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Uber to Invest $100 Million in Nigerian-Born Fintech Startup Moove

New Investments

Uber to Invest $100 Million in Nigerian-Born Fintech Startup Moove

Ride-hailing giant Uber is reportedly in talks to invest up to $100 million in Moove, a Nigerian vehicle financing platform, according to Bloomberg.
 

This investment could boost Moove’s valuation from $650 million to $750 million, although the final figure could fall between $75 million and $100 million.

While neither company has officially commented on the potential deal, the move wouldn’t be surprising given their existing partnership.

In 2020, Uber and Moove collaborated to offer Uber drivers flexible car ownership options.

This potential investment would mark another milestone for Moove, bringing its total funding to $335 million since its launch.

The company recently secured $10 million in debt financing from Stride Ventures to expand its operations in India, focusing on the cities of Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru.

Notably, Uber has partnered with Moove in India to provide electric vehicles to Uber drivers there.

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IFC Announces 100 Women Entrepreneurs Selected for She Wins Africa Program

Key Developments

IFC Announces 100 Women Entrepreneurs Selected for She Wins Africa Program

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has unveiled the 100 women-led startup owners chosen to participate in its She Wins Africa program.
This initiative, launched by IFC in 2023, aims to accelerate access to capital and empower women entrepreneurs leading startups across sub-Saharan Africa.

The selected participants will receive comprehensive support designed to enhance their companies’ investment readiness. This includes:

Mentorship and guidance: Experts will provide valuable advice and support.
Networking opportunities:
 
  • Participants will connect with potential investors, industry leaders, and peers through matchmaking and pitching events.
  • Capacity building: Tailored programs will strengthen their business skills.
    Promoting Gender Equality

She Wins Africa represents IFC’s ongoing commitment to promoting gender equality and empowering women entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

The 100 participants were chosen from a highly competitive pool of nearly 3,000 applicants.

These women entrepreneurs represent diverse sectors, encompassing fields like agriculture technology, climate technology, e-commerce, education technology, healthcare technology, and financial technology.

Beyond supporting the chosen 100 participants, She Wins Africa will launch additional initiatives:

– Bootcamp for pre-seed startups: This program will help 200 pre-seed women-led startups reach the acceleration phase.
– Expanding access to acceleration: This initiative aims to connect an additional 200 women-led startups with acceleration support in underserved regions.
– Building a coalition of investors: This program seeks to create collaboration among funds, venture capital firms, and gender-lens investors to improve access to finance for women-owned businesses across Africa.

“IFC’s She Wins Africa empowers women entrepreneurs through coaching, training, and financing, accelerating their growth and investment readiness throughout sub-Saharan Africa,” said Nathalie Akon Gabala, IFC’s Director of Gender and Economic Inclusion.

“It’s time for investors to step up and fund women. A strong entrepreneurship ecosystem benefits us all.”

This announcement builds upon the launch of She Wins Africa at the Africa CEO Forum in Côte d’Ivoire last year.
 
It follows the success of IFC’s She Wins Arabia program, which has supported over 170 women entrepreneurs and 35 Entrepreneur Support Organizations in the Middle East and North Africa since 2021.

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Dubai VC Firm COTU Ventures Raises $54 Million to Support Early-Stage MENA Startups

New Investments

Dubai VC Firm COTU Ventures Raises $54 Million to Support Early-Stage MENA Startups

COTU Ventures, a Dubai-based early-stage venture capital (VC) firm, has secured $54 million for its first fund dedicated to backing promising startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
 

The firm, known for supporting founders from the initial stages of development to post-launch, actively invests in pre-seed and seed-stage startups across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), with a focus on Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, and the UAE. COTU Ventures boasts a portfolio of over 15 early-stage companies spanning various industries.

“We see immense potential for startups to address regional challenges through innovative tech solutions, particularly in high-margin sectors where technology can significantly impact efficiency,” said Amir Farha, Founder and General Partner at COTU Ventures.

While open to diverse sectors, COTU Ventures currently exhibits a particular interest in fintech and B2B software companies.

Some notable ventures in their portfolio include Huspy (UAE mortgage platform), MoneyHash (Egyptian fintech startup), Sirdab (Saudi Arabian on-demand storage), and Mayple (UAE delivery solution).

Prior to establishing COTU Ventures, Farha was instrumental in the success of Careem, a renowned Dubai-based ride-sharing platform, while serving as co-founder of BECO Capital, a UAE-based VC firm focused on early-stage investments in the MENA region. He departed BECO Capital to pursue his passion for early-stage ventures, leading to the creation of COTU Ventures.

COTU Ventures differentiates itself through its in-depth engagement with potential investments. This comprehensive approach allows the firm to build trust and establish strong connections with founders, gaining valuable insights to offer guidance on fundraising, startup development, and go-to-market strategies.

Additionally, COTU Ventures connects their backed startups with crucial stakeholders, including potential employees, customers, and future late-stage investors.

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“We are delighted to partner with ISA to support the development of solar energy in Africa,” said Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50. “This partnership will help to accelerate the deployment of solar energy in Africa and improve the lives of millions of Africans,” he added.

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Egyptian Fintech Startup MoneyHash Secures $4.5 Million to Streamline Payments in Africa

New Investments

Egyptian Fintech Startup MoneyHash Secures $4.5 Million to Streamline Payments in Africa

MoneyHash, a leading Egyptian fintech company, has secured $4.5 million in seed funding to bolster its payment technology and expand its reach across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.
 

The funding round was co-led by COTU Ventures and Sukna Ventures, with participation from RZM Investment, Dubai Future District Fund, VentureFriends, and prominent individuals like Tom Preston-Werner, the founder of GitHub and an investor in Stripe. This investment follows MoneyHash’s $3.5 million pre-seed funding round in 2022, also led by COTU Ventures.

Founded in 2020, MoneyHash helps businesses simplify their payment processes by providing a unified solution through its payment orchestration platform.

This platform eliminates the need for merchants to integrate and manage multiple payment providers, addressing challenges like technical complexities, operational inefficiencies, and delays.

“MoneyHash addresses the unique challenges faced by businesses in the MEA region, where diverse payment methods, currency variations, and nation-state specificities create significant complexities for traditional payment solutions,” said Nader Abdelrazik, CEO of MoneyHash.

“Our platform offers a single integration point with features like customizable checkout experiences, transaction routing, and comprehensive reporting, empowering businesses to navigate the complexities of the region’s payment landscape.”

Abdelrazik further emphasized the potential for growth in the region, highlighting that only 10% of all payments in the MEA are currently digital. MoneyHash is well-positioned to capitalize on this upcoming surge in digital payments adoption.

The company boasts a growing customer base of 50 active paying businesses, who benefit from a tiered pricing structure based on a combination of SaaS fees and transaction fees. This model ensures cost-effectiveness for businesses of all sizes while allowing MoneyHash to scale its operations effectively.

With its latest funding, MoneyHash aims to solidify its position as a leading payment solutions provider in the MEA region, empowering businesses to embrace the future of digital payments.

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“We are delighted to partner with ISA to support the development of solar energy in Africa,” said Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50. “This partnership will help to accelerate the deployment of solar energy in Africa and improve the lives of millions of Africans,” he added.

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Sabrine Chennaoui 

Sabrine Chennaoui 

She is a Tunisian deep tech enthusiast and an eco-innovator driving sustainable change.

She is leading the charge in climate tech with a machine converting used cooking oil into eco-friendly solutions.

Sabrine is doing this through MONSAPO, an innovative Greentech start-up that aims to disrupt the green cleaning industry.

MONSAPO’s ecological cleaning products line is based on a circular economy and sustainable development.

Sabrine is also passionate about entrepreneurship, sustainability, and empowering women in business.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Marketing from the Mediterranean School of Business.

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Shamim Nabuuma Kaliisa

Shamim is a Ugandan innovator, Social Entrepreneur, and the mastermind behind a popular cancer screening app helping thousands of African women detect the disease.

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 Ory Okolloh

Ory is a Kenyan activist, lawyer, and a strong advocate for using technology to promote democracy and human rights.

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Chido Munyati

Chido Munyati

He is a true African Changemaker whose leadership and dedication are making a significant impact on our continent

As the Head of Africa and a Global Leadership Fellow at the World Economic Forum, Chido plays a pivotal role in shaping conversations and driving action on critical issues affecting Africa.

His extensive experience, from law to international relations, brings a unique perspective to the table, ensuring Africa’s voice is heard on the global stage.

He is also an Agenda Contributor, actively shaping the Forum’s discussions and publications, ensuring that African perspectives are heard and represented in international discussions.

Chido works tirelessly to showcase Africa’s strengths and opportunities, promoting the continent as a key player in the global landscape.

Through his work at the World Economic Forum, Chido advocates for policies and initiatives that empower African communities and drive sustainable development.

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Ohemaa Adjei Andoh

Ohemaa Adjei Andoh is a notable individual with a significant impact in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in Ghana.

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Africa’s Digital Commerce Projected to Reach $72 Billion by 2026 – EBANX Report 

Key Developments

Africa's Digital Commerce Projected to Reach $72 Billion by 2026 - EBANX Report 

Africa is experiencing a surge in online consumerism, becoming a key player in the global digital commerce landscape, according to a new report by EBANX, a global fintech company.
 

The report highlights that emerging markets in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are driving the rise of the new global consumer.

These regions account for 70% of the 109 million people worldwide entering the consumer class in 2024, as per the World Data Lab.

This shift towards digital consumers will significantly impact digital commerce, payments, and the growth of B2B transactions.

While developed nations see a 13% annual growth in digital commerce, Africa is witnessing a much faster expansion at 25%, according to Payments and Commerce Market Intelligence (PCMI).

This growth is expected to propel the continent’s digital commerce market to a staggering US$72 billion by 2026 in its top five markets: Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Africa is also projected to contribute more to global consumer spending than Europe in the coming decade.

The report emphasizes the transformative impact of digitalization in Africa. Internet access is expected to become nearly universal in some regions by 2028, with Egypt leading the charge with an anticipated internet penetration exceeding 98%.

However, despite this progress, only 44% of African adults currently engage in online purchases, indicating significant untapped potential for further growth.

Online retail dominates Africa’s digital commerce space, accounting for 58% of the digital volume in key countries in 2023. This trend highlights the crucial role of e-commerce in driving the continent’s digital economy forward.

Unlike developed nations, traditional financial services are not widely accessible in Africa. This has led to the widespread adoption of alternative payment methods (APMs) such as mobile money, which cater to the unbanked population.

In fact, APMs account for a staggering 69% of the total digital commerce value in Africa, compared to just 31% for card payments. While cash remains a preferred payment method, APMs are poised to capture an even larger market share in the future.

The global B2B transaction landscape is predominantly manual, with 70% lacking seamless processes. This presents a significant opportunity in emerging markets like Africa, where B2B digital payments are growing considerably faster than the global average of 11% annually.

These regions are expected to constitute 40% of the total value of online B2B payments globally by 2027. Furthermore, the rise of B2B marketplaces across Africa is contributing to the increased adoption of digital B2B transactions.

This report by EBANX paints a promising picture of Africa’s digital commerce future, driven by a growing consumer base, rapid digitalization, and innovative payment solutions. The continent is poised to play a significant role in the global digital economy in the years to come.

Find out more about the report here – https://www.ebanx.com/en/beyond-borders-2024/

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d.light Secures $7.4 Million to Expand Solar Power Access in Nigeria

New Investments

d.light Secures $7.4 Million to Expand Solar Power Access in Nigeria

d.light, a leading provider of solar-powered solutions, has secured $7.4 million in financing to advance their Pay-Go service and broaden access to solar products for low-income households in Nigeria.
 

The funding comes from the Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund, managed by Chapel Hill Denham, a prominent Nigerian asset manager. African Frontier Capital acted as the transaction’s main and backup servicer, structuring and sponsoring the financing.

Founded in 2007, d.light has already impacted over 150 million people by selling nearly 30 million solar products across Africa. The company aims to reach a billion individuals in developing countries by 2030.

“This new financing will allow us to provide more affordable solar-powered products to low-income Nigerian households,” stated Nick Imudia, CEO of d.light.

The company has successfully utilized securitized financing to raise funds for off-grid solar projects in other sub-Saharan African countries and plans to leverage this experience to expand its operations in Nigeria.

This investment allows Chapel Hill Denham to contribute to Nigeria’s renewable energy sector and promote sustainable development through “pioneering local currency securitisation for financing solar home systems and essential solar-powered household utilities,” said Bolaji Balogun, CEO of the asset manager.

Anshul Rai, Partner for Infrastructure & Climate at Chapel Hill Denham, emphasized their commitment to “continue broadening the range of financing solutions available to infrastructure providers in Nigeria, with a particular focus on addressing the country’s most significant sustainable development challenges.”

This financing adds to d.light’s recent achievements, including a $30 million securitization facility secured from the TDB Group in August 2023 and a successful full repayment of their initial securitized loan.

Notably, the company experienced a 41% revenue surge in the first half of 2023, driven primarily by its operations in Nigeria.

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“We are delighted to partner with ISA to support the development of solar energy in Africa,” said Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50. “This partnership will help to accelerate the deployment of solar energy in Africa and improve the lives of millions of Africans,” he added.

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Teraco to Invest $106 Million in South Africa’s Largest Private 120MW Solar Plant for Data Centers

Key Developments

Teraco to Invest $106 Million in South Africa's Largest Private 120MW Solar Plant for Data Centers

Teraco, a leading African provider of carrier-neutral colocation data centers, has announced plans to build a 120-megawatt (MW) utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in South Africa’s Free State province.
 
This comes amidst ongoing energy challenges faced by the country, with Eskom, the state-owned electricity provider, struggling to meet demand due to its reliance on coal-fired power stations.

“Eskom’s load shedding has significantly impacted businesses, including ours,” said Jan Hnizdo, CEO of Teraco.
 
“This project will allow us to supplement our energy needs with clean, renewable power, reducing our reliance on expensive and environmentally harmful diesel generators.”

The $106 million project is expected to be completed within 18 months and will connect to the national grid.
 
Once operational, the plant is estimated to generate over 338,000 MWh of electricity annually, powering Teraco’s data centers across the country and contributing to a more sustainable future.

Teraco has partnered with Juwi Renewable Energies South Africa and Subsolar for the development of the solar plant.
 
Juwi will handle design, procurement, construction, and commissioning, while Subsolar will oversee the installation.

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