French TV Canal+ acquires ROK film studio from IROKOtv for an undisclosed amount

French television company Canal+ has acquired the ROK film studio from VOD company IROKOtv for an undisclosed amount. The company founded by Jason Njoku in 2010—and backed by $45 million  in VC—IROKOtv boasts the largest online catalog of Nollywood film content in the world reports TechCrunch Based in Lagos, ROK film studios was incubated to create original content for IROKOtv, which can be accessed online anywhere in the world. Actress and producer Mary Njoku—IROKOtv CEO Jason Njoku’s wife—founded ROK studios and will stay on as Director General under the Canal+…

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Regulate? Mobile-based online lending firms may be money laundering channels says Central Bank of Kenya governor

Mobile-based lenders pose money laundering risk, says CBK

Mobile-based online lending firms should be regulated to avoid their usage as channels for introducing illegally-obtained cash into the financial system, Central Bank of Kenya governor Patrick Njoroge has said. In a presentation to parliamentarians Wednesday, Dr Njoroge singled out Tala, Branch and Okash — three highly-popular digital money lenders — as credit-only mobile lending institutions that could be easily used to launder illicit cash. Money laundering, which involves transferring and disguising illegally obtained cash to make it look legitimate, is mostly used by criminals and the corrupt to clean…

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Payment app Venmo has 40 million users, parent company PayPal discloses

payment app Venmo has ushered in 40 million users to the platform, its parent company PayPal announced

Popular payment app Venmo has ushered in 40 million users to the platform, its parent company PayPal announced on Wednesday. This is the first time PayPal has disclosed user numbers for the millennial-focused, peer-to-peer app. In its first-quarter earnings report, PayPal said it now has a total 277 million total customer accounts — including 22 million merchant accounts. Total payment volume for Venmo grew 73% year over year to $21 billion in the first quarter, the company said. PayPal said Venmo is still on pace to do $100 billion in…

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Google debuts Google News Initiative challenge for Middle East, Africa, Turkey

Google on Tuesday opened the Google News Initiative (GNI) challenge for media publishers in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey. The Head of Google News Initiative Innovation, Ludovic Bleacher, made the disclosure at the unveiling of the initiative in Lagos. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Google News Initiative is a journalism-focused programme that will help publishers earn money and fight fake news. It will also introduce an open-source tool called Outline, which will make it easier for news organisations to set up secure access to the…

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A world of new possibilities from Mobile apps to the blind and visually impaired

Facebook

Ask anyone who was around before smartphones, and they’ll tell you life was different. But for Nutsiri “Earth” Kidkul, who went blind eight years ago, life-changing doesn’t begin to describe the impact of mobile apps. Before specialized apps came along, Kidkul would have to plan and prepare much more for basic tasks like grocery shopping, traveling or reading documents. What’s more, Kidkul often needed assistance from other people to go about her day. “I was always at the mercy of their time or schedule,” Kidkul says. Kidkul uses, for example,…

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Millions of Instagram influencers data scraped and exposed from a Mumbai-based Chtrbox database

TechCruch has detailed massive database leak containing contact information of millions of Instagram influencers, celebrities and brand accounts has been found online. The database, hosted by Amazon Web Services, was left exposed and without a password allowing anyone to look inside. At the time of writing, the database had over 49 million records — but was growing by the hour. From a brief review of the data, each record contained public data scraped from influencer Instagram accounts, including their bio, profile picture, the number of followers they have, if they’re…

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MPESA option now available on Aliexpress App

Shopping online can seem like a daunting task to some people, especially considering the  limited payment options and security issues that bog online transactions. Alibaba-owned e-commerce platform, AliExpress, has slowly but steadily gained popularity in Kenya as the platform opens up the Chinese vast goods market to Kenyans. International shopping in Kenya has mainly relied on third-party services such a Vitumob or Something Random, that aim to connect locals to the well-established platforms like Amazon but recently we have seen these shopping websites make an effort to directly reach their…

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Naspers Ltd. spins off African pay-TV unit MultiChoice Group Ltd for $3 Billion

Naspers Ltd. spun off African pay-TV unit MultiChoice Group Ltd. at an initial valuation of about 42 billion rand ($3 billion), enabling the continent’s biggest company to focus on its current incarnation as a global internet-technology firm. MultiChoice shares started trading at 95.5 rand in Johannesburg, and was at 96.15 rand as of 9:13 a.m. Naspers, which makes up almost a fifth of Johannesburg’s stock exchange, traded 2.3 percent lower at 3,069.99 rand after the spin off. Key Insights MultiChoice’s valuation could eventually settle at about $5 billion to $6…

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Vodacom to pay ex-worker who invented the ‘Please Call Me’ idea after gridlock

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Nkosana Makate,  the former employee behind the Please Call Me service, says he is exploring his options after Vodacom decided on a “ridiculous and insulting” sum of money to settle a long-standing dispute between them. Vodacom said over the weekend it considered the matter  “finally settled and closed” after its CEO, Shameel Joosub, had decided on a “reasonable” payment for Makate, the former employee who came up with the idea in late 2000. The mobile operator did not disclose the amount, citing a confidentiality agreement. This comes nearly three years…

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Apple suffers biggest single-day loss in 6 years

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 660 points as Apple stock dropped nearly 10 percent – the biggest single day decline for the company since 2013 – just one day after it slashed its revenue forecast. Shortly after spooking Asian and European investors, CEO Tim Cook’s bombshell announcement rocked Wall Street on Thursday. The drop marked the worst start to a year for both the S&P 500 and the Dow since 2000, while for the Nasdaq it was the weakest start since 2005, according to Market Watch.  The…

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