Welcome to this week’s edition of the RoundUp. The highlight of this week’s edition is the Nigerian Stock Exchange Growth Board. For technology and tech-enabled businesses and SMEs, this is a new and exciting opportunity to locally source capital for growth.
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- The Nigerian Stock Exchange has unveiled its Growth Board. According to the release, ‘it is designed to encourage small-cap and growth-oriented companies with good corporate governance standards to list. It aims to encourage companies with high growth potential to seize the opportunity of raising long term capital and promote liquidity.’ This includes waiver on fee structure, reduced pre and post-listing obligations and increased turnaround time and approvals. Link
Why this is Important: This is clearly a case of the Nigerian government reaching out to the Nigerian technology and tech-enabled businesses to discourage further capital flight. Already, many Nigerian startups are incorporated outside Nigeria. This gesture could be a late but commendable attempt at salvaging a bad situation.
For the startups, especially those on growth trajectory and some product-market fit, this is another avenue to raise funds beyond venture and angel capital. Importantly, what would count as metrics to delist a business as a startup or SME after listing?
- Twitter this week launched its Voice feature on iOS. Just last week, it launched its ephemeral messaging feature, This now looks like a well-crafted product renewal strategy by Twitter. Analysts are predicting more features probably around payments to come next. Link.
hy this is Important: Twitter might be building moats around its business with these features. Although they are not extraordinary, however, they are nice-to-have features that either discourage exit or give reasons to users on other apps to find Twitter adaptable to. With these features, Twitter could become a good platform for micro influencers and podcasters.
Data, censorship and privacy concerns are about to take a new turn with this Voice update as well.
- Plans are afoot towards the creation of an East Asian cryptocurrency bloc, proposed and likely to be headed by China. This bloc is planned to have Japan, South Korea and other small but developed economies like Singapore on board. Link
Why this is Important: This could lead to a crypo race. We may see different economic blocs with cryptos courting users within their reach. In order not to be left out, we may see regulators in the US soften their position on Facebook’s Libra. We looked at Libra in recent edition of the RoundUp here.
Importantly, considering Facebook’s ownership of Libra, successful companies with huge user base would likely serve as beachhead for cryptocurrency projections for home countries. Tiktok, Spotify, Wechat and so on are handy examples.
- Facebook has acquired Mapillary, a street-level data mapping company based in Malmo, Sweden. The acquisition fee was undisclosed but Mapillary raised a total of $24.5m since its founding in 2013. Link
Why this is Important : This quiet acquisition is key to products under Facebook’s portfolio with mapping needs likes Marketplace. We could see Facebook in the near future build out features important to autonomous vehicles. Perhaps, this may be a long play at launching its own mobile phone or Search service, since it already has a free internet service. Since the use of Mapillary for commercial purposes remains free, Facebook would have a steady stream of free data to make Mapillary better.
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