19 JANUARY, 2022
Good morning 🌄
Microsoft is shooting shots.
In its latest venture to answer the call of duty, it has announced plans to acquire mega game developer Activision Blizzard.
The all-cash acquisition, valued at $68.7 billion, represents Microsoft’s vision to level up its e-sports capabilities and gain access to Activision’s 400 million subscribers spread across 190 countries.
In today’s edition
- Untangling Web3
- Where Nigeria’s Twitter resolution points
- Finclusion raises $20 million
- Event: Building From Ground Up
You’ve probably seen tech bros throw the word “Web3” around a lot. It’s the answer experts give to questions from “What is the future of the internet?” to “What does Spiderman navigate the internet with?”
But what exactly is Web3? To understand it, here’s a brief history of the internet:
- Web1 was the earliest version of the internet, which existed between the 1900s and the early 2000s. In this version, content was delivered via texts and graphics to users who could only consume the content but not interact with it.
- Web2 is what we have now, an interactive and social web where companies can build revolutionary apps that allow users to become creators.
What’s the problem with Web2 then?
It’s centralised, i.e. controlled by companies or governments who can decide when websites, apps or content can be taken down with little input from users.
On Web2, apps are only available for as long as the company that owns them decides. Streaming sites can shut down, online games can upload patches users don’t like (yes, I’m looking at you Riot Games), and traditional banks can freeze bank accounts when the government demands it.
What’s Web3 changing?
- Web3 will be built on the blockchain working independently from different parts of the world.
- On Web3, decisions regarding the design and operation of products and funds—including crypto—will be made by DAOs.
- DAOs or Decentralised Autonomous Organisations are social communities that will create rules and regulations which will be embedded in programming codes.
- If a change wants to be made to a product, or funds, members of DAOs have to reach an agreement through voting.
Zoom out: To put it simply, Web3 is taking democracy to the internet. There’s still a lot to figure out, but proponents of Web3 believe that it’s going to create the perfect opportunity to monetise content.
WHERE NIGERIA’S TWITTER RESOLUTION POINTS
Last week, the Nigerian government lifted its 222–day ban on Twitter after announcing that the social media company had agreed to meet its terms.
It’s not a win for the people
According to experts like Tomiwa Ilori, the ban may be foreshadowing what’s to come.
There is presently no exact law that legalises the Twitter ban, Ilori says, but the government may have relied on Sections 146 and 148 of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA).
“One major issue with these NCA provisions is that the government gets to decide what is in the public interest or is an emergency, as the basis of their request to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). There is no judicial review, human rights impact assessment of proposed actions before and after such requests, or public access to requests made to the internet service providers (ISPs) by the NCC. It is also important to note that ISPs do not push back or carry out necessary assessments before compliance.”
It’s not a win for the government either
One term the Nigerian government has counted as a win is access to Twitter’s Partner Support and Enforcement Portal (PSP), which helps to regulate harmful content.
But Nigeria could have gotten access to it without the ban.
According to Twitter’s Transparency Report, Nigeria has made zero removal requests and just 7 information requests, compared to India which has made 12,435 legal removal requests, 67 court orders, and 12,368 other legal demands.
Big picture: Here’s the crux of all this: Nigerians—or Africans at large—need to start pushing for legal reforms for online expression or risk that right to the whims of politicians.
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In Ep. 5 of Artwork, learn how to work with global brands as an African creator
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FINCLUSION RAISES $20 MILLION
Finclusion Group, a pan-African startup that specialises in AI-driven fintech solutions to offer financial services and credit products, has closed a $20 million debt and equity pre-Series A financing.
Investors in the round include Andela and Flutterwave co-founder Iyin Aboyeji, LendInvest founder Christian Faes, and ComplyAdvantage founder Charlie Delingpole. The debt component was provided by local currency funds in Eswatini and South Africa.
One company, 8 brands, 5 countries
Founded in 2018, Finclusion boasts a number of consumer-facing credit products offered via 8 brands.
Altogether, the company has 240,000 customers across 5 countries—South Africa, Eswatini, Kenya, Namibia, and Tanzania.
The startup offers services through brands that include SmartAdvance, TrustGro, Fractal Labs, Niftycover, Niftycredit, Click2Pay, HelloHR, and GetBucks.
With the new financing, Finclusion intends to grow existing businesses in markets where it operates as well as launch in Mozambique and Uganda.
The geographical expansion is part of its broader mission of “driving financial inclusion within market segments that have traditionally been underserved across the African continent, with a current focus on southern and eastern Africa.”
ACCESS CRYPTO WITH QUIDAX
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EVENT: BUILDING FROM GROUND UP
Founded in 2016, Imisi3D is a Lagos-based creation lab focused on building the ecosystem for extended reality technologies (AR/VR/MR) and connecting XR communities across Africa, and providing learning opportunities and access to XR resources for creators and enthusiasts.
The company’s work is one of the very few that blazed the trail for XR in Nigeria. How did Judith make the hard decisions that came with building the company, especially as it was mostly uncharted territory at the time? How did she get it to where it is today? What’s the plan for the future?
Join us this Friday to find out.
This conversation will be moderated by Daniel Adeyemi, our Senior Writer, and is open to founders, aspiring founders, and everyone who’s curious about what goes into charting an unfamiliar path.
Register now to attend.
- If you’d like to start a high-impact NGO, then check out Charity Entrepreneurship’ Incubation Programmes. The 2-month incubator provides aspiring founders with in-depth training programmes, cash stipends, networking, and funding of up to $175,000. Check it out.
- The E4Impact Accelerator Programme is now open to early and growth-stage Kenyan startups and businesses. Selected enterprises will get professional services like marketing and legal assessment, coaching, and access to new markets. Apply here.
- The AKO Caine Prize is open to submissions for its 2022 prize. African writers who are nominated by publishers stand to win a £10,000 ($13,500) prize for their short stories. Write away!
RELIABLE PAYMENT SOLUTIONS WITH FINCRA
Fincra is a payment infrastructure that provides fintechs, online platforms, and global businesses with reliable payment solutions for quick collections and payouts in different currencies. You can gain access to Fincra’s payments platform or integrate their APIs for seamless payments processing.
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