Online Taxi firm Bolt enters into food delivery business

Bolt Food

Taxi hailing service Bolt is venturing into the food delivery business in Kenya targeting alternative revenue streams as the market has seen reduced mobility in the wake of Covid-19 restrictions. Bolt advertised the position of Country Manager for its food delivery arm in Kenya signalling the beginning of operations towards the end of the year. “We’re already present in 30+ markets across Europe and Africa. Now, it’s time for us to bring the know-how around building a mobility platform to the food delivery industry,” read the notice by the firm…

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Kenya’s Central Bank Proposes law to combat predatory lending by mobile loan apps

MTN Rwanda

Digital app lending companies operating in Kenya are set up for a shake-up after the country’s central bank proposed new laws to regulate monthly interest rates levied on loans by digital lenders in a bid to stamp out what it deems predatory practices. If approved, digital lenders will require approval from the central bank to increase lending rates or launch new products. The move comes in the wake of mounting concern about the scale of predatory lending given the proliferation of startups offering online, collateral-free loans in Kenya. Unlike traditional…

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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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Strive Masiyiwa’s Venture Vaya Africa, launches an electric taxi service

Vaya Africa, a ride-hail mobility venture founded by Zimbabwean mogul Strive Masiyiwa, has launched an electric taxi service and charging network in Zimbabwe with plans to expand across the continent.

Vaya Africa, a ride-hail mobility venture founded by Zimbabwean mogul Strive Masiyiwa, has launched an electric taxi service and charging network in Zimbabwe with plans to expand across the continent. Vaya Africa, a company registered in Mauritius, responsible for the transport of people and goods in Africa and the generation of adjacent revenues in this sector, launched a new product on the Zimbabwean market. It is the electric vehicles called “Vaya Electric”. The South African headquarters of Vaya Africa has acquired a series of Nissan Leaf electric vehicles and has…

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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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IBM to cease developing Facial Recognition Technology after #BlackLivesMatter protests

IBM will no longer develop and research facial recognition or analysis software and, on top of that, it will no longer offer the technology for general-purposes. This is part of the company’s mission to advance racial equality in the US after #BlackLivesMatter protests – campaigning against violence and systemic racism towards the black community – were organised all over the world. “IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and…

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Telegram quits on its cryptocurrency focused subsidiary TON

Telegram

After years of drama with the SEC, Telegram is calling it quits on its crypto-focused subsidiary, Telegram Open Network (TON). “Telegram’s active involvement with TON is over,” wrote Pavel Durov, founder and CEO, in an announcement on his channel. “You may see – or may have already seen – sites using my name or the Telegram brand or the ‘TON’ abbreviation to promote their projects. Don’t trust them with your money or data.” TON was a blockchain platform designed to offer decentralized cryptocurrency to anyone with a smartphone, in a…

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New gadgets were designed to fight COVID-19 Pandemic

The Virustatic Shield has an antiviral coating.

COVID-19 may be having a devastating impact on our industries, social lives and personal grooming standards, but it is also prompting an outpouring of creativity in other arenas. From Spiderman-esque wrist-mounted disinfectant sprays, to a wristband that buzzes whenever you’re about to touch your face, a wealth of new prototypes are demonstrating what human ingenuity is capable of in the face of adversity. Here are just some of the newest coronavirus inventions. Hands-free door openers Several varieties of hygiene-friendly door-hook are in the pipeline – intended to help us navigate…

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