Telkom Kenya pulls the plug on merger with Bharti Airtel

Telkom Kenya

Telkom Kenya said on Wednesday it was no longer looking to merge its business with the Kenyan unit of India’s Bharti Airtel, citing challenges of securing the required regulatory approvals for the deal reports Reuters. Bharti Airtel had said in February 2019 its Airtel Networks Kenya unit had agreed to buy Telkom Kenya, the East African nation’s smallest operator in which the state still has a 40% shareholding, after a majority stake was sold in 2007. The deal, whose terms have never been disclosed, would have created a stronger challenger…

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Microsoft will continue discussions on potential TikTok purchase

Tiktok experiences brief outage, launches new Ad Platform amidst calls for ban

Last Friday, reports emerged that Microsoft was in talks to purchase TikTok from the Beijing-based company ByteDance. The same day, Trump mentioned plans to ban the social media platform from operating in the U.S. This Sunday, Microsoft said in a statement that it is moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after speaking with President Trump, who has threatened to ban the popular video app in the U.S. “Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review…

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Google to waive commission fees on products sold via the ‘Buy on Google’ checkout option

Ecommerce startups

Google is making it free for retailers to sell products in search results by waiving fees for sales made via the ‘Buy on Google’ option. ‘Buy on Google’ is a payment option that lets customers buy products without leaving Google search results. The option to buy products directly on Google is made available to customers when they click on shopping listings in search results. Like other online payment providers, Google has always charged a commission fee for sales made through its platform. Now, in a pilot launch, Google is charging…

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Facebook to invest $57 Billion in Africa’s economy in next five years

Facebook’s to invest $57 Billion in Africa’s Economy in next five years

Facebook has released findings from a study conducted by Analysys Mason called The Impact of Facebook’s Connectivity Initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa, that highlights how its investments in infrastructure and connectivity across the region will deliver over $57 Billion in Economic Benefits over the next five years (2020–2024). According to The Economist Intelligence Unit – Inclusive Internet Index 2020, over 800 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa are unconnected to the Internet. Facebook’s infrastructure investments and connectivity initiatives include the following: Investing in Infrastructure that supports Internet connectivity Submarine cables – Will enable…

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Kenya’s MumsVillage in merger with Nigeria’s BabyBliss to build a larger eCommerce platform

Bliss Group Africa.: Mothering and childcare focused e-commerce companies BabyBliss Nigeria and MumsVillage Kenya have merged to create a pan-African entity

Mothering and childcare focused e-commerce companies BabyBliss Nigeria and MumsVillage Kenya have merged to create a pan-African entity Bliss Group Africa, providing what they say is an “unparalleled omnichannel commerce, community and content offering”. The mum and baby e-commerce opportunity currently stands at an estimated $2 billion in Kenya and $5 billion in Nigeria. Thanks to COVID-19, the e-commerce market has experienced explosive growth. What began as a trend has now become a behemoth estimated to grow at over 60 per cent in both markets. Jika further adds that, “they…

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Instagram Rolls Out New ‘Personal Fundraiser’ Feature For Crowdfunding

Instagram Fundraiser

The coronavirus pandemic has upsurged the number of crowdfunding campaigns for hospital bills, funeral expenses, and other coronavirus-related causes, and now Instagram has announced Personal Fundraiser, a new tool that lets users raise money for personal causes. Soon people in the US, UK, and Ireland to raise money for their own personal causes. The company is launching the feature today as an initial test on Android phones, with iPhones to follow, after already making personal fundraising available to Facebook users. Personal Fundraiser will be available to people over the age…

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Opinion: Factors that will likely shape ecommerce in the second half of 2020

COVID 19 Read consumer

As we enter the second half of 2020, Dan Barker examines the key trends that are set to shape ecommerce, and how retailers can respond to them. The first half of 2020 has been eventful for ecommerce. Of course technical innovation has progressed: Shopify launched a marketplace, Google relaunched organic product listings, Facebook introduced ‘shops’, and thousands of other changes. But much of the first half of 2020 was shaped by a disease named after 2019. The effects of ‘SARS2’ on ecommerce are tough to overstate. Tens of thousands of…

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Central Bank of Kenya Declines to cap the free M-Pesa transactions to five

M-Gas Mpesa

Kenya’s leading telco Safaricom has lost the bid to cap free M-Pesa transactions to five. This comes after subscribers split high-value transfers to avoid paying transfer fees, costing it billions of shillings in revenues. The company had petitioned the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to cap the number of multiple transactions between two numbers, according to a recent disclosure of conference call transcripts between Safaricom and investors seen by the Business Daily. Safaricom reported that customers were splitting high-value money transfers of as high as Sh60,000 to deals of below…

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Opera’s Opay Pulls Plug on ORide, OCar, Shifts focus to eCommerce & payments

Opera’s Opay Pulls Plug on ORide, OCar, Shifts focus to eCommerce & payments

News earlier in the week broke that Opera-backed Nigerian fintech startup, OPay has reportedly shut down all its business operations in Nigeria following a letter issued by its foreign investors amidst the poor economic climate caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.. A report claims that all verticals of the startup, including ride hailing, ORide and OTrike — which were still active in other states aside Lagos; the recently launched B2B and B2C eCommerce platforms, OMall and OTrade; OExpress for logistics; and food delivery feature, OFood will be closed down. Opay launched…

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Amazon to manufacture self-driving cars after acquiring start-up Zoox for $1bn

Amazon to manufacture self-driving cars after acquiring start-up Zoox for $1bn

Amazon is making strides into developing its own self-driving vehicles, agreeing to buy Californian start-up Zoox in a deal said to be worth more than $1bn (£810m). The takeover was first reported by tech website The Information and was later confirmed by Amazon.  Talks were said to have started between the two companies last month. Zoox’s chief executive Aicha Evans and chief technology officer Jesse Levinson will continue to lead the team as a standalone business after the deal has completed, Amazon said. The takeover is believed to be part of Amazon’s plans to begin…

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