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MDaaS Global Closes on Seed Funding of $1 Million

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Healthtech company, MDaaS Global, which is building a network of tech-enabled diagnostic facilities in Nigeria, has closed on seed funding totaling US$1 million. Led by Consonance

Investment Managers, with participation from Techstars, FINCA Ventures, an investment initiative of FINCA International, and others, the round will see MDaaS scale and replicate its innovative diagnostic center business model, as the company seeks to open 100 additional centers in Nigeria and West Africa over the next five years.

MDaaS was created to address the lack of high-quality, affordable diagnostic services available for low- and middle-income sub-Saharan Africans, starting with Nigeria’s 130 million low- and middle-income patients. Where available and up-to-date, health services are unaffordable for most of Nigeria’s population, and expensive out-of-pocket costs discourage patients. MDaaS leverages its vertically-integrated supply chain, technology platform, and patient-centered design to provide modern, convenient services at a price point patients can afford.

“It offers a wide array of high-impact diagnostic procedures from simple malaria tests to echocardiograms and pap smears. And MDaaS’ affordability is helping change the healthcare narrative, with basic procedures, like obstetric ultrasounds, starting at just US$4.

Founded in 2016 by Oluwasoga Oni, Opeyemi Ologun, Genevieve Barnard Oni, and Joseph McCord, MDaaS was incubated at MIT’s Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship and was part of the inaugural Techstars Impact class of 2018.

The company launched its flagship diagnostic center in Ibadan, Nigeria’s 3rd most populous city, in November 2017 under its patient- and physician-facing brand BeaconHealth.

To date, the company has served over 9,000 low- and middle-income patients, speedily identifying health issues and connecting them with a variety of medical specialists and affordable treatment options.

Having partnered with over 60 referring health facilities, MDaaS serves as the centralized diagnostic department for surrounding hospitals and clinics within Ibadan. MDaaS also partners globally with corporates, Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), and developmental organizations seeking top-tier diagnostics for their employees and beneficiaries.

Speaking on the funding, MDaaS Global’s CEO and Co-Founder Oluwasoga Oni said, “This funding round fuels our next phase of growth, allowing us to continue providing modern, connected healthcare for Africa’s next billion.

“With diagnostics as the bedrock of modern medicine and key to the treatment of diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes – which are on the rise within the continent – unbridled access to quality healthcare is crucial. We are immensely proud of our brick-and-mortar presence; merging physical patient care with state-of-the-art technology enables us to reach morepatients with the care that they deserve.”

It is estimated that 40% of the medical equipment in sub-Saharan Africa is currently obsolete or out of service. On a continent where public healthcare is chronically underfunded – receiving less than 5% of GDP, MDaaS presents the opportunity to bolster poorly-equipped hospitals and clinics in what is evaluated to be a $1.6 billion market in Nigeria alone.

Mobolaji Adeoye, Managing Partner at Consonance Investment Managers, stated, “Africa significantly trails global metrics in affordable and quality healthcare. MDaaS’ mission to build the physical and technological infrastructure required to provide affordable diagnostic services across Africa fits our investment theme: access to essential services. We are very excited to partner with Soga and his team on this journey.”

Zoe Schlag, Managing Director of Techstars Impact, stated, “More than half of global population growth between now and 2050 is expected to occur in Africa, and yet the continent’s healthcare infrastructure is not designed to manage the lifestyle diseases this population will face. Under the leadership of Soga and his team, we’re excited to support MDaaS Global to lead the way delivering on solutions to one of the highest leverage opportunities we see in global health.”

Ami Dalal, Vice President and Managing Director of FINCA Ventures, added, “Through more accurate, affordable, and available diagnostics, MDaaS will help shift the Nigerian health system to more evidence-based medicine, driving improved health and economic outcomes for lower income populations outside of the largest cities. We are proud to be a part of MDaaS’ efforts to connect patients throughout sub-Saharan Africa with critical health infrastructure.”


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NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

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Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.

NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.

Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.

The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.

They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception

“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said

The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.

It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.

Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.

“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.

 

 


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Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

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Tizeti announced that it selected Nokia’s Fastmile Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to enable usprovide superior internet services to over 1 Million subscribers in Port Harcourt, Edo and Ogun in Nigeria.

Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

Tizeti will deploy Nokia’s AirScale Base Station TDD-LTE and FastmileFixed Wireless Access (FWA) gatewaysto deliver premium internet and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to Residential, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The solution will also enable Tizeti’sto deliver a more robust, high-speedinternet service to subscribers and the flexibility to seamlessly evolve to 5G Fixed Wireless Access when needed.

Nokia’s FWA solution enables Tizeti to fast-track broadband access and provide a best-in-class broadband experience to its subscribers.

Nokia’sAirScale Base Stations ensure high-quality connectivity and coverage and enablesTizeti to evolve the network in line with customer demand.

Nokia’sFastmilegateways connect wirelessly to the existing network to createa fastbroadband connection and enhanced Wi-Fi experience in the home.

The Nokia Network Services Platform will help Tizeti to simplify operations and quickly respond to changing market demands.

Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti, said:“We are committed to providing the best-in-class network experience to our subscribers. We are confident that Nokia’s proven technology and expertise will help us differentiate our services based on quality. This a crucial project for us as it introduces LTE in our networks and allows us to bring new and innovative services to our subscribers.”

Eniola Balogun, Nokia, said:“We are thrilled to work with Tizeti on the initiative to upgrade their network to bring the latest products and services to its subscribers. Nokia Fastmile will help Tizeti to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience.

The project will also enable them to delight their subscribers by providing more reliable data services.

On the other hand, Tizeti will benefit by adding new revenue streams.”

 

 


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Risk Assets Push Higher on Vaccine Hopes; Eyes on the Fed

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By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist at FXTM,

After two consecutive weeks of back-to-back declines, global stocks kicked off Monday with solid gains amid a surge in M&A activity and positive signs towards vaccine developments. Currency markets were little changed ahead of a busy week of monetary policy announcements, while Oil and Gold ticked slightly higher.

The two big deals announced over the weekend were Softbank’s plan to sell chipmaker ARM to Nvidia for more than $40 billion and Gilead Sciences to acquire Immunomedics for a price tag of $21 billion. Meanwhile, on the vaccine front, AstraZeneca resumed its phase-3 trial on Covid-19 after being suspended last week following a neurological illness developed in one participant, and Pfizer announced that its vaccine could be distributed before year-end if found safe and effective.

 

Central Banks will take centre stage this week with the Federal Reserve, Bank of England and Bank of Japan all due to announce policy decisions. Out of the three meetings, the Fed is likely to be the most watched following its historic shift towards average inflation targeting. The big question remains how will the FOMC put this policy into action?

 

From what we know now, the Fed is set up to keep interest rates near zero for a long time, possibly for several years. Given the new framework, any spike in inflation won’t translate into immediate rate hikes as the Fed wants to compensate for the lost years when they have failed to hit the target. The dot plot will be the key guide for investors and traders alike. If inflation projections remain at 2% or below for the foreseeable future, this will solidify market expectations for a low rate environment for many years to come. That said, Jay Powell would still have to explain in more detail how the new framework will be translated into policy action.

 

In June’s economic projections, the Fed anticipated unemployment would be at 9.3% by year-end, but, in August, unemployment was well below that forecast at 8.4%. Many other economic data surprised to the upside during the June – August period in a clear sign that most economists were overly pessimistic towards the strength of the recovery. However, there is still a considerable amount of uncertainty given the latest surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide and the US, especially as we get closer into the winter season. A second wave will undoubtedly put the recovery at risk in the final quarter of the year and it will be interesting to see the Fed’s view on that issue.

 

As for the market selloff over the past two weeks, the Fed isn’t likely to show any signs of concern. In fact, policymakers should be satisfied with the pullback as the risk of a bubble in several assets has been growing due to the Fed’s extremely accommodative policies. Unless we see another 10 -15% drop, do not expect the Fed to intervene.


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