Techpoint DC Summit recap, Uber vs Kobo360, Mobile Money up 65%

by | Mar 29, 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.

Today’s discussion

  • A quick recap of Techpoint DC Summit
  • Uber and Kobo360 continually poaching executives from each other
  • The global rise of Mobile Money

Inaugural TechpointDC Summit: It’s a wrap!!!

Techpoint team DC summit
Techpoint Africa team at the Techpoint Digital Currency Summit 2021 in Lagos, Nigeria

On Thursday the 25th of March, 2021, we hosted hundreds of (appropriately-spaced) physical, and just as many virtual, attendees at the inaugural edition of the Techpoint Digital Currency Summit. It was a smashing success, if I do say so myself. Special thanks to everyone on our passion team who played their part in making it happen.

Conversations centred around regulation, adoption and innovative uses of cryptocurrency towards building the money of the future. Technext’s Tomiwa Onaleye penned down a befitting roundup.

We will also be publishing extended video clips of the event in tranches. But, seeing as it was a paid event, I cannot promise that you will see them all very soon.

Going forward, Techpoint Africa will continue to explore such themed events across other verticals — Fintech, Mobility & Logistics, Health, Education, Music, etc — and, much later, regions (West, East, South and North Africa). So watch this space

Uber: Your move, Kobo360

Tope Akinwumi
Tope Akinwunmi, Country Manager, Uber Nigeria(Source: Supplied)

For the past 15 months, it appears, Uber Nigeria was without a country manager. Last week however, Tope Akinwunmi was announced as the ride-hailing company’s new Country Manager for Nigeria. Apparently, he had taken up the role since February.

Tope has had an impressive career so far. Before joining Uber Nigeria, the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) alumnus worked for well-acclaimed brands like Workforce Group, PwC Nigeria and Pan-African logistics startup, Kobo360.

What I find more interesting is that Tope joined Uber Nigeria from Kobo360. Meanwhile, his predecessor at Uber Nigeria (Tayo Oyegunle) created the vacuum Tope just filled when, in November 2019, he went in the opposite direction; leaving Uber to head global operations at Kobo360

Executives leaving Uber  for Kobo360 and vice versa has become something of a recurrent theme over the past 2 years. It’s like a gift that keeps giving over, and over, and over again. Oluwanifemi will definitely be taking a closer look at this.

Fun fact: Uber appears to favour men as head honchos for Nigeria. However, a whole level above, the company has exclusively favoured women; Ebi Atawodi then Lola Kassim served as West Africa regional managers, a currently unfilled role.

Mobile money transactions rose by 65% during the year of the Pandemic

airtel money
Photo credit: WorldRemit Comms via Flickr (cc).

The Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) recently released the 2020 edition of its annual ‘State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money’ research document. From all indications, the COVID-19 pandemic was a massive boost to the global mobile money industry.

Mobile money transaction volumes rose by 65%, and there were 1.2 billion registered accounts (double the forecasts) by the end of 2020. These growth spurts can be attributed to government-enforced lockdowns, throughout the world, which restricted access to cash and financial institutions at the peak of the pandemic.

The GSMA report highlights that the fastest growth in mobile money transactions were observed in markets were governments provided significant palliatives, which mostly came in form of digital cash.

You can download the report here or wait for Emmanuel Paul to publish a detailed rundown during the course of the week. 

Recommendations from my weekend consumption

  • Why making chips is so hard. Watch.
  • The people who were sued for downloading music. Watch.
  • The white slums of South Africa. Watch.

Last week on Techpoint Africa

  • MEST portfolio startup, Vesicash offers payment security to African businesses with escrow services. Read.
  • Nigerian fintech startup, Blueloop, gets YC backing as it plans global expansion.
  • YC-backed Termii raises $1.4m seed round to expand to North Africa.
  • Nigeria, Egypt dominate as 10 African startups pitch on Y Combinator’s W21 Demo Day. Read.
  • Jumia plans to raise millions by selling 18 million shares. Read.
  • Twitter may introduce ‘Undo Tweet’ feature soon. Read.

Have a great week!

Múyìwá Mátùlúkò for Techpoint Africa/

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