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Instagram Testing New Tool for Age Verification

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According to parent company Meta, Instagram is developing a new feature to stop minors from impersonating adults. Instagram will request identification if a user whose account indicates they are under 18 tries to manually change their date of birth on the platform.

A valid ID or driver’s license, “social vouching,” in which three adult users are asked to verify the age, or a video selfie are the three methods that people can demonstrate their age.

With social vouching, the three adult users must answer to the request within three days and cannot be vouching at the same time for anybody else. Instagram sends a video selfie to Yoti, a business whose technology can determine someone’s age based on their facial traits. Instagram explains how to take the video and claims that the selfies are erased once the verification process is over.

Younger users who have already informed Instagram that they are adults will not be caught by its new tool. Although Meta’s blog post does not specifically mention it, the new tool will be used to verify that users of the app are at least 13 years old in order to join up. 

Over the past year, Instagram has been the subject of inquiries questioning the app’s influence on teenagers. Attorneys general from a number of jurisdictions, including Massachusetts, Florida, and California, started scrutinizing Meta, claiming the firm was aware that Instagram could be harmful to children’s physical and emotional health. Additionally, The Wall Street Journal ran a series based in part on hacked papers, one of which claimed that Facebook was aware of Instagram’s “toxic” effects on teen girls’ body image and mental health.

Meta disputed the claims made by the states and added that the Journal had incorrectly described the leaked documents. The business said that some internal studies had revealed that using Instagram had improved some youngsters’ perceptions of their bodies.

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Telecommunication and technology sustainability working group launches in Nigeria, announces membership opening

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Telecommunication and Technology Sustainability Working Group (TTSWG), a Nigerian pro-technology and non-governmental organisation that advocates for sustainability in the ICT sector, has announced the launch of its secretariat in Lagos, Nigeria.

TTSWG’s main vision is for Nigeria to be an inspiration to other developing countries in adopting sustainability best practices.

Potential organisations that fit membership criteria stand to gain several attractive privileges such as access to networking opportunities with other industry players, regulators, and key industry decision-makers.

In addition, TTSWG offers its members the opportunity to define the sustainability direction for the telecommunication and technology industries.

To address a wide range of issues concerning sustainability in the ICT sector, the organisation has released a number of publications on ttswg.org, which include: “Tech for Good Initiatives in Nigeria”; “Managing ICT Emissions and Environment Pollution in Nigeria”; and “50 Financially Impactful ICT Innovations in Nigeria”.

TTWSG has secured national partnerships and is working closely with the government, agencies and organisations in the ICT sector on its advocacy for industry sustainability.

These include the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST), National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).

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Nigerian Startup, Pastel Raises $5.5 Million Seed to Expand its Product Offerings

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Nigerian startup Pastel has raised $5.5 million in seed funding to broaden its product offering.

The round was won by TLcom Capital. Global Founders Capital (GFC), Golden Palm Investments, DFS Labs, Ulu Ventures, Plug and Play Ventures, and Soma Capital are additional participating VCs.

The founding members of Pastel, then known as Sabi Cash, were Abuzar Royesh, Olamide Oladeji, and Izunna Okonkwo. It is a digital platform for merchants and bookkeeping in Nigeria that assists small businesses in streamlining operations and reducing costs.

Pastel used a different strategy and produced standalone products like Quick Receipt and Pastel Financing, in contrast to comparable platforms that had combined many functionalities into a single app.

Sabi, the company’s primary product, is a digital bookkeeping program that enables small businesses to properly manage debtors by issuing receipts, tracking and managing transactions and customers, and gaining insights into cash flows.

The Quick Receipt app gives businesses easy-to-use tools for creating invoices and receipts, and it has over 60,000 active merchant users.

To finance small businesses, the Swift Money app employs ajo, a native Nigerian savings association.

Ajo, also known as esusu, is a well-known financial arrangement in Nigeria where a group of individuals give money to a leader who then holds the money on their behalf at various times.

As a result, the platform collaborates with recognized ajo leaders and their organizations. Pastel’s objective is to give these leaders the tools they need to better monitor the health of their organizations and member funding, not to take their place.

It is only now that the company is starting to make money, which it does by adding interest and a modest fee to these loans. It also has access to savings from its ajo groups, which it may use as a float for loan funding.

Users of Pastel can register for any of the applications and use the same login to access all of the company’s other offerings. By December 2021, the business anticipates having more than 100,000 merchants on board.

The funds will also be used to create more productivity and finance management features and tools for small businesses, like group savings, loans, and payments.

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Cloud 100: Meet The Leading Female Tech Founders Who Made The List

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In a field where men predominate, more and more women are rising to fill various top leadership roles in businesses or make their own fortune as entrepreneurs.

Eight of the 100 companies on this year’s Cloud 100 list are headed by women. This is an increase from the 6 from the previous year.

These firms concentrate on e-commerce, SaaS, edtech, and other areas. Even if it is a small percentage of all female founders of unicorns, the number is nevertheless impressive.

About Cloud 100

The Cloud 100 honors the world’s top private cloud providers. The Bessemer Venture Partners and Salesforce Ventures-produced Cloud 100 program honors outstanding companies in the hottest areas of technology, from fledgling startups to well-funded behemoths.

Here are some of the female tech founders that made it on this year’s list:

Melanie Perkins (Canva)

Melanie Perkins founded Canva in 2013. The business began as a little yearbook design firm and has since grown into a $40 billion behemoth. Canva, which is ranked 3rd on the list this year, is the highest-ranked female-led business. Canva is an Australian graphic design platform, used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents and other visual content. The app includes templates for users to use. The web-based visual design tool has assisted corporations, students, social media managers, and school organizations in creating attractive artwork. “The goal of our business is to enable design across the globe”, according to the CEO.


Rachel Carlson (Guild Education)

Rachel Carlson, a native of Colorado founded Guild Education in 2015. The $553 million platform for education is dedicated to assisting the biggest businesses in creating benefits plans that let staff members attend college for free. After a challenging early work experience when she claimed no one explained how equality and remuneration work together, Carlson vowed to act differently when she established Guild Education in 2015. The tech firm is ranked number 32. As at 2017, she was a Forbes 30 Under 30 alumnus and a member of the hall of fame. Carlson has a lengthy association with publications and is also listed among America’s self-made richest women.


Edith Harbaugh (LaunchDarkly)

Edith Harbaugh co-founded LaunchDarkly in 2014, which is rated at number 34. LaunchDarkly is a SaaS platform for developers to manage feature flags. By decoupling feature rollout and code deployment, LaunchDarkly enables developers to test their code live in production, gradually release features to groups of users, and manage flags throughout their entire lifecycle. After previously participating as a juror for the Forbes 30 Under 30 Enterprise Technology list of 2022, Harbaugh has established herself as a pioneer in her field. In an interview with Forbes earlier this year, Harbaugh said, ”The software feature management company has demonstrated its ability to grow year after year with 532 workers and well-known clients like IBM and Grubhub”.


Karen Peacock (Intercom)

Karen Peacock founded Intercom, which is a $1.2 billion customer communications platform that helps businesses engage and support their customers and prospects. She grew up developing a love of technology early and began coaching high school students in STEM subjects. Her company took the number 35 spot on this year’s list and has high-profile clients like Microsoft, Meta, and Contentful.


Bernadette Nixon (Algolia)

Bernadette Nixon founded Algolia, a Cloud 100 newcomer. This year’s list places the API search and discovery platform at number 39. The company is mainly female-led, as more than 50% of its employees identify as female, which is unprecedented in the tech sector. Nixon said that Algolia was developed with the user in mind and hopes that its 12,500 users would find inspiration on the platform.


Eynat Guez (Papaya Global)

This entrepreneur was born in Israel and used her over 20 years of experience in global workforce management to her advantage when she founded Papaya Global in 2016. Papaya Global is an automated platform that helps companies hire, onboard, manage, and pay people in more than 160 countries. The company is one of Israel’s fastest-growing startups, with a valuation of $3.7 billion and a year-over-year revenue growth rate of 300%. The company moved up 24 spots from last year’s list, coming in at number 74. As the CEO, Eynat holds diversity as a core value of the company, with half of its 200 employees identifying as female.


Laura Behrens Wu (Shippo)

Last on the list is co-founder and CEO, Laura Behrens Wu who founded Shippo as an online store in 2014 with a classmate. Shipping helps e-commerce businesses, online marketplaces, and platforms integrate shipping with multiple carriers through their API and web application, helping users to compare shipping rates, create labels, generate international customs documents, return labels, and track parcels. Some of their customers and partners are eBay, GoDaddy etc. The company raised over $29 million in funding lead by Bessemer Ventures, SoftTechVC and Union Square Ventures.


Mathilde Collin (Front)

Mathilde Collin is the CEO of Front. Front is one of the 100 newcomers to the 2022 Cloud 100 list. Front is a customer communication hub that keeps teams focused on ensuring every conversation strengthens the customer relationship. In other words, it brings all customer messaging and business apps into a single place and pairs them with native internal collaboration so that every person in a company can have an impact on the customer experience. The app also takes out the stress of team inboxes and enables you to scale your customer support, hiring, sales and more. The company has raised more than $138 million in venture capital funding and has more than 200 employees with offices located in San Francisco, California, and Paris, France. Its mission remains: to help people everywhere work happier.

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