Facebook reveals crypto-currency plans

The global crypto-currency, Libra, is part of the company’s effort to expand into digital payments.
Read time 5min 20sec

Facebook’s Libra announcement dominated the international ICT market last week.

At home, Naspers was very much in focus.

Key local news

  • Mixed year-end figures from Naspers, with revenue up 16.1% but profit down 38.7%.
  • A full-year loss from MultiChoice Group, although revenue up 5.6%.
  • A positive trading update from PBT Group.
  • Naspers Foundry made a R30 million first investment in South African tech start-up SweepSouth, an online cleaning services platform that connects clients with domestic cleaners.
  • Bolt, the ride-hailing platform formerly known as Taxify, unveiled Bolt for Business, a service that allows companies to manage and pay for corporate trips.
  • Naspers’ new company to be floated in The Netherlands is called Prosus.

Key African news

  • Internet Technologies Angola acquired Vodacom’s business unit operations in Angola.
  • Synergy Communications bought Vodacom Group’s business unit operations in Nigeria, Zambia and Cote d'Ivoire.
  • Vodafone Ghana purchased Vodacom’s business unit operations in Ghana.
  • The appointments of Sahem Azzam as VP in the MEA region for Orange Business Services; and Feras Zeidan as head of Mitel’s MEA operations.

Key international news

  • Accenture acquired Deja vu Security, a privately held company that specialises in security design and testing of enterprise software platforms and IOT technologies.
  • Amazon’s Twitch bought UK-based Bebo, one of the earlier platforms to let people share their thoughts and media with their friends, for $25 million.

Naspers Foundry made a R30 million first investment in South African tech start-up SweepSouth.

  • Cognizant purchased Zenith Technologies, an Ireland-based privately held life sciences manufacturing technology services company.
  • Iron Mountain acquired InfoZafe, a provider of document storage and information destruction to public and private organisations in Thailand.
  • Microsoft’s GitHub bought Pull Panda, a start-up behind code review tools for GitHub developers.
  • Niantic, the Silicon Valley company behind Pokémon Go, purchased UK-based games studio Sensible Object as it continues to expand its augmented reality gaming platform.
  • Accenture Ventures led a $105 million investment in Optimizely, a Web site testing start-up.
  • Eurazeo led a $230 million investment in French start-up Meero, which offers online editing and production tools for photographers.
  • Facebook revealed ambitious plans to launch a global crypto-currency called Libra, part of an effort to expand into digital payments.
  • Good quarterly numbers from Red Hat.
  • Satisfactory quarterly results from Jabil Circuit and Oracle.
  • Satisfactory year-end figures from Castleton Technology and Telecom Plus.
  • Mixed quarterly figures from Adobe and Methode Electronics, with revenue up but net income down; and from American Software, with revenue down but net income up.
  • Mixed year-end figures from ULS Technology, with revenue down but net income up.
  • Quarterly losses from Fang Holdings.
  • Full-year losses from Blue Prism Group, Dixons Carphone and Flexion Mobile.
  • The appointments of David Meredith as CEO of Everbridge; and Liu Young-Way as chairman of Foxconn.
  • The departures of Jaime Ellertson, CEO of Everbridge; and Terry Gou, chairman of Foxconn.
  • A planned IPO of Ebix’s EbizCash operations, which are based in India, in Q2 2020.
  • A very good direct listing on Nasdaq by Slack Technologies, the provider of a cloud-based workplace messaging app.

Research results and predictions


  • The EMEA market for gaming desktops and notebooks declined in the first quarter of 2019, dropping 4.9% year-on-year (YOY) and totalling 2 million units, according to IDC. Growth of 6.8% YOY is expected for the full year 2019, however, to reach 9 million units. By the end of 2023, the market is expected to increase to 11.4 million units, with a four-year CAGR of 6.1%.
  • The overall META hardcopy peripherals market suffered a significant decline in both units and value in Q1019, with 1.43 million units shipped for a total value of $480.4 million, down 9.2% and 8.3%, respectively, YOY, according to IDC.


  • Worldwide spending on customer experience and relationship management software grew 15.6% to reach $48.2 billion in 2018, according to Gartner. Worldwide enterprise application software revenue totalled more than $193.6 billion in 2018, a 12.5% increase from 2017 revenue of $172.1 billion.
  • The number of devices connected to the Internet, including the machines, sensors and cameras that make up the IOT, continues to grow at a steady pace, according to IDC. A new forecast estimates there will be 41.6 billion connected IOT devices, or ‘things’ generating 79.4 zettabytes of data in 2025.
  • The market for wearable devices is on track to reach global shipments of 222.9 million units in 2019, growing to 302.3 million units in 2023, with a CAGR of 7.9%, according to IDC.
  • Vendor revenue from sales of IT infrastructure products (server, enterprise storage and Ethernet switch) for cloud environments, including public and private cloud, grew 11.4% YOY in 1Q19, reaching $14.5 billion, according to IDC. It also lowered its forecast for total spending on cloud IT infrastructure in 2019 to $66.9 billion, down 4.5% from last quarter's forecast, with slower year-over-year growth of 1.6%.
  • The number of global Internet users is on a slow growth phase, increasing to 3.8 billion people in 2018, up from 3.6 billion in 2017, according to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report.
  • According to Newzoo, a gaming analytics firm, the global video and electronic games market will generate $152.1 billion in 2019, up 9.6% over last year, as gaming morphs into content and communication.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: up 1.3%
  • FTSE100: Up 0.8%
  • DAX: Up 2%
  • NYSE (Dow): Up 2.4%
  • S&P 500: Up 2.2% (highest close)
  • Nasdaq: Up 3%
  • Nikkei225: Up 0.7%
  • Hang Seng: Up 5%
  • Shanghai: Up 4.2%

Look out for


  • Apple ‘helping out’ Japan Display.

South Africa:

  • The PIC reducing its stake in Naspers.

Final word

BrandZ recently released its 2019 ‘World’s most valuable’ list.

Included in the top 25, from a technology perspective, are:

  • 1: Amazon (was 3)
  • 2: Apple (no change)
  • 3: Google (was 1)
  • 4: Microsoft (no change)
  • 6: Facebook (no change)
  • 7: Alibaba (was 9)
  • 8: Tencent (was 5)
  • 10: AT&T (no change)
  • 11: Verizon (was 12)
  • 13: IBM (was 11)
  • 16: SAP (was 17)
  • 20: Xfinity (was 24)
  • 25: Deutsche Telekom (no change)

New entrants include Dell Technologies at 81, TCS at 97, Xbox at 87 and Xiaomi at 74.

Major movers include Adobe at 45 (was 75), Baidu at 63 (was 41), Instagram at 44 (was 91), LinkedIn at 58 (was 83), Movistar at 75 (was 53), Netflix at 34 (was 61), NTT at 70 (was 55) and Salesforce at 46 (was 78).

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