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Nokia Android Q release date and eligible devices

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As of June 25, 2019, all Nokia phones that are eligible for an update to Android 9 Pie have received the OS. The last to join the Pie party is the Nokia 1, whose OS is rolling out now. With that, attention is now turning to Android Q, the latest and greatest from Google.

Similar to what happened during the beta testing phase of Android Pie, HMD Global has enrolled one device in the ongoing Android Q beta program, the Nokia 8.1. However, this doesn’t mean the OS won’t be made available for other Nokia phones.

In fact, given all we know about Android One devices, it’s easy to tell which Nokia phones will be upgraded to Android Q, but we can’t give you an official timeline. Also, since this isn’t official from HMD, don’t come for our necks if things go contrary to expectations.

Note that the list below doesn’t follow any order in particular and is subject to change.

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  • Nokia 9 PureView
  • Nokia 8.1
  • Nokia 8 Sirocco
  • Nokia 7.1
  • Nokia 7 Plus
  • Nokia 6.1
  • Nokia 6.1 Plus
  • Nokia 5.1
  • Nokia 5.1 Plus
  • Nokia 4.2
  • Nokia 3.2
  • Nokia 3.1
  • Nokia 3.1 Plus
  • Nokia 2.2
  • Nokia 1 Plus

It’s unclear if the Nokia 2.1 and Nokia 1 will get updates to Android Q, but with Google’s expected continued commitment to Android Go coupled with HMD’s promise of rolling out regular updates even to the most budget of its phones, the pair should join the Nokia 1 Plus in receiving the Q update.

As noted earlier, an official timeline is what we can’t give you right now, but we can guestimate that, at least based on last year’s happenings, Nokia devices will begin receiving the update to Android Q somewhere in September 2019 going forward.

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Gmail for Android and iOS is rolling out a dedicated Google Meet tab

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Google has today announced that it will be rolling out a dedicated MfMeet tab on Gmail for Android and iOS users to meet the growing demands for video conferencing services.

The Google Meet tab will be first rolled out on iOS and will be widely available over the next two weeks. And will be rolled out to Android soon. The “Meet” tab once made available, will show a “My Meetings” list of all upcoming scheduled calls. Upon tapping any meet.google.com URL from that view, in an email, or third-party app, you’ll be taken to a new preview screen that provides basic details like the length and who is in the call.

This screen will note what account you’re “Joining as” and check your video feed before joining. The Meet experience in Gmail will replace the standalone Google Meet app when opening a link, though the client will remain available and get some tweaks.

There will be a big blue “New meeting” button above that will let you get a meeting link to share, start an instant meeting, or schedule in Google Calendar. Additionally, there will also be an option to quickly Join with a code.

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Google also confirms that “G Suite for Education accounts that are not able to create Meet video meetings will not see the Meet tab.” Those users are asked to use the dedicated Meet for Android/iOS client.

Google recognizes that some people might not like a bottom bar taking up their screen, so there will be the ability to disable,” If you don’t want to have meet appear as a tab in the Gmail app, you can disable it through the accessing the settings on the hamburger menu in the top left corner of your inbox. Tap on your account, scroll down and uncheck meet”.

 


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Teraco adds Routed as a local cloud provider on African Cloud Exchange

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Data centre operator Teraco has today added cloud infrastructure provider Routed and VMware Cloud Verified partner, as a local cloud provider to join the African Cloud Exchange (ACX).

Teraco’s African Cloud Exchange provides secure, direct, flexible network connections to a wide range of local and global cloud service providers.

Andrew Cruise, Managing Director, Routed, says the company is also the only African provider of disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) within VMware’s vSphere 7 client software, and that bringing the VMware cloud platform to ACX is another key milestone.

“Multi-cloud strategies are growing in adoption as they mitigate service disruption and also reduce vendor lock-in. Routed, as a member of ACX, strengthens the ecosystem and will undoubtedly help in driving businesses to the cloud, which is one of the fastest-growing segments of IT spend,” he adds.

ACX will accommodate any cloud provider’s API: ultimately, we want to make it easy for the providers and clients to sell their products. By simply logging onto a portal, ACX enables provisioning of network circuits to any cloud provider, immediately reducing the administrative headaches of getting people connected,” he added.

Andrew Owens, Manager of Interconnection & Peering at Teraco, says the premise of ACX is to assist in the local drive towards the cloud, but in a secure and correct way: “While there was no time pressure for businesses to adopt a cloud methodology, it is rapidly evolving, and the cloud is becoming a vital tool for any business wanting to succeed. ACX is a technology-neutral and growing ecosystem, and we are excited to welcome a local cloud provider such as Routed and its VMware platform.”

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ACX was developed to fully integrate with all cloud providers, adopting a modular, template-driven approach and will accommodate any cloud provider’s API. Ultimately, we want to make it easy for providers and clients to sell their products. By simply logging onto a portal, ACX enables provisioning of network circuits to any cloud provider, immediately reducing the administrative headaches of getting people connected,” added Owens.

Routed offers a VMWare cloud platform for clients seeking access to multiple cloud environments adding to its four years of 100% uptime and notable market share within the ISP sector.

“The inclusion of Routed in the Africa Cloud Exchange is a great example of collaboration in the cloud market,” said Dave Funnell, senior cloud provider manager at VMware Sub-Saharan Africa.

“The benefit to customers is the availability of a fully verified VMware Private Cloud, delivered from a secure multi-tenanted platform with all the benefits expected from a cloud solution.

“Its location is also a major drawcard, with direct network connectivity to the public hyper-scale clouds in the leading data centre provider in Africa,” added Funnell.


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Africa’s Mergers and Acquisitions gain momentum during COVID19

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By Eric M.K Osiakwan

On the 10th of July 2020, Helios Holdings Limited announced a merger with Fairfax Africa Holdings Corporation to form Helios Fairfax Partners Corporation – a pan Africa focused alternative investment manager.

On the same day, Eversend, an African fintech startup also announced over a $1M raise through crowdfunding. Prior to that Helios announced a $100M investment from the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) into their fund IV.

On the 1st of July 2020, our portfolio company, www.hotelonline.co announced the acquisition of two travel tech companies. On 30th June 2020, www.msfafrica.com announced the acquisition of fellow fintech Beyonic based in Tanzania.

On 23rd June, 2020 www.acumen.org announced their exit from KopaGas of Tanzania as part of the $25M acquisition by Circle Gas.Then on 22nd January 2020, www.mypaga.com announced the acquisition of Apposit an Ethiopian software company as the entry strategy into the market. These recent deals have created undeniable momentum in mergers and acquisitions in Africa – with majority in tech — setting an unexpected tone for more positive developments in the second half of 2020 during this COVID crisis.

Whilst Covid19 has brought unimaginable devastation to the world and stocked racial revolt in America. Which is now spilling over to Europe, in Africa, our fast adaptation to the new normal spared us not only mass casualties and pain, but the lockdowns triggered an unintended consequence of speeding up the digital economy.

This resulted in investments in the second quarter like our portfolio company www.zulzi.com closing $2.5M and AMP Global Technologies closing a $2M prior to COVID19 setting the stage for our Africa original content format and series launching this quarter @ www.takebackthemic.com.

Then on 24th June 2020, www.ingressive.co closed their maiden $10M seed fund to invest in tech companies across Africa. On the same day, the Africa Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (AVCA) published their VC in Africa report for 2014 to 2019 showing a total of 613 deals totaling $3.9B with 2019 recording $1.4B of those transactions. Majority of those deals happened in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Egypt.

South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana are four of the KINGS countries (excluding Ivory Coast) that I had postulated back in 2013 would be leading the digital economy in Africa. Ivory Coast was replaced on the list by Egypt partly because of the civil war of 2011 that ousted incumbent president Gbagbo and set back the country’s development tremendously. 

A lot of these deals were surely in the pipeline before COVID-19 but the fact that they still materialized is a function of resilience and the positive unintended consequence of the lockdowns across the continent. This momentum we are seeing in tech M&A is the result of the Capital, Capacity and Community building that has gone into the sector over the years which was accelerated by the COVID-19 lockdowns making online the new normal across Africa.

Off course some deals did not materialize, and we have seen some funds shut down due to the harsh environment.

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We have also seen African innovators launch innovations that are tackling the virus head-on and some of them could be big winners in the not too distant future. Some of these entrepreneurs have had to adapt and pivot under unusual conditions to launch these new ventures and also keep their boats sailing. The ingenuity of African entrepreneurs and tech ventures were put to great test under COVID-19 and some like HotelOnline a travel tech venture, which was severely impacted, pivoted towards a new business model. By the end of March, revenues had gone down to 20% and Endre Opdal the CEO was under intense pressure. His first move was to trim down the operations and staff which the board approved. The second step was evaluating the existing business to find the right pivot.

As investors and board members we rolled our sleeves and engaged with him to review things systematically – it was in that process that he came up with a new business line. The new line was always there in our blind spot but when necessity kicked in, we were able to spot it. We did not need to do any heavy lifting except to implement it right away with some minor tweaks. The new business line fetched $20K revenue in April increasing to $30K in May to make the business profitable again. This spoke to the speed of execution of the management team from loss-making in March to profitability in May. A second business line is now being implemented and yet to show results but a parallel process to make acquisitions of companies that were struggling under the crisis also gained momentum in April. On July 1st Hotelonline announced the acquisition of www.africabookings.com and www.cloud9.co.ke – two travel tech companies that were going under.

Cloud9 has had an existing working relationship with HotelOnline through our senior management team and that working relationship has been in place. They grew very fast and in 2019 merged with Heartbeat Venture.

Cloud9 is one of the portfolio companies of the Mesozi Group whose other company is Marketforce which raised $350K from Viktoria Business Angel Network in May 2020.

Whiles their Marketforce venture is doing well under the crisis Cloud9 got severely hit so instead of shutting it down they agreed to an acquisition which now gives them shares in Hotelonline. Africabookings was started by Bruce Tappings and had Kanak Puri as one of their investors who was also an investor in HotelOnline. In May, Endre saw that they were shutting down due to the crisis so he reached out and by the end of June they consummated another share swap that allows HotelOnline to leverage their existing customer base across Africa.

Whiles a lot of the current transactions have been in the pipeline prior to Covid, the acceleration to digital models has increased investment activity to support organic growth as well as expansion through acquisition and consolidation opportunities. This should continue to grow in H2 as existing portfolios are stabilized in the new normal. Suggesting that the continent’s resilience to the virus has far reaching implication on the business front. As the continent begins to re-open in the second half of the year, we are most likely going to see more of such deals that would propel Africa’s 21st century agenda. 


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