Here are the five most important stories we are tracking today — Thursday, November 16, 2023.

Jumia reports lowest losses since its IPO

  • In the third quarter of 2023, Jumia witnessed a significant financial upswing, reporting its lowest adjusted EBITDA loss since its 2019 IPO at $15 million, from the $27 million recorded in Q1 and $19.3 million in Q2.
  • The African e-commerce giant strategically improved its liquidity, experiencing a $19 million reduction in its Q3 2022 position — a remarkable 71% YoY decrease compared to a $66.0 million reduction in the third quarter of 2022.
  • It posted an 11% YoY decrease in revenue to $45 million, a 19% increase on a constant currency basis. The Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) amounted to $181 million, a 25% YoY decline but up 3% on a constant currency basis. Quarterly active customers and orders experienced reductions, with 2.3 million customers (down 24.3% from Q3 2022) placing 7.2 million orders (a 23% decrease compared to Q3 2022).
  • Sales and advertising expenses also saw a significant 74% YoY reduction, totaling $4.3 million in Q3 2023, as Jumia remains committed to disciplined marketing investments. The operating loss decreased to $19 million, a 57% YoY reduction from $43 million in the third quarter of 2022, indicating a positive trend in the company's operational performance.

Microsoft's "Windows App" comes to an iOS device near you

  • Microsoft is set to launch the "Windows app" for iOS (sorry, Android users) and the web, allowing users to access a Windows PC in the cloud from anywhere.
  • The app is currently available in preview for everyone, but you'll need Windows 365, Azure Virtual Desktop, Microsoft Dev Box, or a personal Remote Desktop PC.

Google is stopping unlimited WhatsApp backups on Android

  • Google has announced that "WhatsApp backups on Android will soon start counting toward your Google Account cloud storage limit, similar to how WhatsApp backups are handled on other mobile platforms."
  • This means that the tech giant will no longer store all your WhatsApp chats on Android devices for free starting in early 2024, while the change will begin rolling out to WhatsApp Beta users in December 2023.
  • All Google accounts come with 15GB of free storage shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos, so you can back up your chats before the deadline without videos or photos to have access to them if you switch phones.

Ads may be coming to WhatsApp soon

  • WhatsApp is exploring the introduction of ads – but not in the main message inbox. It'll likely be in the WhatsApp Status and Channels, as it strives to maintain a positive user experience while allowing businesses to connect with their audience.
  • Will Cathcart, the Head of WhatsApp, confirmed its intention to display ads and monetize on the platform in a recent interview, saying: “The reason I qualified the answer is that there could be ads in other places — channels or status. For example, channels might charge people to subscribe, they might be exclusive to paid members or the owners might want to promote the channel. But, no, we won’t put ads in your inbox”.
  • While the idea of WhatsApp ads is a possibility following Cathcart's statement, nothing has yet been rolled out, not even a test in any country.

Microsoft launches Copilot web app

  • Microsoft has launched a dedicated Copilot website, bringing the AI assistant to any platform – accessible in Microsoft Edge and Chromium-powered web browsers. It also works across Windows and Mac.
  • Initially announced earlier in March 2023, Copilot (which replaces Cortana) works across the company's extensive portfolio of services including Windows 11, Edge, Microsoft 365 and its search engine Bing.
  • With Copilot, users will be able to pull data from their calendar, email, documents or any app to analyze their context and content and help them quickly draft texts or emails. It will also provide instant recommendations, streamlining your workflow and saving you valuable time.

Follow all of Techloy's coverage of the technology news happening locally and globally and get up to date with what's happening in the key markets within the region.