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Yaba: Nigeria’s Technology City in Lagos

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  • Yaba: Nigeria’s Technology City in Lagos

Yaba, a city in Lagos Nigeria, is the fastest rising technology city in Africa.

Home to the famous Yaba College of Technology and the University of Lagos, the city with fading century-old buildings has everything a technology startup needs to grow.

“Lagos, like other major cities such as Nairobi and Accra, is at the height of this exciting expansion in innovation across tech, with Yaba quickly finding itself at the center,” said Chimdindu Aneke, program manager of platform partnerships for sub-Saharan Africa at Facebook, which last year launched a hub space in the neighborhood.

The city grew from fewer than 10 startups in 2013 to more than 60 as at today, Yaba is presently home to some of Africa’s biggest startups and brands. It hosts Hotels.ng, digital labs for Nigeria’s oldest bank, First Bank of Nigeria Ltd., and Stanbic IBTC, the local subsidiary of Africa’s largest lender.

Yaba’s path into the spotlight started when a group of youths convinced authorities to waive taxes for MainOne, a company that agreed to lay Yaba’s internet infrastructure.

“That was how Yaba was conceived: to demonstrate the power of people being connected and the socio-economic impact that would have,” said MainOne’s regional executive for West Africa, Kazeem Oladepo.

In April 2018, Lagos employed the service of global consultancy company Accenture to better capitalized on growing technology adoption and encourage local startups to key into its growth agenda.

In July, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo led a group of local start-ups to Silicon Valley as the state announced it was launching a project to develop the Yaba cluster. By August, the government had purchased 30,000 square meters of land around Yaba area to further expand the area it hopes will create more than 250,000 jobs.

“In the past, Nigeria’s billionaires were traders, and oil and gas moguls,” Osinbajo, who heads a technology council, said in a September speech. “But in the next few years, billionaires from Nigeria will be techies.”

Ido Sum, who has been investing in Africa for the past eight years and own an office in Yaba, said Yaba is the “go-to place for tech in Africa.”

“If you are hungry for Africa investment, it is becoming clear that Lagos is one of the first places to go.”

Sum, a partner in TLCOM Capital LLP, a venture capital fund which has three of its five investments in Nigeria, also invested in Kobo360.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Paystack Stripe: Stripe Pays Over $200 Million to Acquire Nigerian Paystack Startup

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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.

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Facebook, Namibian Blood Transfusion Service (NamBTS), Others Partner to Boost Blood Donations in Namibia

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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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Roblox to Go Public with $8 Billion Valuation Following $150 Million Series G Funding at $4 Billion

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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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