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Five Somali startups to watch out for in 2020

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Somalia is defined by a complex mix of challenges and opportunities and was once described as the world’s most dangerous country.

Despite political instability and economic struggles, people in Somalia are using technology to solve their problems.

Each year, the Somali youth create new startups determined to resolve local problems.

The Frontier highlights five startups to watch out for in 2020 and beyond.

Gulivery

Gulivery- a door-to-door delivery service. Its founder, Deeq Mohamed, says he got the idea after moving with his wife from London to the northwestern city of Hargeisa and noticed that many of the things they bought for their home couldn’t be delivered.

While hanging out with friends, he also noticed their families would ask them to buy foodstuff they would otherwise have ordered themselves.

Gulivery provides third party delivery services for restaurants, groceries, shops & e-commerce platforms. The service enables individuals and small businesses to trade and connect with the drivers to request on-demand or scheduled delivery.

The startup was first launched in Hargeisa, the capital of breakaway Somaliland, before it expanded to Mogadishu in February 2018. Its founders are Deeq Hassan and his wife Sado Baroot, who started the delivery service after returning to the country from London. There were no delivery companies or e-commerce in Somalia but Deeq and his wife took advantage of the gap in the market and came up with the idea of developing a delivery app.

Most Somalis depend on traditional taxis, donkey-carts or Indian-styled three-wheeler rickshaws, mostly used in Mogadishu, to deliver commodities from markets to their homes. The hiring of taxis is an expensive affair and sometimes, you do not get exactly what you ordered.

Go!

The Go! app promises affordable and convenient options in the city’s bustling transport sector.

The e-hailing service is starting out with 20 motorcycles, allowing customers to order their rides online or hail them on the street after identifying the drivers with their yellow helmet and bikes.

The platform was launched by Gulivery, a delivery startup that provides third-party door-to-door services.

The motor-taxi service makes the company the first in Somalia to venture into and digitise the motorcycle business.

While Uber-style taxi apps have existed before, those firms only used cars.

The increase in digital transportation options comes as life in Mogadishu regains a semblance of normalcy after decades of war. That has led to increased traffic in the city. The city also has a fragmented transportation system, with three-wheeled motorized tuk-tuk and hundreds of dilapidated buses servicing a fast-growing population that currently stands at almost three million people.

Getting around African cities like Mogadishu can be demanding given the poor infrastructure, insufficient street addresses, the absence of reliable public transportation, and increasing urbanization that is fueling congestion. As such, motorcycle taxis have grown over the last few years.

Saami Online

Saamionline is a Somali e-commerce company established in August 2014 in Hargiesa, it is one-stop shop that provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business.

Saami Online, a one-stop shop that sells and delivers everything from books and cosmetics to clothing and home appliances.

Since the founder didn’t have the funds to buy the goods at first, he had to show product owners that he could take their wares and deliver them to customers away from major cities.

Clients were mostly inquiring about electronics and phones, so Saami started serving underserved cities in Somalia including Kismayo and Adado, and then went as far eastern Ethiopia and Djibouti.

Samawat Energy

Samawat Energy is a female-founded renewable energy company that provides affordable, off-grid, solar home solutions to residents in Somalia through the use of a micro-leasing, rent-to-own system.

The discourse around gender and energy often focuses on women as under-served end-users. Samawat Energy sees women as vital actors within the energy sector at large.

The company does not only focus on electrifying communities, but empowering women within those communities to be more efficient in their household duties, make further gains in education, enter the workforce, and start businesses.

Not only will this provide opportunities for those often disenfranchised, but it will also help accelerate economic growth in Somalia.

Zapi

Zapi is an online payment system built on top of Telesom’s Zaad mobile payment service that will allow businesses to setup their websites to process payments. Zapi’s instant payments verification solution hopes to fill the missing link necessary to make running an e-commerce business in Somaliland as simple as it would be anywhere else in the world.

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The biggest crypto scams of 2022 – according to Mashable

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We’re only six months into 2022 and billions of dollars in cryptocurrency have already been pillaged and plundered.

While the value of cryptocurrency stolen is stunning, not everything is solely about the money. Last year, Mashable looked into the biggest crypto scams of 2021. Yes, some big bucks were being funneled via various scams and schemes included on that list. However, sometimes the audacity and uniqueness of some of these scams and hacks – perpetrated by people who only walk away with six figures worth of stolen crypto  — are worth mentioning to.

So, without any further ado, here are some of the biggest and boldest frauds, swindles, and rackets in cryptocurrency from 2022 thus far.

1. Ukraine rug pulls donors (for good reason!)

One of these scams is not like the others and it’s this one: When the government of Ukraine rug pulled its donors. However, it needs to be included because it’s honestly so great: a rare “good” scam.

In February of 2022, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Ukrainian government quickly decided to accept donations in the form of cryptocurrencies to take advantage of the big pockets in the crypto space who are always looking to pump their coins and generate good press.

While a decent number of donations came in at first, the crypto started to pour in after Ukraine announced an airdrop to those who donated via the Ethereum network. An airdrop is basically when crypto wallet holders are sent freebies, usually in the form of crypto tokens or NFTs. As Ukraine put it, they were essentially sending donors a “reward” for donating.

Enter the bad-faith actors. People started sending a slew of crypto donations to Ukraine to take advantage of the airdrop. Around 60,000 transactions were made on the Ethereum blockchain to Ukraine in less than 2 days. According to Ukrainian officials, individuals started to send minuscule sums of money just so they could register in time to receive the airdrop. Ostensibly, these individuals were looking to profit off of a country in wartime by receiving a “reward” more valuable than whatever they donated to flip the freebie for quick profits.

Ukraine decided to cancel the airdrop, just days after it was announced. Some donors who were looking for those profits cried “scam.” And, technically, this is what’s known as a rug pull. A rug pull is when a crypto developer makes promises to raise funds, then abandons the project while walking away with all the liquidity.

But, this is a truly unique situation. Ukraine was trying to fundraise, thought they’d thank donors who meant well, then pulled the plug when they realized people were trying to take advantage of the situation. The donations still went to a charitable cause though.  So, let’s call this a rug pull for good. And that’s why it’s at the top of the list.

2. Axie Infinity hacked, $615 million stolen

Would you notice if someone stole $615 million from you? Sky Mavis, the company behind the most popular crypto game Axie Infinity sure didn’t!

In March, hackers discovered an exploit on the Ronin blockchain, which is the Ethereum-based sidechain that Axie Infinity runs on. To make matters worse, the exploit was a result of what was supposed to be a temporary change initiated by Sky Mavis in December that lowered security protocols. Things weren’t reverted and the hackers were able to take advantage of the situation just months later.

How did Sky Mavis finally discover they were missing hundreds of millions of dollars? A user tried to withdraw their funds and was unable to because the liquidity was no longer there.

Axie Infinity is a play-to-earn crypto game that requires users to purchase expensive NFTs before playing. Once they acquire those NFTs, they can then earn real money in the form of crypto from playing the game. However, due to the high cost of entry, users who can’t afford the NFTs often find themselves wrapped up in exploitative “scholarships” that require them to split the profits with other users who lend out these high costs NFTs that are needed to play.

Nonetheless, in countries like the Philippines, play-to-earn games like Axie Infinity have become popular as users can earn the equivalent of an average salary in their country. Those users, unfortunately, found out that their earnings were inaccessible due to the hack.

Axie Infinity has since raised $125 million to reimburse its users for stolen funds. But, that’s a far cry from the $625 million they lost. As for that money, they’re likely never going to get that back. The U.S. government believes that the hack was carried out by a group based in North Korea.

3. Day of Defeat, red flags everywhere

Does an investment that promises a 10,000,000 x price increase sound too good to be true to you? No, my zero key did not get stuck. That’s exactly what the Day of Defeat token promised. And plenty of people bought in.

Molly White is the creator of Web3 Is Going Great, a website that tracks all of the scams and grifts in the space daily. When I reached out to her to see what crypto scams stuck out to her so far this year, she pointed me to Day of Defeat. She called it one of the projects with “some of the biggest red flags I’ve ever seen.” And she’s seen a lot.

The developers of Day of Defeat called the project a “radical social experiment” that was “mathematically designed to give holders 10,000,000X PRICE INCREASE.” On top of that, they touted a “Mystery Plan” (come on!) that would be rolled out in June of next year that would further see the price of the token increase by 1,000,000. In a FAQ on the Day of the Defeat website, they answered a question concerning their access to the pool of funds, which they said they would “promise” not to redeem. A promise!

Well, guess what? It appears that they broke that promise. In May, the project rug pulled after $1.35 million was pulled out, causing the token’s value to drop by more than 96 percent. As Molly pointed out, it’s unlikely even the people who made off with that $1.35 million did not see those crazy returns that were promised. If they did, their investment would’ve needed to be less than 14 cents.

4. BBC tricked into promoting alleged crypto scammer

Everyone loves a rags-to-riches story. Apparently, the BBC loved this one so much, that they failed to properly look into the individual in question, who traded in his rags for riches by crypto scamming.

In February, the BBC ran an article about a local Birmingham crypto investor, Hanad Hassan. The piece claimed that Hassan put £50 into crypto last year and was able to turn it into millions! That wasn’t all. The article also covered how Hassan wanted to use his newfound wealth to help people within the community.

One problem: The internet was full of people who claimed Hassan had scammed them.

In April 2021, Hassan launched a “charity token” called Orfano. In addition to being a crypto investment, it would set aside 3 percent of the funds to support charity projects. This is a common tactic in crypto rug pulls to make investors feel like they’re doing something legitimate and good with their money. Months later, Orfano abruptly shut down, taking everyone’s investments with them. There was no way for users to withdraw any of their money.

A month later, Hassan relaunched Orfano as OrfanoX and once again did the same thing to new investors in this token. And now the BBC was going to herald his “good fortunes!”

 

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How to change your camera tools setting on Instagram

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Looking to up your Instagram Story game? Camera Tools are a good place to start.

If you don’t know what Camera Tools are or if you are looking to change the position of camera tools, you’ve home to the right place. We’ve got all your questions surrounding camera tools covered.

Instagram camera tools are the toolbar options that pop up when you go to post an Instagram Story. The toolbar is made up of different functions that can help you post different types of Instagram Stories. It includes the Create mode, Boomerang, Layout, Hands-Free, Multi-Capture, and Level.

How to access Instagram camera tools:

1. Open Instagram

2. Tap on your profile picture in the upper left corner

3. Tap “Camera”

Screenshot of Instagram

Tap Camera to access Camera Tools. Credit: Screenshot / Instagram

4. The camera tools are found on the left side of the screen.

5. Tap the arrow to see the full list of Camera Tools

Screenshot of Instagram Camera Tools.

Tap the arrow to see the full list of Camera Tools. Credit: Screenshot / Instagram

When you tap the arrow the full list of Camera Tools will be revealed.

Screenshot of Instagram's Camera Tools.

The full list of Camera Tools includes Hands-Free, Multi-Capture, and Level. Credit: Screenshot / Instagram

How to change the position of Instagram camera tools:

The camera toolbar is automatically on the left hand side of your screen, but you can change it to the right hand side of the screen in settings.

1. Tap the gear in the upper right corner of the Instagram Story screen

Screenshot of Instagram's Camera Tools.

Tap the gear to access Instagram Story settings. Credit: Screenshot / Instagram

2. Locate “Camera Tools”

3. Tap the white circle next to “Right Side”

Screenshot of Instagram Story settings

Tap the white circle to change the orientation of Camera Tools. Credit: Screenshot / Instagram

The blue circle next to Right Side indicates that Camera Tools will be on that side of the screen.

Screenshot of Instagram Story settings

The blue circle indicates the orientation of the Camera Tools toolbar. Credit: Screenshot / Instagram

4. Select “Done” in the upper right hand corner

Screenshot of Instagram Story settings

Select Done. Credit: Screenshot / Instagram

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10 things you should never do on Twitter

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Whether you’re strictly business or getting personal on Twitter, keeping your Tweets attractive and followable requires a little attention to detail. And gaining followers isn’t as easy as losing them. Socialbakers has listed ten common Twitter mistakes you should avoid.

1. Don’t overdo it.

Excessive tweeting and self-promotion are among the many faux pas that will get you unfollowed or reported for spam. They come in three all too typical varieties:

Binge posting: There’s nothing more annoying than a column of Tweets all from the same person (or brand) posted in three minutes.

The multi-tweet: Remember this is a microblogging service. Being brief is the name of the game. If you need more than 140 characters to get your point across, then write it out in a blog and Tweet the link.

Pointless Direct Messaging (DM): There’s no need to send direct messages to new followers thanking them for their interest. Especially if you use this opportunity to direct their attention to your website or blog, you’ll see that follow quickly revoked.

2. Don’t keep the default profile photo.

On the Internet as in real life, first impressions are almost always visual, and your profile photo can set the tone for your content. So don’t stick with Twitter’s default profile image. Whether you’re Tweeting for your personal or professional brand, your profile image and cover photo should be well lit, cropped and optimized for web use.

3. Don’t abuse the hashtag.

The # symbol has had its own little renaissance thanks to Twitter. Hashtagging keywords or topics in your tweets is an effective means of tracking and participating in events, conversation and disaster recovery. But before you publish that Tweet, search your hashtags to make sure the results, if any, are consistent with your message.

And don’t add too many! A litter of hashtags will just cloud your message and make your tweet difficult to read. Lastly, avoid using the hashtag merely for #emphasis or #context#Itsdumb.

https://twitter.com/BrandTweetFails/statuses/248492979696857088

4. Don’t just auto-tweet.

If you’re on several social networks, change up your message and technique for each one, especially since they offer different formatting options. When Tweeting from another website (to share their content on your timeline) you’ll often have the Tweet written for you. Edit that Tweet and give it a bit of your own style before publishing.

5. Don’t forget your is not you’re.

Grammar and spelling mistakes significantly reduce the impact of your content. Take a minute to proof read your Tweet. It’s not just your content’s readability and attractiveness at stake, but repeated errors can get you ignored or reported for spam; not to mention being ridiculed by Twitter’s grammar police.

6. Don’t get involved in debates.

You won’t have the last word on Twitter, because there is no last word on Twitter! So don’t get involved in drawn out, heated debates. Make your point (concisely!) and disagree amicably if needed.

Tweeting your brand can be tricky when tempers flare. But one directive is to never, ever go on the offense. And never use abusive, threatening language (that should really go without saying). If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to draw up some social media guidelines for your team to follow.

7. Don’t be shy.

The more you Tweet, the more likely you’ll be Retweeted and replied to, building your audience on the social network. (Just avoid the habits discussed in point 1.) Keep your profile complete, accurate and updated. Tweeting regularly (with great content, of course) will attract more followers faster.

8. Don’t beg.

If you’re going to ask for a Retweet, do it right.

9. Don’t pretend your account has been hacked.

There have been some moderate (and debatable) success stories, like Chipotle’s fake hack. But follower backlash can generate a whirlwind of negative PR. It’s a risky move especially with today’s cyber sensitive headlines. So if you’re going to do it, at least be creative enough to give it a concept, or some clue that it’s a prank.

10. Don’t Facebook on Twitter.

Every social network has its own etiquette, terminology and sub cultures. If Facebook is one big living room, Twitter is one big cocktail party. So strive to be personable but avoid overly personal topics. Just stay on your beat and write (and Retweet) relevant and interesting content. This and the preceding don’ts should keep your followers multiplying and anticipating your next Tweet.

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