Sylndr raises $12.6m in pre-seed



I’m still on top of the Techpoint Africa Blockchain Summit (TABS 2022), and one of the sessions that stood out to me was the Web3 Hackathon.

I’ll tell you what the hackathon was all about if you don’t already know. The competition sought and rewarded Web3-based innovations, and it recognized teams that created impressive blockchain-based technologies.

Thus, following an editorial review of the teams registered for the Hackathon, six teams were selected to virtually pitch their solutions to the judges on Friday, May 13, 2022.

Keep in mind that the teams were chosen based on the originality and uniqueness of the solutions they offer.

At the conclusion of the virtual program, four finalists were chosen from the six teams to compete for cash prizes on Saturday, May 21, 2022. And three teams won the TABS Web3 Hackathon: Team Chemotronix, Team Block Baddies and Team JPS.

Bolu detailed the process – how it started and ended – writing here: Team Chemotronix, 2 more win $2,500 cash prize at TABS Web3 Hackathon

If you would like to watch the hackathon live, please visit this link.

So today I’m going to talk about two different stories that I’m sure you’ll enjoy:

  • The new tax on telephone calls
  • Sylndr’s $12.6 million pre-seed round

Taxing phone calls to help the “vulnerable group”

The Nigerian government is presentation a new tax on telephone calls. This equates to a 9% tax on telephone calls at rates of approximately 11 kobo per second.

This implies that for every phone call you make, you will be charged at least one kobo per second.

You might be wondering why, since the government collects income tax, value added tax, stamp duty and other levies and taxes. Well, the government has said it wants to help the ‘vulnerable group’ get free health care.

Want to know if you’re part of the group? You don’t have health insurance, do you? 😉 To start, how many Nigerians have health insurance?

Either way, if you are a child under five, a pregnant woman, an elderly person, physically or mentally handicapped, or indigent, as defined from time to time, you are part of the group.

Moreover, this new law comes after President Buhari approved a 5% excise duty on phone top-up cards and vouchers in May 2022. Also remember that the government has increased the VAT rate from 5% to 7.5% in 2020. This raises the question: what is the government doing with our taxes?

It’s as if you don’t understand how much the government expects from this tax annually. For context, the Nigerian Communications Commission reported that Nigerians made 150.83 billion calling minutes in 2020. =

This represents 9.05 trillion seconds of calls, implying that the new tax will generate at least 9.05 trillion Kobo per year, or 90.49 billion naira ($18.09 million). See my point?

By the way, if you are a regular reader, you will know that I don’t trust the Nigerian government. However, I think helping vulnerable people is a good idea if they do, indeed.

I mean, Nigeria is a poor country with only about 5 million Nigerians, or 3% of the population, covered by the SNIS, and these are mainly members of the formal sector, in particular federal civil servants. If done correctly, it could potentially increase the number of people who have access to insurance.

But why telecommunications, and why now? Could it be because the country’s telecom operators are growing faster than certain sectors?

According to StatisticalNigeria’s telecommunications industry continues to contribute a larger share of the national GDP, reaching 12.61% in the fourth quarter of 2021.

In addition, MTN Nigeria is valued was worth £5 trillion ($12 billion) as of May 20, 2022. This is more valuable than the combined value of all Nigerian banks and insurance companies, which is £4 trillion ($9.6 billion of dollars).

In addition, in March 2022, the country’s telecommunications operators added 2.5 million new broadband users. This brought the total number of broadband internet subscriptions in the country to 80.6 million, up from 78.1 million in February.

However, remember that telecom companies have proposed a 40% increase in the cost of calls, SMS and data due to rising operating costs in the country.

Additionally, Taiwo Oyedele, PwC’s tax policy partner and tax leader in Africa, warned the government of the potential consequences of taxing the telecommunications sector. He said the sector is interconnected and the tax burden can impact the growth of other sectors of the economy.

I’m sure you hope the editorial team will provide an interesting perspective on such an interesting topic. Well, you’re not wrong. 😊 You can listen to it here.

Sylndr’s $12.6 million pre-seed round

How much does your ideal car cost? I’m not talking about a used car; I’m referring to what we call “brand new” or “torn rubber”. Dear, right? I believe this explains why there is a demand in emerging markets for reasonably priced used vehicles.

And in Egypt, brands such as GB Auto, Mansour Automotive and Nissan have high resale value. Even so, due to various issues including a lack of confidence and affordability, the experience of buying these cars on the classifieds can be disappointing.

Therefore, Omar El Defrawy, co-founder and CEO of Sylndr – the Egyptian car marketplace that allows customers to sell and buy used cars – wants to address the main problem of market mistrust between buyers and sellers of second-hand cars.

And yesterday, Monday, May 23, 2022, the company announced that it had raised a $12.6 million pre-seed round.

RAED Ventures led the financing. A number of regional and global angel investors, as well as Algebra Ventures, Nuwa Capital, 1984 Ventures and Global Founders Capital participated.

The company has yet to go public despite being founded in November 2021. Even so, it is modeled after India’s Cars24, which acquires cars from individuals seeking to sell, buys them at a price agreed, refurbishes them, then resells them to new owners.

The startup plans to generate revenue through retail, auction houses, dealerships, and B2B sales.

Additionally, El Defrawy says it can investigate ancillary revenue streams such as interest from financing, insurance, roadside assistance fees, and other value-added services.

The funds would be used to expand the company’s operational capacity, technology infrastructure, inventory growth and the development of retail and non-retail channels.

What I read and watch


  • Grant Master has announced the start of its second Creative Writers Fellowship cohort. The Fellowship for Creative Writers will run virtually from July 4 to August 26, 2022. Apply here.
  • MOBI Automation, a startup that uses Web3 technologies to solve business problems, is looking for a CTO, UI & UX Designer, Senior Frontend Developer, and Creative Designer. Send your CV here.
  • Do you breathe crypto or are you just crypto-curious? Apply for the Coinbase Community Ambassador (CAP) Program — Summer 2022 here.
  • How to feed 10 billion people on a warmer planet? If you have an innovative solution that answers the overriding question, apply for the Thought for Food (TFF) Challenge 2022 here.
  • First City Monument Bank and Mastercard Foundation have teamed up to launch a 15.5 billion naira ($27.8 million) MSME revitalization fund for tech entrepreneurs. Apply here.

Have a great Tuesday!

Victoria Fakia for Techpoint Africa.

Victoria Fakia

A writer with ADHD who is interested in mental health and how technology is improving the lives of Africans with mental disorders.

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