Lessons from M-Pesa for Africa’s new VC-rich fintech startups

Lessons from M-Pesa for Africa’s new VC-rich fintech startups

In African fintech, the fourth quarter of 2019 brought big money to new entrants. Chinese investors put $220 million into OPay and PalmPay — two fledgling startups with plans to scale in Nigeria and the broader continent. Several sources told me the big bucks had created anxiety for more than Read more…

Indian telcos Vodafone Idea and Airtel post $10.3 billion in combined quarterly losses

Indian telcos Vodafone Idea and Airtel post $10.3 billion in combined quarterly losses

It’s not a good day for two of the top three telecom operators in India. Vodafone Idea, India’s second largest telecom operator by subscriber count, said its consolidated loss had widened to $7.14 billion in the quarter that ended in September in what is the largest-ever quarterly loss witnessed in Read more…

India to spend $6 billion to revive telecom operators BSNL and MTNL

India to spend $6 billion to revive telecom operators BSNL and MTNL

India said on Wednesday it plans to spend nearly $6 billion to revive loss-making state-funded telecom operators Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL). In a press conference, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today the Narendra Modi government has given its in-principle approval to the Read more…

We Company adds a director, ditches its $5.9 million naming deal with its CEO, remains a governance nightmare

WeWork confirms an up to $8 billion lifeline from SoftBank Group; names new executive chairman

Confirming earlier reports, The We Company and SoftBank Group agreed to a new capital infusion which will see SoftBank committing $5 billion in new financing and issuing a tender offer for another $3 billion in buybacks for shareholders. The company also said it would accelerate an existing commitment to put Read more…

Kenyan telco Safaricom’s Alpha incubator faces uncertain future

Kenyan telco Safaricom’s Alpha incubator faces uncertain future

Safaricom’s Nairobi based Alpha innovation incubator may have an uncertain future, according to sources. With two high-level departures, and the passing of Safaricom’s CEO Bob Collymore, there are questions on how or if Alpha will continue to operate. The space was established in 2017 to spur new product development for Read more…

We Company adds a director, ditches its $5.9 million naming deal with its CEO, remains a governance nightmare

SoftBank reportedly preps a package to take control of WeWork parent company

SoftBank Group, the multi-billion dollar Japanese technology conglomerate and investment firm, has put together a  bid that would save WeWork parent company We Co., just weeks before the co-working real estate company’s imminent collapse, The Wall Street Journal reports. With the collapse of the company’s planned initial public offering, We Read more…

Spirable refuels with $7.4M to serve more personalized video ads in the US

Spirable refuels with $7.4M to serve more personalized video ads in the US

London based adtech startup Spirable has closed a £6M Series A. The round was led by Smedvig Capital, with existing backers Frontline Ventures, Downing Ventures and 24 Haymarket also participating. The startup is one of several playing in the customized video ads space — offering a platform that simplifies and Read more…

We Company reportedly mulls slashing its valuation ahead of its initial public offering

We Company reportedly mulls slashing its valuation ahead of its initial public offering

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the company formerly known as WeWork is considering slashing its valuation as it looks to woo public market investors. The company is reportedly considering a valuation of somewhere in the $20 billion range for its initial public offering, a figure that’s far less than Read more…

SoftBank reportedly plans to lend employees as much as $20 billion to invest in its VC fund

SoftBank reportedly plans to lend employees as much as $20 billion to invest in its VC fund

SoftBank has a plant to loan up to $20 billion to its employees, including CEO Masayoshi Son, for the purposes of having that capital re-invested in SoftBank’s own Vision venture fund, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal. That’s a highly unusual move that could be risky Read more…