This Week In Tech

This Week In Tech

This week’s tech personality is Dolapo Omidire. He is the CEO and founder of Estate Intel.

Estate Intel stands out as the sole data platform dedicated to assisting businesses involved in African real estate in making informed decisions. The platform provides users comprehensive information on property vacancies, rental history, and building sale prices across the continent. This data empowers users, including real estate agents and investors, to make the best possible property choices.

Omidire, who leads the team, brings over two years of experience as the Lead Research Analyst at Broll in Nigeria, conducting market and feasibility studies for international and local institutional real estate investors. Additionally, he gained over a year of experience as an Alternative Investment Analyst at AXA Mansard Investments.

Estate Intel proudly identifies itself as Africa’s equivalent of Bloomberg terminal for real estate, highlighting its commitment to providing top-notch data services in the industry. The startup has also introduced a product extension called Vesper, currently in beta form. Vesper is an automated real estate advisor that uses data to assist individuals in making informed investment decisions in African properties. It leverages Estate Intel’s APIs to help users understand African property prices more effectively.

In 2021, Estate Intel raised a pre-seed round worth $500,000, enabling its expansion across Africa. This funding has been vital in supporting the company’s mission to provide exceptional real estate insights and services throughout Africa.

WhatsApp Business Surpasses 200m Active Users, Unveils New Features

WhatsApp Business has achieved an impressive milestone, surpassing two hundred million monthly active users worldwide. This remarkable achievement highlights the increasing importance of WhatsApp as a vital communication platform for businesses of all sizes.

To enhance its functionality, WhatsApp Business has introduced several exciting new features. One notable addition is click-to-WhatsApp ads, which can now be placed on Facebook and Instagram. Sellers can conveniently create and publish ads directly from the WhatsApp Business interface on Meta’s other social apps.

Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, has implemented strategic measures to boost revenue from paid messaging. During the Q1 2023 earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg announced that click-to-message ads generated a staggering $10 billion revenue run rate. Furthermore, the number of businesses utilising paid messaging on WhatsApp experienced a 40 per cent quarter-over-quarter growth.

This latest feature is a valuable addition to WhatsApp channels, allowing small businesses to seamlessly integrate the social messaging app into their sales and marketing endeavours. Upcoming features will include automated personalised messages and customer segmentation. For instance, businesses will be able to send new customers discount codes accompanied by “buy now” links.

Also, Meta has recently unveiled its first AI tools for WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. These tools, such as ChatGPT-esque bot conversations, incorporate Meta’s proprietary AI capabilities into its products, further enhancing user experiences across the platforms.

Three Women Triumph in Zoho Creator-powered Ladies Can Tech Competition

Zoho Corporation, a renowned technology powerhouse with a global presence, recently unveiled the champions of an extraordinary app-building showdown during the Ladies Can Tech event. Collaboratively organised by the dynamic Harvoxx Tech Hub and Web Work Tools Limited, the competition aimed to propel women into the forefront of the ever-evolving tech industry.

Challenged with crafting innovative applications, the participants harnessed the power of Zoho Creator—a cutting-edge, low-code platform—together with Zoho Flow, an integration powerhouse, and Zoho Analytics, a brilliant business intelligence solution.

The Country Manager, Zoho Nigeria, Kehinde Ogundare, expressed their delight at backing the Ladies Can Tech event and empowering women within the tech realm. 

Ogundare stated, “Zoho remains devoted to nurturing an inclusive and diverse tech community by championing aspiring women in technology and fostering the growth of tech-savvy enterprises. This spirited competition stands as a testament to the boundless potential of Zoho’s developer apps in crafting ingenious solutions for a myriad of business scenarios.”

Powered by its intuitive interface and cloud-based infrastructure, Zoho Creator empowered participants to easily forge tailored web and mobile applications, regardless of their coding expertise. Simplifying the development process, the platform offered an array of drag-and-drop functionalities and pre-designed templates, ensuring a seamless experience for all contenders.

A three-day orientation programme was conducted to equip participants with the skills necessary for success. Comprehensive training sessions were provided, delving into the intricacies of Zoho Creator, Zoho Flow, and Zoho Analytics. At the programme’s conclusion, 10 exceptional participants were chosen to materialise their app-building prowess. The Ladies Can Tech event, which took place recently, witnessed these selected teams labouring fervently for four hours, showcasing their remarkable creations in the final bout of the competition.

Twitter Implements New Login Requirement, Restricting Access to Platform

In a surprising development, Twitter introduced a temporary login restriction leaving users speculating whether it was an intentional update or a technical mishap.

The new measure prevents visitors from accessing the platform unless logged into their accounts. Attempting to a Twitter page other than the homepage without signing in will automatically redirect users to a login or account setup page. Consequently, visitors are unable to view any user-generated content without logging in.

The rollout of this unexpected change commenced on Friday, catching users off guard. Users themselves stumbled upon the alteration when attempting to view tweets or profiles without being logged into their accounts.

Twitter owner Elon Musk tweeted in response to a query, stating that the change is a “temporary emergency measure.” Musk attributed the restriction to “data pillaging,” which allegedly contributed to degrading service for all users.

The statement by Elon Musk sheds some light on the motive behind Twitter’s sudden implementation of the login requirement. While the specific details and extent of the data pillaging issue remain unclear, Twitter has taken this action to address the situation and safeguard the platform’s functionality and user experience.

Canada Launches Tech Talent Strategy to Attract Global Innovators

Canada has introduced its groundbreaking ‘Tech Talent Strategy’ (TTS), aiming to enhance existing programs while offering new opportunities to attract foreign nationals who can drive technological advancements in the country’s emerging industries.

With the TTS, the Canadian government focuses on attracting immigrants who fulfill current in-demand job roles and position Canada as a global leader in various emerging technologies.

 Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, Sean Fraser, recently announced that the country plans to develop a specific stream to welcome highly talented individuals worldwide to work for tech companies, even if they don’t have a job offer.

Additionally, Canada is set to launch a ‘Digital Nomads’ strategy, allowing individuals with foreign employers to work in the country for up to six months. The talented individuals will reside in Canadian communities, contributing to the local economy. If they secure job offers during their stay, they will be permitted to continue living and working in Canada.

Black Founders Fund Pledges $4m to Empower African Startups

Google for Startups has unveiled its selection of 25 African-based startups to receive funding from the $4 million Black Founders Fund. This initiative addresses systemic racial inequality in venture capital funding by offering equity-free grants and mentorship to early-stage Black-led high-growth businesses in Europe and Africa.

The $4 million injection from the Black Founders Fund will provide these startups with the necessary financial resources to scale their operations, expand into new markets, and create economic growth and job creation opportunities.

Out of a pool of forty startups from Europe and Africa, 25 African startups have been chosen, showcasing the diverse entrepreneurial spirit across the continent. Notably, 72 per cent of the selected startups are led or co-founded by women, highlighting women’s influential role in shaping Africa’s startup ecosystem.

The investment from the Black Founders Fund will provide these businesses with vital capital to accelerate their ventures, expand into new markets, and create economic opportunities and jobs, Head of Startups Ecosystem, Africa at Google, Folarin Aiyegbusi, expressed excitement about collaborating with these innovative founders who leverage technology to address Africa’s most pressing challenges.

Experts in the industry believe that the selected startups span various industries and will contribute to the growth and advancement of Africa’s startup ecosystem.

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