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Egypt’s MoneyFellows Secures $4m to Expand Across Africa

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MoneyFellows

By Adedapo Adesanya

Egyptian fintech platform, MoneyFellows, has secured a $4 million Series A investment to fund its expansion across Africa and various new product launches.

With the new round of $4 million Series A, MoneyFellows’ total secured investment has risen to $6 million.

The fresh round was from Partech Partners and Sawari Ventures and will be used to expand the company’s operations nationwide in Egypt as well as other African countries. MoneyFellows also plans to launch a slew of new products in the coming months.

Speaking on this, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of MoneyFellows, Mr Ahmed Wadi, said, “Being backed by Partech and Sawari Ventures – two top investment firms – helps us reap global, as well as local, know-how, best practices and support.”

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“Partech’s support from their African fund will help us expand into other countries in the continent with hands-on global expertise.

“While Sawari Ventures have been a cornerstone of Moneyfellows’ journey for the past three years; from day one they have been with us, and bring to the table a cachet of knowledge, alongside a vast network of relationships with key corporates and financial institutions, making them our optimal local partner,” he added.

On the part of Partech, its General Partner, Mr Cyril Collon, said he was proud to have MoneyFellows join his firm’s investment portfolio and to support the company to scale and expand.

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“The team is fantastic and the product sophistication is unique, making money circles attractive for millennials and their grandparents,” he said.

“The impact of MoneyFellows on financial inclusion is already massive in Egypt, as the solution offers convenient secured lending and saving schemes to consumers by digitising a traditional savings model.”

Mr Hany Al Sonbaty, managing partner at Sawari Ventures also added saying MoneyFellows was one of the most promising fintech companies to come out of the MENA region.

“Their fusion of technology and existing ROSCA culture solves both the problem of financial inclusion and helps people to better plan their personal finances,” he said.

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“In enabling people to save beyond their immediate circles, they are not only promoting a culture of saving, but also facilitating a gateway for the further introduction of financial services to larger numbers of people as they become more financially aware. We are thrilled to be investing in the company and joining them on this exciting journey,” he noted.

The platform allows users to more effectively manage and fulfill their financial needs and currently has more than 150,000 active users that are verified by a user assessment algorithm.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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NCC Kicks Against Sale, Use of GSM Boosters

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GSM Boosters ban

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reiterated that the sale, installation and usage of GSM boosters in the country is illegal.

The main aim of the GSM booster is to take the existing cell phone signal around places, car, office, workstation or home and amplify it. After amplification, the signal is rebroadcasted to the area with no reception or weak signal.

In a pre-enforcement notice published on its official website, the commission informed the general public, particularly banks and other financial institutions, government agencies, telecommunications service providers, private/public companies, and owners/occupiers of residential premises that the unauthorized use of the boosters was a criminal offence that could attract monetary sanction or imprisonment.

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The notice said: “In exercise of its mandate of ensuring the protection of consumers, ensuring good quality of service and maintenance of technical standards of maintenance equipment, and in accordance with the provisions of section 131 (1) of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, the commission hereby warns the general public that it is a criminal offence to sell, install or use any equipment which may hinder network operations, or which has not been type-approved by the Commission.

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“Such acts may lead to monetary sanction and/or imprisonment, or both (fine and imprisonment) as well as the confiscation of any equipment used in the illegal enhancement of network coverage.

“The commission on its part will continue to deepen its collaborative efforts with telecoms service providers to facilitate the provision of ubiquitous telecoms infrastructure necessary to guarantee good quality of service across the nation.

“In view of the above, the commission hereby gives a 14-day Pre-enforcement Notice effective from the date of this publication to any person involved in the sale, installation and use of the device, to forthwith desist from such act.”

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The notice, signed by NCC’s Director, Public Affairs, Mr Ikechukwu Adinde, warned that the agency would, without further recourse and upon expiration of the deadline, take “appropriate enforcement action including, but not limited to prosecution, fine and confiscation of equipment used.”

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Nationwide Broadband Assessment Rates Airtel as Best in Nigeria

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Airtel Nigeria SIM update

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A nationwide broadband assessment by Umlaut has rated Airtel Nigeria as the Best in Test after scoring 697 points, followed by MTN Nigeria with 663 points, 9mobile with 591 and Glo with 486 points.

Umlaut is an international, full-service, cross-industry, end-to-end company that offers advisory and fulfilment services to clients globally.

According to Mr Hakan Ekmen, CEO of Telecommunications at umlaut, Airtel achieved the best-rated broadband coverage and user download speed among other mobile network operators.

He revealed that the tests were carried out with umlaut’s crowdsourcing methodology, which was used to evaluate the mobile networks in Nigeria.

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Consequently, an extensive analysis revealed two-hundred and sixty-three thousand (263,000) users have contributed 707.4-million samples in 24 weeks from October 2020 until early April 2021.

Speaking on the metrics of the assessment, Mr Ekmen stated that over 80 per cent of urban build-up and population areas were tested to arrive at the results. He went on to laud Airtel for emerging the best-rated, citing it as a remarkable feat and a positive step towards attaining digital equality in Africa.

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“In our nationwide assessment, 82.8 per cent of the urban build-up area and 83.9 per cent of the Population area were tested. We concluded that Airtel Nigeria is Best in Test, achieving the highest umlaut score with 697 points.

“Airtel achieved the best-rated broadband coverage and user download speed. This is remarkable in one of the largest telecommunications communities on the African continent, a positive step towards Digital Equality,” he stated.

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Mr Ekmen stated that umlaut’s sophisticated methodology enables the results to be comparable across network operators globally, emphasizing the transparency it provides in not only boosting network quality and performance but also improving the experience for every customer.

He further said while the results in Nigeria are quite impressive, there is still room for improvement in global comparison, however, the competition in Nigeria’s telecoms landscape is working favourably for consumers in the country.

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Software Engineer Favour Ori Disrupts Fintech Space With PayDay

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Favour Ori PayDay

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The financial technology (fintech) space in Africa is getting disrupted with the introduction of a payments product called PayDay designed by a software engineer and entrepreneur, Mr Favour Ori.

The expert is keen on building and shipping innovative products geared toward simplifying, automating, and generally improving lives in Africa.

In 2016, he relocated to the United States to study Computer and Information Sciences at Southern Arkansas University. Since then, he has worked with the likes of Turing, GO, ABiTNetwork, CultureBase PBC, Saint Louis University, and Oklahoma State University.

The entrepreneur has spoken at several international conferences like the NCHC Conference in Atlanta, the United Nations Youth Assembly in New York, the YCBS Conference in Atlanta, and 1MillionCups in Tulsa.

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In 2018, prior to founding TalentMatch, he launched an IBM-backed non-profit called FavCode54, which aimed at empowering Africans and helping them launch their tech careers. IBM provided resources valued at $90 million to enable beneficiaries of FavCode54 to learn and deploy real-world cloud products.

In 2020, Mr Ori launched and sold College Situation and Tugure to ABiTNetwork. College Situation connects African students in Africa to renowned institutions, scholarship opportunities and fellowship programs in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and many other countries outside the African continent. On the other hand, Tugure allows Rwandese to trade new and fairly used items easily and securely.

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During the coronavirus pandemic last year, he was inspired to build WeJapa, a talent matching platform to help experienced software developers secure foreign jobs.

He partnered with companies like IREMBO, Quorum Control GmBH, and ABiTNetwork to recruit and the young entrepreneur is working tirelessly with his team at TalentMatch to ensure accessibility of employment in technology on the African continent with PayDay, which they believe is the fastest and most efficient way for technology talent and creatives throughout the African continent to receive payments from their global or foreign clients within minutes, all on their mobile phones or personal computers.

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PayDay is a product by TalentMatch, with team members including Dr Rex Idaminabo (co-founder), Chidi Nwaogu (co-founder), and many other competent African talents. Together, they are working to facilitate cross-border payments in Africa.

TalentMatch has raised over $100,000 in funding; $50,000 in pre-seed funding and $50,000 from angel investors. Though, TalentMatch, which will be joining a Canadian accelerator and will be setting up its headquarters there, is still seeking to raise a seed round of $1 million in the following months.

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