Welcome to this edition of the RoundUp. This week, we see Amazon make an attempt at hurting its rival, Microsoft. In Nigeria, states are crashing or totally eliminating Right of Way charges and many more.
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- A group of American senators on both sides of the aisle are sponsoring a bill to regulate contact-tracing apps. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, efforts have been made towards contact-tracing the infected. However, there have been concerns about the popular contact-tracing initiative between Google and Apple and we looked at them here.
A brief look at this bill suggests that ‘any data collected as part of coronavirus monitoring technology could not be used for commercial purposes, and users could request at any time to delete it. App makers and other companies behind contact-tracing tools further would have to notify users in the event of a breach, and the U.S. government would gain new powers to penalize privacy and security abuses, the bill prescribes.’ Link.
Why this is Important : This shows the level of distrust between the public and the tech companies. It further shows how increasingly important data has become. Again, this is a good attempt at protecting the users from profiling and discrimination post Covid-19. But technology companies have their ways. We might see contact-tracing fail as more users get suspicious of these monitoring apps.
- Slack, the office collaboration tool, has gone into partnership with e-commerce giant Amazon. This partnership entails Slack using Amazon’s Cloud service the Amazon Web Service(AWS) and will pick lessons from Amazon’s video technology to improve its video feature. In return, Amazon employees will use Slack for work collaborations.
Why this is Important : Seeing Slack has been struggling with growth as rivals like MicrosoftTeams grab its marketshare and with Amazon’s almost 1 million workers coming on board, it should experience huge growth next quarter. It added ~12,000 new users last quarter. Thanks to Covid-19 and Work From Home.
For Amazon, beyond retaining a Cloud customer, this is aimed at Microsoft. If we could recall, Microsoft had a similar partnership with Walmart, Amazon’s main rival.
- Microtraction, Nigeria’s early stage investment fund, has announced its investment in Chaka, an investment tool for publicly traded companies in Nigeria and abroad including Asia. Chaka notably joins Investbamboo and Risevest in that segment. Microtraction is supporting them on the reasons that our market is ‘ volatile ‘, a strong team and traction of over ~18,000 downloads and ~30,000 users since its 2019 launch year. Link.
Why this is Important : This is a subtle pointer to our depreciating economy as more Nigerians with disposable income look beyond Nigeria for investment stock options. Again, this is a gradual change in perception on the art of stock investment starting with young people.
- Anambra announced a total elimination of Right of Way charges from N600 to Zero per metre. It is in alignment with the National Broadband Plan of the Federal Government. Kwara state announced similar review few days ago. Link.
Why this is Important : This is healthy competition for talents and investment among states. However, we should go beyond Right of Way seeing it is almost become commoditized. States should consider other complementary services and policies to back this up.
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Tizeti’s CEO, Kendall Ananyi, has been asked to step down. Link
Alex Ohianian, co-founder of Reddit, has stepped down after 15 years. Link.
Amazon is considering a 5% stake in India’s Telecom company, Bharti. Link