👨🏿‍🚀TechCabal Daily – Drivers protest against Ghana’s new tax

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It is quite rare to hear African founders speak soberly about their failure. Delivery platform DropX recently closed its doors and its founder, Praise Alli-Johnson, wrote about What went wrong? in the company, and why.

Also, if you were laid off from a tech startup this year, please take this investigation.

VTC drivers protest against Ghana’s new tax

Ghana’s ride-hailing scene faces a bumpy road as drivers repel against a new tax on commercial vehicles.

The country’s tax authority is set to implement a vehicle income tax (VIT), scheduled to launch in January 2024, requiring drivers to pay quarterly taxes based on their income.

Tax details: According to the Ghana Revenue Authority, rideshare vehicles fall under “Class A” and will pay 12 Ghana cedis per quarter, for a total of 48 GHC per year. Additionally, ride-hailing companies like Uber, Bolt and Yango will have to verify drivers’ VIT compliance before allowing them on the platform.

The drivers cry foul: Drivers say the proposed VIT will put a strain on their already burdened incomes, saying the tax should be paid by rideshare companies rather than individual drivers.

This is not Ghana’s first attempt to tax ride-hailing companies. In April, a sample was taken introduced by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) of Ghana on every trip. However, the move was met with public backlash. In September 2019, drivers online stopped their services collectively, expressing their objection to what they see as “modern-day slavery” imposed by ride-hailing app operators. Drivers have accused ride-hailing companies of lowering trip fares despite continued increases in fuel prices, negatively impacting their income.

Zoom out: Ghana notably has a low tax/GDP ratio compared to other African countries. By a report According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Ghana’s tax-to-GDP ratio in 2021 (14.1%) – the highest on record – was below the average of 33 African countries in 2023 (15. 6%).

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iSchool raises $4.5 million

From left, Alan Foy of VentureWave, Mostafa Abdelmoneim of iSchool, Ibrahim Abdullah and Muhammad Gawish and Brian Martin of VentureWave.

I’m at school raised $4.5 million in a financing cycle. The funding round was led by VentureWave Capital, an Irish venture capitalist with contributions from OneStop Capital UK, Website Investment Network and Oraseya Capital, the venture capital arm of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority.

iSchool will use the funding to expand into six new countries in the MENA region and expand its online learning platform across sub-Saharan Africa.

I’m at school: Launched in 2018, the edtech platform teaches AI, VR, app development, game development, and web development to students aged 6 to 18 through gamified courses.

Muhammad Gawish, Ebrahim Youssef, Mustafa Abdelmon’em and Osama Ghareb, co-founders of iSchool, set out to create a solution for the 100 million students who lack access to technology education programs in the MENA region .

Zoom out: iSchool claims it’s over 26,000 live learners and has provided more than 1,000,000 hours of training to its students in 35 schools.

In addition to expanding into six more countries in the MENA region, iSchool has expanded its global access by expanding into Ireland. The Irish team will support its online coding training offering.

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Cowrywise denies layoffs as five employees leave company

Boatswain Tijani

Co-founders of Cowrywise, Edward Popoola and Razaq Ahmed

Cowrywise, a Nigerian fintech app known as a diversified investment platform, is shaking things up, with five departures across its marketing, engineering and customer success teams.

While the Y Combinator-backed company insists While these layoffs were not layoffs but were part of an “annual performance review,” insiders close to the company say the layoffs were due to “an internal restructuring and changing business needs.” business “.

Additionally, another source with knowledge of the matter says that Cowrywise will evolve in the coming years and become more of a financial company than a fintech company.

Generous outing packages: Affected employees received severance packages that included an unconventional decision to pay three months’ salary instead of the standard month, challenging the typical practice associated with performance-related layoffs.

Although the company insists these layoffs did not constitute layoffs, many tech companies have recently taken similar steps, highlighting the challenges startups face in the country’s current macroeconomic environment. Last week, Chipper Cash eliminate 15 jobs in its fourth round of layoffs, six months after the company chopped almost a dozen roles.

South African Competition Commission seeks feedback

Image source: Techpoint

The Competition Commission is solicit feedback on its survey — Alternative Statement of Questions (FSOI) — into the differences between South African media publishers and big tech companies (Apple, Facebook, Google) through the Media Markets and Digital Platforms Survey ( MDPI).

After reviewing the initial submissions, the commission added six additional topics for the FSOI to investigate.

ICYMI: Six months ago, the commission, responsible for regulating competition practices in South Africa, examined competition between popular online platforms like Google and Facebook. The commission is now back with its findings and what it believes needs to be changed.

What did he find? He acknowledges that the rise of digital platforms has had a significant impact on traditional news media and their revenue streams in recent years. But he also argued that there was reason to believe that the existence of market characteristics within digital platforms that distribute media content restricts and hinders competition.

Also the commission found that Google’s strong dominance and commercial approach make it difficult for smaller platforms to get noticed and gain users.

The commission recommended that Google implement new “site units” to display smaller, search-relevant websites.

Zoom out: The MPDMI has set a deadline of January 22, 2024 for comments on the newly added themes that will help it gather evidence, conclusions and recommendations.

Funding tracking

This week, the Egyptian e-health startup Chefaa raised Funding of $5.25 million. The funding round was co-led by South African firm Newtown Partners and Japanese firm Global Brain and brought together GMS Capital Partners LLC, Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures and M3.

Here are other offers of the week:

  • iSchool, an Egyptian educational technology start-up raised $4.5 million in a funding round led by VentureWave Capital. Other contributors include OneStop Capital UK, Webit Investment Network and Oraseya Capital.

Before you leave, take part in our pivotal investigation explore the impact of layoffs on African technology. This should only take three minutes at most of your time.

It’s all for this week !

follow us on Twitter, InstagramAnd LinkedIn for more funding announcements. You can also visit Deal flowour real-time funding tracking tool.

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