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



Twitter, Accenture, VKAV, TikTok, Canva, Whatsapp, SpaceX, Microsoft, Baidu, Kakao, Duolingo, Cysiv MEA, were some of the names that made the headlines in the tech ecosystem this week.

Professional services giant, Accenture, has announced plans to cut 19,000 jobs or 2.5% of its global workforce.

Also, Microsoft-owned professional networking site, LinkedIn, is launching AI-powered writing recommendations feature to aid profile optimization and recruitment.

Let’s get into details.

Elon Musk’s micro-blogging site, Twitter, has announced a new 30 day waiting time for accounts to buy Twitter Blue. Twitter Blue made the announcement on its page as seen by Ripples Nigeria on Friday.

The company initially announced that newly created accounts would wait for 90 days before they could subscribe to Twitter Blue.

While noting that the team has reviewed the waiting period to 30 days, the notice noted that changes on the waiting period is subjected to the company’s discretion.

Professional services giant, Accenture, has announced plans to cut 19,000 jobs or 2.5% of its global workforce.

The company disclosed this in its SEC filing seen by Ripples Nigeria on Friday.

According to the filing, Accenture’s sales increased 5% to $15.8 billion while the company returned $1.8 billion in cash to shareholders in the second quarter.

Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures (VKAV) has received $43 million, as part of its ongoing fundraising for its pan-African venture fund.

VKAV Partner Ory Okolloh confirmed the funding in a statement on Friday.

VKAV, a joint venture between Kepple Africa Ventures and Verod Capital Management Limited (Verod Capital), was established in 2022.

The Chinese government has declared its opposition to a possible plan by the United States to force a sale of TikTok.

China made the announcement in a statement issued on Thursday where it responded to threats by US federal regulators.

The resistance comes after a testimony by CEO Shou Zi Chew, to ban the social media app in the U.S. over concerns about national security and data privacy.

Australian global multinational graphic design platform, Canva, has launched new set of features, including several AI-powered tools.

The Sydney-based tech company disclosed this on its verified Twitter handle on Thursday.

Launched during its Canva Create virtual event, the company said the Assistant lets users search for design elements, and provide quick access to features.

Mark Zuckerberg has announced that a new desktop Windows version of WhatsApp has been released with functionality identical to the iOS and Windows phone apps.

The 38-year-old Meta Platforms cofounder announced this on his verified Facebook page on Thursday.

According to Zuckerberg’s post, the new Windows app enables end-to-end encrypted group calling and the updated WhatsApp for Windows supports video calls with up to 8 people and audio calls with up to 32 people.

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

A multibillion-dollar funding round for SpaceX is planned to be participated in by the UAE’s Alpha Dhabi investment group and Badeel, a subsidiary of a Saudi Arabian investment fund.

Sources familiar with the development disclosed this in a statement seen by Ripples Nigeria on Thursday.

Ripples Nigeria understands that Investors have been informed by the company and Morgan Stanley representatives that the United Arab Emirates Alpha Dhabi and Saudi Arabia’s Water and Electricity Holding Company are contributors to the investment round.

Bill Gates’ company, Microsoft, has stated today that users will be able to create photos with Bing Chat as it deploys a new AI-enabled Bing.

The tech giant made the announcement in a blogpost on Wednesday. Ripples Nigeria understands that the new feature is powered by DALL-E, OpenAI’s generative image generator.

According to Microsoft, the plan is to introduce the feature to Balanced and Precise mode users in the future and fine-tune the system’s behaviour in multi-step chats.

The Ernie Bot chatbot, developed by Chinese internet giant Baidu, is set to compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Baidu disclosed the development in a statement seen by Ripples Nigeria on Wednesday.

With the help of Baidu’s ERNIE (Enhanced Representation via Knowledge Integration) deep learning AI model, Ernie Bot claims it can solve mathematical equations and produce graphics and movies in response to text commands.

Kakao Mobility has acquired Splyt, a startup out of London to expand its geographical footprints. CTO of Splyt, Stephen Mason, confirmed the acquisition in a statement on Wednesday.

Ripples Nigeria gathered that Splyt and Kakao Mobility have already collaborated, and the company hopes to use the asset to forward its goals for worldwide expansion in Southeast Asia and Europe.

Splyt is a startup out of London that works with apps in areas like travel, ride-hailing, and finance to help them build out “super app” strategies by integrating other services.

Popular language learning app, Duolingo is set to debut a music learning app. The company recently made a job listing relating to the app on its career page.

Duolingo, founded in 2011 by Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker, has grown to become one of the most popular language-learning apps in the world.

The Pittsburgh-based tech company said: “Duolingo is venturing into teaching music! Our strengths lie in building educational apps that are grounded in learning science and keep learners motivated — come join us to help build a new Duolingo music app that promotes learning and is fun to use!”

Liquid Intelligent Technologies has announced the acquisition of Cysiv MEA, formerly known as SecureMisr, to expand its activities across the Middle East and Africa.

Sherif Shaltout, VP of Operations, Cysiv MEA confirmed the acquisition in a statement seen by Ripples Nigeria on Tuesday.

Ripples Nigeria gathered that this is the latest in the company’s acquisition drive having acquired an Israeli-based technology company, Telrad, in 2022.

Wingtra’s drones used by many organizations around including NASA has secured $22 million in Series B funding.

Co-founder and CEO Maximillion Boosfeld confirmed the funding in a statement on Tuesday.

The company claims its drones are used to perform surveying missions by organizations around the world, including NASA and the Army Corps of Engineers.

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