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Microsoft Pays $26 Billion for LinkedIn

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Microsoft Corp. is acquiring the professional social network LinkedIn Corp. for $26.2 billion, one of the largest technology-industry deals on record, as the maker of Windows software attempts to put itself at the center of people’s business lives.

The deal is a way for Microsoft, which largely missed out on the consumer Web boom dominated by the likes of Google and Facebook Inc., to sprint ahead in social tools -– in this case, for professionals. While Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella has drawn kudos for efforts to reshape the company and reignite sales growth, the board is urging an even faster shift toward software and services delivered over the Internet.

Microsoft will pay $196 per share in an all-cash transaction, inclusive of LinkedIn’s net cash, a 49.5 percent premium to LinkedIn’s closing price Friday. LinkedIn will retain its brand, culture and independence and Jeff Weiner will remain chief executive officer of the company, Microsoft said in a statement Monday. The deal is the most expensive relative to earnings of any takeover valued at more than $5 billion this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“This is about the coming together of the leading professional cloud and the leading professional network,” Nadella said in an interview. “This is the logical next step to take. We believe we can accelerate that by making LinkedIn the social fabric for all of Office.”

The deal is the biggest ever for Microsoft as Nadella, 48, focuses on appealing to business customers with cloud-based services and productivity tools rather than regular customers. In a presentation announcing the deal, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft outlined a vision in which a person’s LinkedIn profile resides at the middle of other pieces of their work life, connecting with Windows, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, Skype and other Microsoft products.

Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana could provide users with information pulled from LinkedIn about participants in an upcoming meeting, for example, while a LinkedIn newsfeed will serve up articles based on projects that users are working on. Other products could include a kind of consulting service that will suggest an “expert” who might be able to help with a given project.

Microsoft could build LinkedIn, the largest global professional network, into a major customer relationship management software system for salespeople, pushing into an area dominated by Salesforce.com Inc., said Anurag Rana, a senior analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence.

“LinkedIn could really become a really big competitor for Salesforce going forward,” he said.

LinkedIn shares surged 47 percent to $192.56 at 11:35 a.m. in New York, their biggest intraday advance since 2011. They had declined 42 percent this year through Friday as investors began to question the company’s long-term prospects. Microsoft fell 2.1 percent to $50.40. Twitter Inc. jumped as much as 9.1 percent amid speculation that it could be in play as well.

The $26.2 billion offer values LinkedIn at about 91 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Excluding net cash, the multiple is about 84 times Ebitda.

LinkedIn has long been valued for having the potential viral growth of a social network with the recurring revenues of a software-as-a-service business. But recently, growth has started to slow and it’s been more difficult to get people to return to the site and pay for services. The company has been rethinking its strategy, redesigning its suite of mobile applications to make the product easier to use. Combining with Microsoft would give LinkedIn a boost in members with reasons to visit, making it more useful if people are sharing updates more frequently.

Microsoft started talking with LinkedIn about a possible deal in January, Nadella said. That’s right before LinkedIn reported a lower-than-expected revenue forecast that caused its stock to fall more than 40 percent in a day. The talks got serious once Nadella mentioned his vision for the structure, telling Weiner that LinkedIn could continue to operate independently, like Facebook’s WhatsApp or Google’s YouTube, Weiner said.

“In that very first meeting, we both got excited as we were brainstorming and riffing a bit about the things we could do in combination, combining the world’s professional network and the world’s professional cloud,” Weiner said in an interview Monday.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Xiaomi Launches Black Friday Sale With Discounts and Extra Gifts on Smartphones

Xiaomi gives discount of N5,000 on every purchase of its smartphone

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Mobile phone maker, Xiaomi has lined up good discounts and extra gifts to thrill its customers during black Friday sales.

The company which is also into consumer electronics noted that it’s back Friday sale will run between November 18th to November 30th, 2022. 

Apart from a flat discount of N5,000 on every purchase of its smartphone, customers can also win amazing gift prizes which include refrigerators, Xiaomi luggage, Redmi Bud 3 earbuds. 

A star winner who will go home with an N3 million cash prize will also emerge through a raffle draw on January 10th, 2023. 

Investors King understands that Black Friday is an opportunity to buy the product you desire either smartphones, groceries, or any type of electronic at a very good price. It is celebrated virtually around the world. 

Black Friday which followed “thanksgiven day” in the United States is largely regarded as a day or season to say thank you for being with us this far. 

While amazing discounts are being offered on several products, a number of top brands especially electronic and smartphone-making companies do use black Friday to say thank you to their customers. 

Some of the platforms where you can get an amazing offer in Nigeria during this black Friday season include Jumia and Konga.

You can check the filing articles for amazing offers that both Jumia and Konga offer during this year’s black Friday. 

For Jumia click here and for Konga here you.

On Xiaomi’s black Friday for instance, when a customer buys Redmi Note 11 or Redmi Note 11S, he will get a discount of N5,000 and Xiaomi in-ear headphones. Similarly, Redmi Note 11 Pro or Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G comes with a 10000mAh power bank.

Interestingly, Xiaomi noted in a statement that the offer is open to all new and old customers while customers can enjoy the amazing offer by visiting any of Xiaomi’s retail stores nationwide or at Essence House, Computer Village Ikeja. 

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Konga Kickstarts Black Friday “Yakata” With 90% Discounts on Rice, Cooking Oil, and Mobile Phones

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E-Commerce giant, Konga has begun its discounted sale with up to 90 percent off on some house need products which include rice and cooking oil. The sale which is already witnessing a high volume of patronage is tagged “Friday Yakata”

Other products available for grabs at a very good price on the Konga platform include mobile phones of different brands, Laptops, TV sets, Refrigerators, Air conditioners, and Washing machines. 

At exactly 12 midnight every day till 12th of December, Konga will stage one of its much anticipated events, “Teasure Hunt”. Investors King learnt.

Treasure Hunt gives lucky buyers the opportunity to purchase products with up to 90 percent off them. 

Other lined-up events for Friday “Yakata” include Flash Sale and Cyber Monday. 

Additionally, Konga also partners with MedDirect to provide a 10 percent discount on all medicine which will be delivered free to anywhere in Nigeria.

Another way to benefit from the “Yakata” season is to use Konga Pay which comes with a 5 percent discount on any shopping basket above N100,000.

A statement released by the e-commerce platform noted that back Friday “Yakata” is regarded as the biggest sale of the year in the annual shopping calendar in Nigeria. 

According to the company’s head of marketing, Anthony Nwabuisi, Konga has seen improved patronage on its platform since the beginning of this year despite the prevailing economic challenges both in the domestic and international markets. 

‘‘It has been an impressive start to this year’s edition of Konga Yakata for us. Despite the undeniably harsh economic conditions, general buying sentiments are way above expectations,” he said. 

Also speaking on the importance of the Konga Friday Yakata, Nwabuisi stated that Konga has a 50 percent discount on virtually all meals ordered on the platform. 

He added that shoppers can also get the advantage of free delivery or buy-one-get-one-free in select restaurants. 

Conclusively, Konga’s platform can easily be used by downloading the application or navigating through the website at Konga.com. 

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Zenith Bank Splashes N53m on Finalists at Zenith Tech Fair 2.0

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Zenith Bank Hackathon

A total sum of N53 million in prize money was won at the end of a keenly contested hackathon session at the Second Edition of the Zenith Tech Fair, themed “Future Forward 2.0”, which was held on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, at the Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The prize money was shared among eleven finalists who emerged from the over 500 contestants that took part in the hackathon, with Ecotutu, a cleantech company making cooling affordable and accessible for businesses, especially in the agricultural sector, emerging as the overall winner and taking home the grand prize of N20 million. This is in addition to a mentorship programme with Seedstars, a company dedicated to implementing high-quality capacity-building programmes for entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

The first runner-up, Foris Labs, an app-based platform that allows students to conduct science experiments individually and in groups interactively via their mobile phones, won N15 million and a mentorship programme with Seedstars, while the second runner-up, Finva, a start-up which helps creditors offer credits at low risk, won N10 million as well as a mentorship programme with Seedstars. Other finalists who took home N1million each include Sanwo, Itinu -Ev, Eduvacity, Green Bii, Zion Robotics, Sono Care, Base, and I grow Africa.

Speaking during the presentation of the prize monies, the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, congratulated all the finalists for coming this far in the competition. He reiterated the bank’s readiness to provide all that is necessary to make the budding entrepreneurs succeed. According to him, “all finalists would be enlisted into our incubation lab for grooming and mentorship. Our expectation is that we are going to scale and grow them just like the zenith brand. So, looking at what we have gone through, I can tell you that so much iron has been loaded on fire. The only thing left is to activate the digital talents, tech skills and entrepreneurship that would culminate in a new digital economy for Nigeria”.

Described as a huge success by participants, the two-day Tech Fair featured presentations on the leading technological innovations that cut across different aspects of life, such as Artificial Intelligence, Computing, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Robotics, Big Data, FinTech, Augmented Reality, Data Analytics, 5G and Communication Technologies, with the keynote address, “The Future of Banking: Digital Transformation Journey”, delivered by Brett King, the renowned futurist, bestselling author, award-winning speaker, Founder of Moven and Author of Bank 4.0.

The event also featured a goodwill message by Jim Ovia, CFR, Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank and opening remarks by Ebenezer Onyeagwu, Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc and Chairman of Body of Banks’ CEOs, Nigeria. Other eminent IT practitioners from top global brands who also made presentations include; Tarik Alatovic, Senior Partner, McKinsey; Juliet Ehimuan, West Africa Director, Google; Ola Williams, Country Manager, Microsoft Inc.; Andrew Uaboi, Vice President/Head, Visa West Africa; Mrs Rakiya Mohammed, Director of Information Technology, CBN; Chris Lu, Managing Director, Huawei Technologies Nigeria, and Dame (Dr.) Adaora Umeoji, OON, Deputy Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc, amongst others.

The fair featured three panel sessions. The first panel, which examined “The future of payments: what next and how can we get there”, had Prof. Yinka David West of Lagos Business School as the host, with four discussants, including Agada Apochi, Managing Director, UPSL; Olu Akanmu, Managing Director, Opay; Premier Oiwoh, Managing Director, NIBBS; and Kari Tukur, V/P & Head of Products East/West Africa, MasterCard.

The second panel explored the theme “What are the main challenges of digital transformation in the financial industry? How do we solve them?”. It was hosted by Brett King and had four discussants, including Tosin Eniolorunda, Managing Director, TeamApt; Obi Emetarom, Managing Director, Appzone; Dr. Babatunde Obrimah, COO, FintechNGR; and Olugbenga Agboola, Founder/CEO, Flutterwave.

The third panel discussion, titled “Driving the global trade revolution with technology: current transformation trends”, was hosted by Samuel Eze, Founder/CEO, Ourpass, and had five discussants, including Mike Ogbalu III, Managing Director, PAPSS; Akeem Lawal, Divisional CEO, Interswitch; Massimiliano Spalazzi, Country Manager, Jumia; and Dr. Ozoemena Nnaji, Director of Trade & Exchange, CBN.

 

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