26 AUGUST, 2021
Good morning ☀️ ️
On Tuesday, we asked you a rather rhetorical question: Sex sells but for how long?
Well, content subscription service OnlyFans has changed its mind on the answer to this question as it turned back on its decision to restrict sexually explicit material from October 1st. The reason? It has gotten some assurance and is back to being “a home for all creators.”
In today’s edition:
- MaxAB raises largest series A round by Egyptian startup
- Nigerian fintech app users confident despite regulatory crackdown
- Facebook wants to support NFTs
- Xiaomi is killing Mi Softly
MaxAB raises largest series A round by Egyptian startup
There has been a ton of money coming into the African tech ecosystem this year and MaxAB is proof of that.
The Egyptian eCommerce platform that serves food and grocery retailers, has raised an additional $15M from existing investors bringing its total Series A funding to $55M, the largest ever by an Egyptian startup.
In addition, it announced its acquisition of WaystoCap, a Morocco-based e-commerce and distribution platform that connects retailers with suppliers across Africa.
Meet WaystoCap: Founded in 2015 by Niama El Bassunie, Mehdi Daoui, Anis Abdeddine, and Aziz Jaouhari Tissafi, WaystoCap was originally a cross-border trade platform for transacting business goods in Africa. Two years later, the company got into Y Combinator’s 2017 Winter batch, making it the first company accepted from Morocco. It subsequently raised a $3 million seed round.
Zoom out: WaystoCap is the second African YC-backed company to exit over the past year after Paystack got acquired by Stripe for more than $200 million last October. This acquisition will see MaxAB accelerate its expansion into the Maghreb market – Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia – empowered by WaystoCap’s expertise in the region.
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Nigerian fintech app users confident despite regulatory crackdown
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Arab Bank has launched its fintech-focused corporate accelerator program “AB Accelerator” in Egypt.
What’s in it for Startups? They are able to receive funding of up to $500,000 and a host of unique benefits as part of their collaboration with Arab Bank.
Egyptian entrepreneurs who wish to join Arab Bank’s “AB Accelerator” portfolio of companies may apply online here.
Facebook wants to support NFTs
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Xiaomi is killing Mi Softly
Chinese electronics manufacturer Xiaomi is dropping the name of its most recognizable product series, “Mi”.
From the third quarter of 2021, new additions to the “Mi” product range will feature the name Xiaomi.
Why? Xiaomi is now confident that their products are relevant and identifiable enough not to need additional branding.
As per Verge, “The Mi brand was largely used in Western markets, presumably for readability and pronunciation reasons — phones like the Mi 11 are already called the Xiaomi 11 in China, for example. But Xiaomi evidently believes its company name is now recognizable enough and better represents its products.”
How’s Xiaomi doing?
Things are going really well for Xiaomi as it overtook Apple as the world’s second-largest phone maker during the second quarter of 2021. Xiaomi’s smartphones accounted for 17% of the world’s shipments in Q2 2021, an astounding 83% increase over its sales during Q2 2020.
What drove this growth? Overseas sales. Its shipments increased more than 300% in Latin America, 150% in Africa, and 50% in Western Europe.
Big picture: Over the years Xiaomi has been criticized for copying the design of Apple products but that strategy seems to have worked for it. Coupled with the fact that Xiaomi’s phones are still largely skewed toward the mass market and when compared with Samsung and Apple, its average selling price is around 40% and 75% cheaper respectively.
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