MainOne’s acquisition, Flow’s solution for real estate, and HAVAIC’s plan for African entrepreneurs

by | Dec 8, 2021

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Hi there,

Today we’re discussing:

  • MainOne’s impending acquisition 
  • How Flow is automating real estate advertising
  • How HAVAIC invests in African startups 

Equinix is in talks to acquire MainOne

mainOne 54 of 58

In what is probably the biggest news out of Nigeria’s technology space, MainOne is about to be acquired by Equinix for $320 million. 

While plans are still in progress, the deal is expected to be completed by Q2 2022. 

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MainOne was founded in 2010 by Funke Opeke. Since then, the company has served over 800 businesses in three Nigerian states. With most Nigerian founders being male, the company’s success is even more impressive when you consider when it was founded.

Following the acquisition, MainOne will have access to Equinix’s infrastructure and serve as Equinix’s route to enter the African market. In addition, Opeke and other top management staff would remain in their roles.

Read more: US-based Equinix to acquire Nigeria’s MainOne for $320m

How Flow is automating real estate advertising

Daniel Levy and Gil Sperling Co Founders Flow
Daniel Levy and Gil Sperling. Co-founders, Flow

If you’re like most people, the first thing you do once you wake up is to grab your phone and scroll through your favourite social media app. It could be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. 

According to reports, the average user spends about seven hours on social media daily. That’s about a third of the day. So it’s no surprise that businesses are tapping into these habits.

Most businesses would instead advertise on social media than traditional media outlets. Yeah, real estate businesses left the chat. Daniel Levy (not Tottenham’s chairman) and Gil Sperling are building Flow to help property companies automate their social media advertising.

How do they do this? 

Flow uses an API to do this for real estate businesses. Real estate agents simply log in to Flow’s web portal, where they pick the properties they wish to list, and an ad is automatically created.

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Already, the startup is serving 4,000 real estate agents — a number that is reportedly 10% of the real estate agents working in the country. In addition, it plans to expand beyond South Africa in the coming years, kickstarting with a move into Australia announced yesterday, December 7, 2021.

Ogheneruemu Oneyibo has more on this story, which you’ll find on the website later today.

HAVAIC’s plan for funding African startups 

cash or cashless

In a 2018 TEDx Talk, Kola Aina, Founder of Ventures Platform queried somewhat rhetorically, “Who will own our future unicorns?” He pointed out that while African startups were getting attention from investors, they were mostly foreigners. 

That trend has continued, and Techpoint Africa’s Nigerian Startup Report shows that about 71% of investments in Nigerian startups came from outside Africa. 

Barely two years after Aina’s TEDx Talk, payment startup, Paystack was acquired by US-based payments company, Stripe. 

Fortunately, more Africans have taken up Aina’s challenge and are backing more startups. These are early days, but it might only be a matter of time before we have unicorns majorly owned by Africans. 

For this week’s edition of Angels & VCs, we had a chat with Ian Lessem, the Managing Partner at HAVAIC and one of the few African investors. He reveals how the firm started and its process for investing in startups. Watch out for the article by noon.

What I’m reading

  • The Elizabeth Holmes trial is the hottest ticket in Silicon Valley. Read
  • Digital fashion is not ready to disrupt the clothing industry. Read

Opportunities

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  • Technical product manager at TeamApt. Apply here

Have a fulfilling day.

Chimgozirim Nwokoma
Chimgozirim Nwokoma

Accidental writer, covering Africa’s startup landscape and its heroes.

On January 22, 2022, be part of the largest gathering of innovators, startup founders, thinkers, programmers, policymakers, and investors in West Africa. Register free.

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