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June 08, 2022

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Good day , 

Victoria here,

The European Union announced yesterday, June 7, 2022, that by September 2024, USB Type-C would be the standard charging port for all mobile phones, tablets, and cameras in Europe.

This means regardless of manufacturer, mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, earbuds, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld video game consoles, and portable speakers that are rechargeable via a wired cable must have a USB Type-C port.

Consequently, consumers will no longer require a new charging cube and cable when purchasing a new device. Also, they will be able to use a single charger for all of their small and medium-sized portable electronic devices.

Laptops will also need to be updated to meet the requirements 40 months after the law goes into effect.

Today, I'll be discussing:

  • Why NFTs are valuable
  • How Everest Nwagwu pursued his dream
  • Klasha's extra $2.1 million seed
  • MFS Africa’s acquisition

Unrelated, but help Techpoint Africa determine how much African tech workers earn by filling out this form or sharing it with your developer friends.

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Why are NFTs valuable?

If you've ever wondered why people would pay millions of dollars for a digital picture they can't touch or feel, you're not alone.

Before Bolu published his story yesterday, June 7, 2022, I'd firmly been in the "why are you doing this?" camp. If you're like me, this article is for you. If you're not, it’s also for you. No skipping! 😉

Before we get into it, you’ll agree with me that much of the buzz surrounding (non-fungible tokens) NFTs has stemmed from the ability to profit from them. So, they are ideal for representing digital artwork or collectables.

Perhaps, this could be why the trading activity of NFTs globally hit $54.58 billion in April 2022.

But why should you pay for a JPEG when you can save it or even take a screenshot?

While I believe NFTs are somewhat glorified JPEGs, NFTs are not just images. Why? NFTs are made up of metadata representing the artwork, meme, music, or tweet.

So while you can replicate a JPEG endlessly, you can't do that with an NFT. Also, when you take a screenshot of an image on the internet, you do not own that image. But you own the NFTs you buy.

Essentially, when you buy an NFT, you’re not buying the art but the metadata. But Bolu thinks buying the metadata doesn’t clarify what makes them valuable. In his words, “...if anything, it proves why they should be worth less than they are.”

So what makes them valuable? Why do people spend millions of dollars on NFTs? Bolu tells us why here: The real reason people spend millions of dollars on NFTs

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How Everest Nwagwu pursued his dream

What do you want to be? Where are you now? What are you doing right now to get there?

These are questions most of us ask ourselves regarding our career, finances, and other aspects of our everyday life.

I believe most of us want to improve and do more than we are currently doing. However, learning on your own, on the job, and from others takes a lot of perseverance and believing in yourself.

Becoming whoever or whatever we want to be starts with accepting challenges and enjoying or enduring the process.

While some of us may dislike the process, we must persevere because it helps make us better and more skilled. At the very least, we would have prepared ourselves for the next big thing.

That being said, let's talk about Everest Nwagwu, who is driven by his thirst for challenges.

First of all, introduction: Everest works as a product marketing manager for Canary Point Corporate Services, a financial services firm. He has prior experience as a content writer, content marketer, digital marketer, and entrepreneur.

In this week's Expert and African — peep the new name 😁 — episode, Oluwanifemi discusses how Everest took on content and marketing roles at seven different companies before venturing into entrepreneurship and founding two companies one of which failed.

Inspired by the media and how he could use his words powerfully, this marketing expert believed in his ability to convince people to take action. Note, he didn't just believe; he acted!

And in ten years, he progressed from being a content writer to transitioning to product marketing across seven industries. So, how did he pull it off? Get the lowdown from Oluwanifemi’s story: Meet Everest Nwagwu, a marketing expert who pursued his dream across many industries

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Klasha's extra $2.1 million seed

In October 2021, Nigerian startup, Klasha, announced that it had raised a $2.4 million seed to boost African cross-border commerce. Yesterday, June 7, 2022, the company announced an extra $2.1 million raise.

This brings the total seed raised to $4.5 million.

The round was led by American Express (AMEX) Ventures and Global Ventures, while Greycroft, Seedcamp, Plug and Play, Berrywood Capital, and Breega participated.

Previously, Jessica Anuna founded the company in 2019 to make it easier for African consumers to buy directly from global fashion retailers.

However, the company relaunched in 2021 and now offers a variety of products for the African cross-border commerce market. It also claims to address payment issues African merchants and consumers face when purchasing goods online using various payment methods.

KlashaCheckout, one of the company’s products, allows international merchants to accept payments in local currencies from six African countries — Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, and Kenya.

Unlike platforms like Checkout, which only accept international payment methods, Klasha accepts bank account, cards, USSD, M-Pesa, and mobile money.

Also, KlashaWire — another product — enables small merchants in these six countries to pay their suppliers in their home currencies within three days.

Per Klasha, merchants who do not have storefronts to accept payments can share links with customers via email or social media using Payment Links.

Anuna claims that merchant acquisitions are up 20% month-on-month and transaction volume is up 17.5%. Plus, the company has handled over 210,000 transactions from over 1,700 merchants.

Klasha generates revenue through sales commissions and subscriptions that merchants pay to use the platform.

The funds will be used to improve its KlashaCart app, which is currently available in Nigeria. Also, customers will be able to shop from various retailers using naira and have their purchases delivered within 7-14 days via Klasha's logistics arm.

The platform will be available in Kenya in the coming months.

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MFS Africa acquires GTP

MFS Africa, a pan-African digital payments company, announced the acquisition of Global Technology Partners (GTP), a US-based company, for $34 million in cash and shares on Monday, June 6, 2022.

Launched by Dare Okoudjou, MFS Africa combines different payment schemes from Africa into a single seamless network, allowing individuals and businesses in mobile money ecosystems to transact across borders and currencies.

According to the company, it connects over 320 million mobile money wallets across 35 African countries and 700 corridors.

GTP, on the other hand, is a company that develops prepaid and mobile payment software which connects multiple prepaid cards to a single bank account. It also allows users to make prepaid payments for online shopping and ATM withdrawals.

Consequently, this acquisition provides MFS Africa with a means to issue prepaid cards to its customers, allowing them to make prepaid payments. Also, it enables MFS to "expand its activities in the United States."

What’s more, Okoudjou mentioned that MFS had reached an agreement with Spotify to accept mobile payments from customers in Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa.

What I'm reading and watching

Opportunities

  • Techpoint Pitch Friday, an event where current and potential founders share their ideas/products with an audience, will take place on Friday, June 10, 2022. To attend, register here.
  • Torche is looking for a UI/UX designer to join its team. If you’re one, apply here.
  • Binance has open roles in Communication, Business Development, Customer Support, Engineering, Marketing, Product, Customer support, and other departments. Check out the details and how to apply here.
  • The African Leadership Group and Udacity are offering 5,000 scholarships to African citizens who want to advance their careers in tech. by learning new digital skills. Scholarship recipients will enrol in one of the following Udacity Nanodegree programmes: Data Analyst, Full-Stack Web Developer, or Cloud Developer. Apply here.
  • Grant Master has announced the start of its second Creative Writers Fellowship cohort. The Fellowship for Creative Writers will take place virtually from July 4th to August 26th, 2022. Apply here.
Have a terrific Wednesday!
victoria_3

Victoria Fakiya (@latoria_ria)

 

A writer with ADHD who is interested in mental health and how technology is improving the lives of Africans with mental disorders.

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