👨🏿‍🚀TechCabal Daily – Kenya: Flutterwave and Chipper Cash are unlicensed – TechCabal

TGIF 🎊
The State of Tech in Africa report for Q2 2022 is live!
To help you understand the growth of Africa’s tech ecosystem in Q2, we explored key funding highlights, acquisitions deals, startup expansions, and government activities as they affect the tech ecosystem. The report also lists over 20 new startups that launched within that period. 
Here are some key highlights in the report:
Africa raised $1.2 billion in Q2 2022 alone, down 15% from Q1’s total funding raised.
Egypt displaced Nigeria in the funding race, raking in over $315 million in 30 deals.
The average cheque size for seed-stage deals is settling around $2.5 million.
The clean tech sector raised about 25% of funding in Q2 2022.
26 total acquisition deals so far this year, and 61% of the deals are between African startups.
Ready to dive in for insights? Download the report.
In today’s edition
Bitcoin
$23,959
+ 3.47%
Ethereum
$1,730
+ 0.47%
BNB
$279
+ 3.94%
Solana
$43.47
+ 8.99%
Cardano
$0.52
+ 1.53%
Name of the coin
Price of the coin
24-hour percentage change

* Data as of 05:45 AM WAT, July 29, 2022.
Weeks after Kenya’s Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) accused fintech Flutterwave of money laundering and operating without a licence, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has confirmed one of the allegations. 
Yesterday, at a Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, CBK’s governor, Patrick Njoroge said, “Flutterwave is not licensed to operate as a remittance provider or for that matter as a PSB service provider in Kenya. They are not licensed to operate and therefore they shouldn’t be operating. We can also say the same for Chipper Cash.”
Kenya’s irregular licensing schedule
Flutterwave has been operating in Kenya since its expansion in 2016, and Chipper Cash since 2018. Why are these licensing problems happening now?
According to some industry experts, Kenya’s newly-found energy in regulating fintechs can be traced to the release of the Kenya National Payments System (NPS) Vision and Strategy 2021-2025 (PDF) in 2020—a 5-year plan to digitise the country’s payment landscape and establish regulatory standards that make innovation conducive. 

Image source: Osaretin Victor Asemota (Twitter)

It’s also notoriously difficult to get licensed by the CBK. Large companies like Cellulant which has been operating in Kenya since 2003 only got licensed this year. Pepsal has been operational since 2009, but its licence came in less than a year ago. 
Zoom out: Both Flutterwave and Chipper Cash are yet to comment on the CBK’s latest statement, but it seems like Kenya is tightening its regulatory processes in preparation for its national elections next month where the country will decide who succeeds President Uhuru Kenyatta 9-year reign. 

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Every year, thousands of Nigerians die due to a lack of emergency response service. 
Ekiti, a southwestern state in the country, is working hard to reduce those numbers. 
Earlier this year, the state launched the Ekiti State Ambulance Service (EKSAMS) to help deliver timely and life-saving health services to the people. At the launch, the state governor announced 4 more ambulances to the state’s cache of 15. 
Now, the state has partnered with Emergency Response Africa (ERA), a Nigerian healthtech, to harmonise its ambulance services. 
Backstory: Since its inception in 2019, Emergency Response Africa has been building a network of first responders, emergency vehicles, and verified emergency-ready hospitals. The health tech has also been connecting its responders with patients using a proprietary smart dispatching and communications technology platform. This ensures that patients receive the end-to-end care they require within a few minutes, instead of hours. 
Its ERA’s dispatching technology that the Ekiti state government hopes to utilise in its own ambulance services. The collaboration will ensure that EKSAMS resources, vehicles, and personnel are effectively coordinated using ERA’s proprietary smart dispatching and communications technology platform, making sure that patients in need receive immediate stabilisation and treatment within 10 minutes of the incident. 
The technology platform will leverage GPS location, decision algorithms, and real-time communication to ensure EKSAMS delivers fast, reliable services to the citizens of Ekiti.
Multilateral financial institution Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) has invested $100 million in the construction of the Cabinda Refinery in Angola. This investment will further finance the nation’s efforts to boost its energy production and exports.
An opportunity in the wake of a crisis
The construction of the refinery is a national priority project that will create over 2,000 direct jobs, boost local value addition to oil exports and give the country independence from imported refined products. 
All of that is great, but the potential of the refinery gets more exciting when you consider that this investment comes at a time when Europe, a major customer of the world’s largest oil exporter—Russia—is looking for alternative sources of fuel due to the Russia-Ukraine war. 
The demand for natural resources and products of refined oil is skyrocketing and Angola has the natural resource they are looking for. Coupled with this refinery, Angola can be a one-stop shop for crude oil and petroleum products.
A billion-dollar dream
The AFC has a billion-dollar dream for Angola—its 35th member state. It aims to invest up to $1 billion across sectors in Angola—natural resources, transport, and power. Prior to this, the AFC, as part of a syndicate, invested $45 million in the state-owned oil company Sonangol for the building of Angola’s first photovoltaic power plant, in 2020.
Why’s AFC doing all this?
That is the purpose of its existence. The financial institution was created by African sovereign states to solve Africa’s infrastructure deficit. It is open to all African states, but it currently has only 35 members and Angola is its 35th. The AFC has also made multi-million dollar investments in Nigeria’s Dangote Refinery, Ghana’s Takoradi Port, and others.
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Today, Friday, the Kenyan ICT Authority will host a ground-breaking ceremony to kick off the construction of a software factory in Mulot, Bomet County. The factory in Mulot will be the first of two scheduled for construction according to the 10-year Kenya National Digital Master Plan (2022–2032).
What is a software factory?
We weren’t sure either at first, but a look at the digital plan shows that the software factories are tech institutions where the government will employ software engineers to develop applications for Kenya and other countries. The Kenyan government aims to employ over 100,000 software engineers in the 2 software factories which it plans to build.
What do you call tech bros that work for the government?
The inspiring rise of tech bros 
This construction is highly motivated by the increasing demonstration of expertise in ICT by the Kenyan youth. The government hopes that these software factories will encourage the trend of acquiring software skills and accelerate the country’s industrialisation. 
A Silicon Valley arising
Bomet County, where the factory is being built, is the country’s most populous city. It also has the most number of software engineers, especially Mulot. It is no wonder that the government thinks the place has a high potential to become a technology and innovation centre like Silicon Valley. Maybe it’s not a coincidence that the county is located in a valley—Rift Valley. 👀
It’s all part of a plan
This ground-breaking ceremony is an important milestone in the implementation of the Digital Master Plan. Other implementations of the master plan include the installation of public Wi-Fi sites across various locations within Nairobi County and the launch of a Citizens Digital Skills program to train 20 million citizens to bridge the digital skills gap.
The launch of the Kenya Software Industry in Bomet County will attract a lot of ICT industry players, academia, professional bodies, and donors. You should be there if you can make it.
This week, Egyptian B2B startup Cartona, closed a $12 million Series A round led by Silicon Badia. SANAD Fund for MSME, Arab Bank Accelerator, and Sunny Side Ventures also featured in the round with existing investors, Global Ventures and Kepple Africa Ventures.
Here are the other deals for the week:
That’s it for this week!
Follow us on TwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn for more funding announcements.
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What should you know before launching a product in the African market? What goes into making any product a success? How should you even measure this success and the overall product performance? What are the important metrics to always bear in mind?
If you’ve got questions like these, join us on TC Live today at 11 AM (WAT), for a product management session with the following experts:
This edition of TC Live will be moderated by Kelechi Njoku, senior editor at TechCabal
Register here to join the conversation.
Written by – Timi Odueso, Ngozi Chukwu & Mobolaji Adebayo

Edited by – Kelechi Njoku

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