Slovenian Outfit7, known for Talking Tom, might be sold for € billion

There are rumors that Outfit7, a Slovenian-owned app maker, will be sold to a Chinese enterprise for as much as a billion of Euros.

Although this news has not been officially confirmed yet, the company known for apps like Talking Tom might make one of the greatest technological initials in the region. Outfit7 already launched 15 applications with 5 characters with total of 5.4 billion downloads and 300 million active users. A few years ago it realized cooperation with Disney. According to AppAnnie, Outfit7 was ranked as No. 6 publisher in games category in 2015 and as of August 2016 it has risen to No. 4. My Talking Tom and My Talking Angela were amongst Top 10 games in 2015. In 2015 the company achieved € 108 million revenues, of which € 80 million was its profit.

The company was founded in 2009 by Iza and Samo Login with seven colleagues engineers. They invested € 200,000 by selling shares acquired from Telekom Slovenia. Nowadays, Iza and Samo Login are known as the richest Slovenian couple. Together they created an empire with branches in 14 countries. The company is based in Cyprus, it is managed from London, while the Ljubljana branch employs 130 people.

So far Outfit7 neither confirmed, nor denied the news. Yet, due to the fact that the media coverage became louder, it is highly probable that we will soon hear it as an official announcement.


In 2017 we will see Nigeria blooming

Africa is a market of great opportunities and also of lost opportunities. The second largest continent in the world is slowly rising from his knees – at least in the area of payments. According to data from the African Development Bank, the Black Continent has the fastest growing middle class in the world. More than 313 million people, or 34% of the population of Africa, spends more than $ 2.20 a day – a 100% increase in less than 20 years.

Into this introduction there fits perfectly latest financing acquired by startup Paystack. Nigerians received a $ 1.3 million investment. The startup specializes in handling online payments. In Africa such platforms are still rare.

As one of the first Nigerian companies, Paystack got admitted to Y Combinator – the famous incubator located in Silicon Valley. Paystack then received a grant of $ 120,000, It might seem modest, but in Nigerian terms it was quite a lot. This allowed the startup to build foundation of the company, gaining more than 1.5 thousand active clients and finally win that $ 1.3 million grant.

Nigeria is experiencing real business booming. Last year, Nigerian companies collected a total of $ 150 billion in revenue. Yet, majority of transactions were carried out offline. Nigeria, however, has one of the fastest growing digital markets. By 2020, the country is supposed to significantly increas the use of smartphones.

In Nigeria there also operates FinTech bank Sun Trust Bank, founded by the country’s richest man Aliko Dangote. According to the report by KPMG, in the past two years in the FinTech industries there we invested more than $ 200 million – the third result on the continent – after South Africa and Egypt.


Uber started mapping South African cities

Accurate maps are at the core of providing reliable transportation to everyone and everywhere. Uber has rolled out mapping vehicles in South African cities, beginning with Cape Town. The efforts can be compared to Google Street View vehicles. Uber uses a mix of mapping technologies to provide the underlying infrastructure for its apps. The fleet of cartographers is equipped with rooftop cameras, which will record street imagery of their surroundings, during rides around picking up passengers.

Data collected by Uber’s mapping vehicles will be used to improve driver efficiency by calculating more accurate estimated time of arrival and supporting drivers to choose the best route from one point do another.

Cape Town is one of Uber’s priority markets in Africa. There will be approximately 12 of these vehicles in Cape Town, followed by other cities in South Africa. Earlier this year we put mapping cars on the road in Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom. Uber has spent $500 million on its global mapping project.

On the question of privacy – if you catch a ride, the devices do not retain any imagery at or around your initial pick-up or final drop-off locations. The imagery neither will be posted online,  nor be made available to the public. Uber will also accept reasonable requests to delete recorded images.


MENA startups you need to know

Recently in Bahrain took place the MENA Angel Investor Summit 2016, which is one of the largest meetings of venture capitalists, angel investors, accelerators, angel investment organizations and entrepreneurs. The event’s purpose is to build a strong supportive and sustainable start-up ecosystem and grow the angel investment community in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Since the first Summit in 2010, over 1000 regional and international investors have been able to connect with around 150 high-potential innovative entrepreneurs from the region. This has resulted in USD 6 million investments. This year gave a chance to over 30 promising start-ups. Most of them had a competitive edge with regional and global appeal. Below we present 5 most interesting ones.

GetBaqala – It comes from Bahrain. It aims to make grocery shopping fast, simple and convenient. It is an m-commerce platform, which enables people to purchase daily needs and groceries from their neighborhood magazines and then brings the products to their doorstep within 2 hours. The goal is to make local shopping experience easy and pleasant for buyers thanks to connecting them to their trusted merchants from their neighborhood via a mobile app. The startup plans to reach 300 orders daily by December 2017.

myU – It comes from Kuwait. It is an app for school communication. In each school it works as intranet social network of pupils, faculty members, clubs and organizations. The tool makes it easy to communicate in real-time with anyone in the school community. It can be used if a teacher wants to announce something to his pupils, or when a school organization wants to promote its events and activities, or when a pupil wants to ask about an exam date. The startup has more than 60,000 users and over 1,000 educators. In 2016 it reached revenues of $75,000.

Masmoo3 – It comes from Jordan. It is an online platform, which produces and publishes Arabic Audiobooks. It offers Arabic speakers a digital library of Arabic audiobooks. They are accessible using the internet download and smartphones apps. The aim is to provide Arabic speakers with luxury of listening to books while practicing everyday activities like driving, walking, playing sports, and relaxing.

Elmuda– It comes from Jordan. It is the Middle East’s premier online luxury fashion store. The online platform connects modern women with more than 150 brands around the world, where they can buy unique products from London to LA, Berlin to Bucharest, Paris to Milan.

Kotobna – It comes from Egypt. It is the first online self-publishing platform in Arab world. The startup enables young Arab authors to publish, promote and monetize their work via website and mobile app. In half a year there were published 200 e-books, which were downloaded 11,000 times.


German government will punish social networking sites for publication of false news

The German coalition government announced that from next year it will introduce legislation imposing on social networking sites fines for publishing false information in them. The fine’s value may reach even 500 000 euros.

Announcement of the new regulations appeared in the commentary of Thomas Oppermann, the head of the parliamentary club of the SPD German party, for the weekly Der Spiegel. According to plans, in 2017 Germany will apply the law, according to which Facebook and other social platforms will be responsible for removal in time of information appearing on these sites.

The dominant market social media platform, such as Facebook, will be obliged to open special offices in Germany, operating around the clock, 365 days a year, exclusively engaged in identifying false information provided by various sources in these sites. If the website does not respond within 24 hours by removing false content, it will be charged a financial penalty. According to the plans of the German government, the fine imposed on social media website for negligence in removing “fake news” might reach the amount of 500 thousand euros.

Answering Der Spiegel’s question, Facebook has ensured that it seriously treats the issue of publishing deceitful information. It assured that it will be in constant contact with German authorities in the fight against false news. It will consult with experts and the government to work out together an effective mechanism for removal of content that may mislead public opinion.