This line-up of stories will help you discover the latest happenings around the tech world, today.
1. Nigeria’s ShortLet adapts AI to improve business model
Nigerian real estate firm, ShortLet, has adapted artificial intelligence technology to enhance its culture and system delivery.
The adaptation comes as more African tech players leverage tech to improve their business model.
The startup, through its CEO, has acknowledged the upward trend observed since the integration.
According to the CEO, the firm has witnessed a great increase in the number of requests since it launched.
Further commenting on the development, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Keji Giwa, disclosed that his firm invested heavily in improving the customer experience on all Shortlethomes digital platforms “taking advantage of AI Chatbots to automate responses, creating a virtual agent to take bookings and deal with customer service issues 24-7.”
He said: “This will maintain an instant response time and a 100% response rate without the need for a human agent except for escalating 2nd line or 3rd line sales or customer service issues while at the same time making room for a personalised and fully customised native IOS and Android app by year end 2022.”
Tech Trivia: Who founded Whatsapp?
A. Mark Zuckerberg
B. Brian Acton and Jan Koum
C. Bill Gates
D. Jack Dorsey
Answer: See end of post.
2. Ugandan startup, Numida, closes $2.3m seed round
To expand and launch new products, Ugandan fintech startup Numida has recorded new fund raiser, closing a US$2.3 million seed funding round.
The round, according to media reports, was led by MFS Africa.
Founded by Mina Shahid, Catherine Denis and Ben Best in 2017, Numida began life enabling traditional MFIs to provide unsecured credit to semi-formal businesses.
Despite launching 4 years ago, the startup only pivoted 18 months ago when it began lending to micro and small businesses directly.
The Numida mobile app allows business owners access unsecured working capital loans of up to US$3,500 in less than two hours.
After 4 years, the Numida app has provided more than US$2 million in unsecured credit to 3,000 micro and small businesses in Uganda with outstanding collections, repayment rates, and client retention.
3. Kalon benefits from tax breaks policy, records raiser of $13.7m
With its recent raiser, South African firm, Kalon Ventures Partners, has successfully taken its total Assets Under Management to over ZAR200 million (US$13.7 million).
Being a Section 12J tax breaks startup, the government had offered it rebates if it made investments through approved venture-capital companies.
The governmental provision is now set to expire on June 30 of this year following an earlier announcement by the South African Treasury in its Budget 2021 statement that its objectives had not been “sufficiently” achieved, informing the need for the scheme to be scrapped.
Today, exactly 13 years ago when the tax breaks policy was introduced, it was devised to encourage investments in startups and SMEs, especially riskier investments that nonetheless could help to create jobs and stimulate economic growth.
Meanwhile, the coming-to-end of the policy has somewhat created a rush as Kalon has confirmed it is planning its final Section 12J raise between now and the end of June.
Tech Trivia Answer: Brian Acton and Jan Koum
WhatsApp was founded by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, former employees of Yahoo! In 2014, Mark Zuckerberg’s company, Facebook acquired the company for US$19 billion.