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Egyptian Fintech Startup Sahl Secures $6 Million in Funding to Become One-Stop Bill Payment Hub

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Egyptian Fintech Startup Sahl Secures $6 Million in Funding to Become One-Stop Bill Payment Hub

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Egyptian fintech company Sahl has secured $6 million in funding to solidify its position as a one-stop shop for household bills in collaboration with government agencies.
 

The funding round was led by Ayady for Investment and Development, alongside existing investors Egypt Pay, Delta Electronic Systems, and E-Finance.

Sahl plans to leverage the fresh capital to transform into a comprehensive financial services provider.

This includes improving existing offerings and developing new financial products.

The company also aims to expand its regional footprint after a successful launch in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The startup seeks to become a leading player in Egypt’s digital payments sector, facilitating seamless transactions.

It intends to achieve this through strategic partnerships that unlock new distribution channels, collaborative technology ventures, and co-marketing opportunities.

Founded in 2020, Sahl has already carved a niche for itself in the Egyptian market. The bill payment platform allows users to conveniently recharge prepaid cards and boasts a user base exceeding 12 million customers and 15 million households served monthly.

One of Sahl’s key differentiators is its direct integration with multiple government entities. This unique feature allows users to pay bills for various utilities, including electricity (Egyptian Electricity Holding Co., EEHC), water (New Urban Communities Authority, NUCA), telecom services (Vodafone, WE, Orange, Etisalat), petrol (Petrotrade), and even TV subscriptions (Cable Network Egypt).

“Our innovative use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology empowers users to recharge prepaid cards without leaving their homes, saving them valuable time and effort,” said a company representative.

Sahl has also strategically expanded its offerings beyond direct-to-consumer (B2C) services to cater to the business-to-business (B2B) sector. This two-pronged approach involves the Services Gateway, a central hub that integrates bill payment services from various sources, fostering a more interconnected financial ecosystem.

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Egypt’s i’SUPPLY Secures pre-Series A Funding to Boost Digital Pharmacy Solutions

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Egypt's i'SUPPLY Secures pre-Series A Funding to Boost Digital Pharmacy Solutions

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Egyptian healthtech company i’SUPPLY has secured an undisclosed amount of funding in a pre-Series A round to fuel its expansion plans and bolster its offerings for small and medium-sized pharmacies.
 

Disruptech Ventures led the round, joined by OneStop Capital, Axian Investment CVC, Egypt Ventures, and other investors.

This investment comes nearly two years after i’SUPPLY’s $1.5 million pre-seed round, also led by Disruptech Ventures.

The fresh capital will be used to enhance the company’s growth strategy and revolutionize its support for smaller pharmacies.

“This investment accelerates our ability to empower pharmacies,” said i’SUPPLY CEO and Co-Founder Ibrahim Emam.

The company is pursuing a license from the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority to directly address pharmacies’ financing needs.

“Our core mission is to meet the growing demand for funding and tackle working capital shortages faced by pharmacies and distributors,” Emam added.

Malek Sultan, Co-Founder and Partner at DisrupTech Ventures, highlighted the critical need for financing solutions in the Egyptian pharmacy landscape.

Founded in 2022, i’SUPPLY aims to digitize the pharmaceutical industry by offering a comprehensive solution for managing supply chain disruptions.

Their platform streamlines transactions between drug manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and pharmacies.

Since its inception, i’SUPPLY has reportedly processed over one million purchase orders and facilitated an annual transaction volume exceeding EGP 1 billion (US$20.9 million).

Their network connects over 10,000 pharmacies, collaborates with more than 200 distributors, and offers a portfolio of over 10,000 pharmaceuticals.

This news follows the Egyptian Health Care Authority’s announcement on June 7, 2024, regarding partnerships for digital transformation and service mechanization within healthcare facilities.

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

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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

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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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LAfricaMobile Secures $4.6 Million in Series A Funding to Expand Cloud Communication Platform in Africa

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LAfricaMobile Secures $4.6 Million in Series A Funding to Expand Cloud Communication Platform in Africa

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LAfricaMobile, a leading provider of cloud communication and mobile marketing solutions, has secured €4.3 million in Series A funding.
 

The round was led by Janngo Capital, with participation from a distinguished group of investors, including French soccer players Aurélien Tchouaméni and Jules Koundé, founders of Expensya Karim Jouni and Jihad Othmani, and investment firms SouthBridge Investments and Ciwara Capital.

LAfricaMobile plans to leverage the funds to propel its growth across Central Africa and further enhance its product offerings.

A key focus will be the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver greater value to its clients and partners.

Founded in 2014 by Malick Diouf, LAfricaMobile empowers businesses to execute large-scale communication campaigns across Africa through its innovative platform.

The platform utilizes a range of mobile technologies including SMS, USSD, Voice, WhatsApp, Airtime, and Text-to-Speech.

With a team of nearly 30 professionals boasting diverse cultural backgrounds, LAfricaMobile has facilitated almost 100 million transactions, connecting over 15 countries and collaborating with 60 operators.

This investment underscores LAfricaMobile’s position as a frontrunner in Africa’s cloud communication and mobile marketing landscape.

The company’s strategic use of the funds positions it for continued expansion and the development of cutting-edge AI-powered solutions to empower businesses across the continent.

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Moroccan Agritech Startup YoLa Fresh Secures $7 Million to Connect Farmers and Retailers

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Moroccan Agritech Startup YoLa Fresh Secures $7 Million to Connect Farmers and Retailers

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YoLa Fresh, a Moroccan agritech startup that connects smallholder farmers directly with traditional fruit and vegetable retailers, has secured $7 million in pre-Series A funding.
 

The round was led by Al Mada Ventures, with participation from Algebra Ventures, E3 Capital, Janngo Capital, and the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO).

YoLa Fresh aims to streamline Morocco’s agricultural supply chain by eliminating middlemen.

Their platform connects farmers with retailers and food service providers, allowing for better synchronization of supply and demand.

This reduces food waste, lowers fees for both parties, and increases profits for farmers and retailers alike.

Founded in 2023 by Youssef Mamou and Larbi Alaoui Belrhiti, YoLa Fresh has already made significant strides.

They’ve partnered with over 1,000 retailers across North Africa and boast a monthly gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $1 million.

The company reportedly delivers more than 1,200 tonnes of produce monthly and enjoys an impressive 85% customer retention rate, with retailers averaging four transactions per week.

YoLa Fresh’s strong customer loyalty is a key indicator of future success. The startup anticipates achieving a positive contribution margin by the end of 2024 or early 2025.

They plan to focus on cash-on-delivery options with traditional retailers, collaborate with farmers to improve margins, and prioritize unit economics for long-term viability.

With an annualized revenue target of $40-50 million by 2026, YoLa Fresh has its sights set on expansion beyond Morocco’s borders in the same year.

The agricultural sector contributes a significant 15% to Morocco’s GDP, making it a prime market for the company’s services.

The substantial domestic market, with its traditional trade sector generating an estimated $5-6 billion annually, presents a lucrative opportunity for YoLa Fresh to revolutionize the way food gets from farm to table in Morocco.

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Orange Ventures and Digital Africa Join Forces to Invest in African Startups

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Orange Ventures and Digital Africa Join Forces to Invest in African Startups

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Orange Ventures, the investment arm of Orange Group, and Digital Africa, a pan-African organization fostering digital entrepreneurship, have announced a new co-investment initiative for startups emerging from the “Orange Digital Centres” network.
 
Orange Digital Centres act as hubs for innovation across 17 African and Middle Eastern countries, as well as eight European nations.
 
These centers offer a comprehensive ecosystem of free programs, encompassing digital training for youth, startup incubation and acceleration services, and crucial support for project leaders.
 
This holistic approach aims to empower entrepreneurs and fuel regional innovation.

Digital Africa already manages the Fuzé investment facility, specifically targeting early-stage startups in French-speaking African countries.
 
Fuzé offers equity funding opportunities of up to EUR 50,000 to promising ventures.

The partnership agreement, signed at Vivatech by Fayçal Adlouni, Managing Partner of Orange Ventures, and Grégoire de Padirac, CEO of Digital Africa, signifies a commitment to accelerate support for African startups nurtured within the Orange Digital Centre network.

“The Orange Group is fully dedicated to cultivating the next generation of tech leaders across Africa and the Middle East,” stated Adlouni.
 
“This collaboration between Orange Middle East and Africa, Orange Ventures, and Digital Africa allows us to strategically combine resources and create a thriving environment for startups to flourish in these regions.”

Aspiring startups interested in this new initiative are encouraged to explore the websites of Orange Ventures, Orange Digital Centre, and Digital Africa.

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South African Fraud Startup Orca Secures Pre-Seed Funding

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South African Fraud Startup Orca Secures Pre-Seed Funding

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Orca, a South African startup tackling fraud in emerging markets, has successfully secured $550,000 in a pre-seed funding round.
 

The round, exceeding its target investment, was led by Norrsken22 with participation from First Circle Capital, Musha Ventures, Kara Ventures, and strategic angel investors.

Founded in January 2024 by Thalia Pillay and Carla Wilby, Orca equips banks and fintech companies in emerging markets with easy-to-use yet powerful fraud prevention tools.

The startup aims to empower fraud analysts and compliance officers to combat various financial threats effectively.

Orca plans to leverage the funding to expand its team and focus on building, validating, and iterating its fraud and compliance solutions.

Initially focusing on the South African market, the company will gather customer feedback to refine its offerings.

This investment highlights the growing need for robust fraud protection solutions in emerging markets, where financial institutions and fintechs navigate unique challenges.

Orca’s commitment to providing simple and effective tools positions them to play a significant role in safeguarding the financial landscape in these regions.

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