Lagos State is crafting its own Startup Bill

·
May 29, 2024
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5 min read
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Victoria from Techpoint here,

Here's what I've got for you:

  • Lagos State is crafting its own Startup Bill
  • Paystack, Piggyvest acquire Brass
  • Botswana approves Starlink

Lagos State is crafting its own Startup Bill

court
Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

Lagos State in Nigeria is working on its own version of the Nigeria Startup Act, called the Lagos Innovation Bill, to better fit the unique challenges and opportunities of tech startups in the state.

According to Tubosun Alake, the commissioner for science, innovation, and technology, the bill will also push bigger companies to get more innovative.

Why does this matter? Lagos is a major startup hub, home to over 500 startups and attracting more than half of the country’s startup investments. The Lagos Innovation Bill is the state government's plan to grow its digital economy beyond just startups.

The bill will cover various areas like registering research and innovation institutions, setting up a research and innovation fund, offering tax breaks, supporting accelerators and incubators, building capacity, and developing talent.

Once the bill becomes an act, Lagos hopes to create a full pipeline for everyone involved in innovation. This includes startups, government bodies, big companies, universities, research institutions, venture capitalists, angel investors, and private equity firms.


Paystack, Piggyvest acquire Brass

Brass co-founders
L-R: Emmanuel Okeke and Sola Akindolu, Co-founders of Brass

Nigerian digital bank for small businesses, Brass, has been snapped up by an investment group led by Paystack. The group also includes PiggyVest, Ventures Platform, P1 Ventures, and angel investors Olumide Soyombo and Oo Nwoye. 

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As part of this deal, Brass’ co-founders, Sola Akindolu and Emmanuel Okeke, will be stepping down.

This acquisition follows a rough patch for Brass, which had to disable customer withdrawals a few months ago due to a funding freeze. 

Prior to this, Brass had raised over $2 million from investors. They managed to secure fresh capital in March 2024, which allowed them to process withdrawals for affected businesses.

This deal gives Paystack and PiggyVest a strategic edge in a complementary business. PiggyVest, which mainly focused on consumer finance, recently moved into social payments with the acquisition of Pocket (formerly Abeg). Paystack has built payment tools for businesses across Africa, potentially offering a customer pipeline for Brass.

Brass is set to get new leadership as its founders leave, but no official announcement has been made yet. The new leadership will need to rebuild customer trust after a tough few months for the four-year-old startup. 

Per TechCabal, Brass has ₦2 billion in debt on its balance sheet, which its leadership can’t account for. So, while the acquisition brings new business for Paystack and PiggyVest, they might face more liabilities than assets.


Botswana approves Starlink 

A Starlink dish placed on a fence next to a house
Gbadebo's Starlink setup

Botswana has just given SpaceX’s Starlink the green light to operate, making it the latest African country to welcome the internet-services company after Starlink threatened to pull the plug where it’s not licenced.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi shared on Facebook that regulators were pushed to speed up the approval process for Starlink's licence. 

This decision came after Masisi met with Starlink execs in Dallas about three weeks ago, where they discussed Starlink's desire to get an operational license in Botswana. 

Interestingly, back in February 2024, the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) turned down Starlink’s licence application for not meeting all the requirements. Following that, they banned the import, use, and sale of Starlink kits or services in the country.

In April 2024, Starlink warned its roaming customers that its services would be cut off in areas where they weren't authorised by the end of the month, which would leave people and businesses in Botswana disconnected.

Sidebar Alert: Just last weekend, Zimbabwe finally gave Starlink the thumbs up for satellite internet service. Before this approval, folks in Zimbabwe had been getting creative, hiding their satellite Internet kits to dodge the authorities.


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  • Apply for Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) by May 6, 2024, 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.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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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