Telkom has asked the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to postpone its next spectrum auction until 2025.
The scheduled date for the communications regulator to finish licencing more high-demand spectrum is March 2024.
But the South African telco said ICASA needs to finish "studies" to be ready for the auction. Also, it cited the current challenging economic climate.
Anyway, the spectrum is expected to make an additional 5G-suitable spectrum available to operators, allowing mobile operators to increase the capacity and performance of their networks, potentially resulting in lower long-term data costs.
Here's what I've got for you today:
- Alerzo lays off employees the third time in 15 months
- Aduna's $20m fund
- Tuned Global partners with two African streaming services
Alerzo lays off employees the third time in 15 months
This is the third time the company will be laying off staff in 15 months. In September 2022, the company laid off about 5% of its full-time employees. At the time, Alerzo had over 2,000 workers — half of whom worked full-time — in Nigeria.
According to Alerzo, the first round of layoffs was based on performance and involved digitising some roles, such as creating an internal enterprise resource planning system (ERP).
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What is the reason behind Alerzo's third layoff? According to a company spokesman who spoke with TechCabal, technological investments have improved warehouse performance. The majority of those affected worked in the company's 40 warehouses.
The company, which digitises commerce and payment processes between FMCG suppliers and informal retailers, raised $10.5 million in a Series A round in 2021.
In July 2023, Mastercard partnered with Alerzo to empower Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by offering digital payment solutions, financial education, and credit access.
Sidebar Alert: In April 2023, a Kenyan eCommerce platform, Copia Global, suspended its operations in Uganda and expansion plans into Africa due to the "economic downturn and constrained capital markets" to focus on growing profitability in Kenya.
Aduna's $20m fund
Yesterday, Aduna Capital, a Nigerian venture capital firm, announced the launch of a $20 million fund.
The fund will invest 55.5% of its capital in Northern Nigeria startups, with the remainder spread across the country and Africa. It also hopes to have 50% female representation in the startups it supports.
Founded by Surayyah Ahmad and Sanusi Ismaila, Aduna Capital aims to transform Northern Nigeria, which is home to over 100 million people.
Since over 80% of startups in Nigeria are in Lagos, the venture plans to deflect attention from that city.
Its investments will focus on pre-seed and seed-stage startups, and it aims to invest in more than 50 startups at the pre-seed and seed stages. As a new entrant to the country's venture capital scene, the firm will work with larger funds to increase the pool of resources available to its portfolio companies.
Ahmad says the fund will invest $50,000 to $200,000 in startups, but it will also occasionally issue angel checks to fill the funding gap in the area.
Since many investors find it challenging to exit their investments, Aduna Capital plans to do so at the Series A stage. However, Ahmad explains that it intends to retain about 20% of its portfolio companies, setting aside follow-on investment for this group.
Zooming out, I want to wrap it up with a fun fact. Did you know that up to 60% of African startups are US-incorporated? Interestingly, when looking at Nigeria alone, this percentage is 80%.
Nah, I didn't say that; Will Stevens, the Consul General of the United States, stated this at the Global Tech Africa Conference.
Tuned Global partners with two African streaming services
Tuned Global, a business-to-business music services provider, has announced two partnerships in Africa to support local efforts to create innovative streaming products for the market.
Number one: It is working on the launch of Jumamo, a Nigerian music streaming service that allows you to listen to millions of African songs and beats.
Jumamo's music catalogue includes Afrobeat, Hip Hop, Reggae, Gospel, and other genres. It enables artists to distribute and promote their music from a single location while growing their fan base by emphasising the various African beats and rhythms.
Second collaboration: Ethiopian streaming platform, Sewasew, now has Tuned Global as a partner. Users can download, buy, and stream music on Sewasew. In addition to being a media streaming app, it also functions as a record label.
It gives musicians the ability to create their fan base and promote and distribute their music from one location. The streaming platform recently signed a deal with Universal Music Group.
Additionally, Tuned Global has disclosed its involvement in the 2022 launch of Tieme Music, a Ghanaian streaming service.
In other streaming news, French telco, Orange, has partnered with Spotify to enable smartphone users in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, and Mali to listen to music on Spotify for free.
Okay, it’s not so free: Orange only offers free data bonuses for Spotify users in these countries. This service will soon be available in Guinea.
In case you missed it
- While some Patricia customers lament unpaid balances as promised, the exchange says the next batch of payments is dependent on fundraising efforts and profitability
What I'm reading and watching
- Sam Altman, OpenAI Board Open Talks to Negotiate His Possible Return
- Answering the "Who Created God?" Question - Whiteboard Series
- When Did We Stop Being Naked?
- 15 Reasons Why JEWISH People Are RICHER
- If you are a female between the ages of 18 and 28 who lives in Africa and is interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity, apply for the CyberGirls Fellowship by December 11, 2023 here.
- Apply for the Women Who Code fellowship by November 25, 2023 here.
- Do you live in Nigeria and work with a local or foreign company? Whether it's remotely, on-site, hybrid, full-time, part-time or as a freelancer, @TheIntelpoint is trying to understand the Nigerian workspace: how you work, and toxicity in the workspace among others. Please, fill out the questionnaire 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 lovely Wednesday!
Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.