“Unlocking Financial Access: The Success Story of PayJoy’s $300M Enterprise Empowering the Underserved through Smartphone Collateral Loans”

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How PayJoy built a $300M business by letting the underserved use their smartphones as collateral for loansLerato Motloung is a mother of two who works in a supermarket in Johannesburg, South Africa. Then, in February 2024, she saw a sign about PayJoy, a startup that offers lending to the underserved in emerging markets. Motloung is one of millions of customers that San Francisco–based PayJoy has helped since its 2015 inception. And, unlike other startups offering loans to the underserved, it’s doing so in a way that’s not predatory, it says. Last September, PayJoy announced that it had secured $150 million in Series C equity funding and $210 million in debt financing.

“Hard Tech Focus: Matter Venture Partners Secures $300M for Debut Fund”

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Wen Hsieh and Haomiao Huang, both Kleiner Perkins investors, left the firm in 2023 to start their own venture capital fund called Matter Venture Partners. The median venture fund raised that year was around $37 million, according to a PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor report. Matter Venture Partners invests at the large seed rounds, Series A and Series B. He believes that Matter Venture Partner’s focus on hard tech was the reason for the oversubscription. We like to fund them and entrepreneurs that contribute to these new innovations.”So far, Matter Venture Partners invested in six companies not made public yet.

“Unlocking AI’s Potential: Cyera Secures $300M at $1.5B Valuation to Tackle Data Challenges”

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AI is a data problem. Now Cyera is raising up to $300M on a $1.5B valuation to secure itA cybersecurity startup called Cyera is betting that the next big challenge in enterprise data protection will be AI, and it’s raising a big round of funding as demand picks up for it. Previous to this, Cyera — pronounced “Sierra” and headquartered in San Mateo and with roots in Israel — had raised a total of $160 million with its current $500 million valuation dating from last year. Cyera, Coatue and Sequoia declined comment. A source said that AI right now is a “huge driver” for business at Cyera.

€300M Climate Fund Seeks Follow-On and Supports Hardware: World Fund’s Inaugural Closure

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If you’re looking for comparisons, Norrsken VC is a $130 million impact VC that covers climate, while Demeter Partners last raised a €250 million fund focused on climate. World Fund is also backed by pension funds including the UK Environment Agency Pension Fund, Wiltshire Pension Fund, and Croatia’s Erste Plavi. World Fund has completed its raise during a war in Europe, interest rate rises, and jittery LPs. In 2023 there was over $20 billion raised by European climate tech startups, almost matching the previous year, and bucking declining trends in other sectors, according to Dealroom. The U.K., Sweden and Germany led for total climate tech VC in 2023 but Iceland, Lithuania and Bulgaria showed notable growth.

“Partech’s $300M+ Africa Fund: Enabling Investment Across All Stages from Seed to Series C”

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Partech closes its second Africa fund at $300M+ to invest from seed to Series CPartech has closed its second Africa fund, Partech Africa II, at €280 million ($300 million+), just one year after reaching its first close. Amidst a backdrop of global VCs and institutional investors pulling back from Africa, Partech Africa’s recent fund closure is significant. However, he clarified that the firm will deploy the majority of its second fund between Series A and B rounds. Among the investments from its second fund is Revio, a South African payment orchestration platform, where Partech Africa co-led the seed round with global fintech fund QED. Partech Africa intends to back over 20 companies, with initial investments ranging from $1 million to $15 million, it disclosed.