African startups are trudging on inspite of the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on businesses, and many of them are using the opportunities provided by the market disruptions to expand into other markets within the continent. This could be gleaned from the number of successful funding that has taken place since the great lockdown. The latest on the list is South African pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar energy startup Yellow which is embarking on an expansion drive which will see it berth in Malawi and Uganda. The US$3.3 million Series A funding round it successfully achieved will aid its scaling-up its footprint to over 100,000 customers in Malawi and Uganda.
Founded in 2017, Yellow has enabled 30,000 low income, rural households to access electricity through solar home systems on a financed basis. In May, the company closed a US$3.3 million Series A round to grow its footprint, with investment coming from Platform Investment Partners (PIP), Ruby Rock Investment and previous investors LBOS. Yellow will use the funding to grow its development and operations teams, and rapidly scale its off-grid energy offering. However, it also plans to look at broader opportunities its digital distribution platform offers, in consumer items and financial services.
“Platform Growth seeks to invest in businesses that combine strong management teams with unique technology. In Yellow we feel we have found this combination and have been hugely impressed by the deployment of Yellow’s Ofeefee software to solve complex problems in Malawi and Uganda. We are proud to provide capital alongside our investment partners, Ruby Rock, in order to grow Yellow into one of Africa’s leading digital retailers,” said Michael Stannard, chief operating officer (COO) of Platform Investment Partners.
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In this episode of GFA-Attract, we discuss with Kennedy Mubita, Nairobi based Venture Capital Lead for Africa & Middle east at SC Ventures, the venture capital arm of Standard Chartered Bank. SC Ventures is a $100 million fund focused on FinTech investments.
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