“I know we can lose it all. It’s not a fear; it’s a fact”

by | Mar 11, 2021

This post is a delayed version of Techpoint Digest, a week-daily newsletter that rounds up major happenings in African tech. You can start receiving it hours before everyone else if you subscribe now

Good day,

Múyìwá here.

Like me, you’re probably still revelling in news of (and reactions to) Flutterwave’s newfound Unicorn status and Apple’s first-of-its-kind-in-Africa appointment of Teju Ajani as Apple Nigeria MD so, your attention is quite bifocal today. Let’s not pretend that any other ‘news’ matters right now, shall we?

While I rummaged my Flutterwave-filled Twitter timeline for any semblance of alternative news, I happened on a 22 year-old interview with Amazon.com founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos. It’s only 12 minutes long but it’s okay if you don’t have the time; I will hyperlink to relevant snippets.


If you prefer to watch it now and then come back, here you go.

Back? Welcome.

For context, this was 1999, just 2 years before the dotcom bubble burst. Any ‘reasonable’ person at time found the apparent overvaluation of internet businesses ridiculous.

Amazon.com was barely 5 years old, had only spent 2 years listed on the Nasdaq Composite and just reported a net loss of $124.5m. Yet, the company was said to be worth 20% more than legacy retail giant, Sears (106 years old at the time), in market cap. So it’s easy to understand why 60 Minutes show host, Bob Simon didn’t even bother to hide his condescension throughout the interview. 

But two major things stood out for me in that interview:

It’s now 2021, you know how the story turned out. 

But I can’t help getting fairly recent ‘local vibes’ from that interview. When Paystack was acquired by Stripe last year for a reported $200m, it was revealed that the 5 year-old startup had become more valuable than 3 major Nigerian banks combined.

I haven’t done the math but I think it’s pretty safe to say that with Flutterwave’s $1bn+ valuation, it’s probably now more valuable than all Nigerian banks combined. But just 3 years ago, during Techpoint Inspired 2.0, a bank executive said that fintechs are not a threat to traditional banks. I’d love to know what he thinks now. 


I’d also love to know what the CBN governor, Godwin ‘Thin Air‘ Emefiele thinks, given recent precedents. Should we expect the Nigerian government to also claim this win, like it did with Paystack (‘Youth fintech‘)? Or maybe a nationalisation policy to reclaim local fintech companies from near-invisible foreign hands?

And why did Y Combinator include Flutterwave but omit Paystack from its recently updated list of most valuable ($150m and above) portfolio companies?

These are just a few of many questions on my mind.

Other pretend news

  • Nigeria starts $3 billion upgrade of key railway line. Read.
  • Cassava, a new startups that enables people to insure their income launches in beta.
  • Russia says it is slowing down Twitter to protect citizens from illegal content. Read.
  • Wefarm raises $11m to expand its knowledge-sharing platform for small-scale farmers. Read.

Have a great day!

Múyìwá Mátùlúkò for Techpoint Africa.

PS: Sorry if today’s edition appears Nigeria-centric. It just so happens that 75% of the most successful African fintech startups are of Nigerian origin.

Featured image by Flutterwave.

Techpoint Africa
Techpoint Africa

Techpoint Africa is a digital media company that amplifies the best innovations out of Africa through its mediadata, and events.

Are you in tech and you are looking at getting a foreign remote job or you want to move abroad? Fill this form and you will get the BEST resources to help you get that high paying remote job as well as japa easily! WAGMI!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Recent News

Kenya’s digital products for PwDs

Kenya’s digital products for PwDs

On #TechpointDigest, Victoria Fakiya (@latoria_ria) discusses what Jumia’s partnership with CGAP could mean, and Kenya’s digital products for people with disabilities.

Reclaiming stolen African artefacts

Reclaiming stolen African artefacts

On #TechpointDigest, Victoria Fakiya (@latoria_ria) discusses how Traction wants to stop fake alerts, Canza Finance’s journey, Esaal’s $1.7m seed round, and JABU’s $15m series A.

[PODCAST] Relooting African art with NFTs

[PODCAST] Relooting African art with NFTs

What do you think about an NFT project that wants to reclaim Africa’s lost artefacts? Well, the editorial team had some interesting thoughts, and you can listen to this and other stories on today’s episode of #TechpointAfricaPodcast.

$2 million to drive learning via WhatsApp 

$2 million to drive learning via WhatsApp 

On #TechpointDigest, we discuss how major players in the African mobility space can change the mobility narrative, FoondaMate’s $2 million funding, Twitter Create, and AMP’s $5.6 million seed round.

Subscribe to Techpoint Digest!

A daily 5-minute roundup of happenings in African and global tech, sent directly to your email inbox, between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m (WAT) every week day!

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Blockchain Explorer

Analysis oninnovation, regulations, and trends inthe blockchain sector, as it concerns Africa

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to The Experts

A bi-weekly where tech career specialists take us on their journey from newbie to expert, and how they became successful in the industry.

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Founder's Table

A monthly series, where we catch up with founders in the startup ecosystem, learn about their failures, successes and a few tricks of the trade

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap