TechCabal Every day -??‍?Bento waves a white flag

24 MARCH, 2022


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Blissful pre-Friday ☀

Instagram is supplying you with extra management over your feed.

On the platform, you’ll now be capable of select between two modes that determine how your feed works: Favourites and Following. 

Favourites is an algorithm-based mode that exhibits you posts based mostly on who and what Instagram thinks you want, no matter once they have been posted. The Favourites mode has been on since 2016.

Following is the recently-released mode. In contrast to Favourites which prioritise person behaviour, the Following mode exhibits customers “newest posts from the accounts they comply with within the actual order they have been posted”.

It principally signifies that you’ll now be capable of select between seeing images of belongings you’ve favored on Instagram, and seeing precise posts from folks you comply with. 

Whereas in Favourites mode, customers can choose as much as 50 accounts that Instagram will prioritise on the feed. 

Does this nonetheless matter although? Fairly quite a few Instagram customers have reported abandoning their feed web page as a result of they rarely noticed images from the general public they adopted. With the launch of Reels, extra folks have deserted the feed web page for Reel’s infinite scroll attract.

Picture supply: TimiTheTechCabalian

In in the present day’s version

  • An replace from Bento Africa
  • Africa’s first development accelerator
  • Kenya inches nearer to its first unicorn
  • Alternatives



On Monday, TechCabal printed a report that exposed the harrowing experiences of ex-employees of payroll startup Bento Africa by the hands of CEO Ebun Okubanjo. 

Yesterday, Bento’s Board of Administrators (BoD), in response to the article, despatched a response to workers of the startup, previous and current. 

What’s going to Bento do?

After an intro criticising Okubanjo’s preliminary response to TechCabal’s request for touch upon the allegations, the BoD (no relation to the perfume) confirmed that an inner investigation into Bento’s office tradition has begun. It additionally introduced that it might be reviewing the corporate’s HR practices. 

The Board, whereas urging workers to talk freely, additionally talked about that every one non-disclosure agreements signed by present workers can be voided.

In addressing the CEO, Bento’s Board introduced that Okubanjo can be taking “a while off” and would additionally palms off all people-related choices on the startup whereas co-founder and COO, Chidozie Okonkwo—together with different leads at Bento—would develop into extra hands-on with expertise. 

A white flag

CEO Okubanjo additionally printed a private apology by way of his Medium web page. Within the publish titled From ebun. With Love, Okubanjo admits to encouraging a piece tradition of “lengthy workdays and weeks” and apologises for his abusive outbursts.

“I’m sorry,” Okubanjo writes. “I’ve some work to do right here and there’s a lot of room for development. It is going to [sic] be a lie if I say this can be a change I could make in a single day, I’d [sic] must discover ways to steadiness ardour with empathy.” 

In a bid to restore damaged bridges, the CEO can also be encouraging workers who’ve “felt that fireside that burn [sic] so sizzling once we are within the thick of it” to achieve out to him.


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Within the evolution of Africa’s tech ecosystem, quite a few necessary gaps have been stuffed. First, there was the funding hole barring the animation of progressive services and products. Now that funding is taking off within the ecosystem, there’s the expertise hole which is barring improvement. 

Once we hear of expertise shortage within the ecosystem, we largely hear about software program engineers and builders. However the seek for in a position expertise touches all departments from software program engineering to product administration, and development roles. 

Whereas most digital faculties and programmes like Andela, Decagon, and AltSchool are specializing in fixing the engineering and product expertise gaps, development is essentially unattended to. 

The expansion hole is why alGROWithm, a Nigeria-based development company is beginning the Development Expertise Accelerator Programme (GTAP), a two-way coaching programme in partnership with Digital Africa’s Expertise 4 Startups Initiative. 

Backstory: You’ve heard of Enterprise-as-a-Service (Baas), Software program-as-a-Service (Saas), even Fintech-as-a-Service (FaaS), however have you ever heard of Development-as-a-service (GaaS)?

It’s what alGROWithm presents.

Based by Bili Sule in 2018, the company makes use of development engineering to design and implement sustainable development fashions and methods for African startups and SMEs. alGROWithm’s providers span throughout advertising to development modelling, digital promoting and even branding. 

The company has served over 50 startups within the ecosystem together with Spleet, Chaka, OkHi, and Binance the place it led a market entry marketing campaign into Nigeria. 

alGROWithm additionally presents brief 6-hour development programs known as Development Engineering Coaching (GET) which have been accomplished by over 300 folks. In response to Sule, who can also be the company’s Chief Development Officer (CGO), “Whereas GET challenges the mindset, we wished to design one thing that helps trainees consider development in a constant and sustainable approach for companies. And that’s how we got here up with GTAP.”

Tapping into GTAP

Final yr, Digital Africa—in partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, and the German Ministry for Financial Cooperation and Improvement (BMZ)—launched the Expertise 4 Startups Initiative to supply 250 scholarships aimed toward supporting digital expertise development throughout 12 African international locations. 

Forty of those scholarships will go in direction of alGROWithm’s Development Expertise Accelerator Programme which shall be held in Nigeria and Ghana over the course of the yr. 

The programme shall be divided into 2 cohorts. Whereas the primary, by way of a 6-month course, will deal with upskilling workers of tech startups with development expertise into development engineers, the second cohort will see freelancers and unemployed youth turning into development consultants over a 4-month interval. 

“From the outcomes of our analysis to this point, it’s clear that the ecosystem wants a gentle provide of development expertise to make it simpler for founders to search out and rent the folks they want,” CGO Bili Sule stated to TechCabal. “It’s also clear that there’s a necessity for coaching and upskilling current expertise to ranges of experience the place they’ll ship in keeping with employers’ expectations. This is the reason the Expertise 4 Startups alternative with Digital Africa, was significantly thrilling for us. It offered a chance for alGROWithm to start out closing these gaps.”



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There are 8 unicorns—firms valued at over $1 billion—in Africa. 5 are firms with origins in Nigeria, whereas Senegal, Egypt and Uganda maintain 1 every. Though Kenya stands amongst the Massive 4, it’s nonetheless but to provide a unicorn however that could be altering quickly. 

The nation is closing in on its first unicorn after retail tech startup, Wasoko, previously Sokowatch, raised $125 million from worldwide traders, pushing up the corporate’s valuation to $625 million.

Wasoko’s present valuation coupled with its excessive development prospects and backing by excessive profile traders places it in a pole place to affix Africa’s rising billion-dollar tech startup league that’s at the moment dominated by West African companies.

Final month, one other Kenyan-based retail tech start-up, MarketForce, additionally closed a $40 million Sequence A spherical to affirm rising attractiveness within the section.

The Kenyan ecosystem has begun to crack up its fundraising, with the newest figures exhibiting very excessive prospects of the East-African nation overtaking its gradual development final yr.

Kenya is at the moment ranked second when it comes to worth and quantity of fundraising after 20 start-ups raised 223.5 million {dollars} (19.9% of the whole) as of March 1, 2022, rising from the fourth place in 2021.

Africa: The Massive Deal ranked Kenya fourth for offers value $100,000 or extra after securing $375 million in 2021.

What do you assume? When will Kenya be getting its personal unicorn?



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  • The Ethiopian Ladies in Power (EWiEn) has launched a start-up incubator programme designed to assist girls creating renewable power options and concepts. Chosen candidates will get coaching on branding, staff constructing, market analysis and plenty of others. Test it out.
  • The Acumen Accelerator 2022 for Ventures Serving Displaced Folks is now open to purposes from East African companies and startups that create sustainable dwelling options for displaced folks in East Africa. Chosen startups will share as much as $75,000 in grants. Discover out extra
  • The Ladies in Africa (WIA) Younger Leaders Programme is now open to purposes. Eight African girls who’re concerned in constructing a dynamic, progressive, and inclusive Africa will get advantages like media visibility, networking and coaching. See when you match
  • The King Hamad Award for Youth Empowerment to Obtain the SDGs 2022 is now open to purposes. Younger leaders and youth-led entities from UN-member states who’re contributing to the welfare of their communities are invited to use for the prospect to stand up to $45,000. Test it out

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Written by – Timi Odueso & Damilare Dosunmu

Edited by – Kelechi Njoku


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