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Start-ups

“GET IT,” Local Start-up secures additional venture capital funding

Lauren Russell Nkuranga, the founder of GET IT, a commercial food distribution service company based in Rwanda, says that investors still have appetite for the country despite Covid-19 pandemic. Nkuranga’s startup completed its Series A funding – the first significant round of venture capital financing – last month from Chicago-based impact investor VestedWorld. Earlier this year, Chandaria Capital, the professional early-stage investment arm of the Chandaria Group of companies based in Kenya also announced an investment in GET IT. “This is an indication that investors are still interested in Rwanda despite Covid-19,”she said in an interview with Business Times.  While the conversation with investors began before the pandemic, the...

Africa attracted $338mln in private equity investments in June 2020

 Companies operating in Africa raised a total of $337.7 million in private equity investments in June 2020, we learned. This does not include the asset management subsidiary of Investec (Ninety One) and the $597 million fund launched by the South African Ethos Private Equity. The largest fundraising over the period was the 131.7 million made by Sanlam for its three funds targeting South African companies affected by covid-19. It was followed by the $90 million raised by the fourth AfricInvest fund for Africa thanks to contributions from Proparco, the International Finance Corporation, and Development Finance Corporation. While many African countries have followed the international movement by reopening their economies, investors...

With the acquisition of Saham Kenya, MUA confirms its ambitions in East Africa

Present in Kenya since 2014, the leading insurance company in Mauritius reaches another important milestone in its expansion strategy in East Africa by completing the acquisition of Saham Kenya.The Mauritian insurance company MUA Ltd ("MUA") announces the completion of the acquisition of Saham Assurance Company Kenya Limited ("Saham Kenya") , through its subsidiary MUA Insurance (Kenya) Limited (“MUA Kenya”). Present in the region since 2014, following the acquisition of Phoenix Transafrica Holdings (with a presence in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda), MUA significantly strengthens its local presence through this acquisition, sending out a strong signal about the group's confidence in the Kenyan insurance sector. The transaction...

France Launches $33.7m Credity Facility For Startups And Small Businesses In Tunisia

A new line of credit to support Tunisian SMEs and startups have been made available by the French Government to Tunisian SMEs and SMIs, including 6 million Euros in donation, as part of the acquisition of goods and services of French origin up to 70% minimum.  The establishment of this line of credit is part of the joint effort to help the economic development of the country and to strengthen trade links between Tunisia and France.  The Regional Economic Service and the Agency for the Promotion of Industry and Innovation, with the support of the Business France office in Tunis and the Tunisian-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry are organizing a...

Tennis star Serena Williams has launched a venture firm for investing in women, people of color, and young entrepreneurs

The tennis superstar Serena Williams has found time to pick up a side gig — on top of winning championships and taking care of her adorable daughter, that is. The tennis legend publicly shared on Wednesday the details of her investment firm, called Serena Ventures. The venture-capital firm has been quietly backing companies since 2014 and has invested in more than 30 companies already. "I launched Serena Ventures with the mission of giving opportunities to founders across an array of industries," Williams said in her announcement on Instagram. Serena Ventures was created to give opportunities to a diverse set of founders, the firm said, particularly women and people of color....

South Africa’s Mama Money Expands Global Reach With Western Union

Western Union and Mama Money, a rapidly growing international money transfer company, have joined forces to enable the customers of the South African fintech startup, to send money to their loved ones around the world via Western Union’s Global Network. This collaboration will gear Mama Money’s more than 500,000 customers in South Africa to send money from their smartphones for a payout into billions of bank accounts in over 100 countries around the world or in cash at Western Union Agent locations across more than 200 countries and territories. Customers can pay for transactions within the Mama Money app via direct transfers from their bank accounts or through a vast...

[Latest Report] Venture Capital in Africa: Mapping Africa’s Start-up Investment Landscape

Those in Africa’ tech startup scene can be forgiven for being confused when asked how much venture capital (VC) goes to the continent’s startups. Recently, a plethora of reports on the VC sector have each come up with different figures when it comes to the number of deals and total size of investments that go to African tech startups each year. The latest figures are contained in new report released yesterday by the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (Avca). The report, titled “Venture Capital in Africa: Mapping Africa’s Start-up Investment Landscape”, has it that there were 139 VC deals totalling $1.4-billion reported in Africa in 2019, up from 114...

SA startup SmartWage raises R6m to expand payday solution

Johannesburg based startup SmartWage has raised a R6-million investment to help it to grow its solution that allows companies to give employees instant access to their earned salaries and wages. It follows the announcement on Monday (22 June) that former Springbok Bryan Habana’s fintech Paymenow had landed a R4-million investment from ViaMedia for its app that allows employees early access to already earned wages. SmartWage’s fundraise was led by Chris Lister-James from Johannesburg-based seed investor FiTech Ventures which has previously invested in other SA fintech startups like Franc, uKheshe and Payflex. SmartWage was founded in November 2019 by Nick, Alex Platt and Simon Ellis The investment, agreed earlier this week, comes in the form of a Simple...

Pan-African Fund AfricInvest IV Secures $30m From Proparco For Investments In African SMEs

Pan-African Fund, AfricInvest IV has secured $30 million dollars at the first closing of the new multi-sector investment fund from Proparco, a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement (AFD) which supports the development of strong local and regional businesses, oriented to consumers, throughout Africa. Here Is What You Need To Know The fund seeks to develop local businesses that are well positioned to make them regional champions. It will be the first fully Pan-African fund of the group.AfricInvest is one of the pioneers of private equity in Africa, investing successfully on the continent through its funds from North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa for more than 25 years. A long-standing partner of...

Daily Digest Thursday 25 June 2020

Funding In Southern Africa HAVAÍC invests in Mobiz HAVAÍC, a Cape Town based venture capital investment firm, has invested in Mobiz, a South African mobile marketing platform. Read more Funding In Africa Ingressive Capital Grows African Tech Fund To $10 MILLION USD Ingressive capital is a venture capital (VC) group that offers pre-seed and seed funding to startups in business-to-business, business-to-consumer, internet and fintech spaces. Read more Catalyst Fund selects three African fintech startups for accelerator programme Three African tech startups have been selected to take part in global inclusive fintech accelerator the Catalyst Fund‘s latest cohort. Read more Mastercard Acquires Technology Firm FINICITY In A $825 Million Deal Mastercard Inc. is...