The Brief: Nigeria’s Touchabl Raises Pre-Seed Funding, Paypal Connects with Ghana

In this week's roundup, Touchabl, a touch-sensitive app which reveals more information about an item in a picture, raises pre-seed funding, Paypal connects with Ghana, and Ecobank launches a new service in Liberia.

Nigeria’s Touchabl Raises Pre-Seed Funding

Nigerian startup Touchabl raised $20,000 in pre-seed funding from GenesysTechHub. This fund has important repercussions for the startup. The company aims to invest the fund in greater product development, research, and operational costs for acquiring significant partnerships and increasing its user base.

Gabriel Eze, Founder, and CEO of Touchabl made a statement about this stage of the company’s support. “GenesysTech Hub is providing us with training, mentorship and critical network to position us into becoming a hugely successful business,” he said. He believes that Touchabl has made a huge achievement and it can look forward to various perks recognition and validation for the company’s next round of investors.

The Managing Director of GenesysTechHub Nnamdi Anika explained that Touchabl’s passion and experience inspired his company to invest in the startup.

GenesysTechHub are firm supporters of the technology scene in Nigeria. According to Mr. Eze, “With our track record and network in the technology space in Nigeria, we want to support them to realise their potential.”

Released last year, Touchabl is a touch-sensitive app which reveals more information about an item in a picture (a shoe, watch or car) on the user’s timelines or personal photo gallery.

GenesysTechHub is a learning and innovation hub which helps a community of gifted individuals who have impressive tech ideas for transforming the business process in West Africa. GenesysTechHub aims to provide opportunities for tech startups to expand their reach and acquire access to markets and resources.

Paypal Connects with Ghana

Paypal will be active in Ghana in the first half of 2020. Merchants and individuals in the country can receive online payments for products bought online via personal Paypal accounts.

During the launch of the first phase of the first Mobile Money Interoperability Payments System (MMI) in Accra last week, the Vice President made some comments. He stated that 60 percent of Ghanaians are without bank accounts; some have trouble acquiring an account, and the costs of maintaining a bank account are high. Thus, online services such as Paypal offer a more affordable and technology-based method of handling money for personal and commercial purposes.

Ecobank Launches New Service Agency Banking in Liberia

Recently, Ecobank Liberia Limited launched a banking service in Liberia with the name “Agency Banking”. This new service aims to make mobile banking more effortless and quick for its customers in Liberia. Qualified agents in different communities will run a deposit and withdrawal service to reach isolated places in the country.

According to the bank’s Managing Director, George Mensah-Asante, “Ecobank is stepping up the game and raising the bar even higher.” This service promotes the government’s aim for greater financial inclusion, and it offers job opportunities.

Nigeria Plans to Leverage Technology to Drive its Smart City Initiative

According to the Lagos State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr. Hakeem Popoola Fahm, the Government stands by its commitment to using technology to drive the Smart City project.

Mr. Fahm stated that technology will be used as a tool for strengthening security and transport systems in the State. The government plans on investing in high definition (HD) cameras, which will help to aid the work of the police and the Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA). The Commissioner said, “Artificial Intelligence will be deployed to allow us [to] monitor traffic in the State. All of these will boost investors’ confidence to invest in Lagos State”

Caine Prize for African Writing Shortlists Three Nigerians  2018 Competition

Three Nigerian writers were shortlisted for the 2018 Caine Prize for African Writing. The writers who made it include: Nonyelum Ekwempu, Olufunke Ogundimu, and Wole Talabi. Two other writers from South Africa and Kenya were included in the list.

Award-winning Ethiopian-American author and former Lannan Foundation Chair in Poetics at Georgetown University, Dinaw Mengestu, revealed the shortlisted candidates. Mengestu said: “These five remarkable narratives are proof that nowhere is the complexity and diversity of Africa and African lives more evident than in the stories we tell.”

One successful writer will receive a £10,000 prize and the judges of the competition will announce the winner in the Beveridge Hall at Senate House, SOAS, London in July.