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Ugo Obi-Chukwu @ugodre
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Hello Everyone, Welcome to @Nairametrics Corporate News roundup for the week ended February 3rd 2018. This thread is proudly supported by @BluechipTechNG

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As usual, indulge us by retweeting the first tweet on this thread. Also feel free to comment, ask questions or contribute in any logical form to the discourse.

As you may have guessed, we have a lot of stories from the tech space this week.

Let's start
1. Remember Sureremit? We mentioned last December when they had launched their Initial Coin Offering. The company reports it was able to generate about $7 million from the offer.
Again, the company says its solution helps its users pay for utility bills, medical treatment, or groceries, funds transfer without paying fees. They bypass the banking system and connect you directly to merchants. Sureremit makes money by charging the merchants fees.
2.Think First Technologies, a Nigerian firm introduced a new product called "Ogarayan" an e-payment platform which they claim enables banks complete orders for customers.
Its Founder, Akinyele Olubodun, "After a careful research, we have cracked the solution to commerce and seamless payment. We have bridged the gap of internet, commerce and payment in Africa through Short Messaging Service (SMS)."
Basically, their product relies on USSD to confirm orders for products without relying on the internet and its many issues such as passwords, registration.
According to them, with their solution, you can order products from merchants via USSD, confirm order, delivery and payment via USSD. It is basically a virtual assistant.
3. Workclick, a service that matches professionals, trained workers, artisans, domestic workers with customers has officially launched in Nigeria. The company was founded by Mr. Samuel Ajiboyede, who is also the founder of Matattu. Matattu is an Uber for Keke Napep
They claimed Workclick already has over 5,000 workers registered on their platform. According Ajiboyede, some of the services currently available on the company's platform include hairdressing, plumbing, tailoring, gardening, barbing and painting.
Others are mechanical and electrical services, dentistry, and photography, among others. How will Workclick make money from this? Well, the founder revealed they will charge their 20% of the money as service charge for every job successfully done,
while the balance goes to the worker. This is not a new product by the way as there are similar products currently available. I know of Handwork and Wesabi.

Do you think it will be successful? Are we ripe for this sort of product?
4. So, Startimes reported last week that it had spent about $220 million in Nigeria over the last 9 years. This was confirmed by Ms Guo Zi Qi, the company's vice president. She said this at the Chinese Animation Season event that took place in Abuja.
Participants at the event wondered why Nigeria or indeed Africa does not have a channel fully dedicated to African Cartoons. Ms Qui however revealed that the company was willing cooperate with Nigeria in the area of animation production and
in the development of that segment of television. How difficult is it to create homegrown Superhero cartoons in Nigeria? I've thought hard about the nature of the content. Will it be based on Superheroes, a model that has worked around the world, or purely academic?
5. Perhaps one of the biggest news last week, Zinox reportedly acquired Konga in one of the most remarkable blockbuster deals of 2018. No one saw this coming! The deal is said to be worth about $10 million and gives Zinnox full control of Konga.
We confirmed the deal from Chairman of Zinnox Leo Stan Ekeh over the weekend. The company is yet to officially reveal the value of this deal but based on rumours it appears they got the company on the cheap.
Konga has failed where it mattered the most, execution and much of this can be attributed to the peculiarity of the Nigerian market. It will be interesting to see if Zinnox merges this company with its online merchant company Yudala or if Konga will remain a standalone.
The deal will also see Zinnox acquire Konga's 120,000 Sq feet warehouse in Ikeja. Watchout for more on this story later this week.
6. Zinnox was also in the news last week after the NCC announced that the company has obtained a license to as one of the two new infrastructure companies to deploy metropolitan fibre-optic infrastructure in the south eastern part of the country.
The other company was Brinks Integrated Solutions Limited, who won the bid for another region. HIS won the bid for North East, while MainOne won the bid for Lagos State, in 2015 respectively.
7. And so the 9 Mobile bid controversy rages on. Last week reports emerged from unnamed sources in Airtel that they had pulled out of the bid for reasons associated with transparency.
Sources reveal some of the bidders did not have a complete view of the creditors of 9 Mobile. Imagine buying the company only to be find out later that the debt they owe is more than what was reported in the bid document.
They also complained that NCC was not forthcoming on whether the existing 9Mobile license will transfer to the new owners or if they will have to pay again. These are clearly reasonable grounds to withdraw bids if it is true.
This is @Nairametrics thread BTU by @BluechipTechNG. Remember to retweet the first tweet of this thread.
8. Those of us hoping to see MTN list this year may have to manage our expectations better. This is based on information from SEC that they had not received any official notification from MTN of an impending bid.
NSE also confirmed same. When asked, the NSE CEO Oscar Onyema responded ""MTN has to tell its own story, and not us doing so for it."
9. After about 12 years of being in the cooler, the Federal Government has finally inaugurated the board of the Biovaccines Nigeria Limited, a private-public partnership between the Federal Government of Nigeria and May & Baker Nigeria Plc.
May & Baker owns 51% of the company while the FG owns 49%. A bit of a back story, May & Baker acquired interest in Federal Vaccine Production Laboratory in Yaba in 2005, however successive governments had stalled the ratification of the deal.
The board members include Prof Oyewole Tomori, a renowned virologist and former Vice Chancellor of the Redeemers University as Chairman; Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, National Primary Health Care Development Agency and
Pharm. M. Lawal, Director, Food & Drugs, Federal Ministry of Health. Other members of the board include Pharm Nnamdi Okafor, Managing Director, May & Baker Nigeria Plc; Dr. EdugieAbebe, a former Permanent Secretary and Director of May & Baker Nigeria and
Mr. AyodejiAboderin, Director of Finance , May & Baker Nigeria. That's 7 directors and when the new MD joins soon, they will be 8 directors.

I have tried to follow the money in this story to understand what May & Baker seems to gain from this arrangement.
Vaccines present huge business opportunities in Nigeria, especially when you consider billions of naira in foreign funding and donations that go into funding preventive healthcare in the country.
10. Ever heard of EKulu Group? They are one of Nigeria's largest commodity marketing, distribution and manufacturing conglomerate. They market products like Clear Essence, Goys Oil, Titus Sardine etc.
They announced last week that they had reached a partnership with one of Ghana's leading conglomerate, Angels Group of companies to introduce Adonko Bitters in Nigeria. Apparently, Nigeria is considered a huge market appetitie for "Bitters".
The General Manager of Angels Group, Mr. Daniel Darko Nyameky said, "Nigerian consumers will find in Adonko, a great taste, healing efficacy and wonderful toxifier.

Yes, they actually said "Toxifier"
He also claims that Adonko is brewed in Kumasi by seasoned master mixologist, Agya Adonkor and that it controls 75% of Bitters market in Ghana.
11.The Phillips Odozua led Nova Merchant Bank commenced operations in Lagos Last week. This brings to 5 the number of merchant banks operating in the country. Merchant banking hasn't really been effective in Nigeria and one hopes maybe these guys have a model for success.
Nova means brand new in Latin. Some of the bank's directors include one time ICAN president Emmanuel Ijewere and former Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises Bolanle Onagoruwa.
As a merchant bank they will provide services for sectors such as include Oil & Gas sector, Commodity & Agricultural business, Utility & Infrastructure, Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Trade & Services and Financial Institutions.
12. Africa Prudentials launched a new service last week that is expected to help shareholders get the status of the dividend and other request on their mobile phone.
The service called "Personal Registrar" uses a USSD code *4018# and also helps confirm bank mandates, shareholding balances etc. We tested the service on both Android and iPhones. Services works well on Android Phones but is clunky on iPhones.
The service does not cover the broad spectrum of registrar services and is only limited to information on the companies managed Africa Prudentials.
13. After 8 years of obtaining a mobile money license, Fortis Mobile Money Limited has launched a mobile money solution called DiFRAD, an acronym for Digital Finance for Rural Agricultural Development.
The CEO of the company, Samuel Oladimeji made the announcement last week. The application connects small time farmers with merchant banks, fund providers and others in the value chain,
By using the app, farmers can get access to microfinance loans, insurance packages and even get buyers of their products. Interesting this is coming up now that the government is investing heavily in the agric sector.
The challenge however is whether this is whether this is the best product farmers need to access funding. How many of these farmers have access to the internet not to talk of smart phones.
14. In line with the growing trend, a new tyre company has launched in Nigeria. Finland's Nokian tyres launched in Nigeria last week and will be selling its brand of tyres via an online market place for the tyres.
Nokian tyres are a popular tyre brand in Europe but has little presence in Nigeria. Esutore also revealed that they are looking for distributors, dealers and partners nationwide to help market the tyres. Interesting things going on in the country's tyre market.
This is @Nairametrics thread BTU by @BluechipTechNG.

Thread continues...
15.Dangote Industries Limited revealed that it paid insurers a whopping sum of N5 billion in premium in 2016. The amount represents all the premium paid by its group of companies. To put this number into perspective,
the insurance sector earned about N350 billion in 2016 from life and non-life insurance policies. Non-Life alone was about N201 billion. Dangote alone provides about 2% of the sectors gross premium
16. For those still reeling in the increase of toll fares last week, the Lekki Concession Company has said that it is willing to offer its customers up to 50% discount provided they use E-pass.
They claim they want more people to use the Epass which they explain will help decongest the main areas. It's hard to determine the difference these days and in fact the e-pass is often more congested than the regular areas.
17.Rensource, a Lagos-based renewable energy startup, founded by Ademola Adesina and Jussi Savukoski revealed that they have raised $3.5 million in bridge financing to expand its business. The company raised about $1.1 million in a prior seed round in 2016.
This new round is led by Mauritius-based Amaya Capital Partners, with participation from Omidyar Network and Pule Taukobong's CRE Venture Capital. CRE Ventures recently invested in the $40 million Series C round for Andela.
CRE Venture Capital also participated in the original seed round for Rensource. I got tired trying to register on their platform as the process is no different from filling a form for a visa application. They even go as far asking you for your state of origin and maiden name?
18. Conoil Producing, a listed company majorly owned by billionaire Chief Mike Adenuga revealed that it has struck oil in commercial sized hydrocarbon footage in its Tolu Ejanla-1 in Oil Mining Lease, OML 103 in the Niger Delta.
The discovery was made in the fourth quarter of last year after rigorous search and drilling jack up with the Adriatic-1. Conoil's also has interest in the following existing oil blocs, OML 290, OML 59, OML 136 and 257.
That's it for this week! Thanks for all the comments, discourse and retweets. Feel free to send in DMs if you have more information about any of the news reported on this thread.
Let's also use this opportunity to remind you of our MoneyHack Series taking place on the 9th of March 2018. The series of for any Entrepreneur or business process owner looking to understand the basics of finance. DM me or @Nairametrics to get more details.
Thanks to the @Nairametrics crew and our sponsor @BluechipTechNG for making this possible.

See you all next weekend and do have a profitable week ahead.

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