Asalaam alaikum,

South Africa’s mobile data network Rain has announced that it will launch 4G and 5G mobile services across the country.

The company’s founder and director, Michael Jordaan, said they would start with 4G, but eventually include 5G services.

In areas where Rain has coverage, it currently offers only 4G mobile products and 4G and 5G fixed-wireless broadband access.

The national mobile rollout suggests a roaming partnership with one of the mobile operators, but Jordaan did not elaborate. But he said the additional spectrum made available through last year’s spectrum auction had improved his coverage.

Rain’s nationwide 4G (and eventually 5G) mobile rollout is likely to put pressure on competitors Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and Telkom.

This is what I have for you today:

  • Is Bitcoin going up again?
  • Luno cuts its workforce by 35%
  • Prosus and Naspers plan to reduce their workforce by 30%

Is Bitcoin going up again?

Image from Freepik

For the first time since November 7, 2022, the flagship cryptocurrency Bitcoin showed some signs of recovery.

The cryptocurrency, which had been trading below $17,000 since FTX’s issuance, broke above $21,000 on Thursday, January 14, 2023.

Unsurprisingly, traders, investors, and enthusiasts were excited to see the little ray of sunshine even though it is a long way from the $68,000 price from which the cryptocurrency plunged.

The value of the entire crypto market increased to $990 million, an increase of 19% from $831 million in November 2022.

Cryptocurrency influencer and full-time trader Ademi said that the rise is likely due to a reduced supply of Bitcoin and Ethereum in the market. CNBC corroborated this stance, saying that there has been a lot of buying of the cryptocurrency by big buyers known as whales.

For Ademi, the current rise in the bitcoin price is a breath of fresh air after a long crypto winter.

While she is optimistic about rising prices, she admits that there is no telling if this is the start of another bull run or a brief moment of happiness for traders like her.
But, reader, before you invest in cryptocurrency, Bolu wants you to consider two things. You can read it here: Is Bitcoin going up again? Here are 2 things to know before investing

Luno cuts its workforce by 35%


Cryptocurrency exchange Luno is laying off 35% of its employees, citing an “incredibly difficult year” in the crypto market.

Luno, a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, a cryptocurrency conglomerate with offices in South Africa, Nigeria, Southeast Asia and Europe, has more than 960 employees, meaning the layoff will affect more than 330 employees.

According to CEO Marcus Swanepoel, the cryptocurrency industry has experienced a “series of shocks” that have resulted in a tight funding environment and a shift towards long-term profitability.

“While we anticipate a downturn and proactively plan ahead with a business and financing model that may be resilient to some of these factors, the sheer scale and speed of all this happening, and all at the same time, has put significant pressure about our original plan,” Swanepoel said.

The CEO did not disclose details of the severance packages Luno would offer, but Swanepoel said they would handle the departures with the empathy, generosity and gratitude that everyone deserves.

News of the layoffs at Luno comes less than a week after one of the co-founders, CTO Timothy Stranex, quietly resigned in December 2022 after nearly ten years with the company.

Stranex co-founded Luno with Carel van Wyk, Pieter Heyns and Swanepoel.

Prosus and Naspers plan to reduce their workforce by 30%


The global investment group, Prosus, and its parent company, South Africa-based Naspers, plan to cut their corporate workforce by 30%.

CEO Bob Van Dijk said Prosus would make cuts at its corporate centers, including centers in South Africa, Hong Kong and Amsterdam.

He also stated that the job cuts would occur over the next year and would affect approximately 15 locations.

While Van Dijk did not disclose the number of people who would be affected, as of March 2022, Prosus employed 30,000 people worldwide. Judging by this, it means that the company will cut 9,000 jobs.

Prosus has invested in classified ads, food delivery, payments, and educational software. Consequently, Van Dijk stated that the company would try to reduce costs in all 80 companies.

However, those efforts will have different “timeframes and scales.” The company has already closed some offices and reduced staff in others.

According to Van Dijk, the measures should help make Prosus profitable by the first half of 2025.

In case you missed it

What I’m reading and watching


  • Applications for the Future Africa Challenge 2023 designed to explore the creative potentials of young Africans on the continent and in the diaspora. Apply here.
  • If you are a business professional, investor or entrepreneur, please apply for the VC4A mentoring program here.
  • If you’re a software engineer, creative designer, product manager, design researcher, or techie looking for an internship position, check out this website.

Have a great Thursday.

victoria fakiya for Techpoint Africa.