NCC’s licence review, Seso Global’s $600k funding, and more Clubhouse rivals

by | Jun 17, 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.

Today I’m discussing:

  • NCC’s licence review 
  • Seso Global’s $600k funding 
  • More Clubhouse rivals

NCC’s licence review

Senate Committee meet NCC 06
NCC CEO, Umar Danbatta

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) plans to review its 18-year-old telecoms licence structure so it is on par with trends in the global Information and Communications Technology ecosystem.

Although a standing committee is reviewing the current licence, it is evident that amendments of licensing fees and duration are imminent. According to Umar Danbatta, NCC CEO, the committee would also have to report on the effect some of these licences have on their holders.

For context, there are individual and class licences covering general and specific services. 

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While the latter is for every business offering communication services, the former applies to those offering Internet services, fixed wireless access, electronic directory services, Internet exchange, international cable infrastructure and landing station services, and colocation services, among others. 

It’s about time. An 18-year-old licensing framework is long overdue for review, considering the constant changes in global standards. However, we can only wonder why the primary focus is on fees for now. Interestingly, there is no statement about how the amendment will affect fees. 

Compared to South Africa’s recent telecoms licensing fees — published in 2020 — Nigeria’s current licensing structure is more expensive. Depending on the services and duration, an individual licence in Nigeria costs between ₦500,000 ($1,218) and ₦44 million ($107,186). Whereas in SA, it costs R13,283 ($947.82).

The review will also consider technological evolution. For instance, an existing licensing category that covers setting up a cybercafe or installing a public payphone is outdated. More focus would be on infrastructure that supports sophisticated spectra like 4G and 5G.

We also suspect that the new licensing regime could include over-the-top (OTT) platforms like Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, Netflix, and similar services hinted at during the Twitter ban.

Later today, Ogheneruemu Oneyibo will attempt to clear grey areas of this intended review and its possible implications.

Seso Global raises $600k pre-seed

Seso Global team
Seso Global team

Nigerian-based prop-tech startup, Seso Global, has raised $600,000 in a pre-seed funding round. Per Disrupt Africa, the round was led by Moabi Group, Kepple Africa Ventures, and Rising Tide Africa, with participation from angel investors: Ibrahim Sanga,  Ecobank Côte d’Ivoire CEO, Albert Essien, and Jamie Broderick, board member at Impact Investing Institute.

Seso Global will use the funding to improve operations in Nigeria, South Africa, and Ghana, where it recently expanded to in May 2020. 

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Launched in Nigeria in June 2019, the prop-tech startup recently introduced its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) portal that digitises property documentations and transactions. 

Property marketplace: Seso Global offers a digital marketplace where sellers can list Nigerian, Ghanaian, and South African properties, and buyers can schedule a tour or request a mortgage.  

The startup also aims to solve South Africa’s tilting problem by creating a blockchain platform where data can be stored in a secure, decentralised database, and updated without any data loss.

Another Clubhouse rival

spotify 1

Music streaming service Spotify, on June 16, 2021, launched Spotify Greenroom, a mobile application that will allow users to host and be a part of live audio rooms. Interestingly, they can also turn the conversation into a podcast. This news comes after the company acquired Betty Labs, the creators of the Locker Room audio app, in March.

According to Spotify’s blog, the company marked the addition of live audio to its ecosystem after the acquisition. The new app is now available to iOS and Android users all around the world. 

Another rival: Spotify Greenroom can now join the famous register of Clubhouse’s rivals. The app, which broke the Internet with its live audio service in 2020, currently has Twitter, Facebook, and now Spotify to contend with. 

Live audio wars: Although live audio might be becoming a trend, the service is quite similar on different platforms. Perhaps, Spotify Greenroom will attract more users with its podcast and live text chat features.

Incase you missed it

  • Nigeria’s GIGL partners Nigeria’s JET Motor Company to launch the country’s first electric cargo vans. Read

What else I’m watching

  • Reddit vs Wallstreet – GameStop, The Movie. Watch

Have a great day.

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He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover.


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