By Dipo Olowookere
Tech giant, Google, has invested in SafeBoda to enable the company to scale its transportation-led app to offer new payment and financial services solutions for its expanding set of customers, passengers, drivers and merchants.
Google made the investment, the first in the series, through its Africa Investment Fund launched by the CEO of Google and Alphabet, Mr Sundar Pichai, at Google for Africa in October.
SafeBoda is a venture-backed firm with investors like GoVentures (GoJek), Allianz X, Unbound, Beenext and Justin Kan.
SafeBoda app was launched in 2017 to connect passengers to their community of safer and trusted drivers and has grown to serve over one million customers, expanding its transportation-led super app offering rides, parcel delivery, food and shop, payments, savings and other financial services.
The company plans to drive its growth in Uganda and Nigeria, which is why the investment from Google is regarded as timely.
“SafeBoda welcomes Google to their community and are excited to continue to drive innovation in informal transportation and payments in the boda boda (motorcycle taxi driver in East Africa) or okada (West Africa) industry.
“As a former boda driver in Kampala, I know that we are the lifeblood of Africa’s cities and we power economic development. SafeBoda is thrilled that leading global companies such as Google see the importance of backing start-ups working towards these goals,” one of the co-founders, Mr Ricky Rapa Thomson, said.
“I am thrilled about our first investment from the $50M Africa Investment Fund that we announced two months ago. This is part of our ongoing commitment to tech startups in Africa.
“I am of the firm belief that no one is better placed to solve Africa’s biggest problems than Africa’s young developers and entrepreneurs. We look forward to announcing subsequent investments in other startups,” Nitin Gajria, Managing Director for Google in Africa, added.
The Africa Investment Fund is part of a broader plan to invest $1 billion over 5 years to support digital transformation in Africa. Through this fund, Google will invest $50 million in startups and provide them with access to Google’s employees, network, and technologies to help them build impactful products for their communities.
Currently, Africa is home to 700,000 developers and venture capital funding for startups has decreased in 2020 compared to 2019, with a record $4 billion in equity funding raised in 2021, according to Partech Ventures Africa.
Digital startups in Africa are driving innovation in fast-growing sectors, including fintech, healthtech, media and entertainment, e-commerce, e-mobility, and e-logistics, contributing to Africa’s growing Internet gross domestic product (iGDP) — defined as the Internet’s contribution to the GDP.
Dangote Cement Plc obtains SEC approval for late filing of Audited Statements
Dangote Cement Plc has filed a notice announcing that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has granted the company approval to file its Annual Audited Financial Statements on or before February 28, 2022, which is within sixty days of its year-end.
In addition, the regulator granted approval for Dangote Cement not to file its Fourth Quarter Unaudited returns within thirty days of its ending period.
This notice which was signed by the company’s deputy secretary, Edward Imoedemhe, and filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) stated that, “Dangote Cement Plc (“DCP”) hereby announces that further to its request for a waiver, the Securities and Exchange Commission has granted approval for DCP not to file its Fourth Quarter Unaudited Returns within thirty days of its period end, but to file its Annual Audited Financial Statements within sixty days of its year end”.
This means that the company will be filing its Audited Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2021, on or before February 28, 2022.
What you should know
- In its nine months financial statement for the period ended September 30, 2021, the cement manufacturer generated N1.02 trillion, just 1.16% below what it generated in its full-year 2020 report. Compared to the nine months of 2020, the company increased its revenue by 34.24%.
- In Q3 2021, however, the financial result revealed that revenue grew by 16.53%, while net income for the period appreciated by 4.94% from N82.54 billion in Q3 2020 to N86.62 billion in the current period.
- Recently, the company concluded a two-day share buy-back program, repurchasing a total of up to 170,003,074 fully paid-up ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each, representing 1% of the currently issued shares, less treasury shares.
- The repurchase scheme saw share prices jump to an all-time high of N284.90 per share, increasing the company’s market value by 253 billion.
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NGX, CIPE to Boost Ethical Business Practices
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
A collaboration aimed at deepening knowledge in the African business environment to promote ethical business practices has been entered into between the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited and the Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).
The exchange will through its specialized learning hub, X-Academy, engage companies in order to fill the capacity gap in corporate compliance expertise and to provide effective resources to help them translate their corporate ethics commitments to a robust system of compliance that ensures that they can conduct business with integrity.
It was learned that X-Academy will work with CIPE to provide companies of all sizes across Nigeria with practical solutions that will make the Nigerian corporate landscape safer for conducting business.
Through workshops and advisory services, participating companies in the program will be empowered to proactively reduce opportunities for fraud and other malpractice across their business processes.
In addition, the partnership will help galvanise business-led efforts to reduce the risk of corruption, boost shared prosperity in an economically sustainable manner and promote market-oriented values by advancing business ethics and integrity principles in companies and across the business environment. It will also enable the academy to deploy compliance and board evaluation consultancy for organisations.
“As a training hub contributing immensely to deepening knowledge across the capital and money markets in Nigeria, we consider it imperative to avail businesses and organisations with the appropriate training and tools that will help them attain globally acceptable transparency and accountability standards, which will, in turn, help them to attract global investment opportunities.
“To this end, NGX has partnered with CIPE, an organisation that has the pedigree and demonstrable track record of helping its stakeholders to navigate the often complex terrain of regulatory compliance and entrench good governance practices in their key activities – two key elements to actualise our goal,” the Head of NGX X-Academy, Ms Ugochi Obi, said of the partnership.
On her part, the Senior Program Lead for Africa at CIPE, Mrs Lola Adekanye, stated that, “We are thrilled to have a critical stakeholder in Nigeria’s business ecosystem join us to lay the foundation to create a more transparent and attractive business environment.
“Enabling compliance with sound business integrity practices is at the core of attracting investment and boosting growth in the country.
“CIPE is pleased to welcome NGX to the Africa Business Integrity Network (ABIN) and we look forward to leveraging our individual strengths to embed ethics and integrity in the business culture, and ultimately bring value to the Nigerian economy.”