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Google shuns Nigeria, takes first Africa Development Centre to Kenya

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Foremost American technology company, Google, has snubbed Nigeria which is reputed to be Africa’s largest economy with a large tech presence, and have opted to establish its first Africa product development centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

Announcing the decision on Tuesday at a Virtual Media Round Table, Google’s Vice President of the product, Susan Frey, said the multinational technology company would also be hiring massively for the centre.

Those to be recruited, according to Frey, would be ”visionary engineers, product managers, UX designers and researchers to lay the foundation for significant growth in the coming years.”

“The talents to be hired would help to solve various challenges. The centre is looking for talented, creative people who would help solve difficult and important technical challenges, such as improving the smartphone experience for people in Africa,” she said, adding that such “talented people would also be building a more reliable internet infrastructure.

“This is fulfilment of a promise made by Chief Executive Officer, Sundar Pichai, in October 2021, at a ‘Google for Africa’ event of plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years to support Africa’s digital transformation.

“The investment is expected to focus on enabling fast, affordable internet access for more Africans, building helpful products, supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses and helping non-profits to improve lives across Africa.

“The new product development centre is a continuation of that commitment and will be working on building for Africa and the world.

“Google’s mission in Africa is to make the Internet helpful to Africans and partner with African governments, policy makers, educators, entrepreneurs and businesses to shape the next wave of innovation in Africa.

‘’Today I am excited to welcome all Africans passionate about improving the digital experience of African users by building better products to apply for the open roles at our first product development centre in Africa.’’

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Kenyan money transfer startup, Kyanda, makes incursion into South Africa

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Foremost Kenyan money transfer startup, Kyanda, has made a bold incursion into the southern African fintech market by launching its operations in South Africa.

The launching of the money transfer app which aims at helping users make all sorts of transactions at as low a cost as possible, according to its founder, Collins Kathuli, will help “users make cheap and fast money transfers, purchase airtime, and pay bills, among other things.”

Launched in February 2020, the fintech startup has processed over three million transactions since its formation, and Kathuli says Kyanda’s its goal is to build a payment ecosystem that serves both Kenya and Africa as a whole.

“We have other markets in our pipeline. This would be achieved best once we establish the market fit for our products, and of course after we’ve built firm roots in the current locations we’re present,” said Kathuli.

With over US$10 billion being moved within South Africa each year, and over 24 million South Africans sending money to each other daily, South Africa is the first stop on a broader expansion journey, according to Disrupt Africa.

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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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