OMG,

How are you? How was your weekend?

My weekend started with Pitch Friday. If you attended last week, you sure had a good time. If you missed it, check out the recap here.

Saturday was a stressful day. The initial plan was to have fun, but it was ruined; She was so tired that I slept for 11 hours. On Sunday morning I woke up in pain, but I felt fine. Don’t you think the pain of training is always sweet?

I have news for Nigerians who have not yet obtained their Permanent Voter Card (PVC): The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the deadline for collecting PVCs by about a week as the general election approaches.

Previously, the deadline was January 22, 2023, but now INEC has set it for Sunday, January 29, 2023.

At the Registration Area (District) level, you will be able to withdraw your PVC between today, Monday, January 16, 2023, and Sunday, January 22, 2023, while at the local government level it will resume on Monday, January 23, 2023 for Sunday, January 29, 2023.

This is what I have for you today:

  • TeamApt rebrands to Moniepoint
  • Starlink to launch in Kenya
  • UK financial regulator fines GTBank UK $9.3 million
  • Vodacom sues South African police

TeamApt rebrands to Moniepoint

Nigerian fintech startup, TeamApt, is taking the name from its flagship product, Moniepoint.

Launched in 2015, TeamApt creates financial solutions for businesses that include payment, banking, credit and business management tools.

The company has grown from developing mobile apps for major commercial banks to serving clients and businesses through its agency banking platform (Moniepoint) and its commercial solution (Monnify).

The company claims that the rebranding allows it to tie in with an identity that existing customers already know and trust.

Moniepoint was launched in 2019 to provide users with financial services, including payments, cash withdrawals, and deposits.

It onboarded more than 30,000 agents and enabled nearly $400 billion worth of transactions. He also hinted at plans to expand into West Africa in 2021.

In 2022, the startup raised $50 million. And while Moniepoint has refused to disclose its valuation, its ability to process more than $1 billion could mean it’s already a unicorn.

But what does this rebranding mean for the company? Find out here: TeamApt is now Moniepoint! What’s next for the fintech startup?

Starlink to launch in Kenya

square starlink plate

US-based space exploration company SpaceX has announced plans to launch Starlink, its satellite internet service, in Kenya, pending regulatory approval.

Kenyans can book the service and put down a fully refundable deposit of sh12,260 ($99) to reserve it if approved.

The Starlink kit, which includes a Starlink dish, mounting tripod, WiFi router, power supply and cables, will reportedly cost $499 (Sh73,677).

According to SpaceX, the service will be available in Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa and Nakuru, among other cities, in June 2023.

With the demand for high speed internet for streaming, video calls and online gaming, Kenyans can expect reliable internet service from Starlink.

But what does this mean for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country, including Safaricom, Zuku and Faiba? One word: Competition.

However, the entry of a new player into the market could result in more innovation and lower prices for your customers.

Sidebar: Nigerians who pre-ordered Starlink hardware have reportedly received their orders. However, the service is only available to those with dollar cards who can pay for the hardware online.

UK financial regulator fines GTBank UK $9.3 million

GTBANK

Last week, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Britain’s financial watchdog, fined the UK subsidiary of Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust (GT) bank £7.6 million ($9.3 million). for “more failures in their systems and controls against money laundering.”

Between October 2014 and July 2019, the watchdog discovered “serious weaknesses” in anti-money laundering systems.

According to the FCA, GT Bank failed to carry out adequate client risk assessments and frequently failed to assess and document the money laundering risks posed by its clients during the relevant time.

It also said that GT Bank did not monitor customer transactions and business relationships.

The Authority said that internal and external sources, including FCA, pointed out “these weaknesses” to GT Bank, but it did not take the necessary steps to address them.

Gbenga Alade, managing director of GT Bank UK, said the bank takes its anti-money laundering obligations very seriously and expressed sincere regret at the FCA’s findings, adding that the FCA did not uncover any cases of suspected money laundering.

“We would like to reassure all of our stakeholders and the general public that the necessary steps have been taken to address and resolve the identified gaps,” Alade said.

Furthermore, the FCA stated that GTBank did not contest its findings and agreed to settle, qualifying for a 30% discount on the fine, which would otherwise have been £11 million.

A moment in history: In August 2013, the FCA fined GTBank £525,000 ($642,127) for serious and systemic failures in anti-money laundering controls.

Vodacom sues South African police

vodacom logo

Mobile network operator Vodacom is reportedly suing the South African Police Service (Saps), the country’s national police force, for switching its cellular contract tender to MTN.

MTN will receive approximately R20 million ($1,190,802) monthly under the new agreement to provide unlimited cell phones, modems and data to South African law enforcement.

What happened? For the last twenty years, the police have relied solely on Vodacom for cellular services.

During a hearing on November 23, 2022 in the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, Vodacom requested that the contract be reviewed and annulled. But the decision on the matter was reserved.

According to Vodacom, the Saps committee did not understand the different methods of network operators to report on population coverage and network availability during load shedding.

Vodacom claimed its network availability to the South African population was 99.9%, without load shedding, as of June 2021. According to MTN, it covered 99.1% of the population.

During load shedding, Vodacom admitted that its network availability dropped to 86%. But MTN allegedly did not provide network availability statistics, claiming that the load reduction affected its network.

Vodacom then said police interpreted its offer to mean that its coverage had been reduced indefinitely to 86% due to the load reduction, while MTN’s remained at 99.1%.

However, Saps claimed that the decision was not based on a points system but on the needs of the police.
While conceding that Vodacom’s prices were lower, he said he based his decision on “the coverage and prices of the MTN network.”

last week of Techpoint Africa

  • Agritech startup Releaf raises $3.3m ahead of Series A as it looks to scale operations in Nigeria
  • Give your business a boost at Techpoint Africa Pitch Friday
  • Airtel acquires 5G and 4G spectrum for $317 million to offer 5G services in Nigeria
  • Africa isn’t ready for 5G, but experts say it needs to keep pushing
  • Ghanaian logistics startup Jetstream Africa closes $13M in pre-Series A to expand into new markets
  • CredPal users set to “ride now, pay later” as startup announces partnership with Bolt
  • Generation X users are the second largest investor group in Bamboo
  • Tunisian startup InstaDeep to be acquired by BioNTech for $683 million
  • Fuel shortages: supply gaps and ground ticket sales as a panacea
  • How to protect yourself from a crypto exchange crash in 2023
  • Inside the lives of professionals living with invisible disabilities in Nigerian workplaces
  • Mental Health Act 2021: The impact on health tech startups will be ‘mental’
  • In Nigeria, Abuja ordered the most Bolt rides in 2022
  • Nigerian healthcare tech startup Airmed brings consultations to you and expedites drug delivery within an hour
  • TeamApt is now Moniepoint! What’s next for the fintech startup?

What I’m reading and watching

Opportunities

  • If you are a product designer and researcher looking for (remote) jobs and internships in the US and Canada, check this out.
  • If you are a software engineer, creative designer, product manager, design researcher, or a technician looking for an internship position, please visit this website.
  • Check out various design internship positions in the United States here.
  • US based company, Outliant, is looking for a Full Content Developer to work remotely with them. Apply here.
  • If you’re a student, you can now apply for the 2023 Rice Business Plan Contest for Student Startups. To apply, check this out.

Have a productive week.

victoria fakiya for Techpoint Africa.