MainOne lands Akwa Ibom’s first submarine cable

March 1, 2024
4 min read

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Ni Hao,

Ogheneruemu and Bolu here.

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

  • Spleet lays off employees
  • BFREE's $2.9M funding 
  • MainOne lands Akwa Ibom’s first submarine cable

Spleet to layoff employees

Spleet co-founders

From big tech to small tech, the layoffs keep coming. We've been at it since 2022 when 1,061 companies laid off 164,969 people. 

By 2023, that number went up to 262,682. 

Employees of Spleet, a Nigerian property tech startup are about to be added to the layoff statistics for 2024. According to this news report, the company is planning to lay off employees.

The CEO, Adetola Adesanmi did not reveal how many of the 32 full-time employees will be affected by the layoff. 

Like many of the African startups that have laid off employees in recent months, the reason for Spleet’s layoff is the current economic situation in Nigeria. 

The startup which raised $2.6 million in 2022, helps you create a flexible payment plan for your house rent. It also helps landlords receive rent easily. But the CEO said landlords have now increased rent since the economic woes that befell Nigeria. 

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Safe to say people are now thinking twice before renting houses, putting a strain on the company’s revenue. 

BFREE secures $2.95 million funding

BFREE team
BFREE team; Source: TechCrunch

Debt collection startup, BFREE has closed a $2.95 million funding round led by Capria Ventures.

Other participants include Angaza Capital, GreenHouse Capital, Launch Africa, Modus Africa, and Axian CVC, with some angel investors pitching in.

Here's something I found interesting: Talking to TechCrunch, CEO and Co-founder, Julian Flosbach says the company has moved to primarily working with banks as opposed to the fintechs that dominated its books in 2022.

“Because of the immense pressure to increase our margins, we essentially had to either increase pricing or let go of a lot of smaller customers,” said Flosbach, 

For them, it makes business sense to work with banks because of their large loan portfolios compared to digital lenders. 70% of its current revenue comes from banks. 

To learn more about BFREE's initial thesis, here's this article by Victoria written in 2021: How Nigerian credit fintech startup, BFREE, is helping Africans repay their loans

Its current loan portfolio stands at over $400 million, out of which it has managed to collect 12.5%.

The startup also plans to create a secondary debt market, to enable third-party investors buy non-performing loans (NLPs) from banks in Africa. 

So far, BFREE has raised a total of $6.5 million in funding, including an undisclosed bridge funding round of $1.1 million from last year.

Currently, it plans to focus its energies on its three markets: Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya, halting expansion plans to Asia, South America, Europe, and across Africa announced in 2022.

MainOne lands Akwa Ibom’s first submarine cable

An image of the MainOne office

Nigerian telecommunications company, MainOne has landed an Internet submarine cable in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria. This is the first time such a cable is landing outside Lagos. 

The company said in a statement that the feat marks a “significant milestone in enhancing broadband connectivity and driving economic development in the South-South, South-East and North-Central regions of Nigeria.”

At 45,000 kilometres long, the cable will interconnect Europe, Asia, and Africa. 

How fast is the cable? The submarine cable is said to have a capacity of up to 180 terabytes per second. While all I can think about is playing 8k games at extremely high frame rates, the mission of the cable is to drive economic development in the South-South, South-East and North-Central regions of Nigeria.

What I'm watching


  • Have you ever invested in a crowdfunding platform like FarmCrowdy before? If yes, kindly take a few minutes to answer 8-10 questions 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.
  • 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.
  • Explore this website to find multiple job opportunities in Data that align with your preferences.
  • 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

Ogheneruemu and Bolu for Techpoint Africa 

Writer, Humanoid, Forever she/her, Lover of words. Find me on Twitter @OnomeOneyibo.
Writer, Humanoid, Forever she/her, Lover of words. Find me on Twitter @OnomeOneyibo.
Writer, Humanoid, Forever she/her, Lover of words. Find me on Twitter @OnomeOneyibo.

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