Wednesday, 02 November 2022


Copy of Fincra Logo Main trans

Good morning!

Dennis here,

I begin today with salient questions about the Elon Musk's news cycle for the tech news corps.

The American journalist, Maggie Haberman in her new book Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America, writes about how the American media's obsession with access journalism, niche beat reporting and unpremeditated fact-checking allowed Donald Trump to hijack the news media's attention and ferried his way to the top.

I think that's happening again. The media has found its new cow and it would milk it for every single drop. Should we be reporting on every single tweet new media baron, Elon Musk puts out? By giving him all this attention, even as he trolls the media, is the media in the process of lionising another CEO, adept at seducing his social media followers with weird ideas of liberty? A kind of freedom that is really not about being free, but more about caging others?

But more seriously, is the media truly not aware of Musk's erratic decision-making tendencies, backtracking, chronic failures and sometimes outright Twitter banter?

Below are the tech stories and news you need to know to start your day, carefully curated by Technext.

Summary of the news

  • AWS has launched its 2nd African office in Lagos
  • Elon Musk has floated an $8 monthly Twitter subscription
  • Payhippo has acquired Nigeria's Maritime Microfinance Bank (MFB)
  • SA's Omnisient has raised funds led by Shoprite Group, Buffet Investments, KLT etc

Amazon Web Services opens Lagos office

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company, yesterday announced the opening of its first office in Lagos, Nigeria, Technext reports.

The new Lagos office is part of AWS’s support for the growing number of customers and partners in Nigeria. The office will support organizations of all sizes, including startups, enterprises, and public sector agencies as they make the transition to AWS Cloud.

By opening a Lagos office, AWS can better address the increase in customer and partner adoption of AWS services in Nigeria. With a local presence, AWS will support new and existing customers looking to use AWS products and services to innovate, lower their information technology (IT) costs, and grow their organizations in the cloud.

Amrote Abdella, the regional Manager of Sub -Saharan Africa at AWS said:

We are excited to open our first AWS office in Nigeria. Lagos offers a highly skilled and creative talent pool, and the area is home to many fast-growing startups and notable Nigerian enterprises leading the way in digital innovation.

We look forward to fostering the country’s pioneering spirit and helping our customers accelerate their digital transformation as they deliver innovative new products and services to the Nigerian community.

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Elon Musk floats $8 Twitter subscription

After much uncertainty around Twitter Blue’s revamp, Elon Musk laid out the company’s approach. He said that the new paid plan will cost $8 per month — something that he mentioned in a reply to Stephen King’s tweet. Plus, the price will be adjusted according to purchasing power parity of the country, hinting towards a global launch of Twitter Blue.

TechCrunch reports that Musk’s tweet also says that the social network’s current verification system is akin to a “lords & peasants” system. His tweet about the new paid plan indicated offering verification to subscribers.

Musk also noted some of the features that will roll out with this new plan including fewer ads, priority in replies (something which verified handles get through the “Verified” notification channel) mentions and search, and the ability post longer videos than the current limit of 2 minutes 20 seconds

Reports from TechCrunch yesterday also reveal that Twitter is ending support for ad-free articles offered under its Twitter Blue program. The company sent an email to participating publisher partners about the program’s end.

While Twitter is ending payments and partnerships with the current set of publishers, Musk said that it will create a new program for bypassing paywalls for publishers willing to work with the company. He also mentioned that the subscription revenue stream will help Twitter in rewarding content creators — but didn’t specify how.

Payhippo acquires Maritime Microfinance Bank (MFB)

Nigerian credit-led SME fintech startup, Payhippo has acquired Maritime Microfinance Bank (MFB), a microfinance bank that offers some banking products, demand deposits, and investments as well as micro and SME loans, Technext reports.

The acquisition is pending approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). When completed, it will enable the credit-led fintech to have direct access to Nigeria’s inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS).

According to a statement shared with Technext, both parties are working together to obtain the regulator’s approval.

The acquisition will also allow the startup to facilitate the sending and receiving of inter-bank transfers for its merchants with the integration of NIBSS. This means merchants will soon be able to perform all key financial functions from their Payhippo app.

Chairman of Maritime Microfinance Bank, Adetola Atekoja said:

Nigeria has an ever-growing need for SME lending solutions to help businesses meet their financial needs. We believe Payhippo is well-positioned to develop new and customized financial products for SMEs in the country.

The team is incredibly talented, resilient and exudes excellent leadership. I am very excited to welcome them onboard and look forward to supporting them in achieving their goals.

SA's Omnisient raise fund led by Shoprite Group, Buffet Investments, KLT etc

South African retailer, Shoprite Group has joined a group of investors, led by Buffet Investments and KLT, in an undisclosed expansion round in Omnisient, Africa’s first privacy-preserving data collaboration platform provider, TechCabal reports.

According to a press release, in partnership with Omnisient, Shoprite will be able to use customer data to better understand its customers and identify opportunities to create more value and improve financial inclusion for them.

Neil Schreuder, Chief of Strategy & Innovation of Shoprite Group’s data and customer technology unit said:

The decision to invest in Omnisient is the result of a considered effort to invest, partner and collaborate with start-ups as we continue to create a smarter Shoprite, while remaining resolute in our commitment to be Africa’s most accessible and affordable retailer

Omnisient, CEO and co-founder Jon Jacobson said:

This round of investment will be used to support our continued geographic expansion, as well as the ongoing development of our platform into the world’s leading source of consumer intelligence that fully complies with global consumer privacy regulations.

Latest in funding


Other stories we are following

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