Bolt Bags €20 Million From World Bank’s IFC to Expand Operations in Emerging Economies
Bolt, the leading European mobility platform, announced new funding of €20 million received from World Bank’s IFC.
“We’re delighted to announce that we’ve received €20 million in funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group”, Bolt said.
The investment came less than three months after the Estonian company raised €150 million in a round led by D1 Capital Partners.
Through this investment, Bolt will continue to develop mobility solutions that create earning opportunities, stimulate entrepreneurship and improve access to transportation in emerging economies. One of the shared goals of Bolt and the IFC is to empower women and improve their access to mobility.
According to Stephanie von Friedeburg, IFC Senior Vice President of Operations, “Technology can and should unlock new pathways for sustainable development and women’s empowerment.”
“Our investment in Bolt aims to help tap into technology to disrupt the transport sector in a way that is good for the environment, creates more flexible work opportunities for women, and provides safer and more affordable transportation access in emerging markets.”
Recently, Bolt introduced a women-only ride-type in South Africa for her customers to address safety needs, enable women passengers to connect with women drivers, improve women’s mobility and access to earning opportunities.
Markus Villig, CEO of Bolt, said the goal of the company and its partnership with IFC is to Provide strategic value to emerging economies
“We are looking forward to partnering with IFC to further support entrepreneurship, empower women and increase access to affordable mobility services in Africa and Eastern Europe.
“Together with the investment from the European Investment Bank last year, we are proud to have sizable and strategically important institutions backing us and recognising the strategic value Bolt is providing to emerging economies.”
MTN Nigeria Partners With Amazon Prime Video to Offer Mobile-Only Subscription
MTN Nigeria, the largest telecommunication company in the country, has teamed up with Amazon’s Prime Video to offer Prime Video Mobile Edition to its customers.
This collaboration between MTN, I Cell Communications, Vector, and the Mondia Group has made MTN Nigeria the first telco in Nigeria to offer Prime Video Mobile Edition.
Prime Video Mobile Edition is a single-device, mobile-only subscription that offers MTN customers access to Prime Video’s extensive catalogue of more than 9,000 movies and 1,500 TV shows in standard definition. This subscription comes with an affordable and dedicated data package for streaming and downloading.
According to A’isha Umar Mumuni, Chief Digital Officer at MTN Nigeria, “We are excited to offer Prime Video subscriptions to millions of Nigerians, providing them with access to entertainment on their own terms – where and when they want it. Video-on-demand has become a major part of our lives, and this launch offer is important to make every customer’s journey to their desired content more accessible and affordable.”
The launch of Prime Video Mobile Edition plans being offered to MTN customers marks a significant milestone in the African digital content market. This partnership brings together critical stakeholders, including i-Cell Multimedia Limited, the mobile VAS Aggregator License holder, Vector Telecoms Limited, the mobile service provider, and Mondia Group acting as Technical Partner to Amazon.
i-Cell Multimedia Limited has played a critical role in this launch, being a leading and licensed digital content aggregator with a reputation for delivering high-quality digital content to mobile subscribers in Nigeria. Its relationship with Amazon is a testament to its commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction.
H. Fayad, the Chief Operating Officer of i-Cell Multimedia, said, “We are thrilled to work with Amazon to enable MTN customers to subscribe to Prime Video Mobile Edition. This is a game-changer for the Nigerian entertainment industry, and we are proud to be at the forefront of this exciting development.”
MTN Nigeria’s collaboration with Amazon Prime Video not only benefits its customers but also the Nigerian movie industry. With over 150 Nollywood titles already on the Prime Video platform and several Nigerian Originals currently in the pipeline, this relationship will bring value to both customers and the Nigerian movie industry.
Twitter Paid Blue Service Made Less Profit Three Months After Relaunch
Recent reports reveal that microblogging platform Twitter paid blue service has made less profit since its relaunch three months ago.
The giant social media platform relaunch of its blue service which comes with enhanced features such as an edit button, verification badge, etc, has earned the platform just $11 million in mobile-based subscriptions since it was acquired by Elon Musk.
Although the $11 million is no doubt an underwhelming amount, it should be noted that web-based subscriptions are not included in the calculations. Investors Kings understands that the figure represents the statistics of the 20 markets where the Twitter Blue service has been launched.
Meanwhile, Twitter’s blue service with verifications is now available everywhere, and the old checkmarks will vanish on April 1 this year, which may likely increase Twitter’s revenue. Reports show that Twitter Blue has more than 385,000 mobile subscribers worldwide on both iOS and Android. The U.S. is its biggest market which accounts for 246,000 subscribers spending around $8 million through their mobile devices.
The decline in the usage of the blue service has been attributed to the overall uncertain economy, which had slowed down market spending. It is also happening at a time when the platform has witnessed a massive drop in its revenue after several giant brands such as Ford, Audi, Pfizer, etc paused their advertisements. Ad revenue represented $1.08 billion of Twitter’s $1.18 billion total revenue in the second quarter of 2022, the last period when the company’s financial data was publicly available.
It would be recalled that Musk in a bid to lure brands back to the platform, unveiled a lucrative plan where companies who spend more than $500,000 on Twitter ads will receive a 100% match on their spending in equivalent marketing value up to $1 million. It has also partnered with ad tech companies DoubleVerify and IAS on brand safety initiatives amid advertiser exits. These platforms will inform advertisers if their ad is placed around inappropriate content.
Ever since acquiring Twitter, Musk has continuously attempted to renege on his $44 billion acquisition after admitting that the company was experiencing revenue issues and cost challenges. Known for his ambitious nature, Musk will continue to look for ways to generate more revenue for Twitter.
Opay Expresses Appreciation to Millions of Users Over Increased Usage of Its Platform
Nigerian fintech platform Opay has recently expressed appreciation to its millions of users over the increased usage of its platform in the last 3 months.
The payment and financial service company disclosed that its customer base crossed over 30 million registered app users, as well as 500,000 agents and 100,000 merchants.
Expressing appreciation to users and merchants, the company said, “We express our appreciation to over 30 million registered app users 500,000 agents, and 100,000 merchants who use Opay daily to make transactions and ultimately spread OPay’s mission of shared prosperity to all”.
Opay is reported to have gained widespread adoption in the past three months by individuals and merchants, following the failure of several traditional bank apps that prompted a lot of Nigerians to resort to various fintech startups to carry out transactions.
The naira redesign and subsequent cash shortage made digital banking more challenging for Nigerians. Increased reliance on banking apps and USSD platforms negatively impacted bank performance, putting strain on the already unsteady infrastructure of digital banking. This saw bank transfers often take longer than usual and failed transactions take up to five days or more to be resolved.
According to findings by Investors King, it was discovered that among several fintechs used by Nigerians for transactions, Opay is said to be the most widely used due to how seamless it is in receiving and sending funds. On social media, the app has seen a lot of positive PR among Nigerian users.
A large percentage of users disclosed that with Opay, they do not have to worry about network issues as the app is always available 24/7. The app has been lauded for offering relief to Nigerians, especially at a time of unprecedented transaction failure.
Aside from its swift transaction process, Opay also offers users various flexible savings tools to users, in which they get to enjoy up to 18% annual interest and get expert financial management to help them reach their goals faster when they bank with the platform.
It is interesting to note that the fintech startup is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, insured by the NDIC, and trusted by over 18 million users. OPay is a leading mobile money (MMO) and financial technology platform in Nigeria. The mobile payment operation focuses on reaching the massive unbanked population of Nigeria.
It was reported to be the fastest African startup to cross a $1 billion valuation mark and has continued to create the perfect recipe for a thriving fintech sector. OPay went from a popular startup with commercial motorcycles in Lagos, Nigeria, to a financial services company worth $2 billion. The startup’s mission is to make financial services more inclusive with technology.
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