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5 - 9 - 2018

Good morning!

Ventures Platform has announced a $100,000 investment in health startup MDaaS Global. MDaaS was selected as part of the first cohort for TechStars Impact Accelerator in July and was also chosen to participate in Harvard Innovation Lab's 2018 Venture Incubation Program. MDaaS builds and operates low-cost diagnostic centers and also supplies medical equipment in Nigeria and across Africa.

Kenyan logisitics firm Bwala Group has raised $99,300 (Sh10 million) debt financing from CFC Stanbic in order to expand its fleet. The firm is planning to add eight new trucks to its fleet, four of which will be funded by the raise while the others will be funded internally with $139,000 (Sh14 million). Furthermore, it is piloting its escrow system dubbed BwalaPay, to help merchants collect cash on delivery.

Fashpa, a pan-African online fashion store based out of Nigeria, has been accepted into Dream Assembly. Dream Assembly is a fashion and retail tech accelerator put together by Farfetch. The startup will join 10 others to attend a 12-week programme in Lisbon & Porto and also a one week growth bootcamp in San Francisco organized by 500 Startups.

MTN's woes in Nigeria are far from over, the latest being a $2 billion tax claim. The tax claim according to the office of Nigeria's attorney general relate to the import of foreign equipment and payments to suppliers within the last decade. MTN's self assessment which authorities rejected revealed that it only owed (and had paid) $700 million. The variance between what authorities claim and MTN's assessment, according to Bloomberg's report, is due to different interpretations of charges ranging from VAT and withholding tax to import duties by the Nigerian government.

Good news for MTN, the company has now realized about $303 million in cash from the sale of its subsidiary in Cyprus. The company sold the subsidiary to Monaco Telecom as part of an ongoing portfolio review which reduces the number of countries it operates in to 21. MTN was previously quoted as saying the Cyprus subsidiary was outside the group’s core footprint of Africa and the Middle East.

Following participation in its $3.5 million Series A funding in April, mSurvey has appointed Richard Owen to its board. Richard Owen is the CEO of OWEN CX Group, Co-Creator of Net Promoter Score (via Satmetrix where he was CEO) and has been an advisor to mSurvey since 2017.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has decided to impose a fine of $4.47 million on Safaricom for failing to help smaller operators. The regulator also accused the telco (in a letter reviewed by Reuters) of refusing to co-operate in resolving a complaint it received from Elige Communications Ltd (a smaller operator) that Safaricom was blocking calls to its network. In response, Safaricom rejected the claims saying it had complied with all instructions from CA and it stated that Elige Communications flouted its licence conditions by carrying international traffic instead of local calls.

Perhaps taking a leaf from Uganda and Zambia, the Republic of Benin is the latest African nation to tax its citizens for using the internet. Beninese will now pay a fee of 5 CFA francs ($0.008) per megabyte consumed through services like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter. There's now a 5% levy on texting and calls in addition to already existing taxes. Citizens and advocates are already calling on authorities to cancel the levy with the hashtag #Taxepamesmo (“Don’t tax my megabytes”).

Seedstars has announced the nine startups that will participate at its Dakar pitch event on September 7. The startups are as follows: Dakar Lives (travel & tourism platform), Loyset (lost document recovery), Mtick (digital ticket marketplace), MusikBi (music & entertainment platform), OniriQ (off-grid energy), Paps (on-demand delivery), Townpay (payments), Sunubus (transport & logisitics) and Weebi (POS Solution). Check out our list of notable Francophone African startups.

Uber's planned acquisition of Careem in Egypt has been stalled following concerns raised by Egypt's Competition Authority (ECA). The ECA stated that documents filed by Uber for the acquisition could be translated as collusion by two competitors in the same industry which could have a negative impact on competition in the country's ride hailing industry.

Aqarmap, an Egyptian online real estate marketplace, has raised an undisclosed amount of investment from Dubai-based Wamda Capital, Kuwait’s KISP Ventures and Saudi’s Raed Ventures. The startup which helps users buy, sell and rent properties in Egypt & Saudi Arabia raised its first investment in 2011 and facilitated the sale of 15,000 units worth over $650 million last year.

South African ICT services and consulting company, Ulwembu Business Services is in talks to acquire a stake in ISP, SAFibre. The acquisition is expected to be complete next month and SAFibre's name will remain the same regardless. 

Why Nigeria’s tech ecosystem shouldn’t be built exclusively with foreign capital by Abasiama Idaresit

From TechCabal

Road Transport Regulation Is A Giant Mess In Nigeria

What’s Driving The Uptick In Investments In Africa’s OffGrid Energy Start-Ups?



 

That's all!


We'll be back tomorrow.
 
- Olanrewaju

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