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Lessons from M-Pesa for Africas new VC-rich fintech startups

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In African fintech, the fourth quarter of 2019 brought big money to new entrants.

Chinese investors put $220 million into OPay and PalmPay — two fledgling startups with plans to scale in Nigeria and the broader continent. Several sources told me the big bucks had created anxiety for more than few payments ventures in Nigeria with similar strategies and smaller coffers. They may not need to fret just yet, however: lessons from Africa’s most successful mobile-money case study, M-Pesa, suggest that VC alone won’t buy scale in digital finance.

Startups and fintech in Africa

Over the last decade, Africa has been in the midst of a startup boom accompanied by big growth in VC and improvements in internet and mobile penetration.

Some definitive country centers for company formation, tech hubs and investment have emerged; Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya lead the continent in numbers for all those categories. Additional strong and emerging points for innovation and startups across Africa’s 54 countries and 1.2 billion people include Ghana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Senegal.

The continent surpassed $1 billion in VC to startups in 2018 and per research done by Partech and WeeTracker, fintech is the focus of the bulk of capital and deal-flow.

By several estimates,  Africa is home to the largest share of the world’s unbanked and underbanked population.

This runs parallel to the region’s off-the-grid SME’s and economic activity — on display and in commercial motion through the street traders, roadside kiosks and open-air markets common from Nairobi to Lagos.

IMF estimates have pegged Africa’s informal economy as one of the largest in the world. Thousands of fintech startups have descended onto this large pool of unbanked and underbranked citizens and SMEs looking to grow digital finance products and market share.

In this race, the West African nation of Nigeria — home to Africa’s largest economy and population — is becoming an epicenter for VC. Many fintech-related companies are adopting a strategy of scaling there first before expanding outward.

Enter PalmPay and OPay

That includes new entrants OPay and PalmPay, which raised so much capital in fourth quarter 2019. It’s notable that both were founded in 2019 and largely incubated by Chinese actors.

PalmPay, a consumer-oriented payments product, went live in November with a $40 million seed-round (one of the largest in Africa in 2019) led by Africa’s biggest mobile-phones seller — China’s Transsion. The startup was upfront about its ambitions, stating its goals to become “Africa’s largest financial services platform,” in a company statement.

To that end, PalmPay conveniently entered a strategic partnership with its lead investor. The startup’s payment app will come pre-installed on Transsion’s mobile device brands, such as Tecno, in Africa — for an estimated reach of 20 million phones in 2020.

PalmPay also launched in Ghana in November and its U.K. and Africa-based CEO, Greg Reeve, confirmed plans to expand to additional African countries in 2020.

If PalmPay’s $40 million seed round got founders’ attention, OPay’s $120 million Series B created shock-waves, coming just months after the mobile-based fintech venture raised $50 million — making OPay’s $170 million capital haul equivalent to roughly a fifth of all VC raised in Africa in 2018.

Opera’s Africa fintech startup OPay gains $120M from Chinese investors

Founded by Chinese owned consumer internet company Opera — and backed by 9 Chinese investors — OPay is the payment utility for a suite of Opera -developed internet based commercial products in Nigeria that include ride-hail apps ORide and OCar and food delivery service OFood.

With its latest Series A, OPay announced it would expand in Kenya, South Africa, and Ghana.

In Nigeria, OPay’s $170 million Series A and B announced in the span of months dwarfs just about anything raised by new and existing fintech players, with the exception of Interswitch.

The homegrown payments processing company — which pioneered much of Nigeria’s digital finance infrastructure — reached unicorn status in November when Visa took a reported $200 million minority stake in the venture.

A sampling of more common funding amounts for payments ventures in Nigeria includes established fintech company Paga’s $10 million Series B. Recent market entrant Chipper Cash’s May 2019 seed-round was $2.4 million.

There is a large disparity between fintech startups in Nigeria with capital raises in ones and tens of millions vs. OPay and PalmPay’s $40 and $120 million rounds. Conventional wisdom could be that the big-capital, big spending firms have an unmistakable advantage in scaling digital payments in Nigeria and other markets.

A look at Kenya’s M-Pesa may prove otherwise.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/04/lessons-from-m-pesa-for-africas-new-vc-rich-fintech-startups/

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MOHAWK INDUSTRIES INVESTIGATION INITIATED BY FORMER LOUISIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC Investigates the Officers and Directors of Mohawk Industries, Inc. – MHK

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NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Former Attorney General of Louisiana, Charles C. Foti, Jr., Esq., a partner at the law firm of Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC (“KSF”), announces that KSF has commenced an investigation into Mohawk Industries, Inc. (NYSE: MHK).  

On July 25, 2019, after a series of prior negative financial revelations, the Company disclosed that sales for its Flooring NA segment were down 7% due to “lower demand” for certain products resulting in excess inventory that had impacted its sales and margins.

Thereafter, the Company and certain of its executives were sued in a securities class action lawsuit, charging them with failing to disclose material information during the Class Period regarding improper revenue recognition, demand and inventory levels as well as fraudulent channel stuffing, among other things, violating federal securities laws. The case remains ongoing.

Then, on July 13, 2020, the Company disclosed it received subpoenas from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission related to the above issues.

KSF’s investigation is focusing on whether Mohawk’s officers and/or directors breached their fiduciary duties to Mohawk’s shareholders or otherwise violated state or federal laws. 

If you have information that would assist KSF in its investigation, or have been a long-term holder of Mohawk shares and would like to discuss your legal rights, you may, without obligation or cost to you, call toll-free at 1-877-515-1850 or email KSF Managing Partner Lewis Kahn ([email protected]), or visit https://www.ksfcounsel.com/cases/nyse-mhk/ to learn more.

About Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC

KSF, whose partners include former Louisiana Attorney General Charles C. Foti, Jr., is one of the nation’s premier boutique securities litigation law firms. KSF serves a variety of clients – including public institutional investors, hedge funds, money managers and retail investors – in seeking to recover investment losses due to corporate fraud and malfeasance by publicly traded companies. KSF has offices in New York, California and Louisiana.

To learn more about KSF, you may visit www.ksfcounsel.com.

Contact:
Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC
Lewis Kahn, Managing Partner
[email protected]
1-877-515-1850
1100 Poydras St., Suite 3200
New Orleans, LA 70163

SOURCE Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC

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Source: https://www.prnewswire.com:443/news-releases/mohawk-industries-investigation-initiated-by-former-louisiana-attorney-general–kahn-swick–foti-llc-investigates-the-officers-and-directors-of-mohawk-industries-inc—mhk-301124716.html

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MegaFans and IGDA Foundation Partner for Charity eSports Tournaments Series

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SAN DIEGO, Sept. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — MegaFans (Mobile eSports Gaming Fanatics), a San Diego area-based mobile-casual eSports platform, has partnered with the International Game Developers Association Foundation again to produce a series of charity fundraising events using MegaFans eSports tournament platform and mobile-casual eSports games. The first tournament runs September 1 – 30, 2020 and is featured on the popular mobile eSports puzzle game, Candy Boo – Tournament Edition. The eSports tournaments are being promoted to raise awareness and funds to go toward the IGDA Foundation’s Diversity Initiative, to improve lives of game developers around the world.

The inaugural tournament in the series is being played on the popular, massive multi-player game, Candy Boo eSports Tournament Edition with over 100,000 downloads. Candy Boo Tournament Edition games are available on both the Apple and Google Play Stores and can be found at https://apps.apple.com/us/app/candy-boo-esports-tournament/id1447419350 and https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.megafans.candyboo&hl=en_US respectively. MegaFans is offering virtual and real prizes to the first 76 winners of the tournament. There is a live leader board inside the game that allows players to see their position. 

The IGDA Foundation eSports Tournament is fun, challenging and easy to enter: Download the game, register with an email address or mobile phone number and make in-app purchases for tokens to play the game. Revenue from the token purchases go to the IGDA Foundation as donations and are tax deductible. Prizes will be matched with donations to the IGDA Foundation. Players and supporters are also encouraged to make direct donations outside the eSport tournament to the Camp Pendleton USO, by visiting https://igdafoundation.org.

Previously, MegaFans worked with the IGDA Foundation on the Stay in the Game Relief Fund which raised over $100,000 and MegaFans was the third-largest publicly active contributor.

About MEGAFANS Inc.

MegaFans Inc. is a mobile casual eSports gaming platform company that develops, publishes and manages turnkey, integrated software solutions for mobile games, enabling them to offer a competitive eSports tournament environment for the audience which increases retention, monetization and community growth through this novel approach. MegaFans delivers an inclusive, richer experience for the 2.5 billion mobile casual gaming community globally.

About IGDA Foundation

The IGDA Foundation advances a diverse workforce and ecosystem for the video game industry to better reflect the millions of passionate players enjoying video games worldwide. 

The IGDA-F focuses on promoting a game development community representative of, and welcoming and inclusive to, every person who wants to make games. The IGDA-F garners support for diversity and inclusion in the video game industry with initiatives such as its IGDA Scholars, Velocity and Next Gen Leaders programs, with others in the pipeline.

The IGDA Foundation is a public charity, registered as a 501(c)(3) organization in the United States.

To find out more about the IGDA Foundation’s initiatives visit http://igdafoundation.org.

Media Contact:

Jeff Donnelley
(619) 921-8167
[email protected]

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Download Candy Boo on Android

SOURCE MegaFans

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com:443/news-releases/megafans-and-igda-foundation-partner-for-charity-esports-tournaments-series-301124709.html

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Erickson Inc. und Bell Textron Inc. geben unterzeichnete Verträge zum Beginn der Übertragung von Musterzulassungen für die Hubschrauber Bell 214st und B/B1 bekannt

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PORTLAND, Oregon, 5. September 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Erickson Inc. und Bell Textron Inc. haben die Unterzeichnung von Verträgen bekannt gegeben, um die Übertragung der Musterzulassungen für die Hubschraubermodelle 214 ST und B/B1 an Erickson Incorporated einzuleiten. Die Übertragung wird durch die US-Luftfahrtbehörde FAA bearbeitet und der Abschluss wird für das Ende des Jahres erwartet. 

Die Verträge ersetzen den vorigen Vertrag über Lizenz und Produktsupport, der von den Firmen 2015 unterzeichnet wurde. Erickson ist einer der größten Betreiber des 214ST und macht sich an den nächsten Schritt, die Leistungsverbesserung und betriebliche Nachhaltigkeit der 214-Plattform zu unterstützen, wie man es für die 1992 erworbene S-64-Plattform getan hat. Erickson wird mit Bell an der Übertragung der entscheidenden verbleibenden Funktionen und Verfahren arbeiten, um die volle Unterstützung der Musterzulassungen zu ermöglichen.

„Der 214 ist eine sehr gute Drehflügel-Gebrauchsplattform. Wir sind zuversichtlich, unseren innovativen Geist und unsere betriebliche Erfahrung dafür einzusetzen, für diesen Hubschrauber eine Zukunft zu gestalten, wie wir es in den letzten 30 Jahren bereits für den Helikopter S-64 Air Crane® getan haben. Die 214-Modelle sind eine willkommene Ergänzung des Portfolios unterstützter Luftfahrzeuge von Erickson.” – Doug Kitani, CEO

INFORMATIONEN ZU ERICKSON
Erickson ist ein führender globaler Anbieter von Luftfahrtdienstleistungen mit Fokus auf Verteidigung und nationale Sicherheit, Fertigung, Wartung/Reparatur/Überholung (MRO) und Dienstleistungen für den zivilen Markt. Zu den Herstellungs- und MRO-Diensten von Erickson gehört der Bau des Helikopters S-64 Aircrane® als Erstausrüster (OEM) und man ist ein wichtiger Zulieferer für zahlreiche OEMs der Luft- und Raumfahrt. Zu den kommerziellen Luftverkehrsdienstleistungen gehört der Betrieb von 20 S-64 Aircrane® Helikoptern in Besitz und Betrieb von Erickson, die für die Brandbekämpfung, den Bau von Hochspannungsleitungen, die Holzernte, Klimatechnik und spezialisierte Schwertransporte für die Branchen Öl und Gas eingesetzt werden. Erickson wurde 1971 gegründet und hat seinen Hauptsitz in Portland im US-Bundesstaat Oregon, mit Niederlassungen in Nordamerika, Südamerika, Europa, dem Nahen Osten, Afrika, dem Raum Asien-Pazifik und Australien.

INFORMATIONEN ZU BELL TEXTRON INC.
Wir denken weiter und weiter hinaus. Seit mehr als 80 Jahren denken wir die Erfahrung des Fliegens, und wo es uns hinführen kann, neu.

Wir sind Vorreiter. Wir waren die ersten, die die Schallmauer durchbrachen und einen kommerziellen Helikopter zur Zulassung brachten. Wir haben an der ersten Mission der NASA zum Mond teilgenommen und modernste Schwenkrotorsysteme auf den Markt gebracht. Heute definieren wir die Zukunft der On-demand-Mobilität.

Das Unternehmen ist eine hundertprozentige Tochtergesellschaft der Textron Inc. und hat seinen Sitz in Fort Worth (Texas) mit strategischen Niederlassungen weltweit. Fast ein Viertel unserer Belegschaft hat in der Armee gedient und wir engagieren uns dafür, unsere Streitkräfte zu unterstützen, ihre Aufgaben zu erfüllen.

Vor allem aber liefern unsere bahnbrechenden Innovationen unseren Kunden herausragende Erfahrungen. Effizient. Zuverlässig. Und stets mit der Sicherheit als Priorität.

WEITERE INFORMATIONEN ÜBER UNSERE PRODUKTE UND DIENSTE ERHALTEN SIE UNTER ERICKSONINC.COM

Related Links

ericksonaviation.com

SOURCE Erickson Incorporated

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com:443/news-releases/erickson-inc-und-bell-textron-inc-geben-unterzeichnete-vertrage-zum-beginn-der-ubertragung-von-musterzulassungen-fur-die-hubschrauber-bell-214st-und-b-b1-bekannt-848247174.html

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