VC Trends Watch: June 12—16, 2023

One of the week’s trending topics is Safaricom’s recent power move. In May 2021, the company successfully secured a bid to become the first external telecommunications company in Ethiopia, breaking the monopoly held by state-owned Ethio Telecom. Ethio Telecom agreed to sell a 40 per cent stake to Safaricom for $850m. 

Last week, the IFC announced an investment of Ksh21.8b ($156.9m in Safaricom, acquiring 7.25 per cent of the company’s equity. Additionally, IFC will provide Safaricom with a loan of Ksh13.9b ($100m) for its expansion in Ethiopia. 

Now to the thrust of this post. Here’s what happened in the African VC scene between June 12 and 16, 2023.

Visa Launches Africa FinTech Accelerator Program to Drive Innovation and Inclusion.

Visa announced the launch of the new Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator Program to help enable Africa’s expanding start-up community through expertise, connections, technology, and investment funding.

The accelerator aims to help around 40 start-ups annually. It will do so by offering a concentrated three-month training program focused on business growth and mentorship.

After completing the program, Visa plans to continue supporting the growth of fintech companies by providing capital investment to select participants.

Additionally, it will assist in the commercial launch of these businesses by granting them access to Visa’s technology and resources.

The Baobab Network Invests In Five New African Start-ups

Last week, The Baobab Network added five more African start-ups to its portfolio in its most recent cohort. This expansion adds start-ups from Kenya, Togo, Nigeria, Guinea, and Morocco.

Each of these start-ups will receive a capital injection of $50k. In addition to the financial support, each company will benefit from a tailored accelerator program led by industry experts.

This program will enable them to establish valuable connections with prominent angel investors and venture capitalists through a demo day.

The selected start-ups are Afrigility (Kenya), Eazy Chain (Togo), Togo Cargo (Togo), ePoultry (Nigeria), MuduPay (Guinea Conakry), and (Morocco).

Impact Amplifier Launches Second Phase Of Africa Online Safety Fund

Last week, Impact Amplifier, a South African social impact advisory firm, received additional funding from to initiate the second phase of the Africa Online Safety Fund. This fund intends to discover innovative solutions for addressing online safety challenges.

In its first phase, the fund provided financial assistance to 26 social innovators from nine African countries who presented unique approaches to tackling online safety concerns. 

During the second phase, Impact Amplifier plans to address the issue of online safety on an ecosystem level by employing several strategies, including establishing a centralized digital repository of research on online safety in Africa, conducting new research to address knowledge gaps, and curating and producing educational resources on online safety for young individuals, teachers, and parents. 

Kenyan Automotive Marketplace, Peach Cars, Raises $5M Seed Funding

Kenyan automotive marketplace, Peach Cars, recorded the largest funding round of the last week, a $5m seed round led by Japan-based the University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners (UTEC) and other angel investors, including Shintaro Yamada, Peter Kenevan, and Hiroaki Ohta.

Peach Cars, established in 2020, aims to make car ownership more accessible in sub-Saharan Africa. They have created a smart engine check device that utilizes their proprietary software to automate the car inspection process. By leveraging their inspection methods and data, Peach Cars improves vehicle diagnostics and ensures the quality of repairs.

The start-up plans to use the money to grow the business, hire more talent and double down on R&D as it expands its tech solutions.

Deal Street Wrap-Up

  • Eze, a wholesale marketplace for used and new electronics, secured $3.7m in seed funding to develop its technology infrastructure, broaden its product offering and expand into new markets in Africa, Europe and South America.
  • Nigerian communications-as-a-service startup, Termii, secured $3.65m in new financing, bringing its total funding to date to slightly over $5m.
  • Egypt’s marketplace for trucks, Trella, raised $3.5 M from newly launched, private equity fund, Avanz Capital Egypt. 
  • Maltento, a company dedicated to unlocking the functional compounds of insect-based feed solutions, raised $3.3m from Sand River Venture Capital.
  • Messenger, a one-stop logistics platform that finances and aggregates end-to-end logistics and supply chain operations, raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-seed funding round led by Nama Ventures with participation from Aidi Ventures and notable angels.

Until Friday next week!


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