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Solar-Powered Carmaker Lightyear, Announces $81M Investment As It Gears Up For Production

Solar powered cars have come to the fore, as the future of the automotive industry gradually drifts from the production of cars that use fuel to solar-powered cars

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solar car maker Lightyear

With the increased interest in renewable and sustainable energy systems across the globe, Solar powered cars have come to the fore, as the future of the automotive industry gradually drifts from the production of cars that use fuel to solar-powered cars.

Lightyear, a Dutch startup developing a long-range hybrid solar-powered car, recently announced that it has raised the sum of $81 million as it prepares to commence production of its first vehicle in the coming months.

While recent history is littered with examples of prototype solar-powered vehicles, the burgeoning electric car movement has so far been mostly limited to automobiles that need to be plugged into the grid to charge, or hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) that self-charge while driving.

As automotive makers are venturing into the manufacturing of electric cars, they discovered that recharging of batteries, among a range of other issues has been the Achilles heel of electric cars.

A large majority of them believe that Solar powered cars are the ideal solution, as these cars can run smoothly at night even without the presence of sunlight.

It is interesting to note that Lightyear is not the only automotive company that has begun the production of solar-powered cars, as several other companies are pushing to make solar-powered cars a mass-market reality.

Several automotive companies, such as Aptera Motors, Atlis Motor Vehicles, Fisker Inc., and Sono Motors, as well as established OEMs like Hyundai, Tesla, and Toyota, are developing solar cars or hybrid versions of them.

Introducing solar charging to the electric vehicle fray essentially solves two problems in one. Drivers don’t have to worry so much about where the nearest charging station is, as the car can top itself up while moving or when parked.

And cars can travel farther without having to look for a place to plug in. With Lightyear promising a range of more than 600 miles on a single full charge.

This is, of course, hugely dependent on individual driving habits, as well as the time of year, given that sunlight is pivotal.

In perfect, optimal conditions, Lightyear said that the vehicle can potentially power itself for up to 40 miles each day, in addition to whatever power it garners from being plugged into the grid.

Lightyear is scheduled to begin production of its Lightyear 0 (formerly called Lightyear One) car this coming fall, costing prospective buyers a cool €250,000.

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Fund Raising

The Fundraising Market in Africa is Growing, But it’s Hard Out There for Startups, Says DAI Magister

Analysis of the current African market by boutique investment bank DAI Magister, reveals that investors have so far bucked macrotrends by exhibiting confidence in investing into African businesses, particularly in first and second round raising.

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African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)- Investors King

Analysis of the current African market by boutique investment bank DAI Magister, reveals that investors have so far bucked macrotrends by exhibiting confidence in investing into African businesses, particularly in first and second round raising.

However, nascent start-ups are facing difficulty, with just half the number of accelerator deals taking place in Q2 2022 compared with Q2 2021.

DAI Magister has analysed the African market over the past four to six weeks in anticipation of the upcoming fundraising season, to assess the challenges and requirements for key finance functions through the lens of fundraising.

The global investment market overall has declined, with many investors treading cautiously. However Africa’s ecosystem has experienced two very strong quarters in the first half of 2022. June 2022 was the market’s strongest June yet, while Q2 and H1 2022 were also the strongest performing Q2 and H1 on record. The ‘big four’ venture capital markets in particular have seen capital flow into their regions, particularly Kenya, Egypt and Nigeria while South Africa has remained neutral.

According to DAI Magister, in the past few weeks African raises have definitely slowed, with the general pace of activity more moderate than this time last year. However, capital is continuing to flow into deals where companies can demonstrate a clear path to profitability and an open market to continue to scale. Also, Africa continues to have high structural growth rates, which are much higher than the rest of the world, and an ecosystem of startups that are geared towards solving primary ‘must have’ needs.

Risana Zitha, Head of Africa at DAI Magister said: “We’re building an interesting picture of the mindset of an investor looking to pool their resources into African businesses. There is an increased emphasis on compliance and capital efficiency, and many companies are exploring dual track mergers and acquisitions (M&A). In fact, all African M&A deals we’ve been a part of recently have been dual tracks.”

Growing businesses in the African market are in a constant state of raising capital, and it is essential that businesses have repeat, successful rounds to stay competitive. However, it’s no longer the seller’s market that many African investors and startups saw in 2021. Now it’s a more balanced picture, with many investors taking more time and being more choosy than this time last year.

Risana continued: “We’re seeing that the rules have changed since last year. Restructuring to cut costs was not on the agenda in 2021, but now, businesses are being open about layoffs – and it’s being encouraged.

“Investors have formed strong views on what they ‘like’ and ‘don’t like’, which is very different to even just a year ago. In response to this, African businesses need to debate whether they take a radical approach to rethinking their business model and how they make their money, or whether they need to make minor adjustments in order to attract investment during a period of balance. Also, it’s important to remember that successfully raising even a smaller amount than originally anticipated has far more value in the current environment. Basically, a $ raised now is worth far more than a $ raised 12 months ago, because many competitors are seeing fundraisings delayed, and capital is always far more valuable when others do not have it..

“Flexibility is crucial to ensure that businesses are responding to the market so get that all-important ‘yes’ from investors.”

While the fundraising market overall is growing steadily, nascent start-ups are having a harder time raising capital. Just 16% of deals in Q2 2022 were accelerator, compared with 32% in Q2 2021.

Risana added: “There has been a significant decrease in accelerator deals when comparing Q2 2022 and Q2 2021. This is in part due to decrease in first time investors from the US and Europe, increase in financing in later rounds and an increased level of sophisticated questions from investors.

“Startups are likely to have less experience raising investment, so it’s essential that they’re able to take advantage of the growing market. This can only be done with the right guidance and resources to ensure they can make a success of their business and reap the benefits of the increased funding we’re seeing in later rounds.

“The same goes for businesses in Africa of all sizes. It’s a volatile time no matter what round you’re raising, and we’re seeing the need for leaders to begin to think differently about their business and approach to fundraising.”

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Fintech

Multi-channel Payments Platform Interswitch Unveils ‘Quickteller Transport’ to Enrich Commuters Travel Experience

Interswitch has added ‘Quickteller Transport’ to its arrays of innovative services to enrich travelers’ booking experiences.

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interswitch limited

African integrated payments and digital commerce platform company Interswitch has added ‘Quickteller Transport’ to its arrays of innovative services to enrich travelers’ booking experiences.

This new feature will enable users to easily search and book inter-state trips from multiple travel operators across Nigeria.

Users will also be able to filter their search to specific or preferred operators, compare fares based on criteria such as vehicle type, departure point, and time, as well as access specialized functions provided by transport operators, including seat selection and preferred pick-up location option, all at their convenience.

Speaking at the launch, the MD of Interswitch Industry Ecosystems Division, Chinyere Don-Okhuofu disclosed that the ‘Quickteller Transport’ feature is another innovative step taken by the company in its commitment to continuously provide its customers with convenient access to lifestyle and payment services.

In her words, “Transportation is a necessary aspect of human life, enabling both social and economic interactions. In keeping with our culture of driving innovation and positively impacting consumer lifestyle in the society, we developed our Quickteller Transport service to provide added travel booking and payment convenience to our over 5 million customers.

“Built as a multimodal offering, we will be rolling it out to include other travel and transportation modes such as trains and ferries, working with operators across Nigeria.

“We are ecstatic to be launching this service. And as we launch our suite of new complementary services, Quickteller customers can be assured of our commitment to providing an excellent experience using Quickteller to access all their lifestyle and payment needs.”

Quickteller Transport is already embedded as a service on the Quickteller Web and Mobile app and is available for use by both new and existing Quickteller customers.

What Interswitch intends to achieve with the newly launched feature is to leverage technology in enabling the process of booking for transport and making payment seamless. The platform is robust and inclusive such that it caters to the needs of both the government and private companies.

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Technology

How Much Does iPhone 14 Cost in Naira

Apple’s latest product, iPhone 14 costs between N1,450,000 to N1,750,000.

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Apple iPhone 14

Apple’s latest product, iPhone 14 costs between N1,450,000 to N1,750,000.

On September 8, 2022, Apple released the latest edition of iPhone product, iPhone 14. The product was released in two different versions of iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro max. The renowned phone maker claimed that iPhone 14 comes with a rare and extraordinary camera to take the best photos and videos. 

Subsequently, after the product was released to the market, iPhone lovers have been trooping to stores to either purchase one or catch a glimpse of the stylish phone.

A check by Investors kings shows that iPhone 14 Pro is sold on Konga at a sum of N1,450,000 while iPhone 14 Pro max goes for N1,750,000. 

This means that it will take a Nigerian on the minimum wage of 30,000 at least four years to buy an iPhone 14 Pro if he saved all his salaries for the years. 

On average, it will take a Nigerian on a salary of N60,000 at least two years to purchase iPhone 14 Pro if he saved 100 percent of his salary for that purpose.

Although iPhone is the favourite phone brand among the Nigerian elite particularly musicians and politicians, it will however cost a fortune for an average Nigerian.

Therefore, a higher percentage of Nigerians do resolve to cheaper brands such as Tecno, and Infinix among others. 

According to StatCounter in its analysis of mobile phone market share in Nigeria for August 2022, Apple’s market share in Nigeria stands at 10.8 percent while Tecno which is the most dominant phone brand in Nigeria accounts for 24.53 percent of the market share.

Infinix followed with 21.41 percent of the market share while Samsung which is the closest rival to iPhone accounts for 11.8 percent of the market share. Itel has a market share of 4.78 percent while others (Unknown) phones account for 10.76 percent of the market share.

 

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