Startups

Nairobi-based lending startup Tala gets an undisclosed strategic funding from Paypal

Nairobi-based lending startup Tala gets an undisclosed strategic funding from Paypal

Business, Startups
PayPal Inc Holdings Inc has made an unspecified strategic investment in Tala, a financial technology startup that lends to underserved consumers in emerging markets, the companies said on Monday reports Reuters. Based in Santa Monica, California, Tala lends to individuals in Kenya, Tanzania, the Philippines, and Mexico through its smartphone app. The company has lent more than $500 million to customers and has more than 300 employees around the world. It is among a growing cohort of new entrants in finance that take advantage of digital technologies to service individuals that have been excluded by the traditional banking sector because they were considered too risky or too unprofitable to serve. To service these consumers, Tala analyzes device and behavioral data to underwrite th...
Ha! Cryptocurrency ‘isn’t real money’, Google takes a dig at miners

Ha! Cryptocurrency ‘isn’t real money’, Google takes a dig at miners

Business, Startups, Technology
Google has now taken a cheeky dig at the usefulness of cryptocurrencies. In a recent advertisement for its call screening service, the search engine giant mocked cryptocurrency’s high electricity consumption even going ahead to say that “it is not real money.” Starting June, Google banned all cryptocurrency related ads only to relax the rules later to allow select regulated exchange desks to advertise in the US and Japan. The latest video ad is perhaps trying to send a subtle message by advertising cryptocurrencies in its own content? Recently an industry player Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, indicated that the days of explosive growth in the blockchain industry have likely come and gone now the average person is aware of its existence. “The blockchain space is getting to
Taxify overtakes Uber in African cities

Taxify overtakes Uber in African cities

Business, Startups, Technology
Uber was the pioneer taxi hailing app in Africa, but that seems to be changing, the Estonian company Taxify is taking the fight for market share in Africa with Uber to places where Uber isn’t. Much of Taxify’s expansion has been due to being bankrolled by its recent $175 million capital raise—a funding round which valued the company at more than $1 billion. Taxify’s backers include Daimler, the German car giant and Didi Chuxing. In South Africa, Taxify is in fierce competition with Uber in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth but has also expanded to Polokwane. It is set to also launch in East London later this month. In addition to Lagos and Abuja, the only two cities where Uber currently operates in Nigeria, Taxify has launched operations in Ibadan, Nigeria’s largest
Google search is celebrating 20 years

Google search is celebrating 20 years

Internet, Mobile, Startups
Google is celebrating 20 years of organizing the world’s information and making it accessible to billions of users in close to 200 languages. When Google Search was launched in 1998, the entire web consisted of only 25 million pages. The task of indexing and cataloguing this information, the size of small library, seemed ambitious at the time.  Two decades later, Google has indexed hundreds of billions of pages and the number grows with every new piece of information added to the web by users around the globe. The next chapter of Search is one that’s powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) “As the internet has spread around the world with increased connectivity, Google has made access to this information both faster and easier. We now provide search in 190 languages and 150 domains,” s
Jumia might be on the verge of a collapse, MTN not selling stake share

Jumia might be on the verge of a collapse, MTN not selling stake share

Business, Startups, Technology
Venture Beat reports that Jumia, one of Nigeria’s largest online retailers has allegedly laid off 300 of its workers in Nigeria, which accounts for about 30% of its 1000-person workforce in Nigeria. This has raised concerns as to whether the end is near for the online retailer and what this could mean for the Rocket-funded e-commerce outfit. The major investor in Jumia, Rocket internet has a reputation for downsizing. In a similar event, Rocket Internet closed some of its offices in Turkey  in 2012, firing 400 workers in the process. While a similar event may be playing out in Nigeria, Kaymu (another Rocket Internet portfolio company) closed its Zambia office. Citing “macroeconomic reasons,” the online shopping platform shut down its operations in Zambia at the beginning of the month.