Zinox Secures $25m to Roll Out Digital Hubs
Zinox Technologies, a foremost Information and Communications Technology (ICT) company has secured a whopping $25 million counterpart funding with which it seeks to roll out a trio of digital hubs in Nigeria that will create jobs for over 500 Nigerians.
According to the technology company, construction work has commenced in one of the digital hubs in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, and the fund will help speed up work and ensure that the project is completed in good time.
The hubs, among other things, will create employment and empower thousands of digitally-minded Nigerian youths in search of the right platforms to develop their skills.
Chairman of Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh made the disclosure when the acting Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Vincent Olatunji, led a team of the agency on official working visit to the Zinox headquarters in Gbagada, Lagos recently.
According to Ekeh, the other digital hub located in Abuja, which is nearing completion, would become active by early 2017.
“With the current improvements raising hopes of stability in public power supply by early 2017, the company plans to install the digital plants and commence production shortly,” Ekeh added.
“Our investment in digital hubs will provide jobs for 500 Nigerians, with more expected to benefit from other investments set to commence once the economy stabilises,” he said.
Ekeh said the Nigerian economy is in dire need of an alternative to crude oil, a role, which he said the ICT sector could effortlessly play in boosting the nations dwindling earnings. In the view of the Zinox boss, Nigeria has millions of young Nigerians of digital mindset with the potential to become dollar billionaires.
Referencing the case of Nigerian start-up and pioneer composite e-commerce outfit Yudala, which received little funding from investors and within one year is a leading e-commerce brand in Nigeria employing over 400 graduates, Ekeh disclosed that their strength is not cash but knowledge of the business backed with strong front and back-end technologies. Ekeh affirmed that thousands of such brilliant Nigerians exist in the country, even as he urged the government to partner technologically-minded companies in unearthing such raw digital diamonds in the country.
I had a similar experience when Zinox acquired an Ibadan-based software company Xputer. The young chaps behind Xputer were so talented and had huge capacity to develop amazing content but no individual, corporate or government saw any potential in them. Some of the apps developed by these young Nigerians are being used today by e-commerce companies in Nigeria which they would have paid millions of dollars for, had it been developed by foreign companies Ekeh said.
Responding, Olatunji affirmed the commitment of the agency in partnering with Zinox Technologies in the task of empowering the youth through the provision of requisite capacity-building programmes and initiatives.
Olatunji who expressed delight with the infrastructure and facilities on display at the Zinox headquarters during the tour of the company premises, disclosed that NITDA is keen to empower tech start-ups as a means of promoting opportunities in non-oil sectors, noting that a partnership with Zinox Technologies will go a long way in helping to achieve the aim.
“We cannot talk about the ICT sector in Nigeria and indeed in Africa without mentioning Zinox. Zinox has been in the forefront of the digital revolution on the continent and has continued to play a major role. You have shown extreme world class capacity and passion as a leader in the sector and this is why we have come on this visit to restate our commitment towards working with Zinox to achieve our objectives of empowering tech start-ups and boosting the revenue profile of the ICT sector,” Olatunji said.
With the digital hubs, we are looking to generate creative employment for our youth while creating the much-needed enabling environment and platform for more of these youths to develop their capacities and unleash their creative abilities. This is part of our contribution towards reducing the scourge of unemployment and boosting the revenue-earning streams of the government, Ekeh said.
World’s Richest Man Jeff Bezos Backed African Fintech Startup, Chipper Cash
The world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, has invested in an African fintech start-up, Chipper Cash, according to the latest report from Tech Crunch.
Chipper Cash, a startup that helps facilitate money transfer across Africa and beyond, raised a $30 million Series B funding round led by Ribbit Capital with participation from Bezos Expeditions, a personal VC fund of Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon Inc.
Chipper Cash currently has 3 million users on its platform and processes an average of 80,000 transactions per day. The startup operates in the following seven African countries; Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya.
According to Ham Serunjogi, the Chief Executive Officer, Chipper Cash, the company attained a monthly payments value of $100 million in June 2020.
As part of efforts to grow beyond its current market, Chipper Cash plans to expand its product and geographical reach. In terms of product, the company plans to add cryptocurrency trading options and investment services.
“We’ll always be a P2P financial transfer platform at our core. But we’ve had demand from our users to offer other value services…like purchasing cryptocurrency assets and making investments in stocks,” Serunjogi stated on the phone.The fintech company recently added beta dropdowns to its website and mobile application to enable customers to buy and sell Bitcoin and even invest in United States stocks from Africa. It partners DriveWealth, a U.S financial services company, to allow stock trading.
“We’ll launch [the stock product] in Nigeria first so Nigerians have the option to buy fractional stocks — Tesla shares, Apple shares or Amazon shares and others — through our app. We’ll expand into other countries thereafter,” said Serunjogi.
On the financial service side, Chipper Cash plans to offer more API payments solutions. “We’ve been getting a lot of requests from people on our P2P platform, who also have business enterprises, to be able to collect payments for sale of goods,” explained Serunjogi.
Top Four Social Networks Boast 8 Billion Active Users in Q3 2020
In Q3 2020, Facebook inched closer to becoming the first social network with 3 billion users. Based on the research data analyzed and published by Comprar Acciones, it had 2.74 billion monthly active users at the end of September 2020, up by 12% year-over-year (YoY).
Facebook was the most popular social networking platform. YouTube and WhatsApp followed with 2 billion users each, while Messenger was third with 1.3 billion. In total, the four had a cumulative 8 billion users.
Facebook Family User Base Grows to 3.21 Billion in Q3 2020
During the period, Facebook also had a 12% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) increase in the total number of its daily active users (DAUs), to reach 1.82 billion. Asia Pacific led in DAUs, going from 699 million in Q2 to 727 million in Q3 2020. Europe remained flat at 305 million, while the US & Canada dropped from 198 million to 196 million.
In terms of monthly active users (MAUs), Asia Pacific was also the top market with 1.17 billion users. Europe followed with 413 million, while the US & Canada had 255 million.
In the same period, the Facebook family of apps had a total of 3.21 billion users globally. Of its messaging platforms, WhatsApp was the most popular with 2 billion monthly users in October 2020. Facebook Messenger was second with 1.3 billion monthly users.
On the other hand, YouTube reported that its Premium and Music services had 30 million paid subscribers in Q3 2020. The number had doubled in less than 18 months as it only had 15 million paid subscribers in May 2019.
According to Sensor Tower, Youtube was the second highest grossing mobile app in Q3 2020 across both Google Play Store and Apple App Store. During the period, its revenue increased by 59% YoY. On the other hand, Facebook came in second on the list of top mobile apps by downloads, in spite of a 2% YoY drop.
LinkedIn Phishing Scams Most Clicked With a 47% Open Rate in Q3 2020
According to data presented by the Atlas VPN team, emails with a keyword “LinkedIn” in the subject line topped the list of most opened social media phishing emails three years in a row. In Q3 2020, LinkedIn phishing emails had a 47% open rate — only a 1% drop from the same period last year.
Top-clicked LinkedIn phishing emails include such subject lines as “You appeared in new searches this week!”, “People are looking at your LinkedIn profile”, “Please add me to your Linkedin network”, and “Join my network on LinkedIn”.
The second most opened social media phishing emails include the keyword “Twitter”. Emails with a subject line “Someone has sent you a direct message on Twitter!” had a 15% open rate.
Phishing attacks exploiting Twitter were followed by Facebook phishing scams. Emails titled “Your friend tagged you in photos on Facebook” had a 12% click rate.
Payroll phishing emails were the most opened last quarter
Cybercriminals are often targeting employees, as such attacks can yield much higher profits. What is more, phishing emails are usually disguised as legitimate and basic messages employees see day after day.
That is one of the reasons why when it comes to general email subject lines, the top most opened phishing emails in the third quarter of this year were payroll emails. More specifically, emails titled “Payroll Deduction Form” had an impressive 33% open rate.
Furthermore, as the worldwide pandemic is still ongoing, COVID-19 themed emails continued to lure people into the phishing traps. Emails with keywords “COVID-19” and “pandemic” saw a 32% open rate.
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