Africa

“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.

“Verod-Kepple’s Pan-African Venture Capital Fund Secures $60M in Inaugural Close”

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Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures (VKAV) plans to back up to 21 growth-stage companies across the continent after closing its first fund at $60 million. The pan-African VC hit the milestone following fresh backing from Nigeria’s SCM Capital formerly Sterling Capital Markets Limited, and the only non-Japanese investor. Verod-Kepple is the latest African VC to get capitalized, amid an ongoing investment downturn, allowing it to provide much-needed capital to series A and B startups even as local capital pools for growth-stage companies remain limited. We think there’s still a need for more growth stage capital with locally based investors,” she said. How VKAV makes investmentsThe VKAV fund backs startups that are building infrastructure for the digital economy, solving inefficiencies encountered by businesses, and market creators for the emerging consumer population.

Satgana’s Inaugural Fund: Advancing Startups in Africa and Europe with Climate Technology

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Climate-tech VC Satgana has reached a final close of its first fund, which targets to back up to 30 early-stage startups in Africa and Europe. “I ran it for like five years, and about six years ago I started to really have the awakening to the extent of climate change. “We are entering the continent to pursue green growth objectives; so deploying renewable energy, low carbon buildings, mobility solutions and so on. Satgana is among the new funds that are dedicated to the African climate tech sector. These funds include Africa People + Planet Fund by Novastar Ventures, Equator’s fund and the Catalyst Fund.

Nala Ventures into Remittance Services and Explores B2B Payment Platform Building

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Nala set out to offer remittance services, it’s building a B2B payment platform too It says, this is to guarantee reliability to its app users and businesses making payments into and out of AficaPayments company Nala pivoted to offer remittance service in 2021, tapping the growing money transfer market in Africa, and demand for reliable and affordable services. For markets like Kenya, they have integrated with mobile money service M-Pesa enabling users living in the diaspora to pay local bills directly. However, building the service on the payment rails of other providers meant that the fintech could not guarantee dependability. This drove the decision to develop its own platform that directly integrates with banks and mobile money providers. The remittance business growth coincides with reports that remittance flows to sub-Saharan Africa will continue on a growth trajectory.

“Moove Secures $100M Investment from Uber and Achieves $750M Valuation for African Mobility Fintech Expansion”

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Moove, an African mobility fintech that offers vehicle financing to ride-hailing and delivery app drivers, has raised $100 million in a funding round as it plots expansion into new markets. Moove says it plans to use the new capital to expand its revenue-based vehicle financing platform to 16 markets by the end of 2025. Moove takes a two-pronged approach to vehicle financing. The vehicles provided to Moove customers vary from traditional options like Toyotas and Suzukis to electric vehicles (EVs) such as Teslas. The vehicle financing startup operates large EV fleets in the UAE and the U.K.

Nigerian Startup Bfree Secures $3M Investment to Support Ethical Debt Recovery for Lenders

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Bfree, a tech-enabled debt collection startup based in Nigeria, was founded to automate and introduce ethical debt recovery processes after its founders witnessed the use and adverse effects of aggressive retrieval techniques, such as incessant calling and debt-shaming, by predatory digital lenders. It also launched a loan collection management SaaS dubbed Workflow, which targets companies with in-house collection teams or those that are not keen to outsource. Bfree to create secondary market for loansIts current loan portfolio stands at over $400 million, out of which it has managed to collect 12.5%. He added that they also have an analytics solution for banks to help them gain insights into secondary debt markets. “We foresee the growing prominence of credit management and are confident that Bfree will spearhead the creation of a secondary market on the continent for distressed assets.

funding “Revolutionizing South Africa’s Solar Adoption: How Hohm Energy Secured $8M for Rooftop Expansion”

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In the latest development, three-year-old Hohm Energy, which connects homeowners and businesses with accredited solar installers, product suppliers, and embedded solar finance in South Africa, has raised $8 million in seed investment. The funding, whose first tranche of $4.25 million came in Q4 2022, is the largest seed round for a tech startup in South Africa, according to Hohm Energy. Hohm Energy says its solution was built as an alternative and sustainable energy source for over 7 million addressable households connected to South Africa’s national grid. Hohm Energy would then generate a final engineering proposal and present it to its banking partners for financing approval. “We are thrilled to announce our inaugural investment in Hohm Energy.

“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.

Amazon Prime Video to End Local Originals Support in Africa and Middle East

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Amazon Prime Video is said to be downsizing its Africa and Middle East operations in a move that will affect teams in the two regions; according to a Variety report, the company will instead focus on European originals. Following the changes, Prime Video will stop contracting originals in Africa and Middle East markets. It’s interesting to note that Amazon Prime Video entered the African market in 2016 as part of its global expansion to over 200 countries, presenting substantial competition to Netflix’s simultaneous global launch. As the third-largest video streaming platform in Africa, Amazon Prime Video aimed to strengthen its subscriber base in emerging markets by launching localized plans. The strategy included increased investment in local production, unveiling slates of localized originals, and offering discounted Amazon Prime memberships to customers.

Schmidt Futures Invests $6M in Cloudline’s Quest for Sustainable Aerial Autonomy

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South African aerospace startup Cloudline has secured $6 million in funding as it aims to lead the global frontier of carbon emissions-free autonomous flight. Schmidt Futures, the philanthropic venture founded by ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Wendy Schmidt, is an investor in the seed round. Working in East Africa, notably in Kenya and Uganda, highlighted the substantial impact of infrastructure on people’s lives. The following year, Horne founded Cloudline at the intersection of technology, transportation and its implications on community outcomes. Earlier in the year, Cloudline performed proving flights for authorities in Kenya, marking it as the first airship to fly in East Africa.