- Kobo360 Raises $30m from Goldman Sachs, Others
Nigerian logistics startup, Kobo360, has raised a total of $20 million in Series A funding led by a global investment bank, Goldman Sachs, and another $10 million from Nigerian commercial banks.
In a statement released by Kobo360, an Uber-like app that connects truckers and delivery services, the money will be used to extend operations to 10 new countries in Africa and upgrade its platform.
The startup presently operates in Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, and Kenya.
Since launching in 2017, Kobo360 has attracted more than 10,000 drivers and trucks to its app. Some of the startup’s top clients include Olam, Unilever, Dangote, DHL, and Honeywell.
The company has since launched a capital finance program, KoPay, KoboSafe insurance product, and KoboCare to assist drivers.
Obi Azor, Kobo360, CEO, said the company would make final decisions regarding its 10 new countries by the first quarter of next year.
He also stated that as a cross-border logistics company, Kobo360 is looking to benefit from the recently signed Africa’s Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement by 54 African nations.
“We’re going to do some policy work through the IFC so we can help shape AFCTA. The key to the deal is really logistics, so if the logistics component doesn’t work out the deal isn’t going to work,” Azor said.
According to Digest Africa, Kobo360 has now raised the 5th largest investment by an African startup this year with the $20 million Series A funding.
Jules Frebault, who works at Goldman Sachs, said the company’s ability to scale quickly and use tech to improve logistic efficiency in Africa are the two reasons why the investment bank led the Series A funding.
“It’s also a business model that’s replicable across multiple geographies on the continent,” he stated.
Again, IBM Revenue Plunges for Third Consecutive Quarter
IBM Revenue Declined for a Third Straight Quarter in the Third Second Quarter
IBM revenue plunged for a third-straight quarter in the period ended September 30, 2020, according to the latest financial results of the company.
The company’s revenue declined by 2.6 percent year-on-year to $17.6 billion in the quarter, while revenue from IBM Global Business Service declined by 5 percent to $4 billion with Global Technology Services unit recording a 4 percent decline in revenue to $6.5 billion.
Again, the Systems segment that includes mainframe hardware and software experienced a 15 percent decline in revenue to $1.3 billion. The company’s global financing revenue plunged by 20 percent to $273 million.
However, revenue from Cloud and Cognitive Software segment that includes Red Hat rose by 7 percent to $5.6 billion.
“The strong performance of our cloud business, led by Red Hat, underscores the growing client adoption of our open hybrid cloud platform,” IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said in a statement. “Separating the managed infrastructure services business creates a market-leading standalone company and further sharpens our focus on IBM’s open hybrid cloud platform and AI capabilities. This will accelerate our growth strategy and better position IBM to seize the $1 trillion hybrid cloud opportunity.”
The decline in earnings was in line with the company’s pre-announcement that COVID-19 would impact its overall performance this year.
Paystack Stripe: Stripe Pays Over $200 Million to Acquire Nigerian Paystack Startup
Stripe Acquires Paystack for Over $200 Million
Stripe, American financial services, and online payment processing for internet businesses headquartered in San Francisco, California, United States, is in the process of acquiring Paystack, a Nigerian based online payment processing startup.
While the terms of the deal are not in the open, sources familiar with the deal said Stripe is paying over $200 million to acquire the Nigerian startup.
Paystack presently has about 60,000 customers that cut across small businesses, fintechs, schools, online betting companies and larger corporations. The sources said the plan will be to continue operating independently in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. Suggesting this is one of the reasons Stripe raised $600 million in funding earlier this year to expand its API-based payments services into more regions.
“There is enormous opportunity,” said Patrick Collison, Stripe’s co-founder and CEO, in an interview with TechCrunch. “In absolute numbers, Africa may be smaller right now than other regions, but online commerce will grow about 30% every year. And even with wider global declines, online shoppers are growing twice as fast. Stripe thinks on a longer time horizon than others because we are an infrastructure company. We are thinking of what the world will look like in 2040-2050.”
Shola Akinlade, the CEO of Paystack said the deal will help the company expand in Nigeria and beyond. “Paystack was not for sale when Stripe approached us,” said Akinlade, who co-founded the company with Ezra Olubi (who is the CTO).
“For us, it’s about the mission. I’m driven by the mission to accelerate payments on the continent, and I am convinced that Stripe will help us get there faster. It is a very natural move.”
The deal is expected to boost the attractiveness of Nigerian startups, especially the fast-growing fintech industry.
Facebook, Namibian Blood Transfusion Service (NamBTS), Others Partner to Boost Blood Donations in Namibia
Facebook, Others Partner to Improve Blood Donations in Namibia
Facebook Inc, the world’s leading social media giant, has partnered the Namibian Blood Transfusion Service (NamBTS) and the Ministry of Health and Social Services to launch a new feature to encourage people to donate blood.
This means, starting from today people between the ages of 18 – 66 now have the option to sign up as blood donors on Facebook, be notified when blood donor centres near them have an urgent need for donations and invite friends to donate as well.
Accordingly, the same feature was launched in Chad, Guinea and Mali today, meaning Facebook blood donating feature is now available in 12 Africa nations. Other African nations enjoying the feature are Senegal, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Niger, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The program that was first launched in 2017 has now attracted more than 70 million people who have signed up on Facebook to donate blood through partnerships centres around the world.
Speaking on the initiative, Kojo Boakye, Public Policy Director Facebook Africa, said: “COVID-19 has changed how and where people can give blood, causing countries around the world to experience shortages of voluntary blood donations at this critical time. In keeping with our Mission, we recognized the role Facebook can play in connecting people that want to donate blood with opportunities to do so. The partnership with the Namibian Blood Transfusion Service (NamBTS) and Ministry of Health and Social Services is such an important one. We strongly believe it will enable Namibians to make a positive impact to the blood donation ecosystem in the country.”
Zita Tobin, Manager, Donor Recruitment and PR for NamBTS said: “We are truly excited by the partnership with Facebook the tool will assist us bolster our blood collections during the pandemic and beyond, as only 1% of the population donate blood”
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