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A Record 136 New Billion-dollar Companies Born in Q2, 2021, a Spike of 491% YoY

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Start-up - Investors King

Despite the global economy taking a hit amid the pandemic, the number of companies attaining the one billion valuations appears not to be slowing down. Consequently, the emerging unicorns have hit record levels backed by several factors. 

Data acquired by Finbold indicates that the number of new global unicorns has spiked 491% between Q2 2020 and Q2 2021 from 23 to a staggering 136. During the first three months of this year, the figure stood at 113, representing a growth of 140.4% from 2020 Q4’s 47 unicorns.

Between Q2 2016 and the second quarter of this year, the number of companies to attain a billion-dollar valuation grew by 871%. During the period, the least number of unicorns was recorded in Q4 2016 at 10. The data on the number of newly-born unicorns is provided by the tech market intelligence platform CB Insights.

Factors driving unicorn growth

The spike in unicorns has been fuelled by increased funding, high levels of innovation, high-quality talent, and the ability to sell to a large market. Furthermore, companies attaining the unicorn status have either disrupted existing markets or created entirely new markets backed by technological innovation and smart market strategies.

The significant growth of unicorns emerged amid the coronavirus pandemic that impacted the global economy. At some point, the pandemic resulted in slowed funding but picked up in the second quarter of last year.

Most of the unicorns that emerged amid the pandemic capitalized on the newfound urgency of online integrations. In general, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of online technologies. However, the companies had already recognized the need to shift online before the health crisis ushered in clients and investors.

Additionally, most unicorns have missed the chance to go public while preferring to take advantage of the plentiful private capital from hedge funds, mutual funds, and corporate venture capital firms.

Notably, during the last year, the IPO sector has witnessed a boom. Most companies usually avoid the IPOs route to avoid the risk of devaluation, especially if the public market thinks a company is worth less than its investors. Investors and startups also do not want to deal with the hassle of going public because of increased regulations.

Buyouts have also become popular, contributing to the billion-dollar valuation of these companies. Most of the big firms acquire many startups to diversify their business and handle competitors in the sector.

Venture capital’s role in unicorn growth

At the same time, the number of unicorns reflects the nature of venture capitalists who primarily depend on fast-growth strategies for a startup’s development.

Such an approach encourages investing large amounts of money in every round of financing to capture the most significant possible market share as soon as possible. This also prevents the emergence of substantial rivals in the marketplace. In the end, the unicorn company’s valuation skyrockets with every round of financing.

With an increased valuation, the company’s focus is on sustaining profitability. Although profits and growth don’t go hand in hand, the companies must build sustainable development rather than opt for a quick, short-sighted bump in profits.

Moving forward, the ever-increasing supply of capital to the largest VC-backed companies will potentially continue to fuel this activity for the next few years. In return, most of the companies will have a better chance of hitting unicorn status. However, to keep growing, unicorns need to develop their dynamic capabilities constantly.

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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Business

MultiChoice Nigeria Expands Product Offerings, Unveils 3 New DStv Business Packages

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Leading Pay-TV service provider, MultiChoice Nigeria has rolled out new features and expanded the product offerings on its DStv Business packages for businesses and corporate organizations in Nigeria.

The new DStv Business packages are DStv Work, DStv Play and DStv Stay.

Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe said: “We always ask ourselves how we can make our customers experience better for businesses. We have revamped our DStv Business packages, offering business owners the right mixture of entertainment to enhance the experience of guests and staff. At the end of the day, your guests will always remember how you made them feel.”

The DStv Work, tiered into 2 categories, DStv Work Ultra with 48 channels and DStv Work Essential with 75 channels, has been tailored to suit the businDStv Work, DStv Play and DStv Stay.ess environment including banks, offices, and other corporate organizations with specific offerings such as the latest news headlines from across the world, sports, weather updates and other work-related entertainment which sets the tone and keeps everyone well informed.

Commenting on the revamped DStv packages, Head of DStv Business, Abayomi Famakinwa said: “For the Work category, we have taken into consideration all our offices and different organizations. For Stay, we have considered all organizations across accommodation offerings such as hotels, B&Bs, Guesthouses and the likes; for Play, we are taking into consideration the Pubs, Clubs, lounges, restaurants, bars and the likes.”

The DStv Play package, tiered into 3 categories, DStv Play Ultra with 86 channels, DStv Play Essential with 61 channels, and DStv Play Basic with 40 channels aims to enhance guest experiences and ensure that they are always entertained with their favourite sports programmes and other first-class entertainment.

Famakinwa stated further: “A lot of our customers used to complain to us that there is only one package across the different bouquets so they couldn’t move from one package to the other, and we have listened as we always do and we have now tiered our packages into different categories for each of the segments. Secondly, we have factored in all the add-ons into our different packages; and from the decoder perspective we have bundled our decoders, which means, for each and every decoder that you have you can talk to MultiChoice and tell us what channels you would like to have on the decoder.”

The DStv Stay package, tiered into 3 categories, DStv Stay Basic with 77 channels, DStv Stay Essential with 99 channels, and DStv Stay Ultra with 139 channels are best suitable for hotels, motels, lodges, resorts, B&B and serviced apartments as it gives each guest – whether a kid, adult or elder – a memorable in-room experience due to the vast array of channels available to them during their stay.

Meanwhile, Chief Customer Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, Martin Mabutho said: “At the centre of what we do and the key characteristics that we live by day in day out is innovation. And a company that prides itself in innovation, not only from the point of view of what we do with our hard work, or the point of view of content ideas that are groundbreaking, but clearly also from the point of view of all we have seen in the communities and economies that we operate in, and how different businesses can also become our partners.”

Speaking on what informed the Pay TV’s decision to expand its offerings, Martin noted: “As content is consumed on different platforms, mobile devices, phones, tablets, and computers, the people that own those contents have started to tighten around usage rights; the people that regulate us as pay-TV service providers also start to expect that we hit the right notes when it comes to the issue of morality, political correctness, and religion amongst others. It is for that reason that we saw it fit that we sit down and categorise our packages of big chop of contents and say, those that use DStv in offices what is the content that we have, that firstly we have the rights to, and secondly, would be deemed appropriate.”

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Company News

Total Nigeria Rebounds from 2020 COVID-19 Damages, Grows Profit by 1,601 Percent to N8.1 Billion in H1 2021

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Total Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of Total, grew revenue by 42 percent from N106.705 billion recorded in the first half (H1) of 2020 to N151.333 billion in the first half of 2021.

In the company’s unaudited financial statements for the period, the cost of sales inched higher by 33.4 percent from N94.305 billion filed in the first half of 2020 to N124.83 billion in the period under review.

Total Nigeria’s gross profit appreciated by 105.7 percent to N25.504 billion in the first half of 2021, up from N12.400 billion in the corresponding period of 2020.

The company grew operating profit to N12.526 billion in the first half from -N716.812 million achieved in the first half of 2020 during the peak of COVID-19.

Profit before minimum tax jumped by 2,358 percent from -N523.898 million in H1 2020 to N11.779 billion in the period under review.

Total Nigeria paid N3.713 billion as income tax in the first half of 2021 to take the total profit after tax to N8.1 billion, a 1,601 percent increase from -N537.188 million posted in the corresponding period.

Shareholders’ funds expanded by 17 percent to N32.821 billion from N28.151 billion in H1 2020.

Total Nigeria’s share price grew by 49 percent during the period under review to N145.00 a share, up from N97.50 a unit in the first half of 2020.

Earnings per share jumped from -N1.58 in H1 2020 to N23 in H1 2021.

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Appointments

Wema Bank Announces Prince Olusegun Adesegun and Mr. Adeyemi Adefarakan as Non-Executive Directors

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Wema Bank- Investorsking

Wema Bank Plc has announced the appointments of Prince Olusegun Adesegun and Mr. Adeyemi Adefarakan as Non-Executive Directors of the Bank, effective July 19, 2021.

The announcement was after the Central Bank of Nigeria had approved both appointments, the lender disclosed in a statement signed by Johnson lebile, Company Secretary and Legal Adviser, Wema Bank Plc.

Prince Olusegun Adesegun Background

Prince Olusegun Adesegun is a Psychologist with a Masters’ Degree in Industrial Psychology from the University of Ibadan. He served and worked in Pyramid Products Limited as Manager in Training and rose to become the General Manager of the then Eastern Zone in 1988.

He retired and engaged in private business and has overtime garnered experience in marketing administration, management, and supply chain logistics solutions. He eventually became the CEO of Pecol Ventures Limited – a cash crop export and paper products company where he transformed the company from a small producer to a large, world-class Agric-Export firm.

He combined his private business with public service to become Commissioner for Works and Housing in Ogun State twice, and later served as the Deputy Governor of Ogun State between 2011-2015.

He currently serves as a Career Counsellor and Consultant for high quality investment decisions.

Adeyemi Adefarakan Profile

Adeyemi Adefarakan is a seasoned executive with strong global investment banking, portfolio risk, asset and financial management exposure.

He graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Economics & Accountancy from the prestigious City University, London, and holds a Masters degree in International Securities, Investment & Banking from the acclaimed ICMA Centre at the University of Reading, U.K. He is also an alumnus of the Emerging CFO: Strategic Financial Leadership Programme at Stanford Graduate School of Business, USA, and currently pursuing a Global CEO Africa Programme in the triumvirate of business schools comprising of Lagos Business School, Strathmore Business School (Nairobi, Kenya) and Yale School of Management (Connecticut, USA).

Yemi currently serves as the Group Chief Financial Officer and an Executive Director on the board of CBSL (Continental Broadcasting Service Limited). He holds other boards positions where he continues to create and extract shareholder value through active board engagement.

Prior to joining CBSL, Yemi forged his career on the trading floors of some of London’s financial powerhouses, to wit; State Street Global Markets, DRW Investments, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank and HSBC Global Asset Management, where he traded both vanilla and complex instruments and riskmanaged multi-billion-dollar multiasset portfolios.

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