SA fintech Yoco is set to retrench staff, due to the effect the Covid-19 pandemic is having on the business.
Meanwhile, other tech companies appear to be faring a little better. Egyptian healthtech Vezeeta has launched its doctor booking platform in Kenya.
With the coronavirus (Covid-19) headlining news all over the world, Ventureburn has launched a regular daily roundup on the virus and how it is affecting Africa’s tech startup sector.
Those with any news releases relating to Covid-19 and Africa’s tech startup sector can send these to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SA fintech Yoco is set to retrench staff, due to the effect that Covid-19 is having on the business
Here then is the latest on the coronavirus and African tech startups:
Yoco to retrench staff: SA fintech Yoco is set to retrench staff, due to the effect the Covid-19 pandemic is having on the business. Yoco’s customers are mainly small traders and service businesses, many of whom would have been stopped transacting on their Yoco point-of-sale devices when the country’s lockdown began over a month ago. Yoco CEO Katlego Maphai (pictured above) announced the move in a blog post last week. Yesterday he told Ventureburn in an email that the fintech is still working through the numbers to adjust the personnel costs. “It includes a host of measures which will impact headcount and remuneration to adapt to the new conditions. We are investigating government support options; timeframes on these will always remain a challenge,” he said.
Few employers applying to scheme: The Department of Labour said yesterday that only 103 000 of the 1.8 million companies registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) have so far applied for Covid-19 relief benefits for their employees, TimesLive reported in an article yesterday. The government wants more employers to take advantage of the department’s Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (Covid-Ters) so that their employees can be assisted with funds.
Scheme running out of money: The R530-million allocated to the Department of Small Business Development’s debt relief scheme may soon run dry, Small Business Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni told MPs yesterday. Fin24 reported in an article that so far 665 businesses had benefited from the department’s debt relief scheme, which will help maintain about 10 000 jobs. Just four small businesses had benefited from the growth and resilience scheme.
Capitec founder donates R100m: Michiel le Roux, one of the founding directors of SA’s Capitec Bank, has donated R100-million to South African Future Trust (which was set up with the Oppenheimer family’s initial R1-billion donation and disburses funding via banks), the Solidarity Response Fund and the South African SME Relief Trust, Moneyweb reported in an article yesterday.
Air pollution solution: African data science competition platform Zindi has released the first of its machine learning solutions to help fight the Covid-19 pandemic. The solution, a model that can predict air pollution levels using satellite data, was developed from Zindi’s virtual hackathon series ZindiWeekendz which will run throughout April and May. Zindi details the solution in a blog post on Medium.
Healthtech expands to Kenya: Egyptian healthtech Vezeeta has launched its doctor booking platform in Kenya, tech publication Menabytes reported in an article yesterday. The publication said the Dubai-headquartered company looking to expand to Nigeria in coming weeks. In February the startup announced that it had raised $40-million in a Series-D round led by Gulf Capital.