Did you know that Spotify Wrapped can tell you about yourself as much as any horology test will?
Once a year, Spotify organises all your personal data and shares a custom account of your top artists, songs, and playlists from the past year.
Yesterday was Wrapped day and quite a number of people—not me—were disappointed by how much time they’d spent listening to trap music, even after claiming several times that they were not “into that sort of music”.
In today’s edition
Events: TC Live
MTN Nigeria is issuing 575m shares
Square becomes Block
TC Insights: Funding Tracker
EVENTS: TC LIVE WITH DEBOLA ABUDU AND DARE OKOUDJOU
Join us on TC Live this morning at 11 a.m. (WAT) as we dive into the MFS Africa-Capricorn acquisition.
We’re speaking with the founder and CEO of MFS Africa, Dare Okoudjou, as well as the founder and CEO of Capricorn Digital, Degbola Abudu. Both founders will be sharing useful lessons from the deal and answering any questions you may have about it.
What kind of thinking went into the process? Was it always in the cards for Capricorn Digital? What were the legal, regulatory and other hurdles they experienced? What does this mean for MFS Africa’s long-term goal and the African payments landscape at large? What are the most important factors to consider in an acquisition? What can other companies learn about acquisitions from this landmark deal?
Echika Obijiaku is making a difference in debt collections in Africa through Mwanga. Trusted by some of the continent’s leading lenders, Mwanga, a pioneer ethical and technology-driven debt recovery and outsourcing firm, is strategically collecting debt while making life easier for consumers.
Obijiaku is a chartered accountant with 12+ years of consulting experience as a Senior Associate with Deloitte & Touche, and a Senior Actuarial Consultant with Alexander Forbes Nigeria and South Africa.
Explain your job to a five-year-old.
I help people collect their money from those owing them by helping those who owe repay. I also help businesses respond to their customers when they have questions or problems.
What’s something you wish you knew earlier in your career/life?
The presence of uncertainty shows the urgent need for growth. So, when you feel confused or stuck, don’t give in to fear or just do nothing, or else, you’ll miss out on a great opportunity to grow. Open yourself up to growth and you will most times successfully unlock your new level.
What (singular) achievement are you most proud of?
Proud of so many things, one of which is being able to build a team that is trusted by some of Africa’s leading lenders and has seen 200+ young and vibrant people pass through and grow in unbeatable skills in ethical and effective collections.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever gotten?
Focus on your journey and, like fish in water, the tides will turn in your favour. Opportunities might require probability, but preparation is 100% in your control.
What’s something you love doing that you’re terrible at? And what’s something you really do not like doing that you’re great at?
I love music, but I don’t think I can compete in The Voice…lol. Let’s just say, I should stick with collections. On the flip side, I do not like speaking in public, but I have been commended multiple times on how inspiring my speeches were and how much of a natural I am when speaking with people.
What’s the most difficult part about entrepreneurship?
Maybe the uncertainty? Taking one day at a time. Not seeing the stairs but confident about the vision. Juggling many balls. Making key decisions almost every day, most of which need a lot of work before a final decision is taken. And if things go wrong, you have to be prepared to live with the results, and vice versa.
What’s the most interesting part about debt recovery?
That would be the joy of being able to partner with debtors, especially those who had no idea how to repay their loans. Being able to work with them individually over a period to enable them become paying customers and offset their debt while being ethical and preserving their dignity.
PROCESS INTERNATIONAL PAYMENTS WITH PAYSTACK
Accept international payments from your customers in the USA, UK, Canada, and 60+ countries using Pay with Apple Pay.
Well, Nigeria’s biggest telco, MTN Nigeria, has announced that retail investors can now purchase up to 575 million shares held in MTN Nigeria at ₦169 ($0.40) per share—lower than its share price on the stock market.
This public offer is in line with MTN Group’s commitment to reduce its shareholding in MTN Nigeria from 78.8% to 65% over time. MTN listed its Nigerian business two years ago at ₦90 ($0.21) per share, becoming the second-largest stock by market capitalisation; its share price has since grown by about 100%.
Notably, this public offer is primarily digital as the shares can be purchased online. The offer will provide many Nigerian retail investors with an opportunity to own shares in MTN Nigeria. MTN is also working to include the unconnected. Nigerians who don’t have access to a smartphone or the internet can go into any money deposit bank or a nearby MTN shop or agent to make more inquiries.
The minimum amount of shares that can be bought is 20 units. To encourage people to buy more, the MTN offer includes one bonus share for every 20 purchased, subject to a maximum of 250 free shares per investor—an incentive open to retail investors who hold shares for at least 12 months after allotment.
Bolaji Balogun, CEO of Chapel Hill Denham, an investment banking firm leading the public offering, believes the digital sales of these shares will increase financial literacy on stocks but also expressed concern that retail investors should be wary of buying from just anyone or platform.
According to Balogun, “The primary authorised digital platform to buy from is PrimaryOffer, as seen on MTN’s site. Then there’s one other digital sub-broker, Chaka, which is partnering with Renaissance Capital.”
SQUARING AWAY THE BLOCK
More changes are following Jack Dorsey’s departure from Twitter, and this time, it’s to his side-hustle—now full-time business—Square Inc.
The payments company announced yesterday that it would be pulling a Meta and taking on a new name, Block. According to the company, the change would help distinguish the corporate entity from the businesses as it pivots from just offering payments services to new technologies like blockchain.
This is similar to what Facebook did last month: the parent—or the corporate entity for business folk—changed to Meta, while the products or business—Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp—kept their names.
With Square Inc.—now Block—it’s basically the same. The corporate entity will be called Square while its products—Tidal, Square Seller, and Cash App—will keep their name. Square Crypto, its product dedicated to decentralising financial services using bitcoin will, however, now be called Spiral.
Jack hacks bitcoin
Even while at Twitter, Jack has never hidden his interest in crypto. His Twitter bio is literally “#bitcoin”. He even once said, “Bitcoin changes absolutely everything. I don’t think there is anything more important in my lifetime to work on.
In 2020, Square bought $50 million worth of bitcoin, and earlier in February, it raised its stake and invested another $170 million in it.
Square is also considering creating a hardware wallet for bitcoin to make its custody more mainstream.
Zoom out: Quite a few name changes—on and off the continent—have been made lately. BuyCoins became Helicarrier, Facebook became Meta, and now, Square is Block. These changes come with the similar goal of product expansion and realignment, so we can expect a very interesting decade.
PS: Jack is a reader of TC Daily. If you’re reading this, Jack, “Hi IJN.”
ACCESS CRYPTO WITH QUIDAX
Quidax is an African-founded cryptocurrency exchange that makes it easy for you to access Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. They also make it possible for Fintech companies to offer cryptocurrency services to their customers.
This week, Algerian transport startup Yassir raised a $30 million Series A funding round to facilitate its growth in existing markets as well as expand into new ones.
The round was led by a large network of investors including WndrCo, DN Capital, Kismet Capital, Spike Ventures, and Quiet Capital. It also includes Endeavor Catalyst, FJ Labs, VentureSouq, Nellore Capital, Moving Capital, and various notable angel investors.
Here are the other deals for the week:
South African tech talent marketplace, OfferZen, secured a $5.1 million Series A funding round from Base Capital.
Payourse, a blockchain startup based in Lagos, Nigeria raised a $600,000 pre-seed investment to scale its products and expand into new markets. Michael Ugwu, one of Africa’s biggest NFT collectors, Flori Ventures, Voltron Capital, and Allegory Capital led the round. Other angel investors like CELO Co-founders Marek Olszewski and Rene Reinsberg, Kola Aina of Ventures Platform, Angel Touch Holdings, and Oluwatobi Anisere also participated.
Herconomy, a startup empowering women through financial services, announced a $600,000 pre-seed round to expand the product offerings on their platform. The round was led by members of the Herconomy community, Oui Capital and some angel investors.
Nigeria’s Octamile, an insurtech company came out of stealth mode with a $500,000 pre-seed funding round led by EchoVC Partners, with participation from Fiat Ventures, Kesho VC, Trade X, Verraki Partners, Dale Mathias, Kyle Daley, and other local and international angels.
Egyptian fintech startup Hollydesk received $325,000 in pre-seed funding from angel investor Faisal Abdel Salam and other investors.
Egyptian legal-tech startup Hekouky raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-seed funding round led by Nama Ventures.