Featured Startups

Rocket Internet sells its stake in e-commerce firm Jumia

Rocket Internet sells its stake in e-commerce firm Jumia

German tech investor Rocket Internet has sold its stake in African e-commerce company Jumia, which has seen its shares steadily fall since they listed last April on Wall Street.

Rocket Internet, which had held an 11% stake in Jumia as of November 8th, sold its holding between then and the onset of the coronavirus crisis. It is not yet clear exactly what proceeds Rocket Internet made from the sale, but said they were included in the 2.1 billion euros ($2.30 billion) of net cash the company had as of March 31.

Jumia shares soared when the company became the first African tech stock to list on Wall Street on April 12 last year but tumbled a month later after a Citron Research, run by short-seller Andrew Left, questioned some of its sales figures.

Jumia reported in February that its fourth-quarter adjusted loss before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization rose by 5% to 51.2 million euros, and said it had 232 million euros of cash as of the end of 2019.

Berlin-based Rocket Internet has helped set up a raft of start-ups, which it has later listed, eventually selling down most of its stakes. This has prompted speculation that the company might seek to go private, but there is no official comment on the issue.

Rocket now only holds stakes in furniture site Home24 and Global Fashion Group, which sells fashion online, plus stakes in more than 200 private companies. It said the total fair value of those private companies was about €1.1 billion as of Dec. 31, but noted that the coronavirus crisis might have a significant impact on that figure.

Read About: 

–> Jumia adopts contactless delivery in the wake of coronavirus
–> Jumia ceases operations in Tanzania

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Author: EditorRocket Internet sells its stake in e-commerce firm Jumia

Digital Featured

Facebook launches Messenger app for MacOS and Windows

Facebook launches Messenger app for MacOS and Windows

Facebook has launched a Messenger app for MacOS and Windows to let users easily video chat on their desktop computers and stay connected with friends and family anywhere across the globe.

In a blog post announcing the new app, Facebook states that the number of people using their desktop browser for audio and video calling on Messenger has doubled prompting the company to push the launch of the feature.

“Now with apps for MacOS and Windows, the best of Messenger is coming to desktop, including unlimited and free group video calls.”

What’s in the Facebook Messenger app for desktop?

  • Group video calls on a larger screen. Stay in touch with family and friends, join a workout, or host a virtual happy hour.
  • Easy to connect. You don’t need to know someone’s email or phone number since all your Facebook friends have Messenger.
  • Multitasking. Your chats are easily accessible, and you can pop in and out of the app while doing other things on your computer.
  • Notifications. You can receive notifications for new messages, so you can quickly find the chat you’re looking for. But you’re in control — you can choose to mute and snooze notifications.
  • Chats sync across mobile and desktop. You’ll never miss a call or message no matter what device you’re using. 
  • Everything you love about Messenger on a bigger screen. Including Dark Mode and GIFs.

Download the app today from the Microsoft Store or Mac App Store.

Read About:

–> Everything about the new Facebook logo
–> How to live stream on the Facebook Lite app

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Author: EditorFacebook launches Messenger app for MacOS and Windows

Featured Tech

Uganda Airlines undecided on Airbus fleet delivery

Uganda Airlines undecided on Airbus fleet delivery

Uganda Airlines is facing difficult decisions over the delivery timetable for its A330-800 neo fleet, which had been brought forward from the initial December 2020 date for the first aircraft, to October 2020.

The second aircraft would follow a month later, with launch of the first intercontinental route tentatively planned for December. The question facing the airline now is whether to go ahead and receive the aircraft and park them at Entebbe, or postpone the deliveries.

Sources familiar with the situation say the carrier which started commercial operations six months ago, had brought forward the delivery dates after Finance Ministry frontloaded the bulk of resources required for fleet development, leaving the airline with a final payment of just $17 million on the two aircraft.

But this has also been provided for in the fiscal year that starts in July, essentially meaning that there are no pending obligations to the manufacturer.

However, the global disruptions to air travel as countries enter lock-downs in response to the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted plans for expansion of the regional route network, as well as the intercontinental destinations on which operations of the wide-body fleet were premised.

All about the Airbus A330-800 neo fleet

The A330-800 neo can carry 257 passengers in a 2-4-2 configuration. It has a range of around 8,150nmi / 15,094 km. Compared to the original A330, this is an improvement of 15 more passengers and a range increase of just under 1,000 nautical miles.

It has twin-aisles for easy boarding and disembarking, modern fuel efficiencies and passenger comforts found on all new Airbus aircraft. These include big windows, better humidity, and pressurization.

However, it is struggling to find a place on the market. So far, Kuwait Airways and Uganda Airlines are the only two to have confirmed orders for eight and two of the type respectively, and will be the launch customer in 2020s.

Source: The EastAfrican, SimpleFlying

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Author: EditorUganda Airlines undecided on Airbus fleet delivery

Digital Featured

Airtel TV app vs YoTV Channels app

Airtel TV app vs YoTV Channels app

Entertainment on the go is the way to go, in an ever revolving situation that leaves no room for settlement. Technology has made it possible for one to have all television programming, let alone an entire decoder, compressed into a mobile app. At least, this is evident with the Airtel TV and YoTV channels apps.

The two apps, which launched in Uganda one after the other, let you get all your favourite television channels, movies, and shows in your palm. It won’t matter whether you are in transit or seated somewhere. Besides enjoying live TV on the go, you can also get to view the day’s programming through the clearly output guide in the menu. A lot of the local network is well bred in, with select international news channels also part of the deal.

The basic requirement is an internet bundle and a good enough network.

Let’s take a look at the two apps.

Airtel TV app vs YoTV Channels app

Airtel TV is an Airtel only network app. This means that you have to have an active Airtel internet bundle running. YoTV channels, on the other hand, can work on any network bundle, though there is a partnership with MTN Uganda where you can buy TV bundles and enjoy the shows.

You will need to make a subscription payment, though, to use the YoTV app while the Airtel TV app needs no subscription.

If you struggle to listen to radio without earphones, YoTV Channels app just helps you here. You just have to check the radio stations under the TV section, tune in and get to listen in.

The other edge that YoTV has over the Airtel TV app is the option to record. You have a whole 300 minutes of memory for you to utilize. There’s also the ability to keep tabs on live shows that you are likely to miss out on watching. Plus, when you pause a movie or show, you can start form there on the next time you open the app.

Unfortunately, the Airtel TV app doesn’t support this. If you pause a movie, you can’t start from wherever you stopped. You have to re-watch. Plus, there’s no option to forward to a specific time.

There a good number of movies available on both apps, especially the local content and productions. Airtel TV initially had a Hollywood section whose “content is not available”. Watching this required one to use a VPN to position one in the US, but the content was later removed. The YoTV channels app has the Hollywood movies in plenty for those that love them.

No premium content on both apps – though one would not expect premium content on a free app. So, don’t expect to find PayTV channels here.

Getting started

You can download the YOTV Channels App from Play store for Android or iOS for iPhone, enter your phone number through which you will receive an OTP SMS that you enter for confirmation. You can download the Airtel TV App from Play store for Android or iOS for iPhone, enter your Airtel number through which you will receive an OTP SMS that you enter for confirmation.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertAirtel TV app vs YoTV Channels app

Featured Tech

How to have Shell Gas delivered to your home for FREE

How to have Shell Gas delivered to your home for FREE

Shell Uganda has announced the introduction of a free home delivery solution for Shell Gas. This is in a bid to bring services closer and offer greater convenience, safe transportation and doorstep delivery of Shell Gas to customers.

The move follows restrictions put in place by the Uganda government to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Deliveries are currently available to customers across greater Kampala and Entebbe region, with plans to rollout to reach even more areas.

The free deliveries will be made daily from 8am to 4pm, seven days a week, by Shell agents using motorbikes and delivery trucks with effect from 1 April 2020. Orders can be made through either a toll free line: 0800 980 098, MTN ‒ 0771 355 418, or Airtel – 0759 043 511. These lines will be operational to serve customers from 8am to 8pm.

In a bid to bring services closer and offer greater convenience and safe transportation of Shell Gas, we have accelerated the planned introduction of a home delivery service. We are aware that people are now at home and may experience difficulty in accessing essential services, especially as cooking needs are even greater with all members of the family at home,” says Moses Kebba, the Vivo Energy Marketing Manager.

The free home delivery solution applies to both existing Shell Gas customers who require refills as well as first time purchase customers.

Our delivery service applies to both existing customers as well as those who are interested in purchasing cylinders and accessories. We are offering free installation and doorstep delivery. Our team will be on hand to help you get started by setting up the equipment and offering easy and quick usage tutorials.”

In line with the Standard Operating Procedures stipulated by the Ministry of Health, Shell Gas deliveries have in place the necessary sanitary requirements to keep the delivery agents and consumers safe in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The team is equipped with sanitizers, gloves and face masks and have been trained to practice social distancing during the process because the health and safety of our customers and staff is our absolute priority. In addition to the safety equipment, we have also put in place mobile payment methods and are encouraging customers to use them to eliminate handling of cash and limit contact.”

Shell Gas price in Uganda

Shell Gas is available and will be delivered in three sizes – 6kg, 12kg and 45kg with refills going for UGX 57,000, UGX 110,000 and UGX 320,000 respectively. New purchases are priced at UGX 189,000 for the 6kg cylinder, UGX 291,000 for the 12kg metallic cylinder, UGX 622,000 for the 45kg cylinder and 341,000shs for the composite cylinder.

Payments can be made via mobile money or bank transfer. Cash will also be accepted. The company has also put in place an operational call centre team available daily to take delivery orders from customers which are then passed on to the various delivery teams stationed around the city.

Read About: SafeBoda delivery services during coronavirus lockdown

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Author: EditorHow to have Shell Gas delivered to your home for FREE

Featured Telecom

Huawei posts solid 2019 results with $9 billion profit

Huawei posts solid 2019 results with $9 billion profit

Huawei has released its 2019 Annual Report, detailing a solid business performance. The company’s global sales revenue in 2019 rounded off at close to $120 billion, up 19.1% year-on-year; its net profit reached $9 billion; and its cash flow from operating activities topped over $12 billion, up 22.4% year-on-year.

As part of a long-term, ongoing investment in technological innovation and research, Huawei invested 15.3% of its 2019 revenue back into R&D. Its total R&D spend over the past decade now exceeds over $84 billion.

Eric Xu, Huawei’s Rotating Chairman, highlighted that 2019 was an extraordinary year for the company.

Despite enormous outside pressure, our team forged ahead with a singular focus on creating value for our customers. We worked hard to earn their respect and trust, as well as that of our partners around the globe. Business remains solid.”

In 2019, Huawei’s carrier business led the commercial rollout of 5G networks. To further commercial adoption and promote new innovation in 5G applications, the company established 5G joint innovation centers together with carriers worldwide.

Huawei’s RuralStar base station solutions can effectively address coverage problems in remote areas. These solutions are being used in over 50 countries and regions, bringing mobile Internet to more than 40 million people living in remote areas. In 2019, sales revenue from Huawei’s carrier business reached $42 billion, up 3.8% year-on-year.

Huawei’s enterprise business continues to support the digital transformation of customers across industries as the company helps lay the foundations for the digital world. Globally, more than 700 cities and 228 Fortune Global 500 companies have chosen Huawei as their digital transformation partner.

In 2019, Huawei announced its computing strategy with the aim of cultivating fertile soil for the intelligent world to flourish. As part of this strategy, the company launched the world’s fastest AI processor, the Ascend 910, and the AI training cluster Atlas 900. In 2019, sales revenue from Huawei’s enterprise business reached close to $13 billion, up 8.6% year-on-year.

Huawei’s consumer business continues to see robust growth, with a total of 240 million smartphones shipped throughout the year. The company reports further progress in developing the Seamless AI Life ecosystem across all scenarios and devices, including personal computers, tablets, wearables, and smart screens. In 2019, sales revenue from Huawei’s consumer business reached $66 billion, up 34% year-on-year.

“The external environment will only get more complicated going forward. We need to keep enhancing the competitiveness of our products and services, promoting open innovation, and creating greater value for our customers and society at large. This is the only way we can seize the historic opportunities presented by the digital and intelligent transformation of industries, and maintain robust growth in the long run.”

All financial statements in the 2019 Annual Report were independently audited by KPMG, an international Big Four accounting firm. You can download the 2019 Annual Report here.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertHuawei posts solid 2019 results with $9 billion profit

Featured Tech

Uber suspends services in Uganda during coronavirus lockdown

Uber suspends services in Uganda during coronavirus lockdown

With the announcement of the 14 day country lockdown, Uber is taking strict measures to ensure that its customers and riders in Uganda are well informed about what this means for their traveling needs.

Since there is an existent ban on public and private transportation within the country for the next fortnight, it is not expected that any Uber driver would take on any rides, nor any rider requesting to be picked up.

A statement from the company spokesperson states that the company is putting to rest its services until further notice in line with the president’s directives to contain the spread of coronavirus.

In accordance with the measures announced by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on 30 March 2020 to contain the spread of Coronavirus, we are temporarily pausing our services in Kampala starting from 31 March 2020, until further notice. The health and safety of our community comes first, and we will do our best to support drivers during these unprecedented times.

Uber has introduced safety recommendations within the app to help raise awareness about suggested travel restrictions and social distancing with “travel only if necessary” in app messaging.  The company is also is providing safety information to drivers and riders in line with public health authorities’ guidance. This includes messages in-app, email and on social media channels. 

Uber has also distributed hand sanitisers to drivers. Those who did not receive and who have purchased surface sanitizers will receive a one-time reimbursement to cover the expense.

To assist in ensuring that public health is ensured, the app has a team available 24/7 to support public health authorities in their response to the pandemic. Working with them, the company may temporarily suspend the accounts of customers and drivers confirmed to have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19.

To the same effect, any drivers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in individual quarantine by a public health authority will receive financial assistance for a period of up to 14 days.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertUber suspends services in Uganda during coronavirus lockdown

Featured Tech

Dubai to bailout Emirates Air from coronavirus fall

Dubai to bailout Emirates Air from coronavirus fall

In the wake of the rapidly growing coronavirus disease cases, Dubai’s government is ready to inject equity into Emirates Airlines. This is after the Middle East’s largest carrier has grounded nearly all of its flights due to global restrictions on travel.

Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum stated that the state-owned airline would be supported after this trying period. This is in consideration of the company’s strategic importance to Dubai and the economy of the United Arab Emirates, as well as the “key role in positioning Dubai as a major international aviation hub.”

Today, we renew our commitment to support a success story that started in the mid-1980s to reach its goal of sitting on the throne of global aviation. The Government of Dubai is committed to fully supporting @Emirates at this critical time & will inject equity into the company.”

What is not clear is the size, shape and form of that bailout, but we can be sure that further details would be announced at a later stage.

Emirates carried close to 58 million passengers in 2019, keeping Dubai’s airport as the world’s busiest for international travel. However, the increase in coronavirus cases and travel disruptions have affected the aviation industry worldwide, resulting in temporary layoff of cabin crew and pilots.

The Dubai government owns not just Emirates airlines, but also flydubai and the two have the same chairman, but operate independently.

Emirates employs more than 100,000 people including 21,000 cabin crew and some 4,000 pilots. The airline has been looking for ways to reduce outgoings, including reducing staff salaries by between 25 and 50% for the next three months, with the president of the carrier taking a full basic salary cut for that period of time.

Just recently, flydubai also announced pay cuts of its staff of nearly 4,000, though not all staff are being affected the same. The company stated that it is reducing salaries to between 25-50% for a three-month period starting in April. Employees’ benefits will remain unchanged, and senior employees will see the biggest pay cut.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertDubai to bailout Emirates Air from coronavirus fall

Featured Tech

How to share your Google photos using private messaging

How to share your Google photos using private messaging

Over the past years, you could share individual photos through Google Photos by creating an album for a single photo and sharing the link. There were also other sharing options via live albums, shared libraries, and shared albums, making sharing loads of photos easy.

Google recently added a new chat feature in the Photos app. The feature lets users easily select a photo to send to one of their contacts directly rather than having to send them a link to the image. With the new feature, you should be able to like photos and even comments in the conversation, and you can save photos or videos in any chat to a gallery without a loss in image quality.

As long as the recipient has Google Photos, they can open messages you send and view the photos and videos you’ve attached. In the actual conversation itself, you can both start chatting too, as well as react to the photos with likes, etc.

How to share Google photos in private chat

  • Click a photo or video your Google Photos library.
  • Select the share option for the photo. Existing chats should appear.
  • Pick a contact or group of contacts to message.
  • In the message pane, add your message.
  • Once done, press send.

Remember, only those contacts who are signed in with Google can view the conversation. To send pictures to more people, there’s also an option to create a group chat. The conversation and reactions are all the same.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertHow to share your Google photos using private messaging

Featured Tech

SafeBoda delivery services rising in coronavirus lockdown

SafeBoda delivery services rising in coronavirus lockdown

The coronavirus disease outbreak has heavily disrupted the transport industry, leaving many players with little activity. However, those that offer a variety of services have opted to offer the best available alternatives to keep business going and customers equally served.

Among these is SafeBoda, which is sticking to offering home delivery services in Uganda, following the government announcement to temporarily ban on public transport and private cars.

According to the company, they are making sure that their 18,000 SafeBoda riders and the growing community of entrepreneurs such as food and market vendors and shopkeepers can continue to provide for their families.

We are therefore making food and grocery delivery safe during this COVID19 pandemic and lock down. This is important to us because safety and community has always been our priority. In addition to this all deliveries will be free.”

Literally all the still-open service and product providers are relying on the app for delivery to and from clients since there is no authorization of any other means of transportation at the moment. The customers alike, especially the app users, are now finding convenience in using the app for household needs.

While everyone stays home and stays safe, SafeBoda is willing to be at your service for all your daily needs.

Craving for local food? Order on SafeBoda app by tapping the food icon on your SafeBoda app and search for Kyakulya. Your meal shall be prepared in minutes and the SafeBoda rider will make the delivery to you.

Fruits and veggie for Vitamin C and staying strong? Tap on food delivery, type shop for groceries in the search bar.

Thirsty, and need a cold drink delivered quickly to your doorstep? Order from Coca-Cola by selecting food delivery on your app, type shop in the search bar and select shop select.

Working from home and need to send a document? Use “Send” on the SafeBoda app.

Need to send money to a friend? Use “SafeBoda Wallet” on SafeBoda app to send at no extra cost. Select the ‘Share’ option and tap ‘Start Sharing’. Select a beneficiary, enter the amount with a note to go along, and input your PIN. The friend will receive the amount as cashless and they can withdraw it from any Shell service station nearest to them.

Need to shop for home essentials, tap on food delivery, and type shop in the search bar, tap shop shell select.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertSafeBoda delivery services rising in coronavirus lockdown