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Who is the poorest among the Royal Family?

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kongehuset

The Norwegian Kingdom lives the most modest life among all the European Royal families. This has made people believe that the king of Norway is one of the poorest monarchs on Earth, as this royal family lives the most modest life compared to the other royal families in Europe. The members of this family dress in a very simple way, even at formal events, which distinguishes them from other noble people.

Moreover, they don’t live on the money of taxpayers, but instead, try to earn money themselves.

For example, Prince Haakon, together with the Katzenjammer band, recorded a single for Christmas.

The success of the song was mind-blowing. All the money Haakon made from this collaboration was donated to charity.

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General News

George Floyd’s Key Witness and longtime friend refuses to testify in Court

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George Floyds Key Witness and longtime friend refuses to testify in Court

George Floyd’s Key Witness and longtime friend refuses to testify in Court

A key state witness has refused to testify in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial, DailyMail.com can reveal.

Morries Lester Hall, 42, was in the car with George Floyd, 46, on the day of his death.

He has spoken publicly in the months since the incident outside Cup Foods and has consistently claimed that Floyd did not resist arrest and that he himself attempted to diffuse the situation.

But in a surprise move Hall, who is on the State’s witness list, filed a motion with Hennepin County District Court late Wednesday evening in which he gave notice that he would plead the Fifth if called upon to testify by either side.

Hall’s decision came at the end of the third day in Chauvin’s trial, which saw the jurors shown previously-unseen footage of Chauvin with his hands around Floyd’s neck, trying to wrestle him into a patrol car.

The legal document filed by Hennepin County Public Defender and seen by DailyMail.com states: ‘Mr Morries Lester Hall…hereby provides notice to all parties in this matter that if called to testify he will invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.’

Hall, like Floyd, is a Houston native and the two men connected with each other in Minneapolis through a pastor.

According to an interview with The New York Times he and Floyd had been in touch every day since 2016 and he considered the older man a ‘confidant and mentor.’

In that same interview Hall himself boasted: ‘I’m a key witness to the cops murdering George Floyd, and they want to know my side. Whatever I’ve been through, it’s all over with now. It’s not about me.’

Yet despite his claims, Hall was far from co-operative at the outset of the investigation into Floyd’s death.

He had outstanding warrants for his arrest on felony possession of a firearm, felony domestic assault and felony drug possession at the time of Floyd’s death.

He gave a false name at the time, and then left the city two days after Floyd died, and hitch-hiked to Houston, The New York Times reported.

Agents of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension attempted to contact Hall numerous times to no avail.

He was tracked down to Houston and arrested, spending a night in jail following questioning.

Chauvin is standing trial on three counts: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

If convicted on the most serious count he could face up to 40 years in prison. If convicted on the lesser charge he could be free within as little as five years.

Prosecutors expect to take between two and two and a half weeks to mount their case against him and have so far rattled through numerous, often emotional, witnesses in their bid to see Chauvin convicted.

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Nana Addo receives customized Real Madrid jersey from Spanish PM to celebrate his 77th birthday

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Nana Addo receives customized Real Madrid jersey from Spanish PM to celebrate his 77th birthday

Nana Addo receives customized Real Madrid jersey from Spanish PM to celebrate his 77th birthday

Nana Addo receives customized Real Madrid jersey: Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, today presented a customized Real Madrid jersey to Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as his birthday present.

The jersey was autographed by some of the players of Real Madrid.

Nana Addo receives customized Real Madrid jersey from Spanish PM to celebrate his 77th birthday Nana Addo receives customized Real Madrid jersey from Spanish PM to celebrate his 77th birthday

The President left Ghana on last Sunday to Spain to attend the ongoing ‘Focus Africa 2023’ Conference, being held in Madrid.

Focus Africa 2023 Conference

Focus Africa 2023, an in-person Conference, defines Spanish foreign action in Africa until 2023 and forms part of the Spanish Foreign Action Strategy 2021-2024.

It includes the specific actions the Spanish Government intends to take with key stakeholders in Africa, including Ghana, and it is aligned with the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s 2063 Agenda.

The President was accompanied by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, and officials of the Presidency and Foreign Ministry.

Nana Addo receives customized Real Madrid jersey from Spanish PM to celebrate his 77th birthday

The President will return to Ghana on Tuesday and in his absence, the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, shall, in accordance with Article 60(8) of the Constitution, act in his stead.

Nana Addo receives customized Real Madrid jersey from Spanish PM to celebrate his 77th birthday Nana Addo receives customized Real Madrid jersey from Spanish PM to celebrate his 77th birthday

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African payments company Flutterwave now valued at over $1B

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Flutterwave now valued at over $1B

The proliferation of fintech services across Africa remains in full swing as investors remain bullish about the opportunities that abound in the sector. Today we behold another unicorn: African payments company Flutterwave announced that it has closed $170 million, valuing the company over $1 billion.

New York-based private investment firm Avenir Growth Capital and U.S. hedge fund and investment firm Tiger Global led the Series C round. New and existing investors who participated include DST Global, Early Capital Berrywood, Green Visor Capital, Greycroft Capital, Insight Partners, Salesforce Ventures, Tiger Management, Worldpay FIS and 9yards Capital.

The Series C round comes a year after Flutterwave closed its $35 million Series B and $20 million Series A in 2018. In total, Flutterwave has raised $225 million and is one of the few African startups to have secured more than $200 million in funding.

Launched in 2016 as a Nigerian and U.S.-based payments company with offices in Lagos and San Francisco, Flutterwave helps businesses build customizable payments applications through its APIs.

When the company raised its Series B, we reported that Flutterwave had processed 107 million transactions worth $5.4 billion. Right now, those numbers have increased to over 140 million transactions worth more than $9 billion. The company, which also helps businesses outside Africa to expand their operations on the continent, has an impressive clientele of international companies, including Booking.com, Flywire and Uber.

Flutterwave says more than 290,000 businesses use its platform to carry out payments. And according to the company’s statement, they can do so “in 150 currencies and multiple payment modes including local and international cards, mobile wallets, bank transfers, Barter by Flutterwave.”

While its website shows an active presence in 11 African countries, Flutterwave CEO Olugbenga Agboola, also known as GB, told TechCrunch the company is live in 20 African countries with an infrastructure reach in over 33 countries on the continent.

Last year was a pivotal one for the five-year-old company. Its second investment came just in time before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Africa, negatively impacting some businesses but not payments companies like Flutterwave.

Agboola says his company grew more than 100% in revenue within the past year due to the pandemic without giving specifics on numbers. It also contributed to its compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 226% from 2018.

According to the CEO, this growth resulted from an increase in activities in “COVID beneficiary sectors” — a term used by Flutterwave to describe sectors positively impacted by the pandemic. They include streaming, gaming, remittance and e-commerce, among others. Agboola adds that the company plans to ride on these sectors’ growth and continue in that trajectory.

Besides, Flutterwave’s response in introducing the Flutterwave Store for merchants during pandemic-induced lockdowns was instrumental as well. The product, which went live across 15 African countries, helps over 20,000 merchants to create storefronts and sell their products online.

Flutterwave wants to become a global payments company, and the Series C investment helps to reach that goal. The company says it plans to use the funds to speed up customer acquisition in its present markets. It will also improve existing product offerings like Barter, where it has over 500,000 users, and introduce new offerings. One such is Flutterwave Mobile, which in the founder’s words “will turn merchants’ mobile devices into a point of sale, allowing them to accept payments and make sales.”

In a statement, Agboola gives credit to the company’s more than 300 staff, investors, customers and regulatory bodies like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for creating the backbone for Flutterwave’s success.

For some, it would come off as strange that the CEO mentioned the last stakeholder given the unfavorable and questionable regulations it has recently placed on fintechs in Nigeria.

However, Agboola thinks the reverse is the case. He makes a bold statement by saying that under the current CBN governor’s administration, the Central Bank has shown a consistent regulatory framework that has allowed fintechs like Flutterwave to thrive.

“Flutterwave, for instance, launched when the governor just came in. We got our license and scaled our business because of a favourable regime that allowed it to be possible. There are so many trailblazing innovations that we don’t talk about a lot about Nigeria, like the BVN and the NIP system. Nigeria has consistently been at the forefront of payments innovation for over a decade, and it was all possible because of the forward-looking CBN policies,” he said.

On exits, acquisitions and the billion-dollar club
One fintech company that has unquestionably championed payments in this time frame is Interswitch. The payments giant is currently worth $1 billion after Visa acquired a 20% stake in 2019, and Flutterwave joins the company as the only fintechs in Nigeria to have reached that valuation. This number increases to four in Africa when including publicly traded African e-commerce company Jumia and Egyptian payments company Fawry.

Flutterwave’s $170 million mammoth raise and its billion-dollar valuation represent a landmark achievement for the African startup scene. While the aforementioned companies’ valuations can’t be disputed, there are question marks on whether some are startups and whether others are African companies.

Interswitch, for instance, was founded in 2002, which doesn’t necessarily make it a startup despite still being private. Fawry was launched in 2007, but didn’t become a billion-dollar company until 2020, a year after going public. Jumia, albeit public, reached unicorn status as a private company in 2016; however, there are varying opinions as to whether it is an African company or not.

Unlike the others, Flutterwave checks all the boxes of what a billion-dollar African startup should ideally look like — founded by Africans in Africa while reaching a $1 billion valuation in fewer than 10 years.

Most stakeholders in Africa’s tech ecosystem knew this would happen, but the timing expected was later rather than sooner. After raising $35 million in a Series B in 2020, who would have thought Flutterwave was going to raise almost five times that amount the following round and be valued at more than $1 billion the next year? Maybe just a few.

Well, these numbers rarely matter to Agboola, as I ask him what he thinks of Flutterwave’s new growth metric. “I’ll say valuation is both art and science. At some point, we were also the most valuable African company at YC, but it’s not really a metric we’re focused on at Flutterwave because they move up and down,” he smiles. “Our key metrics have always been revenue, customer growth and retention.”

Aptly said, but as the company continues to grow, questions around profitability and exit will become more frequent.

Paystack, another Nigerian payments company that is often compared to Flutterwave, got acquired by Stripe for more than $200 million last year. At the time, there were also rumours of Flutterwave taking the same route, but this Series C raise suggests that the company is not looking to exit at the moment. However, if the YC-backed company indeed does, it might be through an IPO.

“Like every other startup, we’re thinking about ways to create exit tools for our investors. So, a listing is very much in our plans, but for now, we’re focused on giving the best value to our customers,” Agboola said.

In the course of the company’s journey to this point, it has remained big on partnerships. In 2019, Flutterwave partnered with Visa to launch Barter and Alipay to offer digital payments between Africa and China. Then last year, the company announced a partnership with Worldpay FIS for payments in Africa.

Although Flutterwave has done this with bigger establishments, Agboola says the company will be looking to do the same with smaller companies, opening the doors to potential acquisitions.

“We believe in payments in partnership as you have to partner to scale. So, if in the course of making partnerships and scaling and we identify promising companies with a similar ethos and have our vision in mind, that is in making Africa a country, an acquisition isn’t off the table,” he said.

After capturing much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Agboola says Flutterwave’s next plan is to go live in North Africa. There, it will likely face competition from a local leader, Fawry, but that doesn’t matter. The African fintech market is large enough to accommodate multiple players.

That’s one reason why it has also been a popular bet with investors. The sector, which is both local and international investors’ top destination, attracted between 25% to 31% of the total VC funding last year from varying sources.

But from the information on their websites, this is the first time Flutterwave’s lead investors — Avenir Growth Capital and Tiger Global — are backing an African fintech startup. For the former, Flutterwave represents the first African startup in its portfolio, but Tiger Global is known to have invested in Nigerian media company iROKOtv and South African e-commerce company, Takealot.

Via their partners — Jamie Reynolds of Avenir Growth Capital and Scott Shleifer of Tiger Global, both firms said they’re backing Flutterwave on its quest to build a global and world-class payments company.

Looking into the future, Agboola insists that the company’s focus remains to support its 290,000 merchants and help them build global businesses.

“We look forward to increasing our investments across the continent and deepening the impact our platform has on lives and livelihoods as we take more businesses in Africa to the world, and at the same time continue to bring more of the world to Africa,” he said.

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