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Meta Records Unexpected Increase in Earnings For The First Quarter, Surpass Analyst’s Expectations

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Tech giant Meta has recorded an unexpected increase in earnings in its first quarter (Q1) report after it surpassed analysts’ expectations.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram reported higher-than-expected earnings and a growth of 3% year-on-year in its revenue, which amounted to $28.65 billion, an increase from $27.9 billion recorded last year.

The company’s revenue surpassed analysts’ prediction of $27.65 billion. On its share price, Meta recorded $2.20 per share, surpassing $2.03 per share of analysts’ expectations.

Meta’s overall earnings report however ended positively amidst the current economic downturn, rising inflation, and large-scale layoffs.

Speaking on its First quarter report for 2023, Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said “We had a good quarter, and our community continues to grow. Our AI work is driving good results across our apps and business. We are also becoming more efficient so we can build better products faster and put ourselves in a stronger position to deliver our long-term vision.”

As regards the Metaverse, it continues to take major losses, losing just under $4 billion for the quarter. That’s a bit less than the $4.3 billion the company lost last quarter, but Meta has said it expects 2023 losses for its Metaverse division to top the $14.3 billion it lost last year.

Despite reporting repeated losses in billions of dollars dedicated to developing the virtual-reality online world, Meta Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said the company will remain committed to the project.

He said “A narrative has developed that we are somehow moving away from focusing on the metaverse vision, so I just want to say up front that that is not accurate. We have been focusing on AI and the metaverse and we will continue to. Building the metaverse is a long-term project, but the rationale for it remains the same and we remain committed to it.

Investors King understands that Meta isn’t expecting to make money from its Reality Labs yet, but it is certain it will yield the necessary profits in the long run. Several investors have expressed concerns that the huge funds poured into the project might not pay off in the end.

On the other hand, Wall Street continues to be bullish on the metaverse, with some top analysts and hedge fund managers arguing that it is the most important invention since the iPhone and will end up being worth trillions.

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Fintech

Flutterwave Celebrates Inclusion in CNBC’s Top 250 Global Fintechs

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Flutterwave has been recognized as one of the Top 250 Fintech companies globally by CNBC and Statista.

Joining the ranks of industry giants like Ali Pay, Klarna, Piggyvest, and Mastercard, this accolade underscores Flutterwave’s impact on the financial technology sector.

This honor follows Flutterwave’s recent inclusion in Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list, highlighting the company’s pivotal role in transforming Africa’s payment landscape.

The recognition is a testament to Flutterwave’s dedication to innovation and excellence in providing seamless payment solutions across the continent.

Expressing gratitude, Flutterwave acknowledged its talented team, supportive board, reliable partners, and loyal customers for contributing to this success.

The company continues to drive progress in the fintech industry, reinforcing its commitment to enhancing financial accessibility and inclusion in Africa and beyond.

Flutterwave’s recognition on these prestigious lists marks a proud moment and a significant milestone in its journey, reflecting the company’s growing influence and leadership in the global fintech arena.

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Startups

Google Leads $250 Million Funding Round for Glance

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

Google is leading a $250 million funding round for Glance, a mobile content provider.

This infusion of capital aims to expand Glance’s reach and solidify its market position amidst growing competition.

Glance, a subsidiary of InMobi Group, offers a unique service that delivers news, entertainment, and other content directly to users’ mobile screens without unlocking their devices.

With a user base exceeding 300 million across India, the US, Japan, and Indonesia, the startup has gained significant traction since its inception in 2019.

The funding round, expected to close in the coming weeks, marks a continued partnership between Google and Glance.

Google initially invested in the company in 2020, and this latest round will further enhance Glance’s capabilities to innovate and reach new audiences.

This investment reflects Google’s strategic interest in India, the world’s most populous nation, where it competes with tech giants like Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon.

With India’s rapidly growing middle class and increasing smartphone adoption, the market presents vast opportunities for digital expansion.

The support from Google comes on the heels of a previous $200 million investment by Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s wealthiest individual, which valued Glance at over $1 billion.

The startup’s largest stakeholder, InMobi, continues to thrive as a pioneer in mobile advertising, with Glance benefiting from its expertise and resources.

As Glance prepares for this new phase of growth, it stands poised to redefine how content is consumed on mobile devices worldwide.

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Technology

Cyber Threats Surge as Nigeria’s Digital Economy Expands

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As Nigeria’s digital economy flourishes, it faces escalating cyber threats, prompting the Federal Government to issue 33 cyberattack advisories in the past year.

These warnings, issued by the Nigeria Computer and Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), highlight the growing vulnerability of the nation’s digital infrastructure.

Since July 2023, ngCERT has alerted Nigerians to new attack methods and vulnerabilities. With 22 advisories issued in 2024 alone, the surge in cyberattacks coincides with the accelerated digitization spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monthly internet usage in Nigeria soared from 125,149.86 terabytes in December 2019 to 753,388.77 terabytes in March 2024.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) notes that increased digitalization has heightened cybersecurity risks, necessitating robust protective measures.

According to Check Point Research, Nigerian businesses face approximately 2,308 attacks weekly across all sectors.

The advisories reveal various cyber threats, including ransomware and banking trojans. A recent warning highlighted Grandoreiro, a malware targeting over 1,500 banks globally, affecting 41 banking applications in Nigeria alone.

These attacks aim to steal sensitive financial data, potentially causing significant financial losses.

Nigeria’s critical infrastructure is also under threat. In August, pro-Nigerien hackers attempted to disrupt MTN Nigeria’s network, although they were unsuccessful.

During the 2023 elections, the government recorded 12.99 million cyberattacks, underscoring the scale of the threat.

Cybercrime costs Nigeria about $500 million annually. This includes data damage, stolen money, lost productivity, and post-attack disruptions.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation ranked Nigeria as the 16th country worst affected by cybercrime in 2020.

Experts emphasize the need for stronger cybersecurity measures. Adesina Sodiya, a professor of Computer Science and Information Security, warns that cyberattacks will continue to grow in sophistication.

He stresses the importance of building a cybersecurity curriculum and involving experts in creating effective strategies.

In response, NITDA plans to reduce cyberattacks by 40% by 2027. “As we digitize, we must build with security in mind,” said Kashifu Inuwa, director-general of NITDA.

The agency aims to implement comprehensive strategies to protect Nigeria’s burgeoning digital economy.

As Nigeria’s digital economy expands, it must address the growing cyber threats that accompany this progress. By enhancing cybersecurity measures and fostering collaboration among stakeholders, Nigeria can safeguard its digital future.

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