VC Trends Watch: June 26–30, 2023

Hello July!

The second half of the year has officially started. We cannot wait to see how the rest of the year will unfold for the African start-up environment.

Meanwhile, here’s what happened in the African VC scene during the last week of last month.

Fintech Company Chipper Cash Launched in Rwanda

Last week, fintech company Chipper Cash announced the official launch of its operations in Rwanda.

The company unveiled its launch during the inaugural Inclusive Fintech Forum, a global event focused on promoting financial inclusion and positive fintech advancements, held at the Kigali Convention Centre.

Through its expansion into Rwanda, Chipper Cash aims to enhance connectivity among the Rwandan population by enabling smooth and secure transactions. The initiative is aimed at promoting widespread access to financial services and stimulating economic growth within the country.

Additionally, Chipper Cash plans to introduce two new products – the virtual Chipper Card, which will provide individuals with a convenient means to shop, stream, and subscribe online, and Chipper for Business, which will assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in operating efficiently within the global marketplace.

Techstars Raising $150M for New Accelerator Fund

Start-up accelerator, Techstars, is raising $150m for its new fund, SEC filings show.

The accelerator is seeking new capital ahead of the end of the deployment period of its third institutionally backed fund, Techstars Accelerator 2024, later this year. The new fund is expected to be used for accelerator-stage and/or post-accelerator investments.

As part of Techstars’ three-month program, start-ups receive $20k in funding along with a $100k convertible note. In exchange for this investment, Techstars acquires a 6 – 9 per cent stake in the company’s common stock.

In addition to financial support, participating start-ups gain access to Techstars’ extensive network, mentorship opportunities, and various other valuable resources to aid their growth and development.

Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures Invested $1.5 M In Morocco’s Chari

Last week, Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures (VKAV) announced its investment of $1.5m in Chari, a Morocco-based e-commerce company, to support its growth plan.

In a move to strengthen their dedication to revolutionizing the informal retail sector and fostering economic growth in the region, Ryosuke (Rio) Yamawaki, Partner at VKAV, has been appointed as a strategic advisor to the company.

This investment will serve as a catalyst to propel the company’s growth plans forward and enable further development of its financial services infrastructure, catering to a wide range of individuals and communities. With this infusion of funds, the company will have the necessary resources to expand its offerings and make financial services more accessible to a larger audience.

Deal Street Wrap-Up

  • Health tech start-up, Berry Health, raised $1.6m in a pre-seed round to mitigate stigma in Africa, starting with Ghana. Lightspeed Ventures and General Catalyst co-led the round with participation from Jen Wong, Demetri Karagas, Steven Gutentag, Betsy Zimmerman, and Regina Benjamin.
  • Kenyan fashion e-commerce start-up, ShopZetu, raised a $1m pre-seed funding round to add beauty and home décor categories to its portfolio.
  • Kenyan e-commerce start-up, Tappi, was selected for the latest edition of the Orbit Startups accelerator. This secured it $180k in funding and access to an intensive program that supports its growth and fundraising.
  • South African e-health start-up, Zoie Health, raised a pre-seed extension funding round from 4DX Ventures and E Squared Investments to fund its expansion and growth.
  • Ghanaian Web3 start-up, Mazzuma, secured an undisclosed amount of financing from Adaverse to implement the roll-out of its AI-powered, smart contract creation platform – MazzumaGPT.

Until Friday next week!


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