Blue Label may take over Cell C in 6 months 

February 23, 2024
5 min read
Cell C building
Image Source: Mybroadband

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Moa oti,

Victoria from Techpoint here,

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

  • Blue Label may take over Cell C in 6 months
  • Hohm Energy's $8 million seed  
  • Moringa, Safaricom, and M-Pesa partner to upskill African developers

Blue Label may take over Cell C in 6 months

Cell C building
Image Source: Mybroadband

Blue Label Telecoms is eyeing a bigger slice of Cell C over the next six months. It already owns nearly half of it. However, it intends to increase it by 4.04% through The Prepaid Company, a division of Blue Label Telecoms.

Nonetheless, it must first obtain approval from regulators such as the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and the Competition Commission (CompCom).

Brett Levy, Blue Label's co-CEO, revealed the news following the company's recent financial report, stating that they hope for approval from both sides within the next six months.

However, not everyone appears to be on board. CellSAf, another shareholder in Cell C, is not thrilled. It owns a quarter of the shares and claims the telco failed to consult the company about the plan.

But Levy appears optimistic, hoping for a smooth passage through regulatory hoops. However, as you know, nothing is certain until it is official.

Anyhoo, Cell C will remain unchanged under Blue Label's wing if everything proceeds as planned. Besides, the telco's CEO Jorge Mendes clarifies that this deal doesn't mean the telco is handing over the keys to Blue Label. It’s still in the game, trying to stabilise things financially.

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In January, the South African telco considered downsizing its workforce to reduce costs and improve flexibility in operations amid several challenges.

Hohm Energy's $8 million seed

Solar panels

Hohm Energy, a South African startup, has scored $8 million in seed funding to provide an alternative and sustainable energy source to approximately 7 million homes on South Africa's national grid.

E3 Capital and 4DX Ventures co-led the round, with participation from, Musha Ventures, E4E Africa, Breega, Tekton Ventures, Sunu Capital, and Climate Capital Ventures.

Hohm Energy connects homeowners and businesses with accredited solar installers, product suppliers, and embedded solar finance.

The founders, Tim Ohlsen and Emir Gluhbegovic, launched the startup in 2021. They've built a software and marketplace model that makes it easier for homeowners and businesses to get into solar power.

Ohlsen says they're all about empowering people to go green, even though buying a solar system can be pricey.

The platform matches you up with trusted solar installers, and they've got this cool "Home Ranger" thing that ensures everything's up to snuff with your installation. So, it's a win-win: installers get more business, and customers get hassle-free solar setups.

Since the company launched, it has designed over 17,000 custom solar setups worth $190 million. And it has helped people apply for over $90 million in financing. Ohlsen says the company’s seen a massive increase in business since they started.

What makes Hohm stand out is that it’s not just selling solar panels; it’s offering a whole package, including financing, through their software-first approach. And it’s not stopping here; it’s planning to expand and train more local installers to keep up with demand.

Hohm is aiming to be the go-to place for all things green energy, and with this funding, it’s set to make some big moves.
Sidebar Alert: This week, Teraco announced plans to build a massive 120-megawatt solar power plant in South Africa's Free State province to power up its data centres in South Africa.

 Moringa, Safaricom, and M-Pesa partner to upskill African developers  

developers brainstorming ideas

Moringa School, Safaricom, and M-Pesa have teamed up to offer digital API training and certification in Africa.

It is ideal for people who want to learn how to make apps that integrate with digital platforms such as M-Pesa. The companies’ goal is to encourage creativity and facilitate the rapid expansion of the mobile money ecosystem.

The Kenyan mobile money platform serves 60 million customers and 5 million businesses. But here's the deal: there are not enough developers, so big companies compete for talent while smaller ones can not afford the skills required to thrive in the smartphone and digital payment worlds.

So what is the plan? Moringa School has developed a curriculum for creating M-Pesa mini-apps, allowing businesses to integrate their app into the mobile money’s Super App. This move enables them to market their products and services to millions of M-Pesa customers.

They will dive into several things, including API development and creating mini-apps.

The edtech startup plans to teach this in a mix of online and offline classes, making it easier for developers across Africa to participate. This way, they hope to close the skills gap and position M-PESA developers at the forefront of technology.

Oh, and here's the cherry on top: they are launching a fancy certification programme. So, once you have completed the training, you will receive a certificate to demonstrate your skills. It will raise the bar, making the M-Pesa ecosystem even more competitive.

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Have a good time this weekend!

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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