Comics Insider, Letter 135

Last week, foreign diplomatic missions in Nigeria, including the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, issued warnings about heightened risks of terrorist attacks in Abuja, the country’s capital.

The alerts warned of possible attacks on public places, including government buildings, shopping malls, hotels and transport terminals. Responding to the travel advisory from foreign diplomats, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said that an attack in Abuja is not imminent, he advised residents to be vigilant and not to panic.

For letter 135, we will look at:

  • CBN and NIBSS plan to launch national card system in 2023
  • Domination of Nigerian Startups in Techstars Toronto 2022 Q5 Cohort
  • Kenya’s first 5G network launched by Safaricom

and other important information such as:

  • the latest deals from African tech startups
  • opportunities, interesting readings and more


The bird is not free! Twitter plans to charge $20 per month for verification on its Twitter Blue product. According to Verge, if the employees building it don’t meet their deadline, they will be fired by Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter.

The Big Three!

#1. CBN and NIBSS to launch national card system in 2023

The news: The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Interbank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) will launch the Nigeria National Card Scheme in January 2023.

“Given the strength and breadth of its banking sector and the rapid growth and transformation of its payment system over the past decade, Nigeria is uniquely positioned to successfully launch a national card system. “said CBN spokesperson Osita Nwanisobi.

Why is this important: In 2021, the annual value of card transactions in the Nigerian cards and payments market was $18.2 billion. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 18% during the forecast period.


Currently, Visa, Mastercard and Verve by Interswitch are the three card payment providers of financial institutions in Nigeria.

Nigeria will join a growing list of countries – India, Turkey, China and Brazil as leading examples – that have successfully launched national card schemes and harnessed the transformative benefits of their payments and financial systems, especially for the underbanked.

With the aspiration of launching Africa’s first central bank-led national card system that combines an entirely national infrastructure with international interoperability, the CBN is building a card system similar to India’s RuPay which was launched in 2012 by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

Enlarge: Weigh the highs and lows of the proposed card scheme, Kabir Shittu, the COO of South Africa– a Nigerian fintech that provides a card issuance API for developers and businesses – told that “Interswitch is already doing what the [national] map will realize with Verve. Adoption will be easy though as CBN could ask everyone to participate like they did with eNaira.”

Shittu added that the Nigerian card market needs more competition. “Interswitch is like ‘god’ in the card business in Nigeria and the billing to financial institutions is ridiculous,” he said.

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#2. Nigerian Startups Dominate Techstars Toronto 2022 Q5 Cohort

The news: Of the 12 startups selected for the Techstars Toronto 2022 Q5 cohort, six are Nigerian tech startups, according to the global accelerator directory.

Why is this important: Besides dominating the overall list, Nigeria is the only African country that will participate in this cohort.


Three of the 12 selected startups are American, two Canadian and one French.

Since its first African investment in 2015, Techstars has supported over 50 African startups– operating mainly in fintech, logistics, agritech and health – through its various accelerators. Available data suggests that outside of the Techstars Barclays Accelerator (held in Cape Town), more African startups are being accepted into Techstars Toronto and New York.

Techstars CEO Maëlle Gavet previously said that Canada has a more welcoming visa system for Africans compared to other places where the accelerator holds. “I think Canada has a very welcoming visa system for African founders, so it’s much easier for them to get into the Toronto program than many other Western programs,” she said.

More than 48% of Techstars investments in Africa have been targeted at Nigerian startups.

Meet the latest African Techstars:

  • Delivery Fez (Logistics): Founded by Bethany Buer, Oluwafemi Jose and Seun Alley, Fez Delivery offers basic end-to-end assistance to individuals and businesses for their last mile deliveries across Nigeria and other parts of West Africa. and East Africa.
  • Renda (Logistics): The company provides logistics infrastructure that enables and empowers e-commerce businesses to process a large volume of orders across Africa. Renda was founded by Abimbola Onaboye and Opeoluwa Onaboye.
  • GIGXPAD (Fintech): The Nigerian startup is a full-service digital asset and cross-border payment platform that focuses on simplifying the process of saving, investing and spending digital assets. GIGXPAD was founded by Chukwudi Anyanwuocha, Godswill Omozusi and Osamede Arhunmwunde.
  • Raenest (Fintech): Founded by Richard Oyome, Sodruldeen Mustapha and Victor Alade, Raenest is a recruitment and payroll platform that enables African startups to onboard entrepreneurs and remote workers.
  • Glover Technologies (e-commerce): Founded in 2021 by Damilola Layode and Fejiro Agbodje, Glover Technologies is a gift card and digital asset marketplace. The company was introduced by Patricia Technologies as a way to oversee the company’s non-cryptographic services.
  • Klas (Edtech): Launched in 2021, “Klas is a platform that allows anyone to start an online school and deliver live lessons. Think of Klas like Shopify for online education”, Nathan Nwachuku, co-founder and CEO of Klas, told in March after Nigerian company edtech secured $130,000 in a seed round.

#3. Safaricom becomes first telecom operator to launch 5G in Kenya

The news: Last Thursday (October 27, 2022), Safaricom announced the commercial launch of its 5G network in Kenya, becoming the first telecom operator to launch the network in the country.

Currently, Safaricom has 35 active 5G sites spread across Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii, Kakamega and Mombasa, and plans to expand to 200 sites across the country by March 2023.

How it will work: Customers in 5G active areas can access 5G Wi-Fi by purchasing a 5G router at KES 25,000 (~$206) plus an installation fee of KES 5,000 ($41) and selecting from available packages. Safaricom customers will also have the option of signing up for a 36-month contract which will allow them to receive the router for free.

Safaricom 5G Wi-Fi Intro Plans.

Since launch, Safaricom has consistently invested in its network, with its 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G networks globally covering over 99% of Kenya’s population, while its fiber network has connected over 200,000 homes to an internet. fast and reliable.

Zoom out: Recently in Ethiopia, the public telecom operator, Ethio Telecom has become the first to launch the 5G mobile network. Safaricom recently expanded into Ethiopia and has since rolled out its 2G, 3G and 4G mobile services in 11 Ethiopian cities, including the capital and the country’s second largest city, Dire Dawa.

In Nigeria, MTN Nigeria has become the first telecom operator to roll out the 5G network. Another telco in the country, Mafab should launch another 5G network in December 2022.

📊 Glimpses of Africa

Last week, Spotify announced a $100,000 investment in 13 African podcasts – from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana – through its Africa Podcast Fund.

These curated podcasts include; I Said What I Said from Nigeria, Tea With Tay, F&S Uncensored and The Sandwich Podcast, The Messy Inbetween, and Nipe Story from Kenya.

According to a report by Africa Podfest, Spotify is the most popular podcast listening platform in Africa. The infographic provides an overview of where Africans listen to podcasts.

35.1% of podcast listeners in Africa use Spotify

💰 State of financing in Africa

Egyptian startups dominated African startup deals last week, raising over $2.90 million. The table below gives more information.

Offers from African startups from October 24 to 30, 2022.

Get free access to our carefully selected real-time updates Funding database for 2022.

📚 Note

Here are other important stories in the media:

💼 Opportunities


Each week, we carefully select open opportunities in Product & Design, Data & Engineering, and Administration & Growth.

Product design

Data and Engineering

Administration and growth

Other opportunities

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