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APTS Cyber-Attacks Target African Governments, Others

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Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity firm, has said that it is keeping a close eye on advanced persistent threats (APTs) and nine active threat actors targeting African organisations.

APTS Cyber-Attacks Target African Governments, Others

Kaspersky researchers’ intelligence has identified government, energy, and telecommunications as the primary targets in African countries.

APT groups are long-term, targeted cyber-attacks in which intruders obtain network access and go undiscovered for a lengthy period of time. APT attacks are typically initiated to steal extremely sensitive data.

These APT organisations are frequently driven by espionage, financial gain, or, in some cases, hacktivism.

According to Kaspersky intelligence, MuddyWater, FruityArmor, and Sidewinder are among the region’s most prominent groups.

Kaspersky, which says it protects over a billion devices worldwide from cyberattacks, collaborates with law enforcement and offers intelligence to help them track down these sophisticated hackers.

These threat actors, according to the company, use a variety of methods to infiltrate their targets in the region.

Social engineering is a typical method employed on social media or via email, such as placing a bogus job advertisement for software developers.

According to Amin Hasbini, head of Kaspersky’s global research and analysis team for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, said it is critical to keep up with these sophisticated syndicates and stop corporate espionage.

“The current geopolitical climate is a hotbed for APT activity, therefore, investigating these attacks and gaining intelligence on their movement is vital for security teams and corporations in Africa. Our research allows businesses and government entities to determine the significance of the threat posed, understand the attackers’ next move and accordingly be able to take the appropriate security steps to protect themselves,” he said.

 

 

 


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E-Business

Davido Launches Chatter, Own Social Media App

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David Adeleke, Nigerian musician well known as Davido, has launched Chatter, a new social media application.

Davido Launches Chatter, Own Social Media App

Chatter is a social audiovisual utility platform designed to help amplify the voice of content creators and connect them with a vibrant community.

However, the app’s usage goes beyond content creators; business-minded individuals, as well as people looking to connect, have a place on it.

The musician used his social media accounts to announce the app’s release.

He gave a brief history of the development of the software and its features with his friend.

The well-known musician from Nigeria stated that he and Sir Banko, his close friend  are the owners of the app.

The music icon posted information about Chatter, a social audiovisual utility platform that connects content creators to a lively community and helps them magnify their voices.

In the past eight months, Davido has undertaken three internet projects.

Recall that the musician introduced his cryptocurrency.

However, the $DAVIDO coin fell a few days after it launched, prompting some cryptocurrency fans to call it a scam and a rug-pull.

 

 


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Holiday Shopping Season to Look Different for Retailers this Year as Shoppers Take on more Debt

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By Zuko Mdwaba, Salesforce Area Vice President & Africa Leader

New Salesforce research shows that 37% of indebted consumers are using their credit cards more today than they were a year ago, while 32% report using alternative credit services like “buy now, pay later” more frequently. What’s more, 43% of consumers are carrying more debt compared to 2023. And this isn’t unique to one income bracket — consumers across all levels are tapping into their credit lines more today than they were last year.

Zuko Mdwaba

Zuko Mdwaba

But this increased reliance on credit isn’t due to consumers buying more. According to the Salesforce Shopping Index, online order volumes have been falling since 2022 and decreased by 2% year over year in the first quarter of this year. When they do buy, they’re trading down, buying discounted merchandise, and seeking private labels.

Holiday shopping prediction #1: Chinese shopping apps will take market share

As consumers face uncertainty around rising prices, they’re changing shopping habits. Long gone are the pandemic times when the fastest shipping time could win over new business. Now it comes down to price.

Shoppers are looking for the best deal. Two-thirds of global shoppers report that prices dictate where they chose to shop, with less than one-third prioritising quality of the goods. Temu is the clear winner, with 43% of Western shoppers purchasing on this platform within the last six months. But for Gen Zers, Shein is the top destination, with half of this group placing an order recently.

This holiday season, we predict that Chinese shopping applications will capture $160 billion in global ecommerce market share outside of China.

Holiday shopping prediction #2: Middle-mile shipping puts strain on margins

The Houthi attacks in the Red Sea and rising crude oil prices are driving up container costs worldwide, putting strain on the middle-mile infrastructure for the first half of the year. Additionally, last-mile challenges are also stacking up thanks to events like the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge and rising delivery costs – stalling delivery times and adding expenses for retailers.

But retailers shouldn’t push the shipping expenses back on shoppers. Free shipping offers are a top-three reason why consumers choose to make a purchase from a particular brand or retailer. Over half of shoppers say they are more likely to purchase online than in store if delivery is free.

This holiday season we predict brands and retailers will spend an extra $197B in middle-mile expenses, increasing 97% over last year.

Holiday shopping prediction #3: Shoppers embrace AI to search for the perfect gift

Last holiday season, 17% of online purchases were influenced by AI – both predictive and generative. That totalled a whopping $199M of onlines sales worldwide in November and December. This year, consumers will increasingly leverage AI – knowingly or not – to search for the right gift at the right price. In fact, 53% of shoppers surveyed said they are interested in using generative AI for inspiring the perfect present. As retailers increasingly embed AI into search experiences, we predict search will drive a nearly 3x better conversion rate compared to traffic not engaging with site search.

Holiday shopping prediction #4: Black Friday becomes Cyber Friday

Over the years, as online shopping grew in popularity and consumers could shop from anywhere, holiday shopping started earlier and earlier in the month of November. Last year, Black Friday gained back 4% of online holiday sales, establishing itself as the biggest online shopping day of the year.

We’re expecting the same of the upcoming holiday shopping season. Two-thirds of shoppers say they’re holding out on making big purchases until Cyber Week, anticipating better deals. The big news is that Black Friday is going to be the biggest day for digital. Salesforce research predicts online sales will take 7% of in store sales on Black Friday.

Holiday shopping prediction #5: Retailers tap loyal shoppers to avoid skyrocketing digital marketing costs

Customer acquisition continues to be costly for retailers. In the face of a busy election cycles, and as Chinese companies buy up advertising inventory, digital marketing costs continue to get more expensive, and opportunities to get in front of the right audience grow scarce. This means that brands and retailers have to better engage their existing customer base amid this tug of war over digital advertising space.

But there are other opportunities. Shoppers are doubling down on loyalty. According to our Salesforce Shopping Index, the rate of repeat buyers in the first quarter increased by 8% over the last two years. And shoppers are prioritising brands and retailers that offer loyalty programmes. Our research shows 63% of shoppers are making more purchases from stores where they can earn and redeem loyalty points. This holiday season, we predict that 2 out of 5 holiday purchases will be made by a loyal repeat buyer.


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Innovate Africa Launches with $2.5M Angel Fund for Early-Stage Africa-Focused Startups

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Innovate Africa, an angel investment fund that supports early-stage founders in funding life-changing ideas, taking startups from conception to product and financing innovative ventures, has launched with an initial $2.5 million rollout.

Co-founded by Kristin Wilson and Christian Idiodi, the sector-agnostic fund aims to support up to 20 startups in its first year to solve complex, recognised problems such as insecurity, unemployment, and poverty with purpose-driven technology.

Since 2019, the African funding landscape has witnessed positive growth, with disclosed exits surpassing $2.3 billion – representing a significant 13.4% of the total $17.2 billion raised by African startups. Despite this growth, early-stage founders face challenges navigating the path from ideation to market fit.

The persistent lack of early-stage funding further compounds these difficulties, hindering many startups from reaching their full potential and contributing to the continent’s economic growth.

With a mission to empower startups to thrive in Africa’s ever-evolving tech landscape, Innovate Africa Fund will provide insight-driven capital that helps founders accelerate the journey from Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to Product-Market Fit (PMF).

The goal is to facilitate the infrastructure that enables founders to unlock growth through audacious problem-solving, supported by access to a comprehensive ecosystem of resources.

With an average investment of $50,000, the venture fund offers a comprehensive support package designed to propel promising startups towards success.

The robust suite of critical advisory resources includes expert guidance in finance, governance, public relations, and strategy, ensuring a solid foundation for growth. Through its Product Leadership Accelerator, the fund delivers crucial product development support, helping startups refine their offerings and achieve product-market fit.

It also facilitates talent resourcing via an extensive partner network, connecting startups with skilled professionals across various domains. The fund’s portfolio strategy encompasses first cheque funding, a refined product operating model, valuable network and partnerships, assistance with revenue model iterations, and comprehensive operations and governance advisory.

This holistic approach aims to accelerate startups’ path to success, providing them with the tools, resources, and connections needed to navigate early-stage challenges and achieve sustainable growth.

Innovate Africa Fund is anchored by a network of experienced operators and product specialists across Africa, providing a vigorous foundation of knowledge and experience to guide early-stage founders towards success.

Managing Partner, Kristin is also the Chief Strategy Officer at Spurt!, a Venture Partner at Oui Capital, an Investment Lead for the Rising Tide Africa Angel Network and a General Partner at the Bold Angel Fund.

She has a portfolio of 34 African startups including 26 tech startups such as Hoaq, Clafiya, Shuttlers and OmniRetail–recognised as 2024’s Africa’s Fastest Growing Company by the Financial Times. Kristin’s portfolio companies have generated over $100m in revenue and collectively serve over 100,000 users.

Complimenting Kristin’s expertise is Christian, Founder of Firtsi and Work Nigeria. A world-renowned product expert, Christian is a partner at the Silicon Valley Product Group (SVPG), and helps companies transform the way they work to create products customers love and brings immense value to the business.

He is co-author of INSPIRED, EMPOWERED, LOVED and TRANSFORMED–New York Times Best-Selling books that have shaped product management globally. He has shaped companies like Amazon and Merrill Corporation, and tackled complex product challenges for industry giants like Microsoft, Interswitch, and Squarespace.

His extensive background in enterprise and consumer products has helped scale businesses from the ground up. His track record includes successfully founding over two dozen companies worldwide.

Speaking about the launch of the Fund, Kristin Wilson, Managing Partner of Innovate Africa Fund said: “Having witnessed the struggles that early-stage African founders face up close, we know that brilliant ideas often lack the resources they need to truly thrive.

“It’s not just about funding, it’s about deep expertise and strong connections–and our investment strategy breaks the cycle of innovators being at the mercy of those with too much leverage and too little knowledge.

“As a founder-first catalyst fund, we provide insight-driven capital to help founders accelerate their journey from MVP to PMF. By providing this support and funding, innovators can focus their efforts on building sustainable, transformative businesses that solve wicked problems and return value to investors”

“Through the Innovate ecosystem, we connect our portfolio companies with seasoned operators and advisors, both in Africa and globally, to ensure they get the expertise they need,” says Christian Idiodi, Founder of Innovate Africa Foundation. “The African diaspora has sent over $150 billion back to the continent in the past three years, but financial support alone isn’t enough.

“Many are eager to contribute their talent and expertise to impactful ventures, and that’s where we come in. It takes an ecosystem to build a startup. By reaching founders at a very early stage, we can connect them to key partners and help foster their success. Ultimately, our decisions today will shape who builds, owns, and benefits from the next wave of disruptive technology in emerging markets.”


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