VC Trends Watch: Mar. 13 – 17, 2023
It’s Friday again, and another condensed rundown of noteworthy activities in the African venture capital investment space.
Here’s what happened last week.
Egyptian Edutech Start-up, Almentor, Raises $10M
Egyptian edutech, Almentor, recorded the highest funding round, a $10M, pre-Series C round of funding to speed up its growth towards its goal of serving 10 million learners in the MENA region.
The start-up provides Arab learners with the necessary skills needed to advance their professional careers and personal lives. With a choice of a monthly or annual subscription, learners get unlimited access to a library of over 700 courses on topics as diverse as health, humanities, technology, entrepreneurship, business management, lifestyle, drama, sports, corporate communication, and digital media.
e& capital, the tech investment arm of e&, led the round with participation from existing investors like Partech, Sawari Ventures, Egypt Ventures, Sango Capital and Endure Capital.
Two Major African Funds Launch
Last week also saw the launch of two major funds aimed at focusing on and supporting African ventures and entrepreneurs.
- Nigeria launched a $672 M under the Digital and Creative Enterprises Program (DCEP) focused on helping young investors who face challenges raising capital in Nigeria.
The Nigerian government will contribute $45M through the Bank of Industry Nigeria while the private sector pledged $271 M.
Multiple institutions pooled funds for the DCEP including the African Development Bank $170M; Agence Francaise de Developpement $116M; and Islamic Development Bank $70 M.
- MENA-focused seed investor, Flat6Labs, announced the launch of a new $95M fund to nurture the growth and development of early-stage, tech start-ups on the African continent.
The new Africa Seed Fund (ASF) will focus on three main investment territories in Africa, North Africa, West Africa, and East Africa. The fund will invest in over 160 early-stage start-ups over the next five years that operate in Africa’s technology sector, focusing on impactful sectors that speed up digital inclusion.
Flat6Labs will invest in 160 companies that are in pre-seed up to pre-Series A stages, with tickets ranging from $150K to $500K.
Nigerian Credit-Led FinTech, FairMoney, Acquires PayForce
Nigerian credit-led, digital banking platform, FairMoney, acquired PayForce (a sub-brand of YC-backed CrowdForce), a merchant payment service that serves small businesses, as the digital lender looks to broaden its financial services proposition to merchants.
As part of the deal, CrowdForce CEO, Oluwatomi Ayorinde, joins FairMoney, where he will head the company’s payments business unit – PayForce by FairMoney.
The acquisition will provide incentives for PayForce-acquired merchants who use FairMoney as their primary bank, such as an 18% annual return on deposits. FairMoney will also design specific credit products for different businesses, tackling one of the biggest problems facing small businesses in Nigeria – access to loans and working capital.
Deal Street Roundup
- TLG Capital, a pan-African alternative investment business, declared that it has teamed up with OnePipe to offer financial services to Nigeria’s unorganized sector. The company offered up to
N2.25B ($4.8 M) in a collateralized loan facility for OnePipe.
- The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)-based energy company, Nuru, secured an initial $1.5M from investors in a convertible note round ahead of the close of its Series B funding round.
- Moroccan supplier, spending management start-up Konta, secured $1.15M (or 12 million Dh) from the Azur Innovation Fund.
- VotreChauffeur.ma and VotreColis.ma, two start-ups specialising in mobility and last-mile delivery, announced they had raised 2.5 million dirhams ($240 K) from Afrimobility, Akwa Group’s Venture Capital fund, which will take a stake in the capital of the holding company that houses the two startups.
Until Friday next week!
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