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Snapchat Targets Millennials in New Company Goals

Snapchat will focus on increasing its usage by attracting users in their 30s as part of the company’s goal to enhance growth

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American multimedia instant messaging app, Snapchat has outlined its plans to target the millennial generation.

According to a leaked memo from its co-founder and Chief Executive, Evan Spiegel, Snapchat will focus on increasing its usage by attracting users in their 30s as part of the company’s goal to enhance growth.

Contained in the memo, Spiegel laid out his company’s plans for recovery after a year in which 20% of Snapchat’s staff were laid off, and four of its five stated goals were missed.

Attracting new users is part of the goal to grow Snapchat to 450 million daily active users by the end of next year, the company disclosed in the leaked memo.

Also, the company is focusing on a “big five” list of large countries with low penetration such as; Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Spain, and Japan.

In the memo, Spiegel explained that “This will require significant coordination and accountability across our communications, marketing, global brand experience, growth, product, and market development teams in addition to many other teams.

“We will need to be more clear and deliberate about what Snapchat is (a visual messaging app that enhances your relationships with friends, family, and the world) and why people use Snapchat (self-expression without fear of judgment).

“In contrast to social media popularity contests, Snapchat is a refuge where you can express yourself, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together.”

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Fund Raising

YC-Backed Startup Numida Raises $12.3 Million Pre-Series A Round

Ugandan-based Fintech startup Numida which provides working capital to African micro-businesses has raised $12.3 million in a pre-series A round.

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Ugandan-based Fintech startup Numida which provides working capital to African micro-businesses has raised $12.3 million in a pre-series A round.

The debt funding round was led by Serena ventures, the venture fund of tennis champion Serena Williams who led the $7.3 million equity portion of the round with participation from Breega, 4Di Capital, Launch Africa, Soma Capital, Y Combinator, and existing investor MFS Africa, which is following on. The startup also received a $5 million debt facility from Lendable Asset Management.

Due to the significant increase in demand for its services, Numida is currently eyeing growth opportunities beyond Uganda, stating that it has a proven business model that can be adopted across the African continent to unlock the potential of MSMEs.

With this recent fundraised, the startup plans to extend loans to an additional 10,000 businesses to reach its 40,000 targets within the next 18 months by entering into two new African markets.

Speaking on the recent fund said, Numida CEO Mina Shahid said, “I’m most excited about continuing to build and provide financial products for these micro and small business owners who have been forgotten by the traditional financial services industry even though they are hardworking and have viable businesses.

“There are so many of these businesses across the continent, we really do believe that we’ve proven a model in Uganda that can be Pan-African and unlock the potential of these businesses to growth and achieve great things”.

Since raising its $2.3 million seed round last year, Numida has grown over 7.5 times propelled by the soaring demand for quick loans. The startup has to date issued $20 million in working capital to micro and small businesses, having grown from issuing $250,000 a month to $2 million.

To support this expansion, Numida has disclosed its plans to double its team to 200 people across its credit operations, data product development, and growth functions over the next 18 months. Shahid told BetaKit that four people out of its over 100-person workforce are based in Canada, with plans to expand its Canadian team to six by the end of the year.

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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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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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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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