This weekend is going to be a blast, right? After all, it's salary week. Have a good time! Take 500k (in whatever currency you use) from that total and treat yourself. And no, this is not me advising you to blow your savings. 😂
I intend to go out and have fun. I am sorry, but I will not reveal my plan. Not because I am not proud of it, but because I do not do it frequently. 😂 Please, leave your house this weekend, alright? 😂
I've got some news: Safaricom has launched Faraja, a no-interest credit service, for purchases up to KSh100,000 in value.
Over 32 million Safaricom customers can make credit-based purchases from businesses accepting Lipa Na M-PESA and pay them in full within 30 days.
One more thing: On this week's Techpoint Africa Podcast, the editorial team discussed several news items, including the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission delisting Sycamore and the Central Bank of Nigeria increasing the benchmark interest rate. Listen here.
Here's what I've got for you today:
- Sudanese group hacks Kenyan platform
- Copia Global lays off 25% of its workforce
- Terragon's $9 million Series B
Sudanese group hacks Kenya's platform
A Sudanese hacker group known as "Anonymous Sudan" is said to have hacked into Kenya's eCitizen platform, disrupting its operations.
Known as a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, this type of hacking disables a network, server, or website by flooding it with unnecessary Internet traffic, preventing authorised users from using its services.
Be the smartest in the room
However, Kenya's Cabinet Secretary (CS) for ICT, Eliud Owalo, said the cyberattack was not strange.
He added that the attack had not resulted in any data loss and that the government is working on corrective measures to address the current situation and seeking to establish a framework for risk mitigation to thwart potential attacks.
Why the attack? The hacker group claim they have taken down several Kenyan websites in response to Kenya's supposed interference in Sudanese affairs.
Since July 24, 2023, many government and private websites, including e-Citizen and NTSA, have experienced outages. This move has impacted several things, including applications for and renewals of licences, birth certificates, business registrations, marriage certificates, and passports.
What prompted the attack? Hackers began attacking after seeing a video of a Sudanese General, Yasir Al-Atta, claiming that Kenya’s President, Williams Ruto, is connected to and supporting the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) — paramilitary forces formerly operated by the Government of Sudan.
The Kenyan President, however, refuted the accusations and reaffirmed his commitment to mediating a peaceful end to the conflict in Sudan.
Since the country's former president, Omar al-Bashir, was ousted in a popular uprising in 2019, there has been conflict in Sudan. In addition to causing tension and displacement, the conflict also claimed thousands of lives.
Copia Global lays off 25% of its workforce
Kenyan eCommerce startup, Copia Global, is laying off 25% of its headcount, or about 350 people, in the country.
Why? The company says it is optimising several crucial processes in Kenya to enhance customer service and foster sustained operating profitability due to the ongoing economic downturn and the constrained capital markets.
Copia says it will carry out the process with due regard for all affected employees and in full compliance with Kenyan labour law.
Thus, the company will give affected employees one month's notice and they will be required to leave Copia before September 2023.
This action follows the dismissal of 50 workers in Kenya. The company suspended its operations in Uganda in April 2023, terminating over 300 employees there.
The Kenyan-based eCommerce platform caters to African consumers with middle-to-low incomes by giving them access to a convenient shopping experience in the underserved market.
Terragon's $9 million Series B
Nigerian cloud analytics and marketing platform, Terragon, has raised a $9 million Series B round to strengthen cloud-native capabilities on its platform.
Orange Ventures led the round, while TLcom Capital, LoftyInc, Sango Capital, VestedWorld, and Western Technology Investment (WTI) participated.
Terragon, founded by Elo Umeh (CEO), converts telco channels into mobile advertising inventory and provides information on the continent's expanding consumer markets to its clients, primarily telecommunications and financial services firms.
Adrenaline, one of its main offerings, is a telco-data monetisation solution that allows telcos to diversify their revenue streams and marketers to reach niche audiences they can’t access via traditional marketing channels.
Additionally, the company’s tools allow Terragon's corporate clients to drill down on several behavioural and demographic information and connect to various touchpoints such as online payment and sales systems.
The company plans to develop and accelerate locally tailored machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence to lay the groundwork for improved enterprise communication.
It plans to use the funds to broaden its focus on mobile B2C messaging, backed by detailed consumer insights from "big data." The company, already operating in Ghana and Kenya, wants to expand throughout Africa.
In case you missed it
- Kenyan agritech startup, FarmWorks, raises a $4.1 million pre-Series A to use AI to improve production
- Young African Catalysts gets into Techstars Toronto, rebrands to CatalyzU
What I'm reading and watching
- Bomb blast kills several people at shrine near Syrian capital -state media
- You Don’t Lose People. You Return Them
- When God Talks Back
- Toggl is looking for a remote Product Designer. Apply here.
- Fairblock is hiring a Software Engineer. Apply here.
- African Startups can now apply to join the first cohort of the Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator programme. Startups up to the Series A stage are encouraged to apply for the opportunity to acquire unrivaled expertise, beneficial industry connections, cutting-edge technology, and potential investment funding. Apply by August 25, 2023 here.
- African startups can apply for the SaaS Accelerator Program, which supports early-stage digital B2B SaaS startups. Apply here.
- Flapmax is looking for African startup leaders to apply for the second edition of its FAST Accelerator programme. Apply here.
- If you are a software engineer, creative designer, product manager, design researcher, or a techie looking for an internship role, please, check out this website.
Have a good time this weekend!
Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.