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Uber Joins Boat Taxi Market in Lagos

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  • Uber Joins Boat Taxi Market in Lagos

Following the launched of Gboat by Gokada and other boat taxi companies looking to enhance revenue through service expansion, Uber, a global ride-hailing company, is perfecting its plans to expand into two West African nations and offer boat service in Lagos.

Uber’s Chief Business Officer, Brooks Entwistle, who was in Lagos disclosed this on Thursday.

He said the company is in talks with Lagos state regulators regarding boat service on it waterways to ease traffic gridlock in the city.

“We are looking at the waterways here, which are very interesting to us as it relates to a potential service,” Entwistle said. “The company has launched a boat service in the Indian city of Mumbai in the last few months.”

“We did launch Uber Boat in Mumbai and we have watched the product develop. It’s in its early stages and we think there is high relevance here,” he said, referring to Lagos.

Entwistle, who described Lagos as “one of the great growth opportunity cities in the world”, said Uber has also held discussions with a bus firm and regulators in the city.

According to him, personal car ownership is low in sub-Saharan Africa despite the growing population. This, he said is further worsened by the lack of efficient mass transport systems in fast-growing cities.

While Uber has 36,000 active drivers in sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of its operations are in East and South Africa. Uber cab-hailing service is largely absent in West Africa, except Nigeria and Ghana, he stated.

However, Entwistle said the company is already in talks with regulators in Ivory Coast and Senegal regarding a possible entrance into the untapped markets.

“Both Abidjan and Dakar are logical opportunities for us,” said Entwistle, adding that discussions were at an early stage. He did not disclose further details.

“We have talked about West Africa today as being a big growth priority for us and launch priority for us moving forward,” said Entwistle.

This is coming a few weeks after Gokada, a motorbike company operating in Lagos, announced the launch of Gboat.

Transport companies operating in Lagos are starting to realise the challenges posed by Lagos traffic to their revenue. Therefore, in an effort to increase revenue generation and expand operations, they are forced to compete in all transport sub-niches.

Earlier this month, Bolt said it is talking to truck drivers in the country, while Uber just announced it had discussions with a bus firm. The battle for the heart of Lagos continues.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Interswitch is the Most Valuable African Startup

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interswitch limited

Interswitch, the leading payment processing company headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, is Africa’s most valuable start-up at a US$ 1 billion valuation.

Founded in 2002, Interswitch uses switching infrastructure to connect different banks in Nigeria and powered banks’ ATM cards. Presently, the company has over 11,000 ATMs on its network.

In 2010, Helios Investment Partners bought two-thirds of the company and in the following year, Interswitch bought a 60 percent stake in Bankom in Uganda.

Interswitch owns Verve, Nigeria’s most used payment card, and accounted for 18 million of 25 million cards in circulation in Nigeria. The company also owns Quickteller and recently purchased VANSO, a mobile-focused technology provider to banks.

Like Interswitch, Stripe, the company that acquired Nigeria’s Paystack for over US$200 million, is the most valuable startup in the USA at over US$70 billion valuation.

Klarna, Nubank, Paytm and Grab leads in Europe, Latin America, India and Southeast Asia with valuations of US$10.65 billion, US$10 billion, US$16 billion and US$14 billion, respectively.

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E-commerce Black Friday Sales Estimated to Surge by 40% to 10.2 Billion

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The 2020 holiday shopping season will be unique, as the pandemic shifted consumer behavior from retail stores to online shopping. In response, many retailers moved their services online to not miss out on this year’s profits. Atlas VPN team decided to look into how e-commerce sales are set to perform in the upcoming long weekend.

Researchers predict that the US e-commerce revenue will exceed last year’s earnings by 49.5% on Thanksgiving day, totaling $6.18 billion in revenue. Black Friday is calculated to reach $10.2 billion in sales, exceeding last years numbers by 39.4%

Rachel Welch, COO of Atlas VPN, shares her tips on how to stay safe when shopping online during the holiday season:

“Watch out for too-good-to-be-true deals from unknown sellers, as cybercriminals will also expect to turn a profit during the holiday season, even though they are not selling anything, except maybe a bag full of disappointment.”

 Finally, analysis shows that on the last day of the long and full of special offers Thanksgiving weekend, consumers will go all out to bring record sales for e-commerce businesses, adding up to $12.89 billion.

To look at these five days from a wider perspective, e-commerce companies can expect to earn around 39.72% more than they did last year.

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Alibaba Merchants Sell $40B in First Half Hour of Singles Day 2020, More than 2019 Event Full Sales

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Singles Day 2020 was a roaring success, cementing its position as the world’s biggest shopping holiday. Sales across Alibaba’s platforms during the event totaled $74.1 billion, up from $38 billion in 2019.

According to the research data analyzed and published by Stock Apps, within the first 30 minutes of the event, the gross merchandise volume (GMV) surpassed 2019’s full-event sales, reaching $40.87 billion.

Moreover, instead of live events, Alibaba had 400 company executives and 30 celebrities hosting livestreams. Based on a study by Coresight, the Chinese livestream market is set to rack in sales worth $125 billion in 2020, compared to $63 billion in 2019. The US livestream market is a small fraction of that, valued at $5 billion.

China’s Tech Heavyweights Lose $280 Billion in Market Cap

Alibaba Singles Day 2020 dwarfed other major shopping holidays as has been the trend in previous years.

According to Practical eCommerce, Amazon Prime Day 2020 sales totaled $10.4 billion up from $7.16 billion in 2019. Cyber Monday sales in the US amounted to $7.9 billion in 2020 according to Statista. Black Friday and Thanksgiving added $9.7 billion to the figure to make $17.6 billion for the weekend.

Similarly, in 2018, Singles Day sold $30.8 billion while Prime Day sold $4.19 billion and Thanksgiving weekend got $14.2 billion.

However, the 2020 Singles Day event came in the wake of Ant Group’s suspension of a $37 billion listing. The suspension resulted in a $76 billion drop in Alibaba’s market cap, as the tech giant owns a two-thirds stake in Ant Group. Moreover, China’s regulators released anti-trust draft rules prior to the event, aimed at controlling monopolistic behavior.

Following the release, Alibaba shares plunged by 9.8%, as JD.com shed off 9.2%. Tencent similarly saw a 7.39% drop and Xiaomi fell by 8.18%. For the five companies, there was a combined loss of $280 billion in market capitalization.

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