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Netflix will now be cheaper in South Africa and here’s why



Netflix South Africa is switching to pricing in rand with the result that South African consumers using the global subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service are now paying less.

Netflix decided to switch to billing South African subscribers in rand instead of dollar from Tuesday 28 August and in a media enquiry confirmed to Channel24 that the dollar to rand switch happened and is part of its “ongoing efforts to localise its offering for the South African market”.

The dollar to rand billing switch and resultant decrease brings Netflix’s Basic subscription fee of R99 per month to exactly the same as Naspers’ Showmax SVOD service run by MultiChoice that is also priced at R99.

Read Also: 4G services will be available in 78% African countries by year end 2018

Netflix South Africa is aggressively ramping up its efforts to increase its presence, market penetration and general consumer brand awareness at the southern most tip of Africa, the most sophisticated TV market on the African continent and Netflix’s “test case” for the continent.

It is targeting rivals like MultiChoice, Showmax, Cell C black, Amazon Prime Video and the flurry of smaller SVOD players trying to make inroads in the growing over-the-top (OTT) digital direct-to-consumer video market.

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Oracle opens first African research lab in Morocco



American database management systems company, Oracle Corporation, has opened its first African Research and Development (R&D) laboratory, the Oracle Labs, in Morocco.

While launching the lab on Wednesday in Casablanca, Oracle’s CEO, Safra Catz, said the company’s new lab will accommodate up to 100 researchers who will explore the use of Oracle’s cloud, artificial intelligence, and machine learning technologies to address the most important issues confronting the tech industry, science, and the public sector.

“Establishing this new Oracle R&D center in Casablanca will enable us to access an outstanding pool of talent from across the region, benefit directly from its new economic ties to Israel, and provide our customers around the world with new cutting edge technologies,” said Catz

“Taking advantage of this new facility, the team will collaborate with Morocco’s technology sector to support the identification, exploration, and transfer of new technologies that can advance Oracle’s customer’s businesses worldwide.

“The expansion of intern and graduate recruiting programs, cooperative research with local universities, and collaboration with the local startup environment will all be part of this global program,” the CEO added.

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Egypt’s startup Instabug raises $46m Series B funding to expand product capabilities



Egyptian mobile monitoring and crash DVD bug reporting startup Instabug, has raised $46 million in Series B funding to help its product expansion and build the first mobile observability and performance monitoring platform in Africa.

Instabug, founded in 2016, is a reporting solution for mobile teams and helps developers better understand the performance of their mobile applications and its impact on user experience.

According to the company’s CEO and co-founder, Omar Gabr, the company’s robust platform scales with any sized business, allowing independent developers and enterprises alike to seamlessly monitor, alert, prioritise and debug during critical phases of the application life cycle.

The $46 million Series B capital raise follows a record growth in 2021, in which Instabug reached more than 2.7 billion mobile devices, processed 110 billion mobile sessions and 4.2 billion issues, and saw substantial increase in year-on-year bookings, adding world leading enterprise leaders like DoorDash, Verizon, IHG, ABInveb, Porsche, Qualtrics and Gojek to its customer base.

“Mobile applications and our interactions with them have been evolving for almost 15 years, but only in the past few have these interactions become the primary way we interface with brands and services all around us,” said Gabr.

“Leaders in industries spanning banking, transportation, retail, and education have realised mobile applications are the primary way customers will experience their brands and products.

“This new capital will help us develop more strategic partnerships with these enterprises as they increase investment in a mobile-first approach to customer engagement,” he added.

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Nigerian auto tech company, Autochek, acquires Morocco’s online car market Kifal



In a bid to strengthen its market footprint in North Africa, Nigerian auto tech company, Autochek, a leading online market for second-hand vehicles, has announced the acquisition of Moroccan startup Kifal, an online market for used vehicles,

The acquisition, the first of it’s kind in the auto sector, has set a precedent as Autochek is the first startup from West Africa to enter the North African market.

CEO and co-founder of Autochek, Etop Ikpe, who spoke of the company’s delight in wrapping up the deal, said:

“From my first interaction with Nizar and his team at Kifal Auto, I was so impressed by their passion for delivering effective solutions and their commitment to innovation.

“They have built an excellent platform and we are thrilled to have them onboard at Autochek to support the work we are doing to improve the automotive finance value proposition in Africa.”

In response, Nizar Abdallaoui Maane, the CEO and founder of Kifal explained that Autochek’s success story in the few years it has been in business was what propelled the partnership.

“There is so much we can learn from each other and I am looking forward to bringing my experience and expertise to deliver more game-changing innovation in Morocco and beyond.

“Morocco is a gateway into North Africa and I am confident that with this new alliance, Kifal and Autocheck will unlock new value and drive further transformation across the board.”

Founded in 2019, Kifal is one of Morocco’s most viable auto tech companies which offers car-related services including access to financing and insurance among other services.

Kifal also offers its services to individuals and organizations in Morocco looking to buy and sell used cars.

Morocco’s automotive sector is projected to grow to $14 billion in the next five years’ time, which means the new acquisition will provide Autochek with access to one of Africa’s most developed automotive markets.

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