Zinox Secures $25m to Roll Out Digital Hubs
Zinox Technologies, a foremost Information and Communications Technology (ICT) company has secured a whopping $25 million counterpart funding with which it seeks to roll out a trio of digital hubs in Nigeria that will create jobs for over 500 Nigerians.
According to the technology company, construction work has commenced in one of the digital hubs in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, and the fund will help speed up work and ensure that the project is completed in good time.
The hubs, among other things, will create employment and empower thousands of digitally-minded Nigerian youths in search of the right platforms to develop their skills.
Chairman of Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh made the disclosure when the acting Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Vincent Olatunji, led a team of the agency on official working visit to the Zinox headquarters in Gbagada, Lagos recently.
According to Ekeh, the other digital hub located in Abuja, which is nearing completion, would become active by early 2017.
“With the current improvements raising hopes of stability in public power supply by early 2017, the company plans to install the digital plants and commence production shortly,” Ekeh added.
“Our investment in digital hubs will provide jobs for 500 Nigerians, with more expected to benefit from other investments set to commence once the economy stabilises,” he said.
Ekeh said the Nigerian economy is in dire need of an alternative to crude oil, a role, which he said the ICT sector could effortlessly play in boosting the nations dwindling earnings. In the view of the Zinox boss, Nigeria has millions of young Nigerians of digital mindset with the potential to become dollar billionaires.
Referencing the case of Nigerian start-up and pioneer composite e-commerce outfit Yudala, which received little funding from investors and within one year is a leading e-commerce brand in Nigeria employing over 400 graduates, Ekeh disclosed that their strength is not cash but knowledge of the business backed with strong front and back-end technologies. Ekeh affirmed that thousands of such brilliant Nigerians exist in the country, even as he urged the government to partner technologically-minded companies in unearthing such raw digital diamonds in the country.
I had a similar experience when Zinox acquired an Ibadan-based software company Xputer. The young chaps behind Xputer were so talented and had huge capacity to develop amazing content but no individual, corporate or government saw any potential in them. Some of the apps developed by these young Nigerians are being used today by e-commerce companies in Nigeria which they would have paid millions of dollars for, had it been developed by foreign companies Ekeh said.
Responding, Olatunji affirmed the commitment of the agency in partnering with Zinox Technologies in the task of empowering the youth through the provision of requisite capacity-building programmes and initiatives.
Olatunji who expressed delight with the infrastructure and facilities on display at the Zinox headquarters during the tour of the company premises, disclosed that NITDA is keen to empower tech start-ups as a means of promoting opportunities in non-oil sectors, noting that a partnership with Zinox Technologies will go a long way in helping to achieve the aim.
“We cannot talk about the ICT sector in Nigeria and indeed in Africa without mentioning Zinox. Zinox has been in the forefront of the digital revolution on the continent and has continued to play a major role. You have shown extreme world class capacity and passion as a leader in the sector and this is why we have come on this visit to restate our commitment towards working with Zinox to achieve our objectives of empowering tech start-ups and boosting the revenue profile of the ICT sector,” Olatunji said.
With the digital hubs, we are looking to generate creative employment for our youth while creating the much-needed enabling environment and platform for more of these youths to develop their capacities and unleash their creative abilities. This is part of our contribution towards reducing the scourge of unemployment and boosting the revenue-earning streams of the government, Ekeh said.
Nigeria’s Fintech Startups Raised $122 Million in 2019
Financial Technology Startups in Nigeria Raised $122 Million in 2019
Financial Technology (fintech) startups in Nigeria raised a combined $122 million in 2019, according to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Mr. Olumide Bolumole, the Divisional Head of Listings Business, NSE, disclosed this while speaking on the fintech industry and its growth in recent years.
“The Fintech industry in Nigeria continues to gain increasing popularity after taking the lead in Africa and attracting $122 million in funds in 2019.
“At the exchange, we recognise the opportunity to provide a platform where players in the Fintech landscape can have easier access to right-sized capital to fulfil their organisational objectives.
“The NSE is, therefore, committed to developing multiple solutions to address the needs of the Fintech community in Nigeria such as the provision of the NSE Growth Board.
“The exchange will also prioritise collaborations with organisations such as FinTechNGR to ensure solutions from this webinar are implemented for the benefit of the sector,” he said.
However, with just about 200 fintech companies in Nigeria, the sector is still young and just emerging with room for growth, considering the fact that most Nigerians are still unbanked.
Fintech Companies Raised $554 Million in Investment Last Week
Financial Technology Firms Raised $554 Million Investment Capital Last Week
Financial Technology (Fintech) companies raised a combined $554.17 million from investment rounds last week.
A data compiled by Finbold showed the top 25 fintech firms were led by Razorpay and Wealthsimple.
Razorpay, a payment platform, raised $100 million to account for 18.04 percent of the total amount raised during the week. This was followed by Wealthsimple’s $87 million.
Deepwatch came third with $53 million while NYDIG and M1 Finance came fourth and fifth with $50 million and $45 million, respectively.
Other noteable fintechs include Extend $40 million; FOSSA $30.55 million; +Simple $23.75 million; Finexio $23 million; and Sonrai Security $20 million.
On the other hand, Evolve Credit was the last among the 25 companies. It raised $0.025 million while Upside Saving raised the second least fund at $0.42 million. Also, they were the two firms that raised below $1 million in the week under review.
Oliver Scott, a Finbold editor, who spoke on funding in the fintech sector, said “Notably, venture capital is still the primary source of funding for fintech startups. However, new trends indicate a high level of private equity and debt financing. Additionally, more funding activity is concentrated around later funding rounds. The sector is also witnessing a rise in IPOs and acquisitions. Such trends are pointing to a maturing market.”
Snapchat Adds 39 Million Daily Active Users YoY Representing 18% Growth
Snapchat Daily Users Increase by 39 Million YoY, a 18 Percent Increase
Data presented by Buy Shares indicates that Snapchat daily active users have grown by 39 million on a Year-Over- Year basis. The addition represents a growth of 18.57%.
Pandemic spurs Snapchat’s DAU growth
During Q3 2019 the daily active users stood at 210 million while the figure was 249 million as of Q3 2020. Between Q3 2018 and Q3 2020 Snapchat’s daily active users have grown by 33.87%.
After witnessing a rise in daily active users the numer slumped between Q1 2018 and Q4 2018 with a percentage drop of 2.61%.
The research also overviewed Snapchat’s number of daily active users based on regions. As of Q3 2020, North America recorded the highest number at 90 million, a growth of about 7% from a similar period last year.
Commenting on the recent surge in Snapchat’s daily active users, Buy Shares researcher Justinas Baltrusaitis said:
“After taking a dip in users around 2018 Snapchat began witnessing a steady rise from the end of last year. The platform’s 2020 numbers have been boosted by the coronavirus pandemic.During the health crisis, most people were confined to their homes and turned to social platforms like Snapchat for entertainment.”
Europe has 72 million active daily users as of Q3 2020, a growth of 10% from Q3 2019. Elsewhere during Q3, 2020 the rest of the world had 87 million daily active users.
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