Victoria from Techpoint here,
Here's what I've got for you today:
- Kippa reportedly loses ₦30 million to internal fraud
- GladeFinance is in talks to be acquired
- Andrea Zappia becomes Showmax Chairman
Kippa reportedly loses ₦30 million to internal fraud
Kippa, a Nigerian fintech startup, has reportedly lost ₦30 million to internal fraud related to its now-defunct agency banking product, Kippa Pay.
The company stopped operating Kippa Pay in November 2023, two months after it announced it’d reduce its headcount, but the fraudulent activities went undetected for at least four months.
Per TechCabal, the company discovered the fraudulent activity during the surge in customer withdrawals brought on by Kippa Pay's closure.
During this rush, it was discovered that a senior manager, whose identity remains unknown for legal reasons, was withdrawing large sums of money without a PoS.
In November 2023, the manager was arrested after an investigation uncovered ₦30 million in one of his accounts. However, he has been released.
There’s more: The company's decision to withhold the promised severance packages for the laid-off employees has added yet another degree of controversy.
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In an email seen by the publication, the company promised the affected employees severance pay equal to one month's net salary; however, the company has not honoured this commitment.
The company initially shut down Kippa Pay, citing issues with over 500,000 small businesses on its platform and the depreciation of the Naira as justifications, among other reasons.
GladeFinance is in talks to be acquired
GladeFinance, a Techstars-backed Nigerian fintech, is in talks to be acquired, Techpoint Africa has learned.
According to a source close to the matter, at least two fintech companies — one Nigerian and one German — are involved in the talks, which could see the startup acquired just three years after it began operations.
Founded in 2020, GladeFinance expanded rapidly, rebranding in 2023 to offer global business payment services. The startup grew to serving 6,000 businesses, and reportedly processing over $100m last year.
However, after raising an undisclosed pre-seed fund in 2022, its follow-on seed round in 2023 didn't materialise due to the global funding winter. This, according CEO Liyi Victor, necessitated some internal restructuring, including layoffs and salary cuts.
Liyi Victor denied claims that the startup received $450,000 in 2022, explaining that it got less than $50,000, outside its investment from Techstars, as some investors reneged on their commitments.
The acquisition proposals apparently came in late 2023, with the aim to sustain the company, since fundraising proved difficult.
It's still early days, so it's unclear what outcomes are available for investors, Liyi's role post-acquisition, and what intellectual property will be acquired.
Broader African tech market impact: While layoffs and shutdowns are on the rise, experts anticipate more mergers and acquisitions. Notable 2023 examples include Risevest acquiring Chaka and Bitmama's takeover of Payday, with the trend expected to persist into 2024.
Andrea Zappia becomes Showmax Chairman
Andrea Zappia, a Sky executive, has been appointed Chairman of MultiChoice Group's streaming platform, Showmax.
This announcement comes after a US media company, Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal in the United States and Sky in the United Kingdom, acquired a 30% stake in Showmax in 2023.
Zappia, who joined the MultiChoice board in September 2023 and served as CEO of Sky's new markets and businesses, was appointed chairman this month.
Yesterday, Showmax announced it would complete the rollout of its revamped video platform on February 12, 2024.
Launching on January 23, 2024, the redesigned Showmax app is expected to be fully rolled out across 44 markets by February after a gradual rollout.
MultiChoice claims that it might introduce additional stand-alone sports streaming services like its recently revealed Showmax Premier League bundle.
Interestingly, Showmax is open to Comcast increasing its stake in the video streaming platform.
Canal+, owned by Vivendi Group, has also acquired a "passive" 31.7% stake in MultiChoice. It bought shares in the JSE-listed group on the open market.
However, as with other passive shareholders, the company stated that Canal+ had no direct involvement in developing the new Showmax platform.
It also said that MultiChoice had no obligation to consult with the company before engaging with other broadcasters, including Comcast and its subsidiaries, on its development.
In case you missed it
- Egypt’s FriendyM raises $2 million to scale its services nationwide
- Bosta, an Egyptian logistics startup, secures new funding to continue its expansion plans
- Togocom, a Togolese telco, gets $60.2 million to improve Internet connectivity
- Nigeria’s Broadband Alliance to promote Internet access across 7 Nigerian states in Q1 2024
- Safaricom employee charged with fraud for allegedly stealing over $186,600
- MultiChoice announces new subscription fees and launch date for Showmax 2.0
- 5 reasons why Nigerian businesses don't have insurance
- The Nigerian Insurance Industry: the ₦2.3t market and more
- Nigerians purchase life insurance more than any other form of insurance
What I'm reading and watching
- Microsoft launches Copilot Pro for $20 per month per user
- Ghana Must Go! Sad Story of Why Nigeria Expelled 1 Million Ghanaians
- How Christianity Divided the Roman Empire | Colosseum
- Pitch Friday is on Friday, January 19, 2024. To attend or pitch, click this link.
- Voltrox HQ is looking for a Full Stack Developer in Nigeria. Apply for the remote role here.
- Lightcurve (based in Berlin) is hiring remotely for a Tech Lead, Head of Marketing, Senior Legal Counsel, Senior Product Manager, and Head of Business Development. Apply here.
- MailerLite is looking for a Product Designer. Apply here.
- Blueground is hiring a Product Manager. Apply here.
- Kenyan startups focused on embedded finance, future fintech, SME productivity tools, and content like local gaming and mobile advertising can apply for Safaricom’s Spark Accelerator programme. For more information, check this out.
- GitLab is hiring a Product Designer. Apply here.
- The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) is looking for an editor to support the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship. Apply here.
- Application for the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) Class of 2025 is now open. Check out the one-year, fully sponsored, graduate-level programme in tech entrepreneurship here before March 18, 2023.
- 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 terrific Tuesday!
Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.