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BD Insider 215: Why the acquisition of Bluewave by Lami failed

Inside: Chowdeck onboards Shoprite, the failed acquisition of Bluewave by Lami, and the Nigerian tech journalist of the year award.

BD Insider 215: Why the acquisition of Bluewave by Lami failed
Adelaide Odhiambo x Jihan Abass, Lami founder and CEO

We begin today with some exciting news!

Over the weekend, our publisher, Benjamin Dada, was announced as the tech journalist of the year in Nigeria at the Art of Technology event in Lagos.

This well-deserved recognition highlights his exceptional storytelling in the African tech ecosystem over the last six years and his impactful mentorship of young journalists at Bendada.com.

A massive round of applause for Ben!

We are super proud of you. Congratulations on the well-deserved recognition! 🎉

The award plaque showing the iconic Lekki-Ikoyi Link bridge

In today's letter, we explore:

  • why the acquisition of Bluewave by Lami failed
  • Ghana's stance on Starlink's operations
  • Bloc's partnership with Kippa

We also covered other noteworthy information including the latest African tech startup deals, opportunities, interesting reads, and more.


The big three!

#1. Why the acquisition of Bluewave by Lami failed

The news: In February, Kenyan insurtech startup Lami Technologies announced the acquisition of Bluewave Insurance Agency, another insurtech startup, a report by TechCrunch says that the deal failed.

Adelaide Odhiambo x Jihan Abass, Lami founder and CEO

Know more: Adelaide Odhiambo, the founder of Bluewave, who took on the role of head of commercial partnerships at Lami Technologies as part of the arrangement, clarified that it was not characterised as an acquisition but rather a two-year "strategic partnership agreement." The acquisition was supposed to follow this period.

Six months after the deal was announced, Lami raised a $3.7 million seed extension in a round led by Harlem Capital. However, Odhiambo claimed that "the conversations did not bear fruit as we couldn’t agree on the commercial terms for an acquisition. We, however, still retained the strategic partnership agreement which is now coming to an end."

Odhiambo has stated that the agreement is reaching its conclusion next month. Afterward, Bluewave will undergo a relaunch, operating independently and focusing on the distribution of micro-insurance products in the East and Southern Africa regions.

Lami has declined to comment on the issue.

Zoom out: The partnership between the two entities enabled Lami to integrate Bluewave's platform, enhancing its B2B2C offerings and providing access to Bluewave's reach. It facilitated Lami's expansion into new markets, including Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Grey takes global expansion steps with new look

Grey, a leading cross-border fintech company, unveils a refreshed logo and website design as part of its global rebranding initiative, aligning with the company’s expansion plans.

This refresh follows Grey’s celebration of surpassing 500,000 users.

GREY maintains its commitment to innovation and global connectivity in the dynamic fintech landscape.

Take a look at the new Grey

#2. Bloc halts KippaPay's shutdown with a partnership

The news: Nigerian fintech startup, Bloc, has entered into a partnership with Kippa, wherein KippaPay, the fintech's agency banking product, will be transferred to Bloc.

While a Bloc spokesperson has confirmed the deal to Bendada.com, they have not yet supplied further details.

What we know: Under the agreement, KippaPay has been integrated into GPay, a payment subsidiary of Bloc. Reports indicate that current users of the product will be transitioned onto GPay. "Over the next few weeks, we’ll be working hard to seamlessly engage with the over 19,000 agents and get them settled in," according to Bloc.

In October, Kippa announced the closure of KippPay, attributing it to the adverse effects of the devaluation of Naira on the expenses associated with procuring POS terminals.

"After speaking with several other companies, we chose to go with Bloc because they showed the most ability to provide immediate support for our merchants," Kennedy Ekezie, co-founder of Kippa told TechCabal.


#3. Chowdeck partners with Shoprite to enable online grocery delivery

The news: Chowdeck, a Nigerian on-demand food delivery platform, has added Shoprite to its list of grocery chain partners. This allows shoppers in Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, and Port-Harcourt to make purchases from Shoprite through the platform.

Why it matters: Launched in 2021, the YC-backed startup recently surpassed $1.2 million in gross merchandise value with over 60,000 active monthly users. It operates with approximately 1,300 riders across the four Nigerian cities where it is currently active.

Chowdeck claims that its riders do not encounter traffic delays, a challenge faced by other participants in the sector. "We’ve gotten to a certain level of scale — doing above 10,000 deliveries every day now — and the things we are solving for are different from what our possible competitors are solving for," Femi Aluko, co-founder and CEO of Chowdeck told Rest of World.

With the Yuletide season, this collaboration with Chowdeck and Shoprite, a leading supermarket chain in Nigeria, will leverage the heightened consumer demand and boost sales for the holidays.


💰 State of Funding in Africa

Last Thursday, iHub hosted a demo day for the 12 Kenyan startups that were selected for the Mastercard Foundation-backed edtech fellowship programme.

The 12 startups include FunKE Science, LoHo Learning, Angaza Elimu, Snapplify, Arifu, Easy Elimu, Elewa, Kidato, Ntemata, Silabu, Smart Brains Kenya, and Virtual Essence. Each of the selected startups received $100,000 in funding, totaling $1.2 million.

According to Suraj Shah, the lead for strategic partnerships at Mastercard Foundation, the programme, which has also been rolled out in Nigeria and South Africa, is expected to reach at least two million learners by 2026.

Meanwhile, find below a summary of how African startups raised last week.

BD Funding Tracker

📚 Noteworthy

Here are other important stories in the media:

  • Co-founder conflict forces Pivo to shut down: Last week, we exclusively reported on why the YC-backed female-led Nigerian digital bank for trade is closing down.
  • Kola Aina urges founders to assess venture scale viability before seeking VC funding: In the latest edition of The Investors' Corner, the founding partner at Ventures Platform shared the behind-the-scenes at VC firm and insights on venture scale viability for startups.
  • Starlink's early arrival in Ghana stirs controversy: Starlink operations in Ghana have been declared illegal by the National Communications Authority, Ghana's telco regulator. Andrew Christian takes a deep dive into the issue.
  • Taking the bait, Starlink gears to launch in South Africa: South Africa's telecoms regulator has discreetly granted "type approval" certificates to three local companies authorised by Starlink.
  • U.K. govt introduces fresh visa rules to further control migration: To reduce net immigration, the U.K. has announced a new set of measures for people with plans to move to the country. 
  • Canada increases proof of funds requirements by 100% for international students: Starting January 1, 2024, single study applicants must now show a cost of living financial requirement of about $20,635 in addition to their first year of tuition and travel costs.

💼 Opportunities

Jobs

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

Product & Design

Data & Engineering

Admin & Growth

Other opportunities

  • For youths: Rise is looking for youths who are passionate about changing the world. If you know a talented, motivated 15, 16, or 17-year-old who could benefit from this incredible opportunity, please share this message with them and their parents. You may change their life.
  • Entry-level roles for women: Sterling Bank is hiring for roles in Product Design, Software Engineering, DevOps Engineering and Product Management, for its Tech Amazon programme. Applicants must have a first degree from an accredited university.
  • For Nigerian undergraduates: The Nigerian Communications Commission is inviting Nigerian students who have completed an industrial training program and developed a digital product to apply for the Young Innovative Builders Programme. Applications close on December 13, 2023.

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