Numida raises $2.3m, MTN’s mobile money valuation, LinkedIn’s new job titles

by | Apr 14, 2021

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Good day,

Oluwanifemi and Emmanuel here.

Today we are discussing:

  • Uganda’s Numida raises $2.3m
  • MTN’s mobile money valuation
  • LinkedIn’s stay-at-home job titles

Numida raises $2.3m seed

Numida Team

Numida team. Source: TechCrunch

Ugandan fintech startup, Numida has closed a $2.3 million seed round led by Pan-African payments company, MFS Africa, with participation from DRK Foundation, Equilibria Capital, and Segal Family Foundation.

Expansion plans: The startup wants to deepen its hold in Uganda while considering entering the West African market, particularly Ghana.

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Founded in 2016 as a bookkeeping tool for microfinance banks to make lending decisions for informal businesses, Numida pivoted in 2017 to provide no-collateral credit facilities targeted towards small businesses. It went fully commercial in October 2019. Subsequently, it will introduce additional financial services like payments, micro-insurance, and deposits.

Per TechCrunch, the digital lender claims to have processed loans worth over $2 million for 3,000 micro and medium businesses in Uganda.

The pandemic has put a lot of strain on traditional lending institutions, and as the demand for digital products increases, credit fintech solutions experience high demand. But with this, customers fall into predatory lending traps.

Read: X-raying the emerging culture of digital predatory lending in Nigeria

MTN’s mobile money valuation

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Photo Credit: USAID Digital Development Flickr via Compfight cc

South Africa’s MTN Group has announced that it plans to list its mobile money division which it currently values at $5 billion. The telecom behemoth joins other giants like Airtel in a not-so-subtle push for mobile money in Africa.

Recall that Mastercard Inc. and TPG Holdings LP invested $300 million in Airtel Africa’s mobile money unit at a $2.65 billion valuation.

Why is this important? The Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) 2021 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money reveals that governments that provided palliatives in form of digital cash helped drive the rise of mobile money in 2020. And Africa was at the centre of mobile money growth in the same period.

According to the GSMA, in 2020, sub-Saharan Africa transacted $490 billion worth of mobile money transactions. I could get carried away with the numbers, but my point is mobile money is a big deal in Africa. GSMA’s research also points to how much it drives financial inclusion.

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For MTN and others: This push seems to be another move to diversify its revenue streams since voice revenue, its biggest cash cow, has been slowly declining. MTN and Airtel’s financial reports from 2020 are telling shreds of evidence.

In Nigeria, MTN has been pushing for a payment service bank licence, a move which Adedeji Olowe, CEO of Trium Networks, predicts would spell trouble for the banks. Read.

Stay-at-home job titles on LinkedIn

Interesting times: Microsoft-owned professional networking platform, LinkedIn has taken inclusiveness to another level. The platform now has new job titles like stay-at-home dad, stay-at-home mom, and stay-at-home parent. With these titles, users do not need to list a company or employer.

Apart from that, they can indicate whether they are out of a job, on a sabbatical, or on maternity/paternity leave at a point in time.

Why? LinkedIn understands that the pandemic has created some employment gaps and how some jobs are run. See how the pandemic has changed Internet culture.

According to an International Labour Organization (ILO) report, this update might have been largely focused on women, one of the hard-hit groups affected by employment loss.

Recently, LinkedIn decided to include gender-neutral options for users. They can now add their preferred gender pronouns in their account description. However, for now, this is only available for users in the United States, Britain, Sweden, Canada, and Ireland.

What else are we watching?

  • Africa-focused GIG Logistics has launched in the UK. Find out what this means for you later today on Techpoint Africa.
  • Facebook tests video speed dating events with ‘Sparked’. Read
  • Jackie Chan mirrors what African parents feel about children with Western upbringing. Watch

Have a great day!
Oluwanifemi Kolawole & Emmanuel Paul for Techpoint Africa.

Featured image credit: USAID Digital Development Flickr via Compfight cc

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