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Bolt Introduces Verification Portal for Drivers

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Bolt-Investors King
  • Bolt Introduces Verification Portal for Drivers

Bolt, one of the ride-hailing companies in Nigeria, has introduced an identity verification portal for its drivers.

In a bid to improve security and safety, the company partnered with YouVerify to launch a fully customised secure portal for drivers on its platform.

Mr. Femi Akin-Laguda, Bolt’s City Manager in Lagos, who spoke at an event organised to announce the identity verification portal, said the safety of both passengers and drivers remain paramount to the company. Therefore, it is important for Bolt to continuously improve its safety features and create a portal where drivers can request and check verification as part of the driver on-boarding process.

“This unique portal was developed in partnership with our supply operations team ensuring that it effectively meets our needs but is also not excessively intrusive for our driver-partners.

“The system will be driven by YouVerify’s proprietary identity verification technology which provides the tools to validate various documentation and data and provide key requirements for an ideal verification solution that boosts both service quality and customer safety,” Akin-Laguda said.

He also explained that the new portal allows the company to conduct checks that were not previously available.

According to him, the new home address verification provides higher levels of identity assurance than the previous method and BVN check helps curb frauds and impersonations.

“All the driver has to do is initiate the verification request, provide all the information required and the portal verifies the driver’s home address, the driver’s documents and face, and verifies the BVN against the database of NIBSS to confirm their identity,” he added.

Speaking on the new partnership, Gbenga Odegbami, the CEO, YouVerify, said; “our partnership with Bolt to deploy the highest security and privacy standards will ensure that all verifications are done reliably and securely without compromising the privacy of the drivers.”

Bolt was formerly known as Taxify.

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

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Musk’s SpaceX Poised for $200 Billion Valuation in New Share Sale

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SpaceX- Investors King

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has initiated discussions about a new tender offer for existing shares, potentially valuing the private space exploration company at an astonishing $200 billion.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the upcoming tender offer is set to begin in June, providing an opportunity for employees and insiders to sell shares at a premium price.

SpaceX, formally known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp., is reportedly weighing a share price of $108 to $110 apiece for the tender offer.

Although the final terms have yet to be determined, this move would mark a significant increase from the company’s most recent valuation of $180 billion, achieved through a similar tender offer.

The potential $200 billion valuation would place SpaceX among the elite ranks of the world’s largest companies by market capitalization, rivalling giants in various industries.

This valuation underscores the company’s impressive growth trajectory and its pivotal role in advancing space technology and exploration.

“We do liquidity rounds for employees and investors every ~6 months,” Musk stated in a recent post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

He emphasized that SpaceX does not require additional capital at this time and that the company plans to buy back shares during the tender offer.

The planned tender offer will enable employees and early investors to liquidate some of their holdings, providing them with an opportunity to capitalize on the company’s substantial growth.

This liquidity event is part of SpaceX’s broader strategy to offer periodic opportunities for stakeholders to monetize their investments, thereby maintaining morale and financial flexibility within the organization.

SpaceX’s ascent to a $200 billion valuation reflects its successful execution of multiple high-profile projects, including the development and deployment of the Starlink satellite internet constellation and the ongoing missions involving the Falcon and Starship rockets.

These ventures have not only garnered significant revenue but have also positioned SpaceX as a leader in the burgeoning commercial space sector.

The company’s rapid progress has also been bolstered by lucrative contracts with NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense, further solidifying its status as a critical player in both governmental and private space initiatives.

While representatives for SpaceX have yet to comment on the tender offer discussions, industry analysts speculate that the high interest from both insider sellers and potential buyers could drive robust participation in the upcoming share sale.

The final size of the tender offer may be adjusted based on this interest, ensuring optimal outcomes for all parties involved.

As SpaceX continues to push the boundaries of space exploration and technology, its rising valuation is a testament to the visionary leadership of Elon Musk and the dedicated efforts of the company’s workforce.

The forthcoming tender offer, with its potential $200 billion valuation, marks another significant milestone in SpaceX’s journey toward revolutionizing space travel and expanding humanity’s reach beyond Earth.

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Telecommunications

Airtel Africa’s Subsidiary Repays $550m Bond, Achieves Zero-Debt Position

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Airtel Financial Results - Investors King

Telecommunications giant Airtel Africa announced that its subsidiary, Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) B.V., has successfully repaid its $550 million bond in full.

This achievement marks a pivotal moment for the company, as it now stands in a zero-debt position at the holding company level.

The news came through a corporate filing with the Nigerian Exchange Limited, signed by Airtel Africa’s Group Company Secretary, Simon O’Hara, on Monday.

The $550 million bond, known as the 5.35% Guaranteed Senior Notes, matured on Monday, and the repayment was made entirely from cash reserves at the holding company.

Airtel Africa highlighted that this repayment is part of its strategic initiative to reduce external foreign currency debt. Back in June 2019, during its IPO, the group had a substantial $2.719 billion of external debt at the holding company level.

This indebtedness exposed the company to currency fluctuations and necessitated the upstreaming of funds to cover interest costs and principal repayments.

Through consistent execution of its strategy focused on strong free cash flow generation and successful upstreaming efforts, Airtel Africa has been steadily reducing its holding company debt over the past few years.

The culmination of these efforts is the achievement of a zero-debt position at the holding company level.

The company’s current leverage and capital structure underscore the success of its capital allocation strategy since its IPO.

Airtel Africa intends to continue reducing foreign currency debt obligations across its operating companies (OpCos) in line with this strategy.

Despite this significant financial feat, Airtel Africa faced challenges in its financial performance, primarily due to foreign exchange headwinds.

The company reported a $89 million loss after tax, translating to a $549 million loss net of tax.

This loss was mainly attributed to the devaluation of the naira in June 2023 and the devaluation of the Malawian kwacha in November 2023.

The devaluation of the naira had a profound impact on Airtel Africa’s financial results, resulting in derivative and foreign exchange losses amounting to $1.07 million during the year.

However, despite these challenges, the company’s board proposed a final dividend of $3.27 per share for the year ending March 2024.

Airtel Africa’s successful repayment of its $550 million bond and attainment of a zero-debt position underscore its commitment to financial prudence and strategic debt management.

The company’s resilience in navigating foreign exchange fluctuations reflects its robust operational framework and sets a positive trajectory for its future financial performance.

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Flutterwave Hit by Another Security Breach, Billions of Naira Diverted to Multiple Bank Accounts

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Flutterwave - Investors King

In another blow to the financial technology sector, Flutterwave, a prominent player in Nigeria’s digital payment landscape, has been rocked by yet another security breach, resulting in the diversion of billions of naira to multiple undisclosed bank accounts.

This incident is the latest in a series of setbacks for the fintech company, raising concerns about the integrity of its systems and the safety of customer funds.

According to insider sources familiar with the matter, unauthorized transactions amounting to approximately ₦11 billion ($7 million) were illicitly transferred to several accounts during April 2024.

However, other sources suggest the figure could be as high as ₦20 billion ($13.5 million), underscoring the magnitude of the breach.

Flutterwave, responding to inquiries regarding the breach, acknowledged the unauthorized activities but stopped short of confirming the exact amount involved.

In a statement to TechCabal, the company assured the public that no customer funds were lost or compromised, and the confidentiality of customer data remained intact.

The modus operandi of the perpetrators involved transferring the stolen funds to various accounts across five financial institutions over a span of four days.

To evade detection, the transactions were carefully orchestrated to stay below thresholds that trigger fraud checks, highlighting the sophistication of the operation.

Law enforcement agencies have been notified of the breach, and investigations are underway to apprehend those responsible.

Flutterwave has also initiated measures to mitigate the impact of the incident, including temporarily restricting the accounts implicated in the unauthorized transfers.

Industry analysts note that this is not the first time Flutterwave has fallen victim to such security breaches. Over the past fourteen months, the company has grappled with multiple incidents of unauthorized transfers, raising serious concerns about the adequacy of its cybersecurity measures.

In October 2023, Flutterwave reported unauthorized transactions totaling ₦19 billion ($24 million), affecting thousands of account holders across 35 banks and financial institutions.

Subsequent breaches in March and February 2023 saw millions of naira diverted to numerous bank accounts, further exposing vulnerabilities in the company’s systems.

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