- Verve Partners Discover Global to Launch International Transaction
One of Africa’s leading payments technology companies, Verve, has partnered Discover Global Network to launch the Verve Global Card.
The partnership signed in New York on August 12, 2019, will give Verve Global Card cardholders the opportunity to use their cards in more than 190 countries and territories.
Verve is Interswitch Group’s innovative card scheme, offering products and solutions that enable consumers to transact all over Nigeria and across international markets. As the first African card scheme to be recognized as a valid, globally accepted e-payment gateway, we have built a world-class value chain ecosystem that benefit from the services that we provide.
Senior executives from Access Bank, Fidelity Bank and First Bank performed the first transaction on Monday at Swarovski in New York City.
The Verve Global Card can now be used anywhere Discover Global Network, the payments brand of Discover, operates.
Speaking on the partnership, Mitchell Elegbe, Interswitch Group Managing Director, said: “The agreement with Discover Global Network will enable Verve to compete with other global card offerings, providing cardholders with an enhanced customer experience when transacting globally outside Nigeria. Creating a solution which facilitates international payments for our consumers will help to eliminate existing barriers and simplify the process when transacting abroad.”
“It is important to us that we are working with groups around the world to extend acceptance for their cardholders,” said Ricardo Leite, senior vice president of international markets at Discover. “At Discover, we recognize the importance of being able to use your card of choice no matter where you are traveling.”
Verve International Divisional Chief Executive Officer, Mike Ogbalu III, who also spoke on the partnership and new Verve reach, said: “The launch of the Verve Global Card, provides consumers with the ability to transact globally across the US and other countries, addressing challenges that many Nigerians have experienced while travelling abroad. Our partnership with Discover Global Network will help us to optimize the overall experience of every Verve Global card holder by guaranteeing consistent and efficient payment solutions regardless of where they are in the world”.
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”
Roblox to Go Public with $8 Billion Valuation Following $150 Million Series G Funding at $4 Billion
Roblox Preparing to Go Public with $8 Billion Valuation
According to the research data analyzed and published by Safe Betting, Roblox is preparing to list on the US stock market at a valuation of $8 billion. In February 2020, the gaming giant raised $150 million during a Series G funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz.
According to InvestGame, Q1 to Q3 2020 has seen the gaming industry receive a total of $20.5 billion in investments. Of this figure, public offerings accounted for around $6.05 billion.
Roblox Game Adopt Me! Draws over 10 Billion Visits As Consumer Spend Nears $103 Million in May 2020
Other noteworthy IPOs that have taken place include those of Unity Software, Kakao Games and Archosaur Games. Unity raised $1.3 billion at a $13.6 billion valuation while Kakao raised $330 million and Archosaur at $280 million. Applovin, Krafton Playtika, tinyBuild, Huuuge and People CAN Fly are among others planning IPOs.
Roblox has had a great 2020 with some of its popular games hitting spectacular records. For instance, Adopt Me! hit a peak of 1.615 million concurrent users and 10 billion visits in H1 2020. Piggy had over 5,000 plays by the end of July 2020 following its January 2020 launch. Roblox developers expect to earn $250 million on the hub in 2020, up by 127% from 2019’s $110 million. Its monthly active users increased from 115 million in February to 164 million in July according to RTrack.
Moreover, based on a report from Sensor Tower, player spending on Roblox increased 28% month-over-month in March 2020 and 34% in April 2020. In May, the game’s revenue hit a peak of $102.9 million.
The Roblox app hit $1.5 billion in lifetime revenue in June 2020. App Annie revealed that in Q2 2020, it ranked second in global consumer spend. In Q3 2020, it ranks it as the 4th highest grossing game globally on both the App Store and Play Store.
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