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Mastercard Invests $2 Million in Partnership with Wowzi, and MDP to Empower African Creators

New Investments

Mastercard Invests $2 Million in Partnership with Wowzi, and MDP to Empower African Creators

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Mastercard has announced a $2.04 million investment in a partnership with Wowzi, Africa’s leading influencer marketing platform, and Masria Digital Payments (MDP) to empower African creators.
 

This five-year initiative aims to revolutionize financial management for content creators by providing them with cutting-edge digital tools.

“We want to empower these digital pioneers with the financial security and tools they need to flourish in the ever-changing payments landscape,” said Shehryar Ali, a senior Mastercard official for East Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.

“This investment aligns with our mission to promote financial inclusion and drive innovation in Africa’s rapidly evolving digital economy.”

Mastercard’s investment supports the gig economy by providing innovative digital payment solutions like watch cards and ring cards.

These secure and convenient options will allow creators to receive payments directly from brands, fans, and sponsors, eliminating the need for traditional channels.

Wowzi will leverage its network to boost creators’ visibility and earning potential, while MDP will ensure secure and seamless transactions through its technical expertise.

Africa’s internet economy holds immense promise, with a potential value of $180 billion by 2025 according to a 2020 IFC report (e-Conomy Africa 2020).

This highlights the importance of Mastercard’s investment in digital solutions for African content creators.

This collaboration marks a significant step towards the future of digital finance in Africa, combining creativity and technology to empower the continent’s content creation industry.

 

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EIB Global Invests €25 Million in Amethis Fund III to Empower African Businesses

New Investments

EIB Global Invests €25 Million in Amethis Fund III to Empower African Businesses

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The European Investment Bank’s (EIB) global development arm, EIB Global, has committed €25 million to Amethis Fund III, a pan-African private equity fund.
 

This investment aims to fuel the growth of mid-sized African companies serving low- and middle-income populations, driving economic expansion and sustainable development across various sectors.

Amethis Fund III will target businesses operating in healthcare, logistics and IT (business services), manufacturing and distribution (including agribusiness and consumer goods), non-banking financial services, and infrastructure and energy-related services.

This aligns with EIB Global’s and the European Union’s Global Gateway strategy’s focus on fostering economic development in diverse regions, with a particular emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa.

EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros highlighted the bank’s commitment to supporting Amethis’ endeavors in Africa.

“We view Africa as a key partner with immense potential and untapped opportunities,” he said.

Östros emphasized that the partnership addresses the lack of patient equity capital hindering the growth of African businesses.

Luc Rigouzzo and Laurent Demey, managing partners at Amethis, welcomed the renewed EIB support.

“Building on past collaborations, this strategic backing allows us to empower mid-sized companies to deliver superior goods and services to African consumers,” they stated.

“We aim to create African champions by promoting regional integration and sustainable economic growth.”

The EIB has a proven track record of investing in Africa-focused equity funds, with nearly €3 billion committed to both regional and country-specific funds.

The bank’s early investment has played a crucial role in attracting other investors due to its adherence to best practices in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria, ensuring maximum impact on portfolio companies.

Since its inception 12 years ago, Amethis has supported the growth of over 30 African companies, directly creating over 40,000 jobs.

These companies contribute not only to economic development but also to achieving crucial Sustainable Development Goals for the continent.

Amethis leverages its strong local presence in Nairobi, Abidjan, Casablanca, and Cairo to identify new opportunities and track market trends in each country.

This on-the-ground presence has established Amethis as a trusted partner for expanding companies, prioritizing value creation and positive impact.

The EIB’s investment in Amethis Fund III underscores the growing recognition of private capital’s critical role in driving economic progress in Africa.

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San Francisco Fintech Elevate Secures $5 Million to Expand Into Africa

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San Francisco Fintech Elevate Secures $5 Million to Expand Into Africa

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Elevate, a fintech company specializing in US banking services for non-resident remote workers, announced today the closing of a $5 million equity-debt pre-Series A funding round led by Negma Ventures, a Dubai-based investment firm.
 
The funding will fuel Elevate’s expansion into new markets across South Africa, Turkey, and key regions in South Asia and Southeast Asia.
 
The company anticipates strong demand in Indonesia and Malaysia in Q3, followed by Vietnam and Thailand.

“This fresh capital injection allows us to meet the growing needs of a global remote workforce seeking secure and cost-effective banking solutions,” said Elevate CEO Khalid Keenan.
 
“Our key metrics point to a significant opportunity in Southeast Asia, where millions of remote workers require efficient financial tools.”

Formerly known as Bloom, Elevate offers FDIC-insured US bank accounts through a partnership with sponsor bank Bangor Savings Bank.
 
This allows remote workers to receive payments directly, make purchases with debit cards, and transfer funds internationally.

Elevate initially explored local USD accounts but ultimately opted for US-based insured accounts due to the absence of payment receipt fees and enhanced security benefits.

“We prioritize the safety and affordability of our services,” explained Keenan. “Remote workers can choose between an FDIC-insured account for dollar savings or a riskier e-wallet option. We differentiate ourselves from services like Payoneer by eliminating high FX rates and offering FDIC insurance.”

Elevate aims to provide competitive exchange rates similar to Wise and negotiate better terms for remote workers.
 
This latest funding round brings the company’s total capital raised to $10 million since 2021, with investments from Y Combinator, Visa, Goodwater, VSQ, and Negma Group.
 
 

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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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