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



Earnipay, Baidu, Wosul, ChatGPT, CDcare, Korfaw, Chumz, Waymo, Uber, WhatsApp, Brolly, iProcure, Stripe were some of the names that made the headlines in the tech ecosystem this week.

Also, a Nigerian startup connecting and empowering tailors, fitted, has announced developing a digital platform that uses machine learning to eliminate inefficiencies in the custom tailoring industry.

Let’s get into details.

Nigerian fintech startup, Earnipay, which provides flexible and on-demand salary access to income-earners, has completed a $4 million funding round.

Founded by Nonso Onwuzulike in 2019, Earnipay integrates employer payroll and Human Resources Management (HRM) systems to enable on-demand financing for employees to access their salary instantly without interest.

Its solution helps organisations improve employee engagement and productivity by relieving financial stress caused by eliminating the need for a salary advance or predatory payday loans with interest rates.

Chinese search engine giant, Baidu, has announced its intention to launch a new product, Ernie 3.5, a generative AI large-language model that will power Baidu’s ChatGPT-like app.

The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Robin Li,, who made the announcement at the Zhongguancun Forum on Friday, said the plan was to showcase the best of China through the new product.

Ripples Nigeria gathered that the Zhongguancun Forum is one of the biggest technology events in China with the country’s big wigs often in attendance.

Saudi Arabia-based fintech, Wosul Payments, has closed a $3.2 million seed round led by Khalab’s company.

A group of investors in fintech and retail participated in the seed round.

Wosul was founded in 2020 by Fahd Alghamdi as a cloud-based Point of Sale (PoS) system that enables merchants to accept digital transactions online or in-store.

With the new investment, the startup looks to scale its operations across its home market by expanding its pool of merchants.

ChatGPT developer company, OpenAI, has announced on Thursday, May 25, 2023, that Nigeria has been included on the list of countries to try the ChatGPT app, making it the first African country to access the app.

This move, according to industry analysts, marks a milestone for both OpenAI and Nigeria, as the innovative chatbot makes its way to a diverse range of global users.

Ripples Nigeria gathered that OpenAI launched the ChatGPT mobile app exclusively on iOS and within the United States a week ago.

Nigerian loan and savings startup, CDcare, has recorded a new milestone of passing 500,000 download mark.

The startup revealed this in a media release seen by Ripples Nigeria on Thursday, May 25, 2023.

The startup, which was founded in 2019, combines savings and loans features in its marketplace.

Since its inception, the startup allows users to automate the payment of a monthly or weekly amount towards buying an appliance.

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

Nigerian startup, Korfaw Industries, has announced launching an emergency app called NauNau SOS.

The startup made the announcement in a press release signed by CEO Kaosarat Fawehinmi, as seen by Ripples Nigeria on Wednesday, May 24, 2023.

Ripples Nigeria gathered that the Startup allows users to send an SOS to five pre-selected contacts along with a 15-second video, GPS location and custom message during an emergency.

Kenyan startup, Chumz, has launched a goal-based mobile app that helps users save and invest money from their mobile money accounts.

The startup made the announcement on Wednesday, in the press release, noting that users can save as little as US$0.05.

According to the founder, co-founder, Samuel Njuguna, noted that the startup was founded in 2019, and was licensed in 2020.

Ripples Nigeria gathered that the platform works by channeling funds collected from a user’s mobile money account to a licensed fund manager.

Two rivals in the autonomous vehicle space, Waymo and Uber, have announced a new partnership aimed at expanding their self-driving car services and generating more business.

The new collaboration marks a significant step forward in their efforts to make autonomous vehicles a mainstream mode of transportation.

According to Waymo, the organization will make its advanced Waymo Driver available to a wider audience through the Uber platform.

WhatsApp, the centralized instant messaging platform owned by the United States tech conglomerate, Meta, has introduced a new feature that enable users to edit messages several minutes after they had been sent.

Chief Executive Officer of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

The feature which allows users to edit their messages at least 15 minutes after pressing the “send” button will come into effect in the coming weeks.

Brolly, a Ghanaian insurtech startup specialising in affordable car insurance, has been selected to participate in the Summer 2023 cohort of the Techstars accelerator in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The startup made the revelation in a media statement on Monday, noting that the opportunity opened it team to securing access to mentorship, US$120,000 in funding and the opportunity to secure further investment at demo day.

That startup, which is committed to providing fair pricing, convenient payment options, and hassle-free claims processes, is one of 12 companies selected from over 300 applicants.

A Kenyan data-driven agricultural input supply company, iProcure, has announced its expansion into Tanzania.

The startup made the announcement on Monday, noting that its expansion was facilitated through its partnership with the Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA).

Ripples Nigeria gathered that it launched in 2013, and has developed its own distribution infrastructure, connecting major agricultural input suppliers directly to local agro-dealers via its proprietary distribution technology system.

Financial infrastructure, Stripe has announced partnering with Airbnb to power bank payments for Airbnb guests.

Stripe confirmed the development in a statement on Monday, May 22, 2023.

According to media sources, the deal will allow Airbnb guests to use Stripe Financial Connections to securely and instantly add their bank account as a payment method.

As payment by bank is growing in popularity, guests can use Link, Stripe’s native one-click checkout, to quickly make bank payments for all future bookings.

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