples Nigeria understands that the new project was introduced in response to mounting criticism from legislators on both sides of the Atlantic.

In honor of International Women’s Day, Google has unveiled three new programs focused on empowering African women business owners and giving them the tools they need to be successful.

The head of the start-up ecosystem: in Africa, Folarin Aiayegbusi, confirmed this in a statement seen by Ripples Nigeria on Thursday.

The search engine giant launched the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa: Women Founders Cohort, the Hustle Academy for Women-Led SMEs, and a social media series, #WomeninIT, to celebrate inspiring women in Africa’s technology sector.

Popular storytelling platform, Wattpad, announced that it has laid off 15% (42 of 267) of its workforce.

The company blamed the current economic climate for the cost-cutting measures in a blog post seen by Ripples Nigeria on Thursday.

According to the blog post, the departing staff will receive at least 12 weeks of severance pay and six more months of benefits.

Pawel Swiatek, a former managing vice president of Capital One, has been appointed by Moniepoint to serve as its chief operating officer.

Moniepoint disclosed this in a statement seen by Ripples Nigeria on Wednesday.

Before joining Capital One, Swiatek spent ten years as a member of the management team at the hedge fund Bridgewater, where he helped the company grow from 150 workers to over 2,000.

Xapo Private Bank has announced a partnership with Lightspark to integrate with the Lightning Network, enabling its customers to make lightning-fast Bitcoin payments.

Rocca, CEO of Xapo Private Bank, confirmed the partnership in a media release on Wednesday.

Xapo Private Bank bills itself as a fully licensed private bank that allows deposits in Bitcoin and USDC.

A Berlin-based venture capital firm, La Famiglia, has secured approximately $260M (€250 million) for its third combined seed fund.

The family of Founding Partner, Dr. Jeannette zu Fürstenberg, confirmed the funding in a statement on Wednesday.

Ripples Nigeria gathered that the fund has a vertical focus on topics such as “Industry 4.0,” data, logistics, and supply chains, consumerization of B2B, fintech, and insurtech.

Elon Musk has apologised to a former employee of Twitter, Haraldur Thorleifsson, who was locked out of his account along with 200 others.

Haraldur had tweeted Elon Musk in hopes of getting an answer when he didn’t receive any response from Twitter about his job status.

The employee was met with a surreal Twitter exchange where Musk questioned his disability and suggested that he was looking for a big payout.

Nigerian B2B e-commerce startup, Alerzo, has laid off 15% of its workforce in the second round of layoffs.

Adewale Opaleye, founder and CEO at Alerzo, who confirmed the development in a statement on Tuesday noted that the layoff was informed by the economic challenges the startup is facing in Nigeria.

The development comes seven months after the corporation reduced its 2000-person team by 5% citing need to digitize its operations.

A Senegalese tea start-up, Contanna, has won $25k in an AgriPitch competition.

Adja Sembene Fall, Contanna’s founder, confirmed the development in a media release on Tuesday.

The success of her business has been largely attributed to the internet launch of the luxury tea items brand.

Property management software platform, Over-C, has announced securing £1 million (about $1.2 million) in equity investment from Ayre Ventures.

Michael Elliott, founder, and chief executive of Over-C, confirmed the funding in a media release on Tuesday.

Over-C claims it is at the forefront of risk management technology, with its adoption of blockchain technology, which solves challenges related to scalability, single points of failure, time stamping, privacy, trust, and reliability.

Tabulio, a Nigerian startup, has launched a social networking platform aimed at connecting African tech talent with global opportunities.

The startup was founded by Tosh Ajibade and Chris Steve in 2019 and was released as an MVP in 2021.

Through the platform, the team enables users to showcase their work, connect with potential employers and network with other tech talents.

Kenyan startup, SafiriSalama, has launched what it claims to be Africa’s first end-of-life services platform, offering a range of digital tools and services for handling the final stages of life.

The platform, according to report, includes digital death notices, memorials, and a directory of funeral service providers.

SafiriSalama’s digital platform aims to ensure that individuals are connected to the best service providers and can manage the death of a loved one in the best means possible.

The Turkish Competition Authority announced on Monday that it had fined Twitter’s billionaire owner Elon Musk 0.1% of the company’s Turkish gross income for 2022.

The fine, according to the body, was placed because the takeover occurred without the board’s consent.

The board, which disclosed this in a statement, noted that the ruling would be open to a legal challenge.

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