What Really Happened with the Jumia Internal Fraud?

Yes, this has been a question on the minds of several Nigerians. How could the largest e-commerce company in Africa suffer internal fraud amounting to $17.5 million?

On the 21st of August, Jumia Technologies announced its financial results for the quarter that ended in June 30, 2019. It was revealed at this Q2 2019 report that the company suffered some internal fraud relating to its sales and orders.

It disclosed that it recently uncovered instances of improper orders placed and subsequently cancelled on its marketplace platform wrongly inflating its order volume. The implication of this is the cancelled orders were not recorded as cancelled. Jumia says it is as a result of internal collusion involving members of its JForce (independent sales agents) with some sellers and employees inflating order volumes to earn more commission.

Speaking on this, Jumia Nigeria CEO Juliet Anammah said, “We received information alleging that some of our independent sales consultants, members of our JForce program in Nigeria, may have engaged in improper sales practices… We have terminated the employees and JForce agents involved, removed the sellers implicated and implemented measures designed to prevent similar instances in the future.”

Cumulatively, the improper orders generated around $17.5 million in Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) value between the last quarter of 2018 and the first two quarters of 2019, the report shows. In case you were wondering, the GMV is the metric used by e-commerce companies to indicate the total value of merchandise sold throughout the site.

As a result of this fraud, JUMIA stock fell as much as 17.4% during trading on 21 August, 2019.

The first case raised involving the JForce sales team who were allegedly involved in fraudulent sales activities such ss bribing JUMIA employees for positive marketing accounts for 1% of JUMIA’s GMV during 2018 and the first quarter of 2019 he,

Next is the case revolving around orders cancelled before delivery. This particular fraudulent activity amounted to 2% of the company’s GMV in 2018, and 4% of GMV in the first quarter of 2019. JUMIA similarly reported that the “employees” involved have been suspended.

So, basically, when you evaluate the financials and the company’s statement on the fraudulent activities, it is obvious that the JUMIA executives are trying to wash their hands of the fraud, by implying that they had zero idea that such a crime was being committed.

Even if this is the case, shouldn’t these executives be held accountable for incompetence, seeing as it happened under their watch? One can almost say that, considering the huge sum of approximately $18 million involved, the response of JUMIA is lackadaisical. Imagine, till now, no one has been arrested, possibly proving that the employees are not the only ones to be held responsible. The company even when on to say that, “These transactions had no impact on our financial statements.”

Unbelievable!

 

 

MTN Group Reaches 240 Million Subscribers as it Records a 7.7 Million Subscriber Growth

Yesterday, on the 8th of August, MTN Group announced an impressive set of results for the first quarter of the year, which ended on June 30, 2019, with mobile data subscribers reaching 240 million across 20 African countries, while group revenue increased by 10.2%. This follows the addition of 7.7 million new subscribers in the first six months of the year.

The Nigeria and Ghana markets led this MTN Group earnings in the first half of 2019. MTN Nigeria led the market share with 12.2% growth, MTN Ghana contributed 18.7% to the overall service revenue at $4.48 billion.

On the other hand, the MTN South Africa market posts a meagre 3.3% growth, as impacted by a decline in consumer prepaid revenue as a result of new regulation.  The telecom operator witnessed a growth of 12% in adjusted headline earnings per share, and this is the first time that it has seen growth in this measure in recent years.

The number of active MTN data users grew by 3.5 million to 82 million, and its 30-day active Mobile Money users grew by 2.4 million to 30 million. The continued focus of MTN Group on providing excellent customer experience has seen it record brand NPS leadership across more than 50 percent of the portfolio, with twelve markets now leading.

MTN Group president and CEO, Rob Shuter, speaking on these results, said, “We had a good first half, reporting solid financial results, good commercial momentum and encouraging strategic progress. Our holding company leverage remains stable at 2.3x, well within our guidance range of 2 to 2.5x. And, as we grew revenue and carefully managed our investment programme, we saw capex intensity drop further, to 16.9 per cent.

“During the period we had some landmark events. We successfully completed the listing of MTN Nigeria on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and our e-commerce joint venture Jumia listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Within three months of announcing our asset realisation programme, which is targeting at least R15 billion over the next few years, we delivered R2.1 billion in proceeds.

Our advanced instant messaging platform, Ayoba, is now live in three of our West African markets and has more than 300, 000 active monthly users. We are very pleased with the formal approval of our super-agent licence in Nigeria, which clears the way for the launch of phase 1 of our Nigeria fintech business while we await a banking licence.

“In Nigeria, economic activity was economic activity was muted in the time of presidential elections and prior to the formation of the cabinet. Notwithstanding this environment, in constant currency terms, service revenue grew by 9.7 per cent to R67.9 billion and EBITDA expanded by 10.2 per cent to R31.2 billion.”

The holding company net debt to EBITDA ratio remained stable at 2.3x, which is well within the Group’s guidance range of 2.0 to 2.5x, and capex intensity dropped further to 16.9 per cent, indicating greater efficiency in deploying assets.

Looking ahead, Shuter said, “MTN is well positioned to grow by leveraging our scale and enhancing our competitive position. In Nigeria, we will focus on the further rollout of 4G coverage, the launch of Ayoba and Music Time! as well as accelerating our fintech ambitions by fully leveraging our extensive distribution network to offer a range of transfer and payment services to our GSM customer base.

Across the rest of the portfolio we have six focus areas. These are: the continued turnaround of our operations in the West and Central Africa region; the resolution of some of the more complicated regulatory situations; the rollout of MusicTime! and Ayoba across the group; the asset realisation programme; launch of our pan-African MTN 4 Good campaign and delivering on our medium-term targets.”

 

 

 

Devjobs.ng launches to provide one stop site for all developer jobs in Nigeria.

We received a press release today, from DevJobs.ng. We have been following the growth of tech and developers in the country and thought this is a welcome development.

We estimate that close to 50 thousand new developers will join the labour market by mid-2019 and a job discovery platform is just a way to go!

Full Press Release Below

Introducing DevJobs.ng; One stop location for all tech jobs

Today, 12th July 2018, Devjob.ng a Lagos, Nigeria based startup as launched! The goal of the site is to aggregate and disseminate developer jobs in Nigeria.

Why DevJobs

Since last year, we have witnessed a massive increase in young people learning how to code, attending tech meetups and also sharing their success stories. However, countless companies still find it hard hiring developers. Comes Devjobs, our goal is to help companies find developers out there and also help developers find interesting jobs in the country.

How it works

For companies, all you have to do is to sign up on the site, and post jobs easily. The site is launch with job posting for free but plans to charge a token for every job posted. The verified jobs will be sent daily to developers email and they can click to apply. The company has the freedom to review, shortlist and invite qualified candidates for an interview.

For developers, after sign up, they are required to set up their profile which contains their skill-set, work experience and upload their CV. Once they find an open that matches their skills, they are free to apply for the job. When a developer is accepted by a company, he gets an email for a follow-up interview to complete the hiring process.

To get started, log on to devjobs.ng and enjoy the benefit this brings.

Agritech Incubation Program

FCMB in partnership with Wennovation Hub is set to host the 2018 Agritech incubation program. The incubation program is set out to guide early-stage entrepreneurs to test and validate their ideas as well as gather their first set of customers or pivot if need be. This will be achieved through a combination of financial support, guidance and training.

Benefits

  • Up to ₦2.25 million will be given to the top two selected startups.
  • Unrestricted access to the fully serviced workspace.
  • Intangibles (company registration, audit services, developer toolkit etc) worth $10k 4. Access to our local & international networks
  • 6 months mentorship with one on one mentor-mentee pairing.
  • Access to market by leveraging Wennovation Hub’s existing community.

Criteria

  • Competence of team
  • The viability of idea Innovation
  • Market and Scalability
  • Registered companies would be an advantage.
  • Female-led teams would also be given a considerable advantage.

How to Apply

Application deadline is 20th of June 2018. Visit the link to register.

Microsoft has acquired GitHub for $7.5B in stock

Microsoft has confirmed the acquisition of Github, this comes after almost a week of rumours and speculations. Bloomberg reported that the software giant has agreed to acquire GitHub, and that the company chose Microsoft partly because of CEO Satya Nadella. Business Insider first reported that Microsoft had been in talks with GitHub recently.

GitHub is a vast code repository that has become popular with developers and companies hosting their projects, documentation, and code. Apple, Amazon, Google, and many other big tech companies use GitHub. Microsoft is the top contributor to the site and has more than 1,000 employees actively pushing code to repositories on GitHub. Microsoft even hosts its own original Windows File Manager source code on GitHub.

GitHub raised $350 million and we know that the company was valued at about $2 billion in 2015.  The San-Francisco based company has now sold to Microsoft in what looks like a Lucrative deal considering they are selling at a price more than 3 time their valuation in 2015. Also putting into thought the potential value of the Microsoft stock which is at an all time high, in a few years this deal could be worth over $10 B.

GitHub, which hosts 27 million software developers working on 80 million repositories of code. Despite its popularity with enterprise users, individual developers and open source projects, they have  never turned a profit and even made significant loss  of  $66 million over three quarters in 2016. Therefore,chances are that the company decided that an acquisition was preferable over trying to IPO.

Microsoft which is valued at $507 Billion has been rapidly investing in open source technology since Satya Nadella took over the CEO role.  Microsoft has open sourced PowerShellVisual Studio Code, and the Microsoft Edge JavaScript engine. Microsoft also partnered with Canonical to bring Ubuntu to Windows 10, and acquired Xamarin to assist with mobile app development. Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code, which lets developers build and debug web and cloud applications, has soared in popularity with developers and GitHub acquisition will likely mean we’ll start to see even closer integration between Microsoft’s developer tools and the service.

Nadella in his prepared remarks stressed Microsoft’s heritage as a developer-centric company “We recognize the responsibility we take on with this agreement,” he said. “We are committed to being stewards of the GitHub community, which will retain its developer first ethos operate independently and remain an open platform. We will always listen to develop a feedback and invest in both fundamentals as well as new capability once the acquisition closes.”

Two teams win millions at the secure Lagos hackathon

Winners Emerge In FCMB-Sponsored “Secure Lagos Hackathon”
Winners Emerge In FCMB-Sponsored “Secure Lagos Hackathon”

In a partnership with First City Monument Bank ‘FCMB’ and Passion Incubator, the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund ‘LSETF’ organized a 3-day hackathon to review security solutions that will enhance the operations of existing agencies focused on security.

The hackathon which held from 18th to 20th of May, believed that with over 20 million people in Lagos state, it is in a position to achieve a truly secured megacity.

Team LSFLOW (Group 3) and Team AboEko (Group 8) emerge as respective winners of the N2,000,000 cash prize and N1,000,000 runner up prize at the Secure Lagos hackathon. The hackathon is aimed at seeking new ways to secure the lives and properties of Lagosians using technology-based security.

FCMB has re-iterated its commitment to the development of Nigeria’s Techspace Ecosystem, even as it continues to support its customers to fulfil their aspirations. According to the Team Lead, Techspace Ecosystem Business of FCMB, Babajide Asegbeloyin “Tech businesses have unique needs, especially at startup and incubation stage. FCMB provides bespoke support at the different stages of the journey and we are very passionate about providing the right solutions to the tech ecosystem. Our mandate is to be the preferred and go-to financial institution for the tech ecosystem.”

Official: Facebook has launched NG_HUB

Facebook launches NG_HUB
Facebook launches NG_HUB

Facebook has launched the eagerly awaited community hub.

NG_Hub is located in Yaba that will bring together different sets of builders — i.e. developers, start-ups, SMBs, creatives and community leaders — to collaborate, learn and exchange ideas.

The company wrote on their official facebook page : “Today we launched NG_Hub in Lagos, in partnership with Co-creation Hub Nigeria (CcHUB) – the first community hub space in Africa! This opening highlights our ongoing commitment to supporting local talent in Nigeria.”

“Keep an eye on Facebook to get updates on this week’s celebration that will bring together developers, start-ups, and the wider tech community across Nigeria. An exciting moment for us here in Africa!”

Facebook launches NG_HUB
Facebook launches NG_HUB

“Some of Nigeria’s most talented builders live far beyond Lagos, so we’ve also partnered with hubs across Nigeria — Uyo (Start Innovation Hub), Enugu (Roar Hub), Port Harcourt (Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation Hub), Kano (DI Hub), Jos (nHub), Kaduna (Colab Hub), and Abuja (Ventures Platform) — to collectively drive this vision, as a community of connected hubs.”

“Our hope is to catalyze more of the positive social and economic impact they have on this country, this continent and the word.”

Everything that went down at Diamond Bank’s Tech Fest 2018

Techfest

Diamond Bank Plc on Tuesday and Wednesday played host to some of Nigeria’s techpreneurs and users for Techfest 2018.

TechFest, an event organised to bring “a community of like-minded participants to showcase Nigeria’s best talent ideas and businesses with a focus on technology” was held at the Landmark Event Centre in collaboration with MTN, VISA, NIBBS, Microsoft, Interswitch, Deloitte, and The Beat 99.9FM.

The event hosted conversation around various aspects of technology and the economy in Nigeria. Here are the various facets.

Women in Tech

‘The Tech Girl Rising: Women Shaking Up the Tech World’. The panel included Titi Odunfa, founder CEO, Sankore; Oluwakemi Okunsanya, VP, VISA West Africa; Linda Quaynor, Partner & West Africa Strategy & Operations Leader, Deloitte & Touche; Lynda Saint Nwafor, Chief Enterprise Business Officer, MTN; Banke Alawaye, Program Manager, CodeLagos; and Ola Williams, Director, Solution Sales Microsoft Nigeria. The panelists shared ideas and posits based on their own experiences, they also discussed the challenges women in tech deal with, and the opportunities available in the ecosystem.

Big Data for Small Businesses

During the session tagged ‘Big Data for Small Businesses’, Diamond Bank CEO, Uzoma Dozie and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Co-Founder & MD, Flutterwave; and Wale Olokodana, Director Business Development, Microsoft, moderated by Chuka Mordi, CEO, CBO Capital,covered a range of topics from big data applications for small businesses to the role banks have to play in the march for financial innovation and inclusion through options easily accessible to small businesses.

Attracting and working with Angel Investors

This was a panel session aimed at discussing the intricacies of angel investment in the Nigerian tech ecosystem. This session included Neku Atawodi-Ekun, Country Director MEST Africa; Akintunde Oyebode Executive Secretary, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund; and Collins Onuegbu, founder, Signal Alliance; it was moderated by Onyi Sunday, producer/presenter – CNBC Africa.

Day two

Precision Farming

The panel consisted of Yewande Kazeem, founder/MD, Wandieville Media; Lois Sankey, Head, AgricFinance Diamond Bank; Onyeka Akumah, Founder CEO, Farmcrowdy; Kola Masha, MD, Babban Gona; and Dami Runsewe, Senior Manager, Segment Enterprise Unit, MTN. The panelists discussed the agriculture supply chain, technology applications and the importance of educating farmers (who aren’t typically literate) on the benefits and long term implications of leveraging technology in their operations.

“Communication, Content and Sharing in a Digital World” was the last panel session of TechFest and it featured Uzoma Dozie, CEO, Diamond Bank; Akin Alabi, founder, NairaBet; singer/entrepreneur, Dapo Oyebanjo (D’Banj); Celebrity photographer, Kelechi Amadi-Obi; Jason Njoku, CEO, IrokoTV; and Chris Ubosi, MD, The Beat 99.9 FM. Panelists shared ideas on world of digital media and opportunities available to creators, investors and other players in a unique market like Nigeria.

One of the highlight of the day was the startup competition which involved pitches by startups from pre-selected hubs around Nigeria with a N5 million prize at the end of the tunnel. Over the two days of TechFest, startups pitched their ideas and fought the good fight but at the end of it all, Beat Drone, a startup that provides tech solutions using drones and data, was named winner to take home the N5 million prize.

Techfest partners, who expressed excitement about the success of the event, said it would go a long way in increasing homegrown innovations from the players in the country.

Teleology to raise $300 million loan for 9mobile acquisition

Teleology to raise $300 million loan for 9mobile acquisition

Teleology to raise $300 million loan for 9mobile acquisition
Teleology to raise $300 million loan for 9mobile acquisition

Having out bid Smile Telecom’s $200,000,000 bid for the acquisition of 9mobile with a bid of $500,000,000,Teleology Holdings has hired a global financial service firm to raise a $300 million bridge loan to seal the acquisition deal.

According to a report by The Guardian, Teleology had sought out the service of USB, to raise bridge loan from local banks and investors. And the balance of $200 million will be raised through equity. This is in contrary to a recent report that Teleology actually offered $301 million to beat Smile Communications’ $300 million bid.

The acquisition process was recently put on hold by an order of the Federal High Court, Abuja. Two companies that claimed to be major stakeholders of 9mobile had earlier headed to the court to asked for a refund of $43,330,950, which was the amount they invested in the company.

The fate of the entire acquisition process is no longer on the court case alone, Teleology Holdings has to raise the total $500 million for a successful acquisition.

Teleology Holdings made a $50m non-refundable cash deposit requirement last month and now have 90 days to make up the $450,000,000 for the acquisition. If for some reason the deal doesn’t pull through then Smile Telecommunication get the offer to acquire 9mobile as the preserved bidder.

Therein lies the fate of 9mobile formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria who were taken over by creditors in July 2017 after its parent UAE-based company exited following a $1.72 billion debt default.

MTN Nigeria wants to borrow N400 billion

MTN Nigeria wants to borrow N400 billion

MTN Nigeria wants to borrow N400 billion
MTN Nigeria wants to borrow N400 billion

The MTN Group plans to borrow as much as N400 billion naira ($1.1 billion) in Nigeria this year as Africa’s largest wireless carrier by sales seeks to fund local investment and replace existing debt in Nigeria.

According to Bloomberg, MTN plans to sell bonds and take out long-term loans as Nigeria recovers from a 2016 economic contraction.

The carrier expects to list its Nigerian unit on the Nigerian Stock Exchange by the end of 2018.

Nigeria’s securities regulator is preparing for record bond issuance from companies seeking to benefit from lower interest rates and an economy on the mend, it said this week.

“We want to gear up our debt on an operational level away from the holding structure,” MTN’s Chief Financial Officer, Ralph Mupita, said in an interview.

“The debt must be where the Ebidta is and we want to raise as much as possible in local currency.”

MTN’s net debt rose to 57 billion rand ($4.5 billion) in 2017 from 52 billion rand the previous year.

The Johannesburg-based company plans to shift its focus from dollar-denominated debt to debt in local currencies where it operates, Mupita said.

MTN also recently raised money in local currency for its Ghanaian and Ivory Coast operations, according to Bloomberg data.

MTN shares declined 0.6 percent Wednesday, on a day that U.S. President Donald Trump reinstated economic sanctions on Iran, the company’s second-biggest market. The carrier is valued at 234 billion rand.