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July hasn’t been an easy month for the Innovation ecosystem in Ethiopia with Internet disruption affecting many startups and technology companies – Let’s just say threatening there survival. But life continues, Internet was restored and much has happened.  Here is a round up of major stories in July. Let’s go.

Taskmoby Picks Up 100,000 Euro from A Consoritum of NGOs for COVID -19 Project

Taskmoby in collaboration with Mercy Corps, in partnerships with Save the Children, SNV, Techno Serve and funded by SIDA initiated the Covid-19 response project aiming to mitigate the socio-economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic according to press released shared to Shega.

Akofada (DFS Ethiopia)

The Project will create job opportunities to women and youth who have been affected by COVID Pandemic through an opportunity to work in disinfecting service using Taskmoby Platform. They will be provided training , tools, and equipment before being deployed in Taskmoby’s digital Platform to be matched on-demand with customers.

Taskmoby is a digital marketplace in Ethiopia that connects customers with home service providers through mobile applications and hotline.

Telecom Infrastructure Companies Like Helios Might Not Be Able To Operate in Ethiopia

As new operators are being expected to join the Ethiopian Market, there has been talking of interested Teleco infrastructure companies showing Interest. The major one being Helios Towers who actually had already started approaching possible partners to discuss a move into the market according to Bloomberg.

However Ethio Telecom has apparently protested allowing Teleco Infrastructure companies to inter space and according to Frehiwot Tameru, CEO of Ethio Telecom, the government has decided not to allow infrastructure firms. No official communication from Ethiopian Communication Authority so far on the matter.

Ethio Telecom who has spent billions of dollars in infrastructure in last decade is interested to lease it to two operators that are expected to join the market soon. Hence it looks like the new operators will either lease from Ethio Telecom or build there own. Ethio Telecom has 7,100 towers and over 22,000Km of fibre optics.

Jano Investment and Technology Bank Starts Selling Shares

Jano Investment and Technology bank received a go-ahead from the National Bank of Ethiopia to start selling shares. Jano is a bank that is under formation that plans to use the latest technology solutions in the banking sector to deliver investment Bank services.

Some of Jano’s plans include introducing Syndicate loans, Idea financing, and allocating 20% of it’s paid capital for investment together with Individuals and companies. There are 18 existing Banks in Ethiopia and around dozens of others are under formation including but not only Zemzem Bank, Hijra Bank, Amhara Bank, Geda Bank, Ahadu Bank, Sheger Bank, and Selam Bank.

Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa Netpreneur Prize Selects Top 50 Finalists Including Two Ethiopians

ANPI, the Jack Ma Foundation flagship philanthropic program in Africa which aims to give entrepreneurs across Africa a platform to develop there talent and business ideas, and inspire others to pursue entrepreneurship,  announced the top 50 Finalists for this year-round.   Now in its second year, the Africa’s Business Heroes price competition will award a pool of US $1.5 million in grant money to ten Finalists.

ANPI selected its top 50 finalists for the 2020 Africa’s Business Heroes Competition from over 22,000 applications across all 54 African countries. The finalists represent 21 African countries and work in 18 sectors, including agriculture, artificial intelligence, e-commerce, fashion, healthcare, renewable energy and information and communications technology.

Wuleta Lema from Lalibela Networks, a SaaS heathtech startup, and Shani Senbetta from Kidame Mart, a last-mile distribution social enterprise are the two Ethiopians that are part of the top 50 finalists.

Deloitte Won A Contract To Oversee the Ethio Telecom’s Partial Privatization

Deloitte has won the contract to oversee the partial privatization of Ethio Telecom, against competition from EY, PwC and Roland Berger. Deloitte is expected to advise the sale of 40% of the state-owned company and the flotation of 5%. Deloitte will have a 14-month contract with the Ministry of Finance during which it has to verify the financial situation of Ethio Telecom, as well as potential disputes, taxes, and contracts.

It can be remembered that  Ethio Telecom has also hired the KPMG to conduct asset valuation work. According to The Reporter KPMG has completed the asset valuation and It’s expected to be revealed in two weeks.

BeBlocky Releases It’s Latest Version With New Features and Introduces Subscription

Ethiopian startup BeBlocky that aims to make programming fun and easy for Kids released it’s latest app version. BeBlocky 4.0 included upgraded programming concepts, In-app tutorial, AR feature, Parental control and In-App store.

“The app features a free subscription for a single user and has subsequent special volume pricing packages for multiple users, starting at $2 per month.”

BeBlocky also aims to introduce the programming learning app into the school environment in partnerships with different EdTech organizations.

Ethio Telecom Released It’s Annual Business Performance

Ethio Telecom represented it’s an annual business performance for 2012 EFY (2019/20). Here are key things you need to know :-

  • It collected a 47.7 Billion ETB revenue, which is 105.1% of the target and 31.4%
  • It paid 10.2 ETB ( $318.4 M ) for loan, 11.2 B ETB for tax and 4 B ETB as dividend.
  • Total subscribers reached 46.2 M ( An increase of 5.8% from previous budget year) while mobile voice subscribers reached 44.5 Million, Data and Internet users 23.8 Milion , Fixed Services 980 thousand and Fixed Broadband subscribers reached 212.2 thousand.
  • Ethio Telecom Splitted Network Infrastructure in Five ( Fixed Network, Wireless Network, Infrastructure-Power & Environment, Infrastructure-Transport Network, and National Operation & Service Management )

We have a visual coming up that covers Ethio Telecom, be on the lookout.

Ethiopian Ride Hailing Companies Are Racing to Car Business

It is now a common trend in Ethiopia for Ride-hailing companies to facilitate the process of acquiring Cars for drivers and owners in the traditional tax industry or new entrants. The companies also facilitate financing mechanisms whereby driver usually contributes the 30% upfront and 70% of will be covered by the Bank. In that mechanism, the drivers join the specific ride-hailing network with a new car.

In July alone three companies delivered cars to drivers. Taxiye who is actually assembling cars through his sister company delivered 50 cars and aim to assemble additional 500 cars. Zay Ride in it’s part also delivered 50 Cars for drivers who previously used to have the blue-white Taxi’s and It announced that it’s is a finalizing process to deliver another 100 Cars. Hello Taxi, a new entrant to the ecosystem who imported 40 Cars a couple of months a go also delivered 36 Taxis In July.

Like Mobile Games?

Many have been enjoying the Gebeta Mobile game from Ethiopian gaming startup Qene Technologies. Gebet’a or Mancala is a board game that is common in various African countries including Ethiopia. The mobile game developed by Qene technologies is based on this traditional Gebet’a board game with more enjoyable features. Now,  ,Gebeta multiplayer just went live at the end July. ,Gebeta is available on Play Store and App Store.

Readings We Have Enjoyed Last Month

+ Building a Strong Finance Department For Your Start-Up by Mahlet Tamene, Director of Finance at Gebeya.

+ I Want My C̶o̶f̶f̶e̶e Game Black by Nathan Damtew, CEO of BeBlocky

How did Internet service disruption affect your startup? How have you tried to cope up?

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