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This Week: Healthlane goes off course

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Editor’s Note

  • Week 46, 2022
  • Read time: 5 minutes

Layoffs, resignations and licence losses seem to be the order of this week. Nestcoin and Twiga laid off some of their staff this week, while employees of Future Africa volunteered to leave the company. Yet another startup, Healthlane, suffers from mismanagement of funds.

It’s not all bad news though: Paystack secured their PSP licence in Kenya, Sky.Garden got a second chance, and the Kenyan government says having a negative credit score shouldn’t stop you from borrowing money.

Read this edition of The Weekender to learn about the highs and lows of this week in tech. Enjoy!

Pamela Tetteh Editor, TechCabal.

  • Editor’s Picks

    Healthlane goes off course

    Healthlane, a startup founded to make hospitals obsolete, is now on the brink of extinction because of its founder’s unbridled spending and erratic decisions.

    Learn more.

    FTX crash causes layoffs at Nestcoin

    Nearly $4 million of Nestcoin’s funding from investors—used for salaries and day-to-day operations—are stuck on the now-defunct FTX platform. This has led the crypto startup to lay off nearly half of its workforce.

    Learn more.

    Kenya moves to curb blacklisting

    President Ruto announced in September that 66% of blacklisted Kenyan loan defaulters would be whitelisted. Now, the Central Bank of Kenya has directed credit reference bureaus and commercial facilities to stop denying Kenyans loans solely because of negative credit scores.

    Learn more.

    Paystack secures PSP license in Kenya

    Nigerian-born fintech Paystack has secured a payment service provider (PSP) licence from the Central Bank of Kenya. With this licence, Paystack can now facilitate payments and optimise merchant experience for Kenyan businesses.

    Learn more.

    FTX loses FSP licence in SA

    South Africa has cut ties with the now-bankrupt crypto exchange platform FTX. To insulate itself from the imminent collapse, cryptocurrency market maker, Ovex, disassociated itself from FTX—one of its major investors. As a result, FTX lost its local Financial Service Provider (FSP) licence in SA.

    Learn more.

    Sky.Garden gets a second chance

    The tides have turned and brought a second chance to the shores of Sky.Garden. Two months ago, the Kenya-based marketplace announced that it would shut down in October, but thanks to an IP acquisition, it will now stay open.

    Learn more.

    Event: Z! Fest

    If you like food, drinks, loud music, and the sheer threat of meeting new cool people, then Z! Fest is the place to be.

    Register now to join Ayra Starr and other artistes at Z! Fest.

    Ethio Telecom to go private

    To end its monopoly in the telecom sector, the Ethiopian government is giving up a 40% stake in Ethio Telecom to private players. It is also inviting other telecoms to operate in the country. Safaricom currently operates in Ethiopia and has grown to over 1,000,000 subscribers.

    Learn more.

    Twiga lays off 21% of its staff

    Twiga is laying off and branching out. The Kenyan agritech startup has laid off 21% of its workforce. The company’s in-house sales team was shut down, and now it is branching out into a new sales model.

    Learn more.

    Future Africa’s employees resign

    While other companies are laying off staff, employees of VC firm, Future Africa, are voluntarily leaving the company. It appears to be because the company is switching from VC to venture studio, which reportedly calls for a smaller crew.

    Read more.

    Orange Botswana launches 5G in Africa

    Orange has joined Africa’s 5G gang. Its affiliate in Botswana has become the first Orange affiliate to launch a commercial 5G network in Africa. It will be used to launch other services in health, IoT, virtual reality, and augmented reality.

    Read more.

    Can African offices of giant tech companies survive?

    During his mass layoff, Elon Musk sacked most of the Twitter Africa team in Ghana, one week after the launch of their office. Facebook and Amazon, which also have offices in Africa, are laying off employees too. What will happen to their offices in Africa?

    Find out.

    Who brought the money this week?

    • Kenyan e-mobility company BasiGo, raised $6.6 million in seed funding. The round was led by Mobility54, the corporate venture capital arm of Toyota Tsusho; Trucks VC, and Novastar Ventures. Other participating investors included Moxxie Ventures, My Climate Journey (MCJ), Susquehanna Foundation, Keiki Capital, and OnCapital. 
    • Kenya agri-tech company Stable Food raised $600k in an undisclosed round from Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF) and Mercy Corps Ventures.
    • South Africa based e-health platform Contro raised $585k in pre-seed funding from Plug & Play, iCubed Capital, WZ Capital and the Jozi Angels Network, as well as prominent local and international angels.
    • Moroccan retail-tech company Wafr r aised $120k in an undisclosed funding round, from unknown investors.

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