MTN South Africa has announced that it is embarking on an “aggressive” rollout of batteries and alternative power sources, as well as sourcing generators…
Meanwhile, SA’s finance minister Tito Mboweni said that SA businesses, regardless of race, should receive state support with a “bias towards emerging black business people”, to help firms cope during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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.
Vollar has developed Concorona, a chatbot that incentivises users to track their symptoms through a daily check-up.
Those with any news releases relating to Covid-19 and Africa’s tech startup sector can send these to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here then is the latest on the coronavirus and African tech startups:
Coronavirus chatbot: Stellenbosch startup Vollar has developed Concorona, a chatbot that incentivises users to track their symptoms through a daily check-up. By completing the check-up, users earn points that they can redeem in partner stores. Vollar founder Kyle Ueckermann (pictured above) added that Concorona is expected to be deployed on Moya messenger, a data-free messaging platform later this week. Ueckermann said Vollar has meanwhile started a relief fund through its non-profit foundation, that uses Vollars’ incentivisation model to provide work and funds to disadvantaged communities.
‘Support all races, but with bias’: SA’s finance minister Tito Mboweni said that SA businesses, regardless of race, should receive state support with a “bias towards emerging black business people”, to help firms cope during the Covid-19 pandemic, Fin24 said in an article yesterday. “I think we need to support all enterprises, black and white, as long as they are able to remain viable, support our people and create jobs. Let’s continue to build this non-racial South Africa,” Fin24 quoted him as saying. It said Mboweni added that there would “always be a bias (in state aid) towards emerging black business people because they were discriminated against for a long time.”
Laying off staff: Nigerian video-on-demand company Iroko has temporarily laid off 28% of its team members in the country as it aims to cut losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Disrupt Africa reported in an article yesterday. Furloughed employees will still be eligible to use Iroko’s health insurance. Iroko CEO Jason Njoku said the company, which he founded in 2011, will likely to lose between $200,000 and $250,000 per month for the remainder of the year.
Featured image: Vollar founder Kyle Ueckermann (Supplied)