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The Rise And Fall Of Emerging Tech Companies In Ghana

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The Rise And Fall Of Emerging Tech Companies In Ghana

The Rise And Fall Of Emerging Tech Companies In Ghana: Ghana, over the years, has seen the rise and fall of many emerging tech companies either by local
startups or companies entering the market from other countries.

These companies usually fall in e-commerce, Fashion, mobile apps, and services or fintech. A lot of these businesses come with many promises and new “creative” ways only to fold up months or a
a few years later.

This is usually as a result of the following;

  • Lack of extensive Market research,
  • No Market for the product
  • Poor Marketing
  • Running out of money or investors

Unfortunately, most of these startups get caught in one or more of the above mentioned and end up
collapsing.

Some Notable brands include;

OLX – a classified forum which saw a decline of interest by people with the uprise of social media
advertisement. People preferred to advertise on social media as it was less expensive and they have control over it. It was eventually bought by JiJi.

Easy Taxi was one of the first ride-hailing apps that folded up months after entering the market, It was new to the Ghanaian Market as most Ghanaians weren’t accustomed to this service and to top it up was very expensive than that the traditional taxis that were already known.

They also collapsed in Nigeria around the same period of their fold up in Ghana OMGvoice became rather popular in their early days with creative content and young staff but folded up due to unrealistic targets.

Techmoran.com reported how the “BuzzFeed of Africa” had one of its founders resigning with lots of unpaid salaries due to the struggling nature of the company eventually
leading to its collapse.

Most of the brands cited above did not only operate and fail in Ghana but in other African Countries
like Nigeria and Kenya.

Online payment companies have not been left out either. Some of these companies that used to be
very vibrant during their launch stage have been very quiet over the years.

Examples of such are Slydepay and Zeepay who have been silent for some time now. With that said, it cannot be ignored that some of these online platforms have remained and continued to flourish, an example is ExpressPay.

REASON STARTUP FAIL IN GHANA

Emerging Tech Companies In Ghana

This, however, hasn’t stopped the influx of fintech from springing up. The latest being OPay.

OPay is an online payment platform developed by opera software is a platform just like any online
payment that enable users to shop and pay for services and products through their mobile app or web browser.

It does sound like an easy way to pay for services but unfortunately, this Chinese company might be
heading towards doom just like the previous failed companies and here is why.

OPay has failed to gather the required expertise and knowledge to run the business in this part of
Africa despite having reasonable funding.

Already operating in Nigeria, the Chinese owned company has been unable to turn profit yet due to
certain policies influenced by the Lagos State Government.

There has also been recent report by a research website, hidenberg.com that states that Opera has
been found guilty of several misconducts in its operations across board, such as misappropriation of
the company’s operational cost, poor management and some corruption crisis which has been traced to the company’s current CEO Yahui Zhou.

Here in Ghana, the company has introduced a new service to their platform which is Hire purchase.
Companies offering Hire Purchase of phones and electronic appliances in this country are already
faced with various risk elements in running and maintaining their business which brings the question, what new method or invention would OPay bring up to sustain their service? And how viable is this going to be?

Aside this, OPay plans on running as an epayment platform, a space which is already choked and hugely dominated by epayment giant, Expresspay.

According to Askifa.ng an insider whose name will be withheld for privacy reasons, shared an insight on how the internal management looks like, and just like the rumors that have been making rounds on the internet, it wasn’t a fantastic one.

According to her, the company has employed a lot of resourceful while offering juicy benefits; however, fast-forward to date, the company has been slashing employees’ benefits including salaries. So we ask will this be the case whiles in Ghana??

Additionally, OPay was recently accused of falsifying numbers, which according to a reliable source,
was from fake orders, and was intended to ‘promote’ or possibly increase its app usage.

Whether this worked well for them or not, it isn’t the best approach for a startup that ordinarily should be after leaving behind a good first-time impression. What also happens to gaining people’s trust? I didn’t mention investors because, to them, it’s all about Return on Investment (ROI).

It is also worthy of note; OPay’s latest venture into mobile phone business. The Chinese company
named its mobile phone brand – OLLA, and you are most likely not aware of what that means, I guess?

This is only possible because the new devices have recorded low sales (near-zero in some cases) in over 80% of the shops they are been sold in Nigeria.

That’s also aside from the fact that the devices are of low quality, forcing a lot of phone dealers and Telco’s to quit doing business with them.

The company already has a number of Ghanaian staff since its short operation in the country but what happens to them should this go south? Laying off staff leading to Unemployment?

As a Nation, we acknowledge and appreciate the evolution of fintech and the emergence of tech
companies, but then raises the question, is it doing more good or rather harm to the unemployment
situation in the country?

Is a company like this likely to survive the laws of Ghana? has the regulator
checked it’s modus operandi? Has the Bank of Ghana epayment regulator made background checks about OPay Nigeria?

Will it be able to keep up with the Telco led mobile money evolution in Ghana as the Telcos in Ghana play a key role in the epayment and mobile money evolution in Ghana.

The questions never seem to end.

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General News

Speaker Alban Bagbin travels again to Dubai for medical checks

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Alban Bagbin

Speaker Alban Bagbin travels again to Dubai for medical checks

The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin is scheduled to travel to the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) again for his due medical review.

In a letter to President Akufo-Addo, the Speaker explained that his trip for another medical review was due on January 7, 2022.

“I am writing to inform you of my absence from Ghana from Friday, 7 January 2022 till Sunday 23, 2022 in order to honour an appointment for a medical review in the United Arab Emirates.”

“It is also important to bring to your attention that the House will resume its sittings for the First Meeting of the Second Session of the 8th Parliament on Tuesday 25 January 2022,” the letter from the Speaker’s Office noted.

Speaker Bagbin also informed the President that “prior to the resumption of the House, Parliament intends to undertake a Covid-19 (booster) vaccination exercise for Members of Parliament and Officers of the Parliamentary Service.”

Copy of the Speaker’s letter to Prez. Akufo-Addo;

alban bagbin's letter to Akufo-addo

Alban Bagbin was in UAE in November 2021, for similar medical check-ups.

Meanwhile, Parliament will be resuming the controversial debate on the 1.75% Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) which has divided the House and caused massive uproar amongst Ghanaians.

The E-Levy approval is expected to rake in a little above ¢6 billion in tax revenue for the country.

This month [January 2022] we will go back to the floor of Parliament with the E-Levy and ensure that it gets passed by the end of the month,” Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu-Boahen said during the investiture of the newly elected president of the Association of Ghana Industries, Humphrey Anim-Dake.

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General News

Data from SIM card re-registration is bogus; we advised them to stop – NIA Boss

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Data from SIM card re-registration is bogus

Data from SIM card re-registration is bogus; we advised them to stop – NIA Boss

Photos of letters signed by the Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA) in response to the National Communications Authority (NCA) regarding the commencement of the SIM Card re-registration reveal NIA’s initial rejection of the move since September 2021.

The Executive Secretary of NIA, Prof. Kenneth Attafuah has described the so-called biometric data being collected by the various telecommunication companies in the ongoing SIM card re-registration as useless.

In the letter, Professor Kenneth Attafuah, and his outfit cannot confirm that the data being collected by the telcos “will meet the standard to enable successful verification against the National Identification System (NIS) database.”

The letter was in response to a request for information to ascertain the synergy between the NIA data collection and the exercise being conducted by the telcos as being championed by the Communications Ministry through NCA.

“NIA is unable to confirm that the biometric data to be collected by the NCA for the purpose described above will meet the standard to enable successful verification against the National Identification System (NIS) database,” portion of the letter stated.

“The use of an App that is not developed or certified by NIA to rend the Ghana Card using a two-step data collection and verification process is outside NIA’s control. NIA is, therefore, unable to guarantee the results of such a process.”

Data from SIM card re-registration is bogusData from SIM card re-registration is bogusData from SIM card re-registration is bogus

Scanned copies of the letters dated September 2021 were first shared by one Selorm Branttie, Vice President at Imani Center for Policy & Education who doubles as Global Strategy Director at mPedigree Network, on his Facebook timeline.

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African News

Nigeria commits to pay off US$28.7 million capital arrears in Shelter Afrique

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Nigeria Finance Minister Dr Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed and Shelter Afrique MD Andrew Chimphondah

Abuja – January 11, 2022: The Federal Republic of Nigeria has pledged to pay the full capital arrear of US$28.7m in Shelter Afrique, Nigeria’s Finance Minister Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed disclosed at a meeting with Shelter Afrique Group Managing Director and CEO Mr. Andrew Chimphondah in Abuja.

The Minister further disclosed that the payment will be made in four installments starting January 2022.

In September 2020, the pan African housing development financier received US$$9.4 million from Nigeria. The contribution moved Nigeria to become the second-largest shareholding in the organization with 13.27% of the shareholding, behind Kenya with 17.78%, and ahead of the AfDB at 12.83%.

Lauding the government of Nigeria for its show of confidence in the institution and a stamp of approval for the organisation’s financial turnaround, Mr. Andrew Chimphondah said, “This is a major milestone which is set to propel Nigeria to become the largest shareholder in Shelter-Afrique when the country meets its capital commitment. This is a strong testament of the strong shareholder commitment and support of the Shelter Afrique Board and Management.”

Housing Bond

Shelter Afrique is planning to raise 250 Billion Naira Bond (US$500million) in 2022 to support its affordable housing projects in Nigeria. The Company is set to commence the road shows with prospective investors in January 2022 and is expected to conclude fundraising by end of February.

Shelter Afrique has embarked on a defined strategy of developing and deepening local capital markets so that access to local currency which is competitively priced can be made available to Nigerian Developers from the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Large Developers and Tier 1 and Tier 2 Banks and Primary Mortgage Lenders. The significance of this is that Shelter-Afrique will have been successful in dealing with the foreign exchange exposure risks that have crippled many African countries caused by the weakening of local African currencies against hard currencies such as the United States Dollar and the British Pound Sterling,” Mr. Chimphondah said.

Thanking the Finance Minister Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed for supporting the Bond Issue by the approvals received on critical waivers from the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Chimphondah noted that Nigeria was a critical and strategic market for Shelter Afrique, adding that the fund realized from the bond issue will go a long way in address the affordable housing shortage in the country, now estimated at 17 Million Units against the continent’s 56 million units.

“As a response to addressing this housing shortage, Shelter Afrique will implement a transformative strategy that will crowd in additional capital funding into the low cost large scale affordable housing market in a commercially viable manner,” Mr. Chimphondah concluded.

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