BD Insider, Letter 129: Uber was hacked!

What does the Uber hack mean for you?

BD Insider, Letter 129: Uber was hacked!
Uber got hacked by an 18-year-old. Credit: ICIJ

Last week, we published a deep dive into Ted OIadele, the Vice President of Design at Flutterwave, Africa's most-valued startup—his background and career philosophy that has seen him work at the same startup for over five years.

Ted believes that "when your goals and values align with a startup, you can stay long enough to build wealth not just earn a salary". But is that what everyone thinks? Although a faction of Nigerian tech twitter agrees with Ted, the other thinks that his perspective is wrapped with survivor bias.

Read the article and share your thoughts with us!


In Letter 129, we examined:

  • Uber's cybersecurity breach
  • mPharma's acquisition of Nigeria's HealthPlus
  • how Flutterwave is driving eNaira adoption
  • the latest African Tech Startup Deals
  • job opportunities and more.

Uber's services now operational after a cybersecurity breach

The news: Global mobility company, Uber last week confirmed that it experienced a cybersecurity breach. "We are currently responding to a cybersecurity incident. We are in touch with law enforcement and will post additional updates as they become available," a tweet by Uber's Communications team read.

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An anonymous 18-year-old, reached out to The New York Times to claim responsibility for the breach, the hacker revealed that he used social engineering to break into the billion-dollar company.

Why it matters: The hacker who claimed responsibility for the ongoing breach might have access to the company's source code, email and other internal systems — leaving employee, contractor and customer data at risk, according to Axios.

"Hi @here I announce I am a hacker and Uber has suffered a data breach," the hacker reportedly posted in a channel on Uber's Slack last Thursday night (September 15, 2022).

According to the hacker, Uber's weak security system enabled him to flex the cybersecurity skills that he has honed for several years.

What's next?: Although investigations and other response efforts are ongoing, Uber said that the incident did not affect sensitive information, contrary to media reports. "All of our services including Uber, Uber Eats, Uber Freight, and the Uber Driver app are operational," the mobility company said.

Uber services are operational. Credit: Uber Comms

Zoom out: In 2016, hackers stole information from 57 million driver and rider accounts and then approached Uber and demanded $100,000 to delete their copy of the data. Uber arranged the payment but kept the breach a secret for more than a year. Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi revealed this in 2017.

The company's former security chief is currently facing trial for charges related to his handling of a 2016 data breach.


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mPharma acquires majority stake in Nigeria's HealthPlus

The news: mPharma has acquired the majority stake in HealthPlus, the leading pharmacy chain in Nigeria. mPharma announced last Thursday (September 15, 2022) that it signed an agreement with HealthPlus' former investor, Alta Semper to enable the acquisition.

Why it matters: Gregory Rockson, the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of mPharma stated that the acquisition of the HealthPlus Pharmacy chain by mPharma complements mPharma's deep commitment to increasing patient access to affordable and quality healthcare in Nigeria.

"We are optimistic about the future of healthcare for Nigerians through the acquisition of HealthPlus. We continue to transform community pharmacies into primary care centres to provide affordable and accessible healthcare to all patients so they can live not just longer but healthier lives," Rockson said in a statement seen by Benjamindada.com.

In January 2022, mPharma secured $35 million in a Series D round to embark on pan-African expansion and to also launch an e-commerce platform—Mutti Online Pharmacy—that allows its members to easily shop for pharmaceutical products. Prior to Series D, mPharma acquired a 55% stake in Uganda's Vine Pharmacy in October 2021, two years after it bought Kenya’s Haltons Pharmacy for $5 million—that marked mPharma’s launch into East Africa.

Zoom out: Until this acquisition, HealthPlus has had a dispute with its investors, Alta Semper over adequate disbursement of funds and forceful takeover of the company by the investors.

mPharma is yet to respond to our questions on the current management of HealthPlus and on how they intend to facilitate Alta Semper Capital's exit.


How Flutterwave is driving eNaira adoption

The news: Flutterwave has enabled eNaira collections for merchants in Nigeria via API and checkout. "The eNaira payment method is a self-service payment option, which means merchants can enable/disable this payment option directly from their Flutterwave for Business dashboard," Solomon Osadolo, a content design manager at Flutterwave wrote.

Why it matters: Although the eNaira is ranked number one on PwC's global index of retail CBDCs. And in fact, the CBN is guiding other African Central Banks like the Bank of Uganda on how to implement their own CBDC, since its launching October 2021, the eNaira has had a low adoption rate. In fact, only two out of 86 respondents voted to have used the eNaira, in a Twitter poll we conducted in June 2022.

To bolster the adoption rate, the Central Bank of Nigeria has introduced several strategies including an eNaira USSD code and a Hackathon organised in collaboration with Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF) in August 2022.

According to Osadolo, Flutterwave's addition of the eNaira payment method is yet another effort to ensure that when businesses do the hard work of bringing customers, the choice of payment method will not be a challenge.

Zoom in: Flutterwave has enabled the following payment methods with eNaira on its platform:

  • Pay with QR: When a customer selects this payment option, a QR code is generated and displayed for the customer to scan using their eNaira mobile app to complete the payment.
  • Token Payment: In this option, the customer generates a one-time token on the eNaira app, then inputs their phone number and the generated token to complete the payment on the eNaira app.
  • Pay with Direct debit payment: Here, customers are redirected to the CBN’s eNaira Modal to input their eNaira credentials (User ID and Password) and complete the payment.

The fintech unicorn recently obtained a Switching and Processing License from the CBN. With the license, Flutterwave is now less dependent on other parties for the payments it processes.


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💰 BD Africa Funding Tracker

African tech startups have jointly raised ~$2.9 billion as of September 17, 2022, this is two times higher than the $1.5 billion that was recorded in Q3 2021.

Early-stage funding (pre-seed and seed) currently stands at $389.7 million. With only three disclosed deals, African tech startups have jointly raised $545 million—the highest amount per funding rounds—in Series D, according to the BD Funding Tracker.

Get free access to our carefully-curated, real-time updated Funding Database for 2022.


📚 Noteworthy

Here are other important stories in the media:


💼 Opportunities

Jobs

Every week, we carefully curate open opportunities in Product & Design, Data & Engineering, and Admin & Growth.

Product & Design:

Data & Engineering:

Admin & Growth:

Events:

  • GetEquity Startup Festival to hold this November: The Festival which was initially scheduled to hold in July has been rescheduled to November 19, 2022, at Glitz Event Centre, Lekki, Lagos. Reserve a seat!

Thank you for reading.

For any correspondence with us, please email [email protected](dot)com and we'd reply within the hour.


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