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Facebook Abandons Internet Drone Project

Back in 2015, Facebook was reported to be testing a drone to deliver Internet to the unconnected populations around the world. It sounded like a novel idea like Google Loon since according to statistics, the majority of people in the world are not Internet users and this is a huge opportunity for them

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Back in 2015, Facebook was reported to be testing a drone to deliver Internet to the unconnected populations around the world. It sounded like a novel idea like Google Loon since according to statistics, the majority of people in the world are not Internet users and this is a huge opportunity for them.

Later on, we saw reports of Facebook saying that their Internet drone, Aquila had made a successful maiden flight almost two years ago and it seemed all rosy and all. Well it isn’t all rosy as Facebook is abandoning the project.

Facebook said they have noticed seing companies investing in this technology in the aerospace industry. Previously, the company was involved in the aircraft’s design, development and testing.

“Given these developments, we’ve decided not to design or build our own aircraft any longer and to close our facility in Bridgwater,” Facebook said in the post. The company will from now on work with partners like Airbus on high altitude platform stations (HAPS) connectivity generally and other tech to make this system works.

Facebook is abandoning the building of the aircraft but it will still be involved. They say they are working on a proposal for the 2019 World Radio Conference so that HAPS gets more spectrum for HAPS.

To Facebook’s credit, this was a bold project to connect the 4 billion plus people around the world to the Internet. They could have abandoned it due to rising costs and maybe they have to come up with a more cost effective measure to make sure the tech can be used widely in conjunction with their Internet.org initiative.

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Nigerian fintech startup, CredPal, secures more funding from Cairo Angels syndicate

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A Nigerian fintech startup, CredPal, has raised funding from the Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund (CASF), a micro-venture capital fund, to expand its “buy now, pay later” incentive to customers.

Launched in 2018 by the duo of Fehintolu Olaogun and Olorunfemi Jegede, CredPal has placed itself as one of Nigeria’s most preferred consumer credit platform that gives buyers the freedom to “buy now and pay later” and helps merchants acquire more customers to increase their sales.

According to Disrupt Africa, the Google-backed CredPal has over 85,000 active customers and over 4,000 onboarded merchants, with the company announcing in March it had raised US$15 million in funding to expand its consumer credit offerings in Nigeria and to scale across Africa.

While speaking on the new funding, Olaogun said:

“This support from Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund reinforces our mission to improve the quality of life of Africans through easy access to consumer credit.

“My co-founder and I are very pleased to have them as investment partners and can’t wait for how much we’ll achieve together.”

The Cairo Angels is Egypt’s first formal network of angel investors, and since its formation has been one of the most active early-stage investors in startups and high-growth businesses in the Middle East and Africa, with 31 investee companies across 18 different sectors.

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Nigerian auto tech startup, Autochek, partners with Kenya’s Pezesha to provide asset financing to African SMEs

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Nigerian auto-tech digital solution startup, Autochek, has entered into a partnership with Kenyan fintech, Pezesha, to provide asset financing to Africa Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

According to Autochek Kenyan Country Manager, Bilhah Muriithi, the company aims to build digital solutions that will enhance and enable a seamless and safe automotive commerce experience across Africa, with the hub starting with Nigeria and Ghana.

“Autochek has been focused on financing retail customers, we are excited to partner with Pezesha whose key focus is on enabling SME lending.

“Autochek will continue to invest in the market while exploring new partnership opportunities to deliver solutions for driving positive change in the automotive industry in Kenya and beyond,” said Muriithi.

Autochek, Muriithi said, plans to use technology to transform the automotive buying and selling experience for African consumers, by creating a single marketplace for consumers’ automotive needs, from sourcing and financing to after sales support and warranties.

Having expanded to Kenya late last year, the partnership between Autochek and Pezesha will enable SMEs to acquire auto assets for ease of business operations and growth.

Pezesha was founded in 2016 and has created a holistic digital financial infrastructure that connects small and medium-sized businesses to working capital offered by banks, MFIs, and other financial institutions or networks.

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