Initial Disclosure: After extensive research, we have taken a short position in shares of Tingo Group Inc (NASDAQ:TIO). This report represents our opinion, and we encourage every reader to do their own due diligence. Please see our full disclaimer at the bottom of the report.
Tingo Group (NASDAQ:TIO) is a holding company that claims to operate primarily in Nigeria in multiple business segments, including (i) food processing and sales (ii) mobile handset sales & leasing and (iii) an online food marketplace called “Nwassa”. The company has a fully diluted market capitalization of ~$1.5 billion as of this writing, with a recent peak market value of ~$3 billion as of May 22nd, 2023.
In December 2022, the company entered the Nasdaq by closing another reverse merger with a listed Chinese fintech company. The company was renamed Tingo Group Inc and the ticker changed from MICT to TIO on February 27, 2023.
Tingo was founded in 2001 in Nigeria by “Dozy” Mmobuosi, who currently serves as the CEO of Tingo Group Holdings, the group’s key holding company entity. He has gained international attention, gracing the cover of GQ Africa in December 2022.
Regularly described by media as a billionaire, Dozy made further waves in February 2023 when he attempted to buy Sheffield United, an English football team recently promoted to the Premier league. [1,2,3,4] The deal stalled over questions about whether Dozy’s financial resources were genuine.
Despite his claims to be a successful billionaire entrepreneur, we found numerous red flags related to Dozy.
In a May 2020 interview, Dozy told a detailed origin story of what would later serve as a key biographical claim; how, in 2002, he developed the first mobile payment platform in Nigeria. Per the story, he partnered with a bank on the venture after he couldn’t find an easy way to send money to his brother.
At the end of the interview, Dozy claimed he could not mention the product or the bank due to confidentiality reasons:
“Understandably, I can’t mention the product or the bank in question for the sake of confidentiality.”
The lack of disclosure of the mere name of a company built and sold over 15 years ago runs contrary to the norm for essentially every other successful startup founder’s story.
Regardless, his reticence to disclose the name of the app seems to have gone away. The Tingo website now claims Dozy helped launch Nigeria’s first SMS banking solution called “Flashmecash”. Per the website:
“In 2002 he (Dozy) led the design and launch of Nigeria’s first SMS Banking Solution (Flashmecash), later sold to FMCB who still use it today.”
We reached out to Flashmecash’s actual creator, Deji Oguntonade, whom we verified as the inventor via check of Flashmecash’s patent, along with web searches. He informed us that Dozy’s claims were “totally false” and shared a WhatsApp post he wrote to Nigeria’s top fintechs and regulators making clear that Dozy’s claims were a “pure lie”.
The post provided a detailed background on the app, which Oguntonade reiterated had no connection to Dozy.
In his Tingo biography, Dozy claimed to have received a PhD in Rural Advancement from Malaysian university UPM in 2007. We contacted the school to confirm this credential. An administrator in the graduate studies department confirmed that the database has records from 2007 and earlier, but that Dozy’s name, including several variations we tried were “not found for verification”.
In 2017, Dozy was arrested in Nigeria and faced 8 charges including conspiracy, obtaining by false pretense and issuance of approximately U.S. $70,000 in bad checks, according to the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. The case was later settled in arbitration, according to local media and company filings. [Pg. 13]
Per reporting by The Athletic, November 2020 Facebook messages urged customers to “fly with Tingo Airlines today”.
The company also had an Instagram page where it posted photoshopped pictures of planes with a Tingo logo on them. The page was removed after observers noticed that the planes had too many windows and were missing a door, owing to a poor photoshop job.
Dozy later confessed in a CNN interview to never owning the planes, blaming the failed launch of the airline on Covid.
However, less than 2 years later, in April 2023, Charlier resigned suddenly, stating in a letter addressed to Dozy and filed with the SEC:
“I have made numerous efforts to implement best corporate governance practices…Despite my efforts…many critical questions, comments and recommendations which I have sent to management and the Board have once again remained unanswered and unheeded. As a result, I will not be in a position to approve the 10K for 2022 prepared by management and feel it necessary to recuse myself by resigning from the Board”.
When reviewing Tingo’s claimed business segments and operations, we begin to understand why Charlier may have made his decision.
The vast majority of Tingo’s claimed revenue is derived from Tingo Foods, an entity that was formed in August 2022. The company claims, within the exact same filing, that it “commenced food processing operations” in August 2022 and September 2022. [Pg. 8]
Tingo acquired the 7-month-old entity from Dozy in February 2023 via a $204 million, 2-year, 5% promissory note. [Pg. 28]
Despite the entity existing for less than a year, Tingo’s quarterly report said Tingo Foods generated a whopping $577.2 million in just 2 months (February and March), putting it on pace for $3.4 billion in annual revenue and $861 million in annual operating income. [Pg. 18]
Tingo doesn’t have a processing facility of its own. Rather, the company claims that it has outsourced its processing to an unnamed third party. [Pg. 13] Despite simply acting as a middleman, Tingo claims its operating margins, a key measure of profitability, are higher than every major food company on earth at 24.8%.
We checked Tingo Foods’ website to learn more about its unparalleled profitability and its outsourced partner. It provided virtually no information. The website’s “products” section consisted of only 4 stock photos of food items with no details on its services.
Tingo seems unsatisfied with its industry-leading operating margins earned by working with its mystery processing partner. In early 2023, the company announced plans to construct a $1.6 billion food processing facility in Nigeria, with completion scheduled for mid-2024. [Pg. 28]
Company presentations and other advertisements showed a rendering of the planned facility, as seen below from local media:
The ceremony was attended by luminaries of government, including the minister of Agriculture, along with numerous local leaders and other attendees. Media covered the event extensively, which featured local dancers and other fanfare.
An internet search reveals that the rendering of Tingo’s planned facility in its investor materials and its groundbreaking billboard matches a picture from stockphoto website ArtStation. Metadata from the stockphoto page indicates that the picture has been for sale since 2018, 5 years prior to Tingo’s use of the photo. The site licenses the picture for $209.
Furthermore, the picture is titled “A large completed Refinery”. Tingo apparently chose a stock photo of an oil refinery to represent its food processing facility.
In its Q1 2023 results filing, reported May 15th, Tingo said that since its groundbreaking, it has made significant progress:
“Since then [the groundbreaking ceremony], significant progress has been made on the construction of the facility including the installation of infrastructure, drainage, water supply and the foundations of its numerous buildings.”
Intrigued at how the company could so rapidly move from buying a stock photo of an oil refinery to laying “foundations of its numerous buildings”, we decided to pay the site a visit on May 24th, 2023.
We found several cinderblocks that were in place as part of the ceremony, but not one single additional brick or additional site prep, despite the company’s claims and supposedly being only 18-24 months away from targeted completion.
Click here to see a brief video of a 360 degree look at the site, which consists solely of the sign with the stock photo of the oil refinery, overgrown brush, a shipping container, and the plaque commemorating the groundbreaking.
On February 22, 2023, as part of its food processing facility project, Tingo announced an agreement with UK-based Evtec Energy Plc. Together, the two planned to build a $150 million solar plant near Tingo’s food-processing facility using Evtec’s “advanced energy-tech”, with Evtec footing the bill.
Evtec Energy’s UK filings show that the entity was dormant as of its most recent 2022 annual report, and held exactly zero cash in the bank at the time:
Evtec’s name was in fact only recently changed to Evtec; it was called “UK Investment Securities Plc” until September 2022.
Given the above, it is difficult for us to believe Tingo’s claims that any funding would be provided through Evtec, or that it had any “advanced energy-tech”—rather it appears it was a dormant shell company now being used to prop up Tingo’s claims.
At risk of pummeling readers with the obvious, from our site visit on May 24, 2023, we found no evidence of any development at all, solar or otherwise.
All told, we strongly suspect Tingo’s claimed food processing business is completely fraudulent.
As noted above, Tingo acquired Tingo foods in February 9, 2023. [Pg. 9] The purchase price was based on the cost of Tingo Foods’ claimed inventory at the time, per a later Tingo proxy statement filed with the SEC:
“As consideration for the Acquisition, TINGO GROUP agreed to pay Mr. Mmobuosi a purchase price approximately equal to the cost value of the inventory held by Tingo Foods, to be satisfied by the issuance of a secured promissory note (“Promissory Note”) in the amount of US$204,000,000.” [Pg. F-95]
However, the Q1 2023 10-Q – in which Tingo Foods is consolidated – has zero mentions of inventory. Not a single line for inventory on the balance sheet, nor changes in inventory on the statement of cash flows, nor any other mention at all.
There is no attempted explanation in the filing for how $204 million in inventory that had been acquired less than 2 months earlier had vanished entirely.
We suspect no inventory ever existed because Tingo Foods as a whole seems to not exist. As we explore later, Tingo’s financial statements are rife with other major red flags indicating that they are likely completely fabricated.
Core to Tingo’s claims is that it has a massive userbase consisting of rural farmers that use its mobile products. These users serve as the backbone of the entire company as Tingo claims to offer the farmers other services like food processing and food exports.
According to SEC filings, Tingo Mobile was launched by Dozy in 2001, the earliest division of the company. [Pg. 22] Archived versions of Tingo’s website claimed that it rapidly expanded upon launch, having completed the “design and distribution of 8 million phones for Nigerian farmers” by March 2014.
According to its current website, Tingo claims to have sold 30 million mobile devices since inception. Its most recent investor presentation says the company has 12 million active mobile customers. [Pg. 7]
Tingo said in an October 2022 press release that its userbase is largely derived through contractual relationships with “two large farmers’ cooperatives” which “facilitates the distribution of Tingo branded smartphones into various rural communities of member farmers”.
Its recent 10-Q similarly reiterated its reliance on farming cooperatives for “each of our current subscribers”. [Pg. 27]
Given that Tingo’s farmer userbase is key to its entire business and the 2 cooperatives are key to its userbase, these are critical relationships.
While the farmer’s cooperatives went unnamed in the company’s press release, an earlier article from local media outlet Weetracker (paywalled) was able to identify them.
In March 2022, Weetracker interviewed a Tingo spokesperson along with local experts to understand the company’s userbase claims, which totaled 12 million at the time. One local expert in Nigerian agriculture told the outlet:
“I’ve been in this field for more than 20 years and I have built agric distribution chains from all the key farming geographies in the country for some of the biggest companies. Trust me, if any platform has as little as 1,000 farmers, I would know. Let alone 12 million farmers? No single private platform has up to 500,000 farmers in Nigeria at the moment”
Tingo’s chief of staff, Rory Bowen, responded by claiming that the farmers might simply not know they are using Tingo, because it works with farmer cooperatives and not with the farmers directly.
“We don’t deal with farmers directly, that may be why they don’t know the brand. We have relationships with two main cooperatives: Kebbi Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society and Ailoje Royal Farms Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society. They help us reach 4-5 million farmers each.”
It is relatively unfathomable that millions of farmers using “Tingo-branded smartphones”, per the company’s annual report, would be unaware of Tingo. [Pg. 83] Putting that absurdity aside for the moment, Weetracker reached out to both cooperatives and found that neither had heard of Tingo. Per the same article:
“WeeTracker reached out to the leaders of both cooperatives and, strangely, they claimed they had never heard of Tingo, nor did they have millions of farmers under their organization with each of them volunteering that they have much less than 100 farmers.”
The leader of one of the cooperatives said:
“It is simply not true, I don’t know anything about this company and I’ve been running this cooperative for years.”
We reached out to one of the cooperatives named in the piece, the Ailoje Royal Farms Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society. Its owner told us that Tingo are “scammers”.
Adding more fuel to our skepticism, Tingo’s 30+ million claimed mobile sales come despite the Nigerian Communications Commission (“NCC”) having no record of Tingo as a licensee at all:
For context, Tingo says in its filings that it has an agreement with Airtel to provide voice and data services under a Mobile Virtual Network Operators (“MVNO”) arrangement:
We recently reached out to Airtel and corresponded with its Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of Nigeria, who said he would check on the existence and nature of the claimed partnership. Following the initial publication of our report, Airtel’s investor relations responded, denying it had a relationship with Tingo Mobile.
The same picture is available for free on Shutterstock with a description “young black African farmer checking interesting content on smart phone”.
The corporate presentation has another photo of African farmers that are meant to look like they are using Tingo phones:
But once again, the photo can be found on Adobe Stock under the header “excited African couple doing internet banking on their farmland.”
Beyond the apparent extensive use of stock photos for its website, Tingo Mobile shows few other signs of life. Its Facebook page has a mere 733 likes and 926 followers, not what one would expect for a provider that has more than 12 million users.
Tingo’s 2022 annual report says that “UGC Technologies Company Limited and Bullitt Mobile Limited are TGH Group’s sole suppliers of mobile phones at present.” [Pg. 10]
Per the same filing, Tingo says the relationships have been in place since March 2020 and January 2022, respectively.
Beyond its need to sell and service its claimed 9+ million mobile customers, it was during this time period that Tingo announced a major handset deal. Per its annual report:
“…in Q4 2021 Tingo Mobile sold an additional 2.9 million handsets to a non-agricultural cooperative in Nigeria” [Pg. 8]
We therefore would expect the suppliers to have collectively sold millions of phones to Tingo. However, when we spoke with representatives from each, they told us that neither of the claimed suppliers had sold a single phone to Tingo.
Tingo’s filings state with respect to UGC:
“In March 2020, Tingo Mobile entered into a mobile phone procurement contract with UGC Technologies Company Limited” [Pg. 10]
We spoke with UGC’s Troy, Michigan-based CEO, Busty Okendaye, who explained that UGC had no contract with Tingo. UGC had bid on a contract to provide phones to Tingo about 3 years ago, but after submitting its proposal, it never heard back:
“They did not even reply to us – not even verbally or in writing. We submitted our own bid, but we did not get a response from them.”
He also expressly denied that UGC has sold any phones to Tingo, telling us:
“We do not provide not even a single unit to them. We manufacture mobile phones, but we don’t produce for them.”
Tingo further states in its 2022 annual report that it entered into its second supply agreement in January 2022, this one with UK-based Bullitt Mobile. [Pg. 10] A representative for Bullitt confirmed that the company had signed a contract to provide phones in the future but has not provided any phones to date.
Given the massive red flags, we decided to inspect the company’s physical locations as reported in its SEC filings. Per Tingo Group’s annual report, Tingo Mobile has 2 locations in Nigeria [Pg. 78]:
Our investigator visited Allianz Towers during working hours in late May.
There was no visible street-level signage, but our investigator found the Tingo office on the 4th floor of the building. It was lightly staffed with around 6-8 people. The office door had a conspicuous sign placed by the tax authorities highlighting that the company was not compliant with its federal tax obligations.
The second location listed in Tingo’s filings tracks to an area that looks residential. The latest Google street view picture of the address is from October 2021, depicting a residential structure in development.
Tingo claims to be copying its Nigeria playbook in Ghana– open an office, distribute phones, help farmers:
“On November 10, 2022, Tingo Mobile opened a new regional head office in Ghana and launched operations there. In conjunction with the launch, Tingo Mobile also announced an agreement with the Ashanti Investment Trust, the investment arm of the Ashanti Kingdom, to enroll a minimum of 2 million new members in Ghana with Tingo Mobile within 120 days of signing and has agreed on a target to increase such enrollments to at least 4 million members.” [Pg. 3]
The Company threw a launch event in November 2022, but it is unclear whether any of the new subscribers ever materialized within the 120 days (i.e., February 2023) as claimed.
Ghana’s Communications regulator – the National Communications Authority (NCA) – has zero records pertaining to Tingo Mobile – zero licenses and zero mentions on the website, just as was the case for Tingo and the Nigerian Communications Commission.
The NCA website says the nation at large has 22.76 million mobile data subscriptions as of January 2023. Tingo’s claims would suggest that it already took over ~9%-18% of the entire nation’s market share despite having no license to do so.
We tried contacting Tingo Mobile in Ghana through the phone and email details on its website, to see how it might be growing so rapidly.
The phone number appears to be defunct, as we called at various times without an answer. The email address also appears invalid, as it bounced back when we tried to reach out.
As a last-ditch effort to buy a Tingo Mobile Ghana phone, we visited its office location on May 25th, 2023 during working hours. Our investigator reported seeing only two cars in the parking lot. There were no customers in the store and when they tried to buy a plan or a phone an employee told them the location wasn’t operational yet.
Tingo has made other questionable claims relating to its mobile division. On March 31st, 2021, Tingo announced it was expanding its mobile services by launching “Tingo Pay” through a partnership with Stanbic IBTC Bank.
Two days after Tingo’s announcement, the bank issued a statement declaring Tingo’s announcement to be false.
Stanbic said that while it had a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tingo, it clarified:
“(Stanbic) has NOT concluded any agreement with Tingo International in respect of any payment system whatsoever, including ‘Tingo Pay’.”
In its latest filings, Tingo claims it relaunched TingoPay as a new “Super App” in 2023 in partnership with Visa. [Pg. 9] We reached out to Visa to learn more but have yet to hear back on the relationship. We could find no links, or evidence of a new TingoPay app in the GooglePlay or Apple stores.
Per its website, Tingo Mobile now offers a TingoPay POS system, presumably as part of its partnership. The website has 2 pictures of the system.
The first image appears to have been lifted from hardware offered by an Indian payments company called PoketPOS, that launched a PoS device around 3 years ago, before Tingo’s claimed offering. Tingo seems to have simply photoshopped its own logo onto the picture of the competitor’s product. Here is Tingo’s website:
And here is the competitor’s website, showing a picture of identical PoS hardware without the Tingo logo from 3 years prior:
The second TingoPay PoS picture from the company’s website is seen below:
Once again, it appears to be a ripoff of a picture from a Chinese manufacturer with the Tingo logo photoshopped onto the picture of the hardware. The Chinese manufacturer also launched its product around 3 years ago, before Tingo’s claimed offering:
Tingo claims that its NWASSA platform is a groundbreaking innovation that cuts out middlemen by allowing farmers to sell products wholesale or retail directly in their home marketplaces. The company calls it “Africa’s leading digital agriculture ecosystem”. [Pg. 3]
Last quarter, Tingo reported $125.3 million in revenue through NWASSA, putting it on track for $501 million in annual revenue. [Pg. 15]
The company has been inconsistent about when it supposedly launched NWASSA. In an interview with Techpoint in 2019, Dozy said he launched the NWASSA platform in January 2019. In an investor results conference call from March 2023, the story changed, with Dozy claiming it was launched in 2020.
Putting aside the mystery of when the platform was launched, the company has declared it to be a huge success. As early as July 2021 it claimed NWASSA platform “processes 500k daily transactions with a value of over $8 million”, implying ~180 million annual transactions.
The company has indicated that its explosive NWASSA business was taking place via a “USSD GSM transaction platform” a system of text messaging orders (i.e., “Press 2 to order rice”). We could find no evidence in media, company filings, or the company’s website that such a system exists aside from Dozy’s claims that 15 million transactions per month are processed in this way. [Pg. 10, Pgs. 20-21]
Curiously, DNS records for the NWASSA web domain show it was registered in May 2022, 2-3 years after the claimed launch date of the platform (depending on which launch date you pick).
Given its ample reported revenue, we expected the NWASSA webpage to have detailed information on its text message ordering system, along with a bustling online marketplace.
But our recent efforts to access the platform showed only that the website has been “under maintenance” for months, providing no information and no ability to shop.
Historical archives of the website from January of this year show that the now “under maintenance” site was never fully developed. It listed its first product as “test”.
None of the products we saw had any reviews or ratings. We saw no information on how to order through any USSD GSM text messaging system either.
With its claimed success in Nigeria, Tingo decided to take its show on the road, launching its NWASSA market in Ghana around November 2022, saying it would replicate “the same proven business model” from Nigeria.
On some level those efforts have come to fruition as the Ghana website also fails to load, simply saying it is “Updating…” without going anywhere.
Screen captures from earlier versions of the Ghana website show that at various times the company did offer products, again with no reviews and no sign of actual sales.
In one instance, the company offered a bag of “Ting Rice” of unspecified quantity for the equivalent of about U.S. $2,500. Ghana’s GDP per capita is about U.S. $2,400. Note that the picture of the rice was that of a bag marked “Tingo Beans”.
On May 30th, 2023, Tingo announced yet another exciting development and milestone. Per the release, Tingo claimed it had completed $348 million in export sales through its new subsidiary, Tingo DMCC, a commodity trading platform based out of Dubai. [Pg. 3]
The same release claimed it expected to complete an additional $1 billion in orders by Q3, for a total of $1.34 billion and an annual run rate of $1.78 billion.
Putting this figure in perspective, the 2022 annual agricultural exports for the entire country of Nigeria totaled about U.S. $1.15 billion, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Tingo therefore claims to be on track to eclipse the amount of the entire country’s exports within 9 months.
As a reminder, Tingo does not produce, harvest or process any agricultural goods on its own. The company does not claim to own warehouses or trucks used for Tingo DMCC. Instead, it claims to act as a middleman in these transactions—between the Nigerian farmers, farm collectives and unnamed export partners.
Note that Tingo claimed its gross profit on $348 million in food exports for which it is totally a middleman is “approaching $100 million”, or about 29%, which, if genuine, would likely place Tingo as the most profitable food export business in the world.
A search of Nigerian customs data provided through import / export aggregator Tradesparq yielded no results when searched for keywords “Tingo”, “Tingo DMCC”, “Tingo group”, “Tingo Mobile” and “Tingo Foods”.
The Tradeparq customs data covered the periods January 2019 to April 2023 for imports, and January 2021 to April 2023 for exports. A search for competitor “Nestle” yielded over 2,000 export entries alone.
Needless to say, this is a massive red flag indicating that Tingo’s claimed exports may be a total fabrication.
Tingo’s DMCC website was newly registered in 2022. It appears to have no live trading and no ability to set up an active trading account. All links go to prices on external website www.TradingView.com. The website has numerous non-functioning links and circular references that redirect back to the main home page.
The website includes a fake testimonial that appears leftover from the website template. The same “Gabriel Denis” in Tingo’s testimonial is mentioned in multiple other websites that share the same format. [1,2,3]
Given Tingo’s irregularities, with no signs of genuine customers, products, facilities, or really much of anything at all except bad photoshopping skills, one might wonder about the company’s glowing reported financials.
As a reminder, the company has a claimed cash balance of $780 million, and quarterly revenue and net income of $851 million and $177 million, respectively. [Pgs. 1, 3]
In what might be considered foreshadowing, Tingo’s annual report filed with the SEC includes a note to itself, with its own company name spelled wrong, that it forgot to delete. The report’s related party transactions note implores someone to “Please update for the tingle transaction including the tingle foods transaction.”
The section as reported didn’t end up including the Tingo Foods (or “tingle foods”) transaction.
In another instance, Tingo Mobile, the “Comprehensive Platform Service” segment, claimed $253.466 million in revenues in Q1 2023:
The explanatory note to these results then says the following:
“Gross profit related to the Comprehensive Platform Service segment for the three months ended March 31, 2023, was $156,010,000 representing a gross margin of 24%.” [Pg. 30]
While the note says the gross margin was 24%, math would suggest that the gross margin is actually 61.55% (i.e., $156.01 million in gross profits divided by $253.466 million in revenues.)
Similarly (shown below), the company seemingly forgot to add 3 zeroes to its cost of revenues for its Food Processing segment. We suspect it meant to report $348,896,000 (versus $348,896, which would give the segment an impressive 99.94% gross margin):
Beyond typos and other errors in notes, the company’s core financial statements also exhibit major irregularities.
The company seems to get its signs/directions confused. For example, with every other company we are aware of, a reduction in accounts receivable is considered a source in cash, given that the it means the accounts were paid.
Contrary to this, Tingo’s financial professionals seem to think that a $150 million reduction in accounts receivables somehow drains the company of cash, per its latest quarterly report.
The issue goes beyond its cash flow statements. Despite Tingo’s cash flow statement reporting that receivables decreased by $150.1 million, Tingo’s balance sheet in the same period reported that receivables increased by $345.2 million.
We couldn’t find any explanation for the $495.3 million accounts receivable discrepancy and suspect neither the trade receivables or cash balances are real.
The issue is not just isolated to Tingo’s unaudited quarterly report. Its annual report, which was audited and given a clean audit opinion, seems to suffer from the same issues. [Pg. F-11] It’s balance sheet shows a $6.3 million annual reduction in trade receivables while its cash flow statement shows an increase of $7.7 million in the same line item. [Pgs. F-6, F-11]) The annual report also includes the supposed accounts receivable increase as a source of cash in its cash flow statements, again mixing up the signs.
Note that the above is just a sampling of the issues. We identified similar issues with accounts payable, deferred taxes, current liabilities and PP&E.
In short, Tingo seems to have little financial controls whatsoever and its auditor seems to have completely missed it.
The Company Collected Only ~12% Of The Interest Income One Would Expect From Its Claimed Cash Balances
Tingo claimed to have $780 million in cash as of Q1 2023. [Pg. 1] Per the same financials:
“The majority of the cash is held at its bank in Nigeria, and there are certain foreign exchange restrictions in place that limit the conversion of such cash into US Dollars” [Pg. 31]
Despite its claims, Tingo has received far less interest on its cash than one would expect.
Interest rates on Nigerian deposits are around 8%. Tingo supposedly had $500 million in cash at year-end 2022 and $780 million at the end of Q1. If we conservatively assume a $600 million average cash balance, Tingo should have received about $12 million in interest income for the quarter. However, the company reported just $1.4 million. [Pg. 31]
The issues in Tingo’s financials are glaring enough that we’d expect they could have been spotted by any semi-conscious finance undergrad with severe vision loss.
These issues were apparently not glaring enough for the company’s auditor, however.
In October 2022, Tingo’s auditor, Friedman LLP resigned. [Pg. 94] In Friedman’s place stepped Brightman Almagor Zohar & Co., a firm in the Deloitte global network. The Israeli-based audit office is an odd choice given that Tingo has no signs of substantive operations in Israel. In its 2022 audit, “Deloitte Israel” gave Tingo an unqualified audit opinion. [Pg. F-3]
For 2022, Tingo disclosed that it paid over $1.5 million to its auditors for audit related fees including its annual audit and reviews of quarterly reports. [Pg. 106]
Given the obvious errors, we suspect Deloitte Israel missed or rushed through procedures that would have uncovered important findings. Deloitte is a big-4 firm with a reputation worthy of protecting. We hope it chooses to do so.
Tingo is a word in the Pascuense language of Easter Island meaning, “to borrow objects from a friend’s house, one by one, until there’s nothing left.”
For a company that did an otherwise terrible job trying to pretend to be a real business, it landed on an absolutely perfect name.
We expect Tingo will not be long for this world—another cautionary tale.
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 As of Tingo’s most recent Post Effective registration amendment, the company had 164,037,382 common shares outstanding as of May 23rd, 2023 [Pg. 10] plus 26,042,808 common shares issuable upon its Series A conversion and 336,872,138 common shares issuable upon its Series B conversion, [Pg. 113] for a total diluted share count of 526,952,328 shares.
 The company was originally called Fair Deal Concepts Ltd. Dozy’s full name is Mmobuosi Odogwu Banye. Note that Darren Mercer is the Group CEO of Tingo, while Dozy is CEO of its key holding company entity.
 For reference, we checked Mmobuosi Odogwu Banye, Mmobuosi Odogwu and even attempted his nickname, Dozy Odogwu.
 Tingo claims within the exact same filing that its Tingo Foods division “commenced food processing operations in August 2022” and that it “commenced food processing operations in September 2022”. [Pgs. 8, 22] Obviously both of these cannot be true. (We suspect neither of them are.)
 To replicate this, right click on the ArtStation webpage, navigate to “inspect”. From there readers can “Command+F” to find the origin of the picture, listed as October 28, 2018
 Note that Evtec Energy lists David Roberts as principal, who signed the agreement with Tingo alongside Dozy. We found no evidence of Robert’s experience building solar energy facilities, but plenty of experience in reverse mergers of companies in ‘hot’ sectors like electric vehicles and cannabis [1,2] along with other projects like building a nuclear reactor, which it aims to complete “by early 2030s”.
 Another anomaly in the Tingo Foods Plc statements is the disclosure that the company has just 3 customers: Customer A, Customer B, and Customer C which together constitute 100% of revenues. None of these customers are disclosed. It is unclear how a company has just 3 customers if it is supposedly providing “seed to sale” services for millions of farmers.
 The Company’s DEF 14A filed with the SEC on May 1, 2023 makes mention of inventory, but provides no clear explanation as to how the accounting line items disappeared from the financial statements entirely: “During March 2023, Tingo Foods…moved to a just-in-time inventory management system, in parallel to agreeing to a direct-to-customer shipping arrangement with its produce and processing suppliers, in connection with which it aims to avoid holding physical inventory.” [Pg. F-96]
 Note that in Tingo’s 10-K filed with the SEC it claimed that “in Q4 2021 Tingo Mobile sold an additional 2.9 million handsets to a non-agricultural cooperative in Nigeria”. [Pg. 8] Again, each cooperative had fewer than 100 farmers.
 Note also that the Facebook page for the small co-op says it has only 100 hectares of farmland. Were Tingo’s claims of 4-5 million farmers for the co-op true, it suggests that each farmer would only have 2.1-2.6 sq ft of land to grow crops each—perhaps enough for a handful of carrots and potatoes, but unlikely to drive the massive revenue and operating income metrics claimed by the company. (Unless they’re really, really delicious carrots.)
 MVNO licenses are a new development that come with a strict set of requirements around technical capabilities and financial condition. As of June, 2023, the licenses are just beginning to be approved. Thus it is not possible that Tingo Mobile had this license at any time in the past, and it does not show up as a current licensee.
 The NCC also reports numbering by carrier, a list Tingo also doesn’t show up on. Lastly, the NCC website breaks down the top mobile carriers, which include all the major local carriers like Airtel, 9mobile, Globacom, MTN and Visafone. Tingo again appears nowhere on any of the lists.
 Tingo claims to be partnering with the Ashanti Kingdom Investment Trust (“AKIT”) of the Ashanti Kingdom for the Ghana operation expansion. AKIT is run by “His Royal Highness Oheneba Yaw Otchere” who previously advised and partnered on a failed crypto project called Kamari / Kampay together with Tingo President Chris Cleverly. This would suggest that Otchere may either be a useful pawn of Cleverly and in this case Tingo, or that he’s willingly ‘in on it’. The shitcoin associated with the Kampay project initially spiked to around $7 then plummeted to $0.0038. Nothing ever came of the project or KamPay’s promises to revitalize Africa, that we can find.
 The data from the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics shows that 528 billion (Nigerian Naira) worth of agricultural products were exported in 2022. The exchange rate of the Naira to USD was 0.002169 USD to 1 Naira on May 30, 2023, the time of the Tingo announcement.
 One possibility we examined was whether the discrepancy had to do with Tingo’s acquisition of Tingo Foods in February 2023, but Tingo disclosed a minimal $14.7 million change to net working capital, and only a $56.8 million total impact to cash. [Pg. 7]