July 14, 2020

Hi,

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Weekly Roundup.  Quite a few interesting developments took place despite the lockdown in most countries and cities. We hope you do enjoy and share with your network of friends and colleagues across platforms. Please find below some of these developments.

 

  • Microsoft Edge is now the second  most-used desktop browser after Google-owned Chrome.  Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla’s Firefox now have 68.50% , 7.59% and 7.19% respectively.  Thanks to its expansion beyond Windows 10.  Link

Why this is important :  With Google’s domination of Search and Microsoft’s Bing occupying a second position,  this may be a fight Microsoft is willing to take on.  The possibility of winning is there as seen with its recent enthronement as the leader in Cloud business.

A contributory factor to Chrome’s dominance is Google’s partnership with Apple to make Chrome the iPhone’s official browser.  Of course,  this comes at steep cost.  To make a headway, Microsoft would have to develop interesting products which leads to more activation and usage of the Microsoft Edge.  Microsoft  could reach out to phone makers in large markets like India and Africa for easy adoption. There could be lessons from Opera browser for them.

 

  • Amazon Web Service (AWS)  officially launches an African presence in Cape Town,  South Africa. It is the 23rd AWS Region and Africa’s first.  It is also in compliance with South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), its variant of  the Global Data and Protection and Regulation (GDPR).  Link

Why this is important : Having lost the Cloud business leadership to Microsoft,  this seems a search for growth channels by Amazon.  Again,  we may witness a fight for the African consumers soon as Microsoft joins the race.

Importantly,  South Africa seems to have the right regulatory environment for tech business as we have seen.

 

  • Bundle Africa, a social payment app for cash and crypto, has launched.  This was announced with a Twitter thread by one of the founders, Yele Badamosi.  Bundle Africa allows a user send crypto and cash to a non-user via their phone numbers. However,  withdrawal must be done via the Android app. This is a swift onboarding tactic. For Bundle users,  cash and crypto transfers are  all free for the next three months. Link

Why this is important:   Despite the CBN’s reduction in transfer fees, Bundle may

witness some speedy adoption as Nigerians look for cheaper alternatives to avoid these charges.  Coupled with an impending economic crunch, avoidance of these costs would be a norm.

By allowing the buying and selling of Bitcoin as low as N500,  Nigerians seeking a safer store of value may have found an affordable option. In addition,  Bundle Africa may be enabling some form of ‘crypto-financial’ inclusion. The social aspect of Bundle Africa may likely tilt the balance for it in months/years ahead more people come online especially in Nigeria.

However,  despite assuring and clarifying the secured nature of the platform,  Bundle Africa should expect some scrutiny and regulations as they get the attention of financial institutions like the commercial banks.

 

  • Twiga Foods,  Kenya’s largest fresh fruits vendor,  has gone into a partnership with Jumia Kenya.  The partnership entails Jumia stocking up on Twiga’s products at a cheaper rate.  With a continent-wide lockdown,  this partnership becomes quite timely and needed.  Link

Why this is important :   This partnership gives Twiga an edge over competitors like Taimba, Hello Choice and M-Farm.  It further creates some room for Twiga to focus on sourcing for food from farms which seems to be the core of the business model.

For Jumia,  this is an inventory booster.  Seeing the financial chaos that has seen it close some country branches and Twiga’s ~17k farmers network,  this partnership may be a lifeline for Jumia Kenya.

 

  • Arone Technology, an eco-friendly and AI-powered drone delivery startup working out from Roar hub in the University of Nigeria,  Nsukka;  has signed a Research and Development MoU with Nigeria’s Ministry of Defense. This will form a partnership with the Navy,  Airforce and Army in the development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles also known  as drones.  Link

Why this is important :  The Nigerian military has been started by an expensive war in its North Eastern region, which has cost unprecedented human and material resources to prosecute.  Coupled with the drain on foreign exchange spent on procurement.  This partnership could reduce cost in that aspect.

Importantly,  the adoption of local technology leads to job creation and improve technology transfer to Nigeria. And with indigenous defense-supporting firms like Proforce and Innoson Motors,  Arone Technology may be solidifying Nigeria’s defense industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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