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Business / Nigeria’s Tech Startup, Kuda, Raises $25mn In Series A Funding Round For Growth by iamprincewill: 8:31am On Mar 21, 2021
Nigeria’s tech startup, Kuda, raises $25mn in Series A funding round for growth & expansion

Tech startup, Kuda, has just raised $25-million in a Series A funding round led by Valar Ventures, a New York-based venture capital firm.

This Series A round of funding included participation from existing investor Target Global and an undisclosed international venture capital firm located in Berlin alongside several other existing investors.

The secured funding will be used to expand the fintech’s presence and services across Africa. In addition, it will be used to speed up customer acquisition, expand leadership roles, and build out new features including a new easy-to-use lending option that the company is currently trialing with select customers.

Read more... https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/19/nigerias-tech-startup-kuda-raises-25mn-in-series-a-funding-round-for-growth-expansion/

Business / South Africa’s Car Tech Startup, Mazibuko Motors, Unveils Country’s First Electr by iamprincewill: 8:59am On Mar 20, 2021
South Africa’s Car tech startup, Mazibuko Motors, unveils country’s first electric battery bakkie

Vereeniging-based car tech startup Mazibuko Motors has created the country’s first electric battery bakkie, the M1B Pick Up. The latest innovation is currently in the concept stages and plans to launch.

According to the CEO and founder Nhlanhla Mazibuko, the innovative startup provides insight into what makes the electric bakkie unique.

“We see the electric bakkie as unique because it mixes a tough rugged exterior with features of the vehicles of tomorrow such connectivity, self-driving capabilities, and over-the-air updates. Our focus on the car and in our company is a technology first and finding innovative ways to push that forward.”

Read more... https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/18/south-africas-car-tech-startup-mazibuko-motors-unveils-countrys-first-electric-battery-bakkie/

Business / Five Risk Trends Affecting Smmes by iamprincewill: 9:06pm On Mar 19, 2021
The world certainly looks very different a year later, and nowhere is it more apparent than in the Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMME) space.

The sector has faced more than its fair share of obstacles during the Covid-19 pandemic amidst a contracting economy and lockdown measures that reduced income streams to a trickle.

The SMME sector is critical to South Africa’s economic growth, employing around 80% of the African continent’s workforce. It is also the sector that has been hardest hit by the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns, making it crucial for SMMEs to identify the trends impacting their businesses and finding ways to leverage new opportunities.

Aon South Africa, risk advisors, and insurance brokers delve into the top five trends affecting the SMME sector:

1. Changing consumer buyer behavior
The key factor in demographics is not just how the world’s population will grow, but how consumer buyer behavior is changing amidst an upended world. Failure to innovate and meet customer needs was one of the top ten risks, rated at number nine in Aon’s 2019 Global Risk Management survey. The pandemic shifted the importance of this risk into top gear. Many companies had to scramble to reimagine their product delivery and consumer purchasing journey in a pronounced shift into a digital world that is likely to remain long after COVID-19 has abated. In fact, 86% of respondents in a PWC Global Consumer Insights Survey 2020, said they are likely to continue to shop online when social distancing measures are removed.

According to Clayton Ellary, from Aon South Africa’s Commercial Risk Solutions Division, innovation is a necessity, not an option. “It also means that disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, or the Internet of Things may be the key to transforming the current playing field. Start-up companies tend to be more agile in their efforts to meet the changing needs of consumers. The fine line between success and failure is defined by an organization’s ability to reinvent itself in an ever-changing market where disruption is fast becoming the norm.”

2. Technological reliance
As companies become more reliant on technology, technological developments and increases in data and analytical power create unlimited business opportunities; But also bring risks around cybersecurity and data privacy.

Cyberattacks on South African organizations show no signs of abating.

“Whether a large or small business, a cyber breach has the potential to inflict enormous reputational damage, cause major interruption to normal business operations and income potential, and can also have legal ramifications if personal and financial information is compromised in the context of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECT) and the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI),” says Ellary.

“South Africa will continue to see large-scale ransomware attacks that target administration credentials to gain access to and infect, wider networks – often targeting SMMEs and contractors to gain access to larger client corporations. With the expected increase in ransomware attacks designed to spread through a network, organizations of all sizes and industry sectors need to take steps to protect their networks and ensure that their risk management and insurance programs are fit for purpose to protect them in a worst-case scenario,” urges Ellary.

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/18/five-risk-trends-affecting-smmes/

Business / Why Lagos Has Become Africa’s Most Attractive Tech Hub For Investors by iamprincewill: 8:39pm On Mar 19, 2021
Last week, a $170 million venture investment in Lagos-based Flutterwave, a payments processing startup, set the Nigerian tech ecosystem alight with excitement and pride. That’s because it is one of the few homegrown startups, with local founders and many early local investors, to earn the coveted unicorn status — a startup with a pre-exit valuation of over $1 billion.

It marks another significant validation of Africa’s budding fintech sector. On paper, five-year-old Flutterwave is already more valuable than all but a couple of Nigeria’s biggest banks.

In 2019, Nigerian startups were backed by more than $600 million in venture capital funding. Africa, as a whole, received an inflow of over $1 billion in the same year, the first time the continent’s startups crossed the threshold.

But early on, it was never clear how investors would recoup their investment in these startups or exit their positions. Options for initial public offerings are limited, given the shallow capital markets in most African cities. For instance, Jumia, the e-commerce company serving 11 African countries, chose the New York Stock Exchange for its billion-dollar listing in 2019. But it is often cited as being a rare successful African startup IPO exit.

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Apply For Funding GetFundedAfrica provides equity capital from $1,000 to $50,000. For larger amounts (Above $50,000) we organize syndicated funding rounds of up to $500,000. Apply Here

After almost a decade of investment and growth, insiders in the Nigerian tech — and African — startup community have often wondered privately, and in public, where the next significant exit would come from.

Osita Nwoye, an advisor to early-stage startups, told Rest of World that an exit from a startup built by Africans to solve African problems would be a “validation” of the work being done by local founders on the continent’s tech sector over the last decade.

So when news broke last October that U.S. payments giant Stripe would acquire Paystack, a Nigerian payments processor, for more than $200 million, the local ecosystem heartily celebrated one of their own. Founded in 2015 by Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi, Paystack is based primarily in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, and serves about 60,000 customers. This was good news for different players within African tech on a “seismic” level, Nwoye said.

“For the first time at scale, it [Paystack] answered the question ‘where are the exits?’” said, Nwoye, who has advised several startups, including Paystack; he held “tiny” shares in the company for his work as an early advisor.

For local tech venture capitalists and investors, the acquisition provided an opportunity for them to show individuals reluctant to invest in technology that they could get handsome rewards if they bet on the nascent tech scene. And for the employees, it “provided validity of tech as a career,” in a country where oil companies are often seen as the gold standard.

Perhaps less measurable but of no less importance is that Paystack’s purchase is being seen as an inspiration, indicating that Africans, too, can build world-class companies worthy of attracting global interest.

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/19/why-lagos-has-become-africas-most-attractive-tech-hub-for-investors/

Business / Egyptian Ecommerce Platform Zvendo Lands A Six-figure Seed Round Funding From A by iamprincewill: 11:46pm On Mar 17, 2021
Egyptian Ecommerce Platform zVendo lands a six-figure seed round funding from a group of investors

Egypt-based e-commerce platform zVendo has raised a six-figure Seed funding round from EFG EV Fintech and unidentified angel investors, paving the way for it to become the country’s first local e-commerce center. “Being a part of many startup programs like the Microsoft Startup program has helped us achieve our goal of increasing merchants’ businesses online,” says Tarek Bakry, founder and CEO.

Sameh Abdel Fattah, the company’s founder, and CTO, and Tarek Bakry, the company’s co-founder and CEO, want to provide retailers with “a network that provides merchants and their customers with a localized experience that does not require any technological expertise.” zVendo, they said, introduces comprehensive sales and consumer data, as well as marketing and e-commerce tools and integrations with various ERP and related systems, all from a single holistic dashboard view.

“The main reason why EFG EV Fintech is thrilled to be part of zVendo’s journey is the opportunity to enable more SMEs in the region to digitize their commerce activities in both affordable and effective ways. We believe that this partnership will act as a catalyst providing SMEs with a platform for growth in parallel with the government’s economic development and digitization endeavors,” said Mahmoud El-Zohairy, CEO,EFG EV.

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/17/egyptian-ecommerce-platform-zvendo-lands-a-six-figure-seed-round-funding-from-a-group-of-investors/

Business / Fintech Startup, Ukheshe, Joins Forces With Infobip To Launch South Africa’s Fir by iamprincewill: 6:02pm On Mar 17, 2021
Fintech startup, Ukheshe, joins forces with Infobip to launch South Africa’s first WhatsApp payment gateway

Joburg-based fintech startup Ukheshe Technologies teams up with a global cloud communications platform, Infobip, to create the country’s first WhatsApp payment gateway.

Clayton Hayward, co-founder, and CEO of Ukheshe comments on creating the latest state-of-the-art payment development.

“We are thrilled that through various working associations we are able to assist organisations to address financial literacy and inclusion. The chat banking solution empowers end customers by giving them access to the Internet, an efficient and secure digital wallet, while meeting Know your Customer (KYC) requirements. The digital wallet will also be able to link to other cards, add virtual cards, pay or get paid with a QR code, send money, make cash withdrawals or pay for goods.”

According to reports, the innovative and new WhatsApp payment gateway will be utilised by Telkom.

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/17/fintech-startup-ukheshe-joins-forces-with-infobip-to-launch-south-africas-first-whatsapp-payment-gateway/

Business / Kudigo & Boost Ghana Bags $120k From The Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerc by iamprincewill: 7:34pm On Mar 16, 2021
KudiGo & Boost Ghana Bags $120k from the Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce accelerator to promote SMMEs

Boost Ghana and KudiGo have received $120,000 from the Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce accelerator to enable small retailers to grow by easing business administration, digitizing operations, improving access to working capital, and reducing the cost of doing business, while providing suppliers with efficient access to MSE customers on the ground.

Apart from the $120,000 in capital funding, the startups will receive expert-led venture acceleration support;, connections with Catalyst Fund’s growing global Circle of Investors and Circle of Corporate Innovators, and● In-market expertise from MEST.

“MSEs are the backbone of Ghana’s economy, representing about 80% of the MSME sector and employing over 50% of Ghanaians (MOTI 2019). Within the MSE sector, informal work is predominant and contributes to 90% of employment,” said Jane del Ser, Program Director for the Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator.

“Following the COVID-19 crisis, micro and small enterprises in particular lack access to a financial safety net, which significantly impacts their livelihoods and ability to do business. As most transactions and records occur offline, these businesses also lack digital financial records that can grant them access to the working capital they need to survive. Both Boost Ghana and KudiGo present digital solutions that have the potential to significantly impact the livelihoods of thousands of informal MSE owners,” del Ser concluded.

The Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator, managed by BFA Global, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program and the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST).

Since launching the program in November 2020, Catalyst Fund conducted research on MSEs in urban and peri-urban retail shops around Accra and found that 100% of shop owners have smartphones, and more than half already market their businesses via social media. However, few currently use digital means to purchase inputs, manage their businesses on a day-to-day basis, or fulfill orders; only 20% buy inputs online, and 80% purchase inventory in-person, at markets, or at a store. This leads to costly transportation expenses, and it means MSEs cannot guarantee the availability of supplies or price stability enjoyed by larger retailers.

Boost Ghana is tackling this problem by enabling underserved small businesses in Ghana to order stock digitally at the best wholesale prices and receive efficient, same-day deliveries. For suppliers, they provide direct access to last-mile retail customers at scale, providing critical data and reducing the cost of distribution. KudiGo provides a holistic retail management solution for small business owners, including inventory management, a CRM, mobile money payments, and a digital storefront, enabling businesses to build a digital footprint and access financial services more easily. They also offer their MSE customers last-mile delivery via partners.

Read more... https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/16/kudigo-boost-ghana-bags-120k-from-the-catalyst-fund-inclusive-digital-commerce-accelerator-to-promote-smmes/

Business / Savannah Fund Unveils Fund Worth $25-million For Early-stage African Tech Startu by iamprincewill: 12:17pm On Mar 16, 2021
Savannah Fund unveils fund worth $25-million for early-stage African tech startups

Savannah Fund, a technology seed fund focused on investing in early-stage startups across sub-Saharan Africa has announced the launch of a $25-million fund.

The investment funding secured has been led by The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group with participation from the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (WeFi), Tim Draper of Draper Associates, Visa Forsten, co-founder of Supercell and Senegal-based Venture studios UMA also participated.

Kevin Njiraini, IFC Regional Director for Southern Africa and Nigeria comments on the importance of investing in African early-stage startups and their contribution to the economy.

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Apply For Funding GetFundedAfrica provides equity capital from $1,000 to $50,000. For larger amounts (Above $50,000) we organize syndicated funding rounds of up to $500,000. Apply Here

“Early-stage funding is vital to enable more of Africa’s emerging and growing tech founders to grow their business and fuel the transformation of Africa’s Internet economy. By partnering with Savannah Fund, we can help more entrepreneurs to access funding,”

The fund is focused on investing in early-stage sub-Saharan startups founded by women along with disruptive companies in high-growth sectors.

Mbwana Alliy, founder and managing partners at Savannah Fund provides further insight into the new fund.

“Savannah Fund II will continue its long-term mission to partner with ambitious founders, building startups that will scale across Africa. Entrepreneurs in Residence, especially female founders, are a key part of our investment strategy. We’re proud to partner with WeFi to further expand and encourage female founders on the continent.”

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/16/savannah-fund-unveils-fund-worth-25-million-for-early-stage-african-tech-startups/

Business / Nigerian Ride-sharing Service Shuttlers Seeks Funding For Operational Expansion by iamprincewill: 11:42am On Mar 16, 2021
Shuttlers, a Lagos-based ride-sharing service, is seeking to raise US$1.5 million by the end of the second quarter to expand to cities such as Abuja and Accra.

The company, according to its CEO Damilola Olokesusi, is also planning to start running school buses in Lagos when the school year starts in September. Shuttlers have run pilot school bus projects but implementation has been held up by Covid-19.

Olokesusi co-founded the Shuttlers service, alongside Busola Majekodunmi and Damilola Quadry, in 2015 because as a young graduate she couldn’t afford a car, but public transport was too uncomfortable to use.

Larger companies were able to supply buses for their employees, but there was no practical solution for many people working at small or medium-sized companies, she says.

The solution was for Shuttlers to rent buses from private bus owners. The bus owners weren’t interested in smaller groups or individuals – the fastest way for them to fill the bus up was to rent it out to a large company.

Shuttlers saw an opportunity to buy the seats at wholesale prices and then sell them at retail prices on its platform.

Shuttlers customers are a mixture of small and medium-sized companies and individuals. The company has sold more than 500 million seats to date, and Olokesusi points to the impact in terms of reducing the number of cars on the road.

Read more... https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/16/nigerian-ride-sharing-service-shuttlers-seeks-funding-for-operational-expansion/

Business / Egyptian Fintech Startup, Nowpay, Lands New Pre-series A Round Funding by iamprincewill: 9:15pm On Mar 15, 2021
Egyptian Fintech Startup, NowPay backed by Y Combinator, has just raised a New Pre-Series A round Funding.

Along with another Egyptian fintech, Dayra, it is part of Y Combinator’s ongoing Winter 2021 (YC W21) batch.

“At YC, we help talented founders from anywhere in the world access the advice, network, and funding that Silicon Valley has to offer. With NowPay, we see dedicated founders tackling the huge problem of financial wellness in a region of the world that needs more tech investment. It was a clear decision to fund them,” Brad Flora, Group Partner at YC and a startup angel investor in San Francisco, said on NowPay’s inclusion in the accelerator.

Here Is What You Need To Know
Global Ventures, Beco Capital, Endure Capital, Foundation Ventures, and Abderahman ElSewedy are among the investors in NowPay’s bridge round. The deal’s value was not revealed. Last year, the company raised $2.1 million in a seed round.
The new funding will further assist the fintech startup towards its expansion into international markets.
Why The Investors Invested
Dubai-based Global Ventures has actively been investing in the African startup ecosystem. The VC has invested in Kenya’s Ilara Health, Nigeria’s Helium Health, Egypt’s Paymob, among others.

Beco Capital, also based in Dubai, has previously invested in NowPay. The venture capital firm has equally invested in North Africa’s leading startups such as Egypt’s healthtech Vezeeta, mobility startup SWVL, among others. Its investment in NowPay further cements its belief in the startup. It has actively been investing since 2017.

Based in Egypt, recently launched Foundation Ventures participated in NowPay’s $2.1m fundraise last year. Its latest investment in the startup further confirms its belief in the startup’s future.

Abderahman ElSewedy is an angel investor and a director at Elsewedy Electric, based in Cairo.

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/15/egyptian-fintech-startup-nowpay-lands-new-pre-series-a-round-funding/

Business / South African Tech Startup, AURA, Extends To East Africa by iamprincewill: 4:32pm On Mar 15, 2021
Security tech startup and medical response platform AURA has just disclosed that it will be extending its platform to Kenya.

The expansion to Kenya follows a partnership with Kenyan company KK Security, owned by GardaWorld. The innovative SA-born tech startup will offer its emergency and medical response services in Nairobi and Mombasa.

The aim of the expansion of its current product offering is in response to the current limited capacity of offering medical response services in Kenya. In addition, the startup’s service will be more widely available in Kenya and more affordable for locals in the region.

Warren Myers, founder, and CEO of AURA comments on the expansion of the startup’s footprint into East Africa and the appointment of Hilary Itela as General manager for the startup’s presence in the region.

“We are excited to have someone of Itela’s calibre join our team as we explore the many unique opportunities within the East African market. Kenya has a strong, but fragmented private security and emergency medical industry. It provides an ideal opportunity for AURA to create an effective and efficient response network. Similar to South Africa, Kenya is plagued by significant crime issues, in particular, road safety, street crime, home invasions, burglaries, and carjackings. With a high smartphone penetration rate, we are able to provide our users with affordable and accessible on-demand security and medical response and help keep people in those areas safe.”

Itela has over 15 years of experience in various management roles in East and Central Africa. He will be responsible for growing AURA’s business presence across the region and has a wealth of experience within various sectors from eCommerce, security to renewable energy, and more.

“I look forward to shaping a business that will contribute to the safety and security of the community and create employment opportunities that positively impact the economies in which we operate,” explains Itela.

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/15/south-african-tech-startup-aura-extends-to-east-africa/

Business / Cybersecurity Tips For Startups by iamprincewill: 3:17pm On Mar 15, 2021
From 2020 being dubbed ‘the year of the side hustle’ to small businesses grappling to maintain continuity and profitability, despite these unprecedented times there has been a significant uprising in entrepreneurial activity the world over.

Money is usually tight, and expenses run high, what with product development, promotion, and all the rest of it. When managing priorities, emerging businesspeople often neglect matters related to information security.

Read also: Kenyan lender Equity Group with European counterparts signs a US$100m credit facility to help MSMEs in Kenya

Many startups try to save on security, confident that a small company with limited resources holds no interest for cybercriminals.

The truth is anyone can fall victim to cybercrime. Firstly, because many cyber threats are massive in scale, their originators aim wide, trying to hit as many as they can in the hopes that at least some will generate a return. Secondly, commonly being weakly protected, startups present attractive targets for cybercriminals.

Whereas corporations sometimes spend months to recover from a cyberattack, a small company may simply not survive one. To properly safeguard your startup, given a limited budget, you might want to build a threat model before you go ahead with the launch — to figure out which risks are relevant for your business. Kaspersky helps startups by covering the typical mistakes of many first-time entrepreneurs.

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/15/cybersecurity-tips-for-startups/

Business / Google Pledges $25mn To Support Women In Africa by iamprincewill: 8:17pm On Mar 09, 2021
Tech giant Google has furthered its commitment to the economic empowerment of women in Africa by establishing a grant worth $25-million in the new Global Impact Challenge (GIC) for women and girls.

Alistair Mokoena, Google South Africa country director quotes the Foresight Africa report 2021 with direct reference to the importance of supporting women and the impact the pandemic has had on equality.

“It confirms that the coronavirus has ‘exacerbated already-existing gender inequalities, laying bare serious fault lines in safety, physical and mental health, education, domestic responsibilities, and employment opportunities”.

The Global Impact Challenge
The challenge provides $25-million in cash grants to non-profit organizations and social enterprises that are aimed at improving the livelihoods of women and girls’ lives.

Read more... https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/09/google-pledges-25mn-to-support-women-in-africa/

Business / Apply For Funding Getfundedafrica Provides Equity Capital From $1,000 To $50,000 by iamprincewill: 7:30pm On Mar 09, 2021
Apply For Funding GetFundedAfrica provides equity capital from $1,000 to $50,000. For larger amounts (Above $50,000) we organize syndicated funding rounds of up to $500,000.

Apply Here...https://getfundedafrica.com/how-getfundedafrica-works/

Business / REMSANA Is For African Founders Who Have Wondered How To Raise Funds For Busines by iamprincewill: 5:48pm On Mar 09, 2021
REMSANA is for African founders who have wondered how to raise funds for business ideas

Create Startup?. Grow your business and understand Fundraising...
Wouldn't you like to learn how?

Find out more... https://remsana.getfundedafrica.com/courses/

Business / How Has Covid-19 Impacted Private Equity In Africa? by iamprincewill: 3:27pm On Mar 09, 2021
Over the past year or so, we’ve all become familiar with a whole host of terms we knew nothing about at the start of 2020.“Lockdown”, “rate of transmission”, and “social distancing” all entered our collective vocabularies. At the same time, we had to get used to new ways of working and doing business.

And, initially, it looked like the economic devastation wrought by COVID-19 would hit African PE activity particularly hard. In the first half of 2020, the value of private equity deals on the continent was on pace for a 63% drop compared to 2019. The final figure may have been even worse, underlining how disruptive the pandemic has been.

Even as the mass rollout of vaccines around the globe brings a glimmer of hope that life may return to some semblance of normal, it’s likely that the conditions of 2020 will be with us for some time to come. It’s therefore imperative that private equity firms, their investors, and the firms they fund use the lessons of 2020 to inform their approach going forward.

The difficulties
One major difficulty for PE investors, especially when lockdowns were at their hardest, was the inability to get on-site and visit businesses that had investment potential. A company might look great on paper, but you get a much better feel for its viability by visiting the premises and seeing how it operates on a day-to-day basis.

As a result, deals may be delayed (in the hopes that an on-site visit will be possible at some point) or even fall through. This may become less of a problem as travel restrictions are lifted but, for now, everyone needs to find ways around the problem.

For companies looking for investment, having all their documentation in order can go a long way when it comes to easing the due diligence process. That’s important because a lot more companies are looking for an investment as they try to make it through the current economically trying times.

Our investors also expect us to have boots on the ground when it comes to getting the best possible idea of a company’s viability, so it’s up to us to demonstrate that we’ve gone beyond documentation for the moment. In the longer term, smart PE investors will go back to performing on-site visits as soon as possible.

This is especially important in Sub-Saharan Africa, where doing business can sometimes be difficult. As a rule of thumb, the more difficult a market is to do business in, the more time you need to spend in that market.

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/09/how-has-covid-19-impacted-private-equity-in-africa/

Business / South African Fintech Startup Spot Money, Creates Tap-to-pay Function by iamprincewill: 1:43pm On Mar 08, 2021
Fintech startup Spot money has created its mobile tap-to-pay function to allow customers to use their mobile to make secure, contactless payments on point-of-sale (POS) terminals that accept tap-to-pay for physical cards.

The new feature enables users with android devices to use the Spot app on their phones to conduct contactless payments at POS systems.

Users must open the Spot app, click on the option of tap-to-pay and tap their phone on the POS terminal. The app works with Mastercard technology to conduct the payment.

Andre Hugo, CEO of Spot Money provides insight into the new feature.

“Spot Android users now have the convenience of using the app as an alternative to their Spot Money Card. So if you forget your wallet at home, you can just use your phone. This makes things easier and safer for our customers.”

The global pandemic has resulted in a stark rise in digital and contactless payments to curb the spread of the virus. As a result, more businesses and consumers have opted to go cashless.

“E-commerce, home delivery, and peer-to-peer payments went through the roof; digital payments became the de facto standard. And it’s not just for the tech-savvy or millennials, either: this trend is for everyone,” adds Hugo.

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/08/south-african-fintech-startup-spot-money-creates-tap-to-pay-function/

Business / Moroccan Prop-tech Company Mubawab, Secures $10mn Funding by iamprincewill: 8:57am On Mar 06, 2021
The Moroccan real estate portal Mubawab has received a US$10 million cash injection to accelerate its expansion in the Maghreb region and develop its technology. The property-tech company which was founded in 2011 by the current chief executive officer (CEO) Kevin Gormand allows sellers and landlords to advertise their properties in Morocco and Tunisia and has two million visits to its site per month and 150,000 properties listed.

The company secured US$7 million in funding from the UAE-based real estate-focused firm Emerging Markets Property Group (EMPG) last January and has now taken on another US$10 million from the same source to speed its growth. The startup has had a strong past year and is now expected to add 200 new employees and develop an in-house research and development department.

“Gaining the confidence of investors is a guarantee of credibility on the market and towards our clients. Real estate still has a lot to give in the Maghreb region and technology is our strong link in this high potential market. Our backing from the EMPG provides us with financial security, additional real estate expertise, and a long-term strategic partnership,” Gormand said.

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/05/moroccan-prop-tech-company-mubawab-secures-10mn-funding/

Business / Snapchat’s Yellow Accelerator, To Invest $150k In Cameroon’s Starnews Mobile by iamprincewill: 10:54pm On Mar 05, 2021
Snapchat’s Yellow Accelerator, To Invest $150k In Cameroon’s StarNews Mobile

Cameroonian media startup StarNews Mobile, which offers a network of mobile video channels and allows celebrities and brands to monetize their fan bases in Africa through exclusive videos, has announced that it was selected by Snap Inc. (owner of the Snapchat and Bitmoji applications as well as Spectacles glasses, equipped with a camera) to benefit from the fourth edition of its Yellow Accelerator program, a funding and incubation program launched in May 2018 for entrepreneurs working on the border between content creation and technology. The 2021 edition will be held exclusively online.

“StarNews Mobile was developed with African content creators and fans in mind. Our company is growing exponentially as we continue to make deals with the biggest telecom operators, with artists and entertainment networks in the United States and Africa, ”said Guy Kamgaing, founder and CEO of StarNews Mobile who is delighted to have been selected to join the Yellow Accelerator program of Snap Inc.

The Yellow Accelerator will invest $150,000 (approximately 81.4 million CFA francs) in StarNews Mobile and offer StarNews Mobile a 14-week training program to improve its strategy, growth, fundraising, and develop mentorship. This 14-week program ends on May 07, 2021, with a virtual demonstration day scheduled for April 29, 2021. StarNews Mobile, which will leverage best practices from Snap Inc., is one of nine companies selected to join this program.

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/05/snapchats-yellow-accelerator-to-invest-150k-in-cameroons-starnews-mobile/

Business / Ivorian Transport Startup Moja Ride Raises Funding From Toyota Tsusho Corporatio by iamprincewill: 8:33pm On Mar 05, 2021
Ivorian Transport Startup Moja Ride Raises Funding From Toyota Tsusho Corporation

Abidjan-based digital transportation startup, Moja Ride, has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Toyota Tsusho Corporation (“Toyota Tsusho”) and its group company CFAO SAS (“CFAO”). Investment in Moja Ride came as a result of the awarding of Mobility54 Special Prize to Moja Ride at the Startups in AFRICA — the grand final of NINJA business plan competition, hosted by Nikkei Inc. (“Nikkei”) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (“JICA”) on February 26, 2021.

The investment which came from Toyota Tsusho’s newly launched $45 million Mobility 54 Investment SAS (“Mobility54”) fund– a corporate venture capital subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho group, was made through the underwriting of convertible notes. Under convertible notes investment, bonds can be converted into shares of the issuing company under certain conditions. This was the style of investment recently used by the VC when it invested in Kenyan bus management startup, Data Integrated.

Moja Ride had previously obtained a Grand Challenges grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in November 2015 to work on a solution that would help small merchants in Africa embrace digital payments.

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/04/ivorian-transport-startup-moja-ride-raises-funding-from-toyota-tsusho-corporation/

Business / First Bank Of Nigeria Establishes Smes Accounts To Promote Growth And Developmen by iamprincewill: 11:01am On Mar 05, 2021
First Bank of Nigeria establishes SMEs accounts to promote growth and development in the sector

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has launched its Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) specific accounts designed to reinforce its role in putting SMEs at an advantage whilst contributing to national growth and development.

The SME accounts, which are in two variants – FirstSME Classic and FirstSME Deluxe, are offered to SMEs, irrespective of industry, and tailored to have SMEs exposed to a wide range of services and opportunities that are essential for their continued growth and role in contributing to national development.

“FirstBank is delighted to unlock several opportunities for SMEs to thrive. Our FirstSME account is one of the numerous opportunities designed to empower SMEs to continually drive impact as the backbone and contributors to employment and economic growth,” said Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan.

“Being woven into the fabric of the society for close to 127 years means that we remain at the forefront of providing the desired financial products and services to fit the needs unique to the SMEs as well as facilitating the requisite tools and resources to efficiently and effectively drive business sustainability and expansion strategies essential to taking SMEs to the next level.”

The advantages and features of these accounts include access to Temporary OverDrafts (TODs) and other facilities subject to meeting Risk Adjustment Capital (RAC) of each product; immediate enrolment on all digital platforms; free access to FirstBank SME events; free access to extensive business promotional and networking opportunities on the SMEConnect portal; access to a wide range of discounted and promotional offers.

Amongst the many opportunities available to holders of FirstSME account is the SMEConnect initiative of FirstBank which is a platform through which SMEs access the bank’s unique propositions that will equip them with the essential tools needed for the growth of their business.

The SMEConnect portal is also designed to help SMEs identify various gaps that hinder their business growth.

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/03/first-bank-of-nigeria-establishes-smes-accounts-to-promote-growth-and-development-in-the-sector/

Business / Proparco And BMCI Agrees To Fund Arma, To Assist The Company’s Sanitation And Wa by iamprincewill: 12:14pm On Mar 04, 2021
Proparco and BMCI agrees to fund Arma, to assist the company’s sanitation and waste management program in Casablanca

French investor Proparco and Morrocan Bank BMCI have agreed to fund the sanitation and waste management program of Arma Casablanca.

To assist the city of Casablanca, Morocco’s economic capital, with the major challenges involved in waste management, BMCI has agreed to provide financing, backed by a Proparco guarantee, to Arma Casablanca so that the company can update and upgrade the city’s waste removal and sanitation facilities.

Sanitation — a challenge of vital concern to the city
In Casablanca, Morocco’s economic capital with c. 3.4 million inhabitants, and across the country, population growth and urbanization have led to an exponential increase in household waste. Any number of cities around the world are confronted with much the same issues.

Casablanca has succeeded in setting up an increasingly structured system for managing a volume of household refuse that has risen to an estimated 1 million tons a year.

Upgrading the city’s waste removal and sanitation services, which have been handled via a concession contract since 2004, is a vital concern, and the municipal authorities rely heavily on key local organizations like Arma to help them achieve excellence in this area.

Created in 2011, Arma is a household waste management and sanitation company. Its operations today span twenty towns and cities, including five of Morocco’s ten largest. In 2019, Casablanca awarded Arma a contract in competitive bidding to manage sanitation and waste removal in four of the metropolitan area’s eight prefectures (districts).

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/03/proparco-and-bmci-agrees-to-fund-arma-to-assist-the-companys-sanitation-and-waste-management-program-in-casablanca/

Business / Investment Firm Convergence Partners Acquires Ctrack Africa by iamprincewill: 11:46pm On Mar 02, 2021
Specialist ICT investment firm Convergence Partners has acquired Ctrack’s operations in Africa and the Middle East from Nasdaq-listed Inseego.

The investment whose value has not been disclosed is the maiden investment for Convergence Partners’ third fund, the Convergence Partners Digital Infrastructure Fund (CPDIF).

The deal, which must still be approved by the Competition Commission in South Africa, gives Convergence Partners access to a telematics software-as-a-service digital infrastructure platform providing fleet management, insurance, and weather telematic solutions and asset tracking solutions.

“Our interest in the business relates to its proven market leadership in the development of analytics solutions using big data extracted from the cloud platform”

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/01/investment-firm-convergence-partners-acquires-ctrack-africa/

Business / Kenya’s Fundraising Platform Raise, Secures $25k Investment To Expand And Grow by iamprincewill: 9:46pm On Mar 02, 2021
Kenya’s fundraising platform Raise, secures $25k investment to expand and grow its operation

Venture capital firm, and the Kenyan fundraising platform Raise, have jointly announced a partnership that saw Microtraction help mobilize $25,000 for Raise, an end-to-end fundraising platform, to help it build out its platform and scale.

Raise was founded two years ago by Marvin Coleby and Eugene Mutai, while its alpha was launched in 2019 just before going public in June 2020.

Raise describes itself as simple fundraising and equity management platform for Africa, with the aim to drive founders to a faster product-market fit by empowering them with affordable online tools to raise faster and distribute equity to hire talent.

Startups can manage electronic cap tables, automate financing contracts like SAFEs and share private deal rooms.

“Raise’s mission is to simplify equity and democratize access to assets for Africans across the world, where people have the power to create financial independence for their communities, teams, and families,” Coleby, Raise’s chief executive officer (CEO), said.

Raise has now raised US$25,000 in return for seven percent equity from VC firm Microtraction. Founded in 2017, Microtraction invests in startups at the very earliest stage of their development and has so far backed a host of Nigerian startups, like Accounteer, Riby, Thank U Cash, CowryWise, Wallet.ng, Schoolable, 54gene, Termii and Festival Coins, as well as Ghana’s Bit Sika.

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/01/kenyas-fundraising-platform-raise-secures-25k-investment-to-expand-and-grow-its-operation/

Business / Enygma Ventures To Invest In Southern Africa Women Entrepreneurs by iamprincewill: 5:02pm On Mar 02, 2021
Enygma Ventures has announced an open call for women entrepreneurs in Southern Africa as the US venture capital (VC) fund aims to invest in women-led and founded businesses in Africa.

Lelemba Phiri, operating partner of Enygma Ventures’ explains that the fund aims to support female innovators and changemakers.

“We are industry agnostic, which means we invest in any sector where women are thriving. We are passionate about driving progressive change on the African continent.”

In 2021, the venture capital fund aims to invest in women-led companies located in key SADC markets such as Tanzania and Malawi.

“We want to widen our net this year as our fund mandate covers all 16 countries in the SADC region. This quarter we are particularly looking to increase participation from key markets like Tanzania and Malawi which have in the past recorded fewer VC investments, yet have exciting opportunities,” adds Phiri.

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/02/enygma-ventures-to-invest-in-southern-africa-women-entrepreneurs/

Business / Congolese Off-grid Energy Firm Nuru, Raises $1.2mn Funding From Proparco To Aid by iamprincewill: 4:43pm On Mar 02, 2021
Congolese Off-grid Energy firm Nuru, raises $1.2mn funding from Proparco to aid the development of mini-hybrid solar networks in DRC

Congolese Off-grid Energy firm Nuru, has secured $1.2mn from French investor Proparco.

Through a $1.2mn fund in the company Nuru, Proparco is helping to improve access to clean and accessible electricity for households and businesses. Proparco thus illustrates the importance given to projects contributing to the fight against climate change, as well as its determination to work alongside innovative private players committed to improving access to essential goods and services in fragile countries.

Here Is What You Need To Know About Nuru

Created in 2015, Nuru (formerly Kivu Green Energy) develops and operates urban solar hybrid mini-grids in the North Kivu province in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A 1.35MW mini-grid deployed by Nuru in Goma is one of the main mini-grids in sub-Saharan Africa.

Nuru specializes in commercial, industrial, and household customers, offering reliable, clean, and comparatively more affordable energy than existing private solutions based on diesel generators. Nuru’s mini-hybrid grids provide 84% renewable (solar photovoltaic) electricity at rates per kWh that are 30-50% cheaper than the average cost of diesel generators in the region.

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/02/congolese-off-grid-energy-firm-nuru-raises-1-2mn-funding-from-proparco-to-aid-the-development-of-mini-hybrid-solar-networks-in-drc/

Business / Africa-focused Investor Sunfunder Raises $140m Funding For Off-grid Energy Compa by iamprincewill: 2:20pm On Mar 01, 2021
Africa-focused Investor Sunfunder Raises $140m Funding For Off-grid Energy Companies

Even though the coronavirus ravaged the world for a greater part of last year, SunFunder, the Kenya-based venture capital company offering debt financing to solar companies in emerging and frontier markets, and previous investor in Nigerian solar energy company — Zola Electric, has announced it increased its funding to or emerging market solar to $140 million.

The company said part of the funding came from the over-subscribed $70m SET Fund, which saw commitments from new investors including Swedfund and OeEB.

“With the closing of the oversubscribed SET Fund, we are now looking ahead to accelerating our investments and impact over the coming years. This will take new partnerships, new fund structures, and new capital committed to the climate finance and clean energy transition,” the company said.

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/01/africa-focused-investor-sunfunder-raises-140m-funding-for-off-grid-energy-companies/

Business / Kenya’s Fintech And Ecommerce Startup Powered By People, Raises $1.5mn In Seed F by iamprincewill: 12:09pm On Mar 01, 2021
Kenya’s fintech and eCommerce startup Powered by People, raises $1.5mn in seed funding for operational expansion

Kenyan fintech and eCommerce startup Powered by People (PBP) has raised $1.5-million in seed funding led by Matt Kalish of DraftKings, TBD Angels among other angel investors who are affiliated with DraftKings, Skillz, Uber, as well as impact investors, Good+Well.

The seed funding was raised during five weeks between 2020 to 2021.

Ella Peinovich, Co-Founder and CEO of PBP explains that the funding will further the aims of the startup.

“The landscape for B2B marketplaces has changed, we are building the future of retail to be more digital, more diverse, and more transparent. Off of a fresh round of funding, we will be able to support access for a whole new class of artisans to compete in the mainstream retail market.”

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/03/01/kenyas-fintech-and-ecommerce-startup-powered-by-people-raises-1-5mn-in-seed-funding-for-operational-expansion/

Business / African Business Ideas Session Event Registration by iamprincewill: 11:43am On Mar 01, 2021
Title; GetFundedAfrica | African Business Ideas Session

Description; GetFundedAfrica Media Team is pleased to invite you to the webinar: African Business Ideas Session on Friday, March 05, from 5:00 – 06:30 pm (UTC+1).

The program intends to share knowledge and stories about existing businesses (usually from Africa), via an interactive webinar series, to inspire the creativity in entrepreneurs to discover innovative business solutions, which can solve challenges in Africa.

The session agenda involves a Q & A segment, where our online audience can interact (ask questions) with our Special Guest as regards issues about entrepreneurship, running a startup, and fundraising.

This month our case study will feature our Special Guest & Cairo-based startup – Makwa.

Friday, Mar 5th, 2021 17:00 WAT

Click HERE to Register

Read the original article here...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/02/27/african-business-ideas-session-event-registration/

Business / 2021’s Silver Lining For Startups by iamprincewill: 12:14am On Mar 01, 2021
Last year rocked everyone’s world and challenged every belief system we had and 2021 will bring more of the same uncertainty. In fact, I believe 2021 will be worse on a macro level for our economies, jobs, and livelihoods.

We are also seeing new variants of the virus that threaten to keep much of Africa on lockdown for some time to come.

What does this mean for start-ups? Whenever there is a challenging macro-economic event – caused by terrorism or a financial crisis for example – things get tougher for start-ups at a surface level. There is less funding available, customers may be reticent to spend money or switch products, and people are more risk-averse.

Read also: Private equity investment Hlayisani Growth Fund, secures R350mn funding

However, adversity always presents an opportunity and ‘creative destructivism’ is a real thing. Entire industries are being disrupted. This disruption is the fertile soil of which great entrepreneurs are grown.

At Stellenbosch University LaunchLab, we define a startup as a ‘temporary organization searching for a scalable and repeatable business model’. This definition means startups are perfectly positioned to capitalize on this state of flux. In a pandemic the old business models are broken, which massively disrupts corporates such as airlines, hotels, chain restaurants, and service industries. Corporates are not lean, nimble, or agile enough to search for their new business model – plus they have soaring fixed costs and liabilities to be serviced.

Well-built startups do not face these same fixed cost burdens. They remain temporarily small and lean so they can search – as quickly and cost-efficiently as possible – for the model that fits the new normal. They are designed to thrive in ambiguous environments. They transform uncertainty into market insights that surprise and delight their customers. The key is to understand the dislocation and then search for innovative business models that meet new world order needs.

At Stellenbosch University (SU) LaunchLab, we view this disruption as the perfect opportunity for startups. Let’s first explore where the opportunities lie and then we can investigate how we as entrepreneurs can benefit and move the world forward.

Read more...https://media.getfundedafrica.com/2021/02/25/2021s-silver-lining-for-startups/

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