MultiChoice loses $1.7b in six months   

September 21, 2023
5 min read
MultiChoice's building

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Here's what I've got for you today:

  • MultiChoice loses $1.7b in six months
  • Complete Farmer's $10.4m pre-Series A
  • Kenya's Turaco acquires MicroEnsure Ghana

MultiChoice lost $1.7b in six months


MultiChoice investors lose R32 billion ($1.7 billion) in six months as it struggles to retain high-end subscribers and find new revenue sources.

At the start of March 2023, MultiChoice's share price exceeded R147 ($7.86). On March 13, when it issued a warning that the revenue growth in its South African business would fall short of expectations, it decreased to about R120 ($6.41) per share.

Due to its fixed cost base and additional Showmax expenses, it had a significantly lower trading margin. At that point, a six-month decline that cost the market cap billions of dollars started.

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One of MultiChoice's biggest problems is the continued cancellation of South Africans' DStv subscriptions, particularly in the Premium and Mid-market segments.

The impact can be seen in DStv's average revenue per user, which dropped from R269 ($14.38) to R256 ($13.69) year over year.

What’s the way forward? The company is looking for new revenue streams to offset the decline in high-end subscribers. This plan includes selling Internet packages, investing billions in its Showmax streaming service, and acquiring a large stake in sports betting service KingMakers.

 Complete Farmer's $10.4m pre-Series A  

Complete Farmer team

What’s the news? Complete Farmer, a Ghanaian agritech startup, has announced that it has obtained a $10.4 million pre-Series A funding round — $7m in equity and $3.4m in debt — to streamline its operations.

Who are the investors? The Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF) and Alitheia Capital (via its uMunthu II Fund in partnership with Goodwell Investments) co-led the equity part of the round. Proparco, Newton Partners, and VestedWorld Rising Star Fund also took part.

Sahel Capital’s SEFAA (Social Enterprise Fund for Agriculture in Africa) Fund, Alpha Mundi Group’s Alpha Jiri Investment Fund, and Global Social Impact Investments offered debt financing.

What does Complete Farmer do? The startup, founded in 2017 by Desmond Koney (CEO), aims to revolutionise African farming practices by developing the necessary physical and technical infrastructure to boost efficiency along the entire agriculture value chain.

It’s an end-to-end agricultural marketplace that connects farmers in Africa and other parts of the world to competitive markets, resources, and data.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the company operated as a contractor, cultivating farms for clients. After that, it switched to a marketplace and aggregator model.

Growth? Following the pivot in 2021, the startup maintained that growth in userbase and revenue was immediate. It reported that it successfully brought together over 12,000 farmers from five significant regions in Ghana.

It has also managed the farming of over 30,000 acres of land, providing commodities to Asia, Europe, and other regions across the globe while lowering post-harvest losses.

By the end of 2021, it was generating $2.8 million annually. By 2022 ending, it had $5.3 million, and it is currently on track to hit $7.5 million this year.

Kenya's Turaco acquires MicroEnsure Ghana

Turaco Leadership Team min

Kenyan insurtech startup Turaco has acquired MicroEnsure Ghana from MIC Global, a US-based micro-insurance provider.

As part of the agreement, MicroEnsure will change its name to Turaco Ghana while retaining its current team and management.

With the addition of Ghana, Turaco's operational markets now total four, up from Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria, and active policies by 25%.

Current and potential customers will benefit from improved tech-driven processes by speeding up service delivery and reducing the turnaround time for claim payouts.

Due to this acquisition, Turaco will also have the chance to strengthen relationships with current business partners and create a strategic reinsurance partnership with MIC Global.

Launched in 2019, Turaco uses technology to increase access to affordable insurance. Its B2B2C business model relies on partnerships with tech-enabled, mass-market companies such as telcos, banks, and fintechs to provide simple distribution and insurance management.

MicroEnsure (now Turaco Ghana) served three million customers as Ghana's first microinsurance intermediary, providing insurance for people with low incomes and being the first to introduce mobile insurance through Tigo in 2012 and Airtel in 2013.

“We are excited about the opportunity of building on the 15-year legacy of MicroEnsure and leveraging our customer-centric tech solution to provide affordable and accessible cover,” said Ted Pantone, Co-founder and CEO of Turaco.

What I'm reading and watching


  • PayPal is looking for a Data Analyst. Apply here.
  • TestGorilla is hiring a Growth Product Manager. Apply here.
  • The International Organisation of Employers (IOE) and Seedstars have launched the fourth edition of The Migration Challenge. The programme seeks global tech startups, particularly those in Northern Africa, the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe, to develop innovative standard migration procedures that benefit migrants, companies, and governments. These solutions should also address migration caused by the climate and support green transitions with migrant workforces. Apply here by October 6, 2023.
  • Xapo Bank is looking for a Senior Data Analyst to join their team remotely. Apply here.
  • Rainforest is looking for an AI Product Manager to work remotely. Apply here.
  • Biconomy is hiring remote for the following roles: DevOps Engineer, Senior Backend Engineer, and Technical Product Manager (Developer Experience). Apply here.
  • OPEC Fund is hiring an Investment Manager, Portfolio Management (Financial Institutions Sector) and (Infrastructure Sector). Apply before September 27, 2023 here and here, respectively.
  • Co-creation Hub (CcHub) is looking for a skilled and experienced Impact and Evaluation Analyst. Apply here.
  • CcHub is hiring a Research Associate. Apply here.
  • Apply for the role of a Project Manager at CcHub here.
  • Apply for the Design and Digital Marketing School Lagos Program if you want to learn skills in Graphic Design, Product Design, and Digital Marketing for 7 weeks, starting Monday, October 9, 2023. Apply here.
  • Are you an MVP-stage impact-driven founder shaping the future of healthcare? Apply for the Halcyon Fellowship by October 21, 2023 here.
  • Apply for the AWS Startup Builds Accelerator 2023 for pre-MVP founders before September 22, 2023, 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 fantastic Thursday!

Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.

She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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