Welcome to another edition of the Weekly RoundUp. Quite a lot happened during the week and we have tried to bring them to your notice. Uber, Microtraction, Buycoins, Zoom and many more made it to this edition.
Again, thank you so much for reading and always recommending to your network.
- Buycoins Africa has discontinued its Referral Program after investigation showed irrgularities on the part of the users with multiple accounts. Buycoins is a marketplace and exchange for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and USD Coin. Link
Why this is Important: Referral System or bonuses and voucher codes are affordable routes to customer acquisition. With heightened distrust on the part of startups in using them, the higher the costs of acquiring and retaining customers.
- Nigeria’s early stage fund Microtraction, has announced its partnership with Smile Identity. Smile Identity is a digital Know Your Customer (KYC) solution provider. With Smile Identity, Microtraction’s portfolio companies will have access to speedy and quality KYC service when needed in their operations. According to Microtraction ‘ Smile Identity’s platform offers our portfolio companies the ability to scale rapidly as they already process over 200,000 KYC checks each month across 5 African countries with an average response time of seven seconds. ‘
Smile Identity’s service offering covers address verification, bank account verification and tax and business confirmation. Link.
Why this is Important : Partnership is the faster route to growth for startups especially in Africa where various hurdles are in the path of businesses with scarce resources. This partnership further makes Microtraction a favourable early stage fund for startups. If we could recall, it had similar partnership with Longe Practice, a law firm.
- Twitter is currently testing its own version of Stories called Fleets. Like other stories versions on other apps, Twitter’s will disappear after 24hrs and with a max length of 2mins 20secs. Link
Why this is Important : This could be Twitter either getting on the Stories train seeing Instagram, Whatsapp, Snap and even YouTube all have this feature or it could be a feature to stimulate some engagements due to the ephemeral nature.
Going to India signals its seriousness considering it has about ~50m users there with rich diversity. The rationale behind testing it in Brazil and Italy as well is yet to be known, for now.
- Last week, Zoom got involved in a PR disaster. It disabled accounts of activists commemorating the Tiananmen Square Massacre in June 1989. Activists in the US using the product during the ceremony lost access including paid users. Zoom has however, tried to clarify its position and apologized for poor judgement. Link
Why this is Important : This confirms regulators’ doubts about Zoom’s independence from the Communist Party considering it cited local (Chinese) laws as part of the reasons for the take-down and the founder’s Chinese heritage. As a company gaining traction, being the bone of contention between the US and China is not a position they can afford right now, especially with competition around. This could lead to a gradual boycott of Zoom and a strengthening of its near competition.
- Uber has launched payment wallet for its African market which can be funded using either Verve card or mobile money. This was in partnership with payment processor, Flutterwave. Link
Why this is Important: This should save time wasted on payment reconciliation after ride. It could reduce robberies as payments are made via wallets after ride. Cases of drivers unknowingly accepting fake currencies would reduce.
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