Tastemakers Africa CEO Cherae Robinson Gives Us A Sneak Peak On Her 10-Year Plan and I’m Here For It
Marketplaces are powerful and have a track record of disrupting industries and building. See eBay and Airbnb. Look out for what Safaricom could build on its Mpesa platform if regulators don’t make the two break up.
Anyway, I’m really excited about what Cherae Robinson is building at Tastemakers Africa. She’s got a really cool vision for building a global experience marketplace driven by cultures around the world.
Cherae’s got the juice to make it happen and I’m excited about her changing the travel game around the world. I need to get my coins together so I can get on that cap table!
Safaricom Invests Nearly $2M in R&D Lab – Oil and Gas Players Should Take Notes
The prospect of Safaricom moving beyond importing telecom technologies and equipment to developing it’s own is really exciting! More of this sort of investment will create opportunities for innovation and connecting corporations with startups.
I mentioned in my blurb (3rd link) about Ighe Sanomi how I think oil and gas players should make these sorts of investments. The more I think about it, the more sense it makes.
Nigeria’s National Petroleum Corporation Receives Dozens of Bids to Digitize Records
The NNPC has been hounded for years by corruption claims. Billions of dollars have just gone missing upon hitting it’s coffers. Former Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi lost his job in efforts to uncover these missing billions (He became the Emir of Kano afterwards, and posts some boss Instagram photos).
Digitizing the Corporation’s record should go a long way in improving its accounting records – hopefully. Maybe. We’ll see. SMH. Further, I think this could be really helpful for R&D efforts (I’m going to keep bringing this up, FYI.)
CcHub Pushes to Keep Yaba’s Startups Clustered Together
I struggled to parse out whether there’s really cause for concern for Yaba’s future as Lagos’ tech hub, or whether this piece was a veiled branding for CcHub. Perhaps, it was some of both. All the same, it’s cool to see CcHub making plans for the long-term in creating an environment for startups to thrive in a central location.
I’m definitely on board with Bosun and other stakeholders trying to take advantage of economies of scale on pushing for broadband and better power supply. While Andela is a big fish in Lagos’ startup scene, I think their leaving the neighborhood is more something to pay attention to, while stakeholders continue thinking long term in creating the right environment to keep these type startups. Yaba isn’t fighting to maintain relevancy after two startups leave.
Fiber-Optic Company Csquared Secures $100M Investment
Not that long ago, the big news for broadband across the continent were the undersea cables bringing broadband to Africa’s shores. The big question then was how to ensure the terrestrial reach of this newfound connectivity.
A number of companies have been working on this, including global players like Google. Csquared, a spin-out of Google’s Project Link, landing this $100M is huge and I look forward to seeing more of this type deal activity. I’m sure iRoko CEO Jason Njoku would appreciate Csquared rolling out some fiber in Lagos to get his data costs down!
Commodities Trader Ighe Sanomi Tells Taleveras’ Origin Story
Oil traders in Nigeria make big bucks, and Ighe Sanomi is near the top of that list. This is an interesting piece that maps out Sanomi’s beginnings in the oil industry all the way to now where he is restructuring the companyafter a couple challenging years for his company.
For some time now, I’ve been thinking about how commodity dependent countries like Nigeria can diversify their economies while taking advantage of their core competencies. Oil is that for Nigeria and I think traders like Sanomi would do well to allocate some of their balance sheets to investing in R&D in various parts of the oil and gas value chain – new models for swaps contracts, oil exploration technologies, etc.
I could just be naive since oil is definitely not my core competency, but I think there could be discoveries there that could lead to new revenue streams in the long term.