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Google Cloud Partners Prudential to Enhance Health And Financial Inclusion Across Africa And Asia

Google Cloud has partnered with Prudential an American insurance retirement and investment management company to enhance health and financial inclusion for communities across Africa and Asia.

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A logo is pictured at Google's European Engineering Center in Zurich

Google’s suite of cloud computing services Google Cloud, has partnered with Prudential an American insurance retirement and investment management company to enhance health and financial inclusion for communities across Africa and Asia.

Under this partnership, Prudential will leverage Google Cloud’s data analytics capabilities, to secure and sustainable infrastructure as well as the broader Google ecosystem to accelerate its digital transformation and enhance the user engagement of its health and wealth platform, ‘Pulse’ which is available in 17 markets and 11 languages.

The ‘Prudential Pulse’ is a free health and wellness mobile app that offers features that enable users to better manage their health and wealth.  Such features include; a symptom checker, health assessment tool, and health and wealth content.

For Google Cloud, this partnership presents an opportunity to collaborate with a leading insurance provider to make protection, health, and savings solutions simpler and more accessible in Africa and Asia.

Speaking on this partnership, Managing Director and Strategic Business Group of Prudential Solmaz Altin said, “Across our markets, people are living longer, but not necessarily healthier and better. Harnessing technology, we want to empower people to live well for longer by making it easier for them to take care of their health and plan for their financial futures.

Through this strategic partnership, we will leverage new technology solutions to make the Pulse platform more intelligent and engaging with the aim of reaching out to more people across Asia and Africa, in particular those who cannot easily access health and financial information and services.”

Also commenting is Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurain, he said, At Google Cloud, our aim is to help our enterprise customers use technology to deliver outstanding experiences for their customers.

Prudential is a significant partner of ours and a leading insurer that has been protecting lives for nearly 175 years globally. Our work together will make it easier for people to safeguard their health and protect their finances for the long term with digital tools that are accessible.

It should be recalled that Investors King on September 14, 2022 reported that Google Cloud partnered with Pepkor IT, one of the largest retailers in Southern Africa, to use Google data analytics to transform its in-house logistics to help shoppers’ experience across its operating markets.

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Nigeria Startup Act to Boost Youth Empowerment – SSA to Buhari

Nigeria Startup Act to advance technology innovation and increase youths empowerment

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Start-up - Investors King

The Senior Special Assistant to  President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the Nigeria Startup Act will increase youth empowerment and advance the country’s technological landscape. 

Oswald Guobadia, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Digital Transformation and the Lead Startup Act, pushed for the states to adopt and apply the law. 

Guobadia noted in a statement that each state’s adoption of the Act would increase youth empowerment and advance the tech ecosystem.

“The youth are key players for the country’s growth, and it is important that they contribute to the impact of the Act by supporting, raising awareness of it, and promoting its adoption in their various states because the law is intended to unlock the potential of the digital and promote ecosystem growth,” he said.

Guobadia recalled that states like Yobe, Ekiti, Anambra, Lagos, Zamfara, Edo, and Kaduna had expressed interest in and taken action to adopt the Act in order to benefit from it.

Investors King understands that the Nigerian president signed the bill on October 19, 2022, to stimulate activity in the technology sector and bring about the long-term development of the ecosystem.

The presidential aide went on to say that the Act gives every state the chance to create a thriving startup ecosystem and maintain its competitiveness. Some of the Act’s provisions include fostering the development and growth of technology-related talent and providing an enabling environment for the establishment, development and operation of startups in Nigeria.

He added that the act would help close the gap between Nigeria’s regulators and startups, which would then ensure that the laws were clear. 

He says that “The Act will also bridge the gap between startups and regulators in order to ensure that the laws are clear and beneficial to those in the technology ecosystem. With state adoption, one can anticipate a thriving tech ecosystem, the emergence of new startups, and clearer regulations in the near future.”

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American Theranos Founder Imprisoned for more than 11 Years

Elizabeth Holmes has been sentenced to 11 years and three months in imprisonment for fraud

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Elizabeth Holmes

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, America’s privately held corporation, has been sentenced on three counts on charges bothering on investor fraud and one count of conspiracy.

The California judge who sentenced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes to 11 years and three months in prison for defrauding investors in a defunct blood-testing startup confirmed the scandal valued around $9bn, Investors King reports.

United States District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California, sentenced Holmes on three counts of investor fraud and one count of conspiracy. A jury convicted Holmes, 38, in January following a trial that spanned three months.

The judge set Holmes’s surrender date for April. Her lawyers are expected to ask the judge to allow her to remain free on bail during her appeal.

Assistant US Attorney Jeff Schenk told the judge before he handed down the sentence that a 15-year sentence would be “making a statement that the ends don’t justify the means”.

However, Holmes’s lawyer Kevin Downey pleaded leniency for Holmes at the hearing, attempting to convince that unlike someone who committed a “great crime,” she was not motivated by greed.

Holmes had asked in court papers for a more lenient sentence of 18 months of home confinement, followed by community service, urging the judge not to make her a “martyr to public passion.”

Prosecutors said at trial that Holmes misrepresented Theranos’s technology and finances, including by claiming that its miniaturised blood testing machine was able to run an array of tests from a few drops of blood. The company secretly relied on conventional machines from other companies to run patients’ tests, prosecutors said.

Ahead of her sentencing, prosecutors had said a 15-year sentence was necessary to deter Holmes and others from fraud. Although, divergent opinions emerged thereafter.

Her crimes according to the authority “damaged the trust and integrity” on which Silicon Valley’s startup economy relies.

Federal probation office had recommended a nine-year prison sentence, according to court papers, only for Davila to adjudicate 11 years.

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Zillow Cuts Part of Its Workforce, Shifts Focus Towards Technology Roles

Zillow has laid off some of its employees as the company shifts focus towards technology-related roles.

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American leading real estate marketplace Zillow has laid off some of its employees as the company shifts focus towards technology-related roles.

Although the company did not disclose how much of its workforce was cut off. It however stated that the laying off of some members of its employees was necessitated as it was part of the company’s process to evaluate its resources, shifting it toward key areas.

A spokesperson at the company said, “As part of our normal business process, we continuously evaluate and responsibly manage our resources as we create digital solutions to make it easier for people to move.

“This week, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to eliminate a small number of roles and will shift those resources to key growth areas around our housing super-app. We’re still hiring in key technology-related roles across the company.”

Investors King understands that this is the second time Zillow is laying off part of its workforce. In November last year, the real estate company had announced that it was laying off a quarter of its employees which was around 2,000 people.

The move was due to the shutting down of its home-buying service offers that aimed to provide sellers with instant home offers.

The recent layoffs at the real estate firm impacted its Offer advisors, PA sales, and back-end staff at Zillow Home Loans and Zillow Closing Services, as well as other teams.

Zillow joins the likes of other startup companies that have laid off part of their employees this year due to the economic slowdown. Some of the companies include Netflix, Cerebral, Byju, Ola, Spotify, Momentive global, Tencent, Tesla, Walmart, and Coinbase.

Founded in 2006, Zillow allows renters to pay rent online to their landlords for properties on the Zillow Rental Manager tool. It charges renters a transaction fee when using debit or credit cards to pay their landlord.

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