During the past week, several notable activities took place, similar to the previous week. Specifically, there were seven funding rounds that occurred. Additionally, Google for Startups revealed the 2023 cohort of the Google for Startups’ Black Founders Fund, which consists of 25 startups.
Agel, an Egyptian fintech startup, has successfully raised a significant pre-Seed round of funding from Plus Venture Capital (+VC) and Seedstars International Ventures, Flat6labs, with participation from SEEDRA Ventures, Banque Misr Acceleration Program, and angel investors.
Established in October 2021 by Abdelrahman Saeed and Ahmed El Sherbiny, Agel specializes in providing Sharia-compliant lending services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including Murabaha, a financing model aligned with Islamic principles.
The newly acquired funds will be utilized to support Agel’s efforts in obtaining a non-banking financial institution license, refining its product offering, and accelerating its expansion throughout Egypt. Additionally, Agel has plans to collaborate with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) to launch a co-branded banking card service for merchants.
Kubik, a cleantech startup based in Ethiopia, has successfully raised $3.34 million in a seed round led by prominent investors including Plug & Play, BESTSELLER Foundation, GIIG Africa Fund, Satgana, Unruly Capital, Savannah Fund, African Renaissance Partners, KAZANA Fund, Princeton Alumni Angels, and Andav Capital. Strategic angel investors such as Joel Holsinger, Will Abbey, and Maex Ament also provided crucial support to the fundraising efforts.
The funds raised in this seed round will be instrumental in driving the expansion of Kubik’s operations throughout Ethiopia. The company plans to scale up its production capabilities, further develop its innovative technologies, and increase its market presence.
Yellow, an asset financier for solar energy and digital devices in Africa, has successfully raised $14 million in a Series B funding round. The investment was led by Convergence Partners, with participation from the Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund, managed by Triple Jump, as well as follow-on investment from Platform Investment Partners.
Founded in 2018 by Mike Heyink and Maya Stewart, Yellow focuses on providing asset financing for solar energy solutions and digital devices. The company’s Ofeefee app and network of 1,100 agents have played a crucial role in sourcing and processing asset finance applications on behalf of customers, contributing to its significant market penetration and reach of over 400,000 customers across its five markets.
With the new funding, Yellow plans to further expand its presence in its current markets, which include Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, and Madagascar. Additionally, the company aims to launch digital and financial products in the near term to enhance its offerings. Yellow also intends to prepare for future debt funding rounds to fuel its growth and scale its operations.
Established in 2021, Mosala Maboko offers a digital platform that optimizes professional construction and maintenance services for businesses and individual clients in the DRC. The startup specializes in a wide range of services, including cleaning, plumbing, kitchen services, air conditioning, painting, and more. Its client base encompasses large enterprises, SMEs, NGOs, and individual customers across the DRC.
The investment from DRC Impact Angels is intended to fuel the growth and development of Mosala Maboko. The funding will enable the startup to expand its customer reach, improve its operational capabilities, recruit additional skilled technicians, and provide comprehensive training to its workforce.
Tuma, a fintech startup based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has successfully raised a significant investment round amounting to $500,000. This funding round attracted notable participants, including Visa, Visible Hands, and the Social Justice Fund, making it the largest funding round ever secured by a Congolese fintech company.
Tuma was founded in 2022 by Elijah Lubala and Mpilo Makae with the primary goal of promoting financial inclusion in the country. The startup achieves this by offering a digital solution that enables merchants to accept card payments directly on their mobile phones.
The main objective of this investment is to support Tuma’s expansion into new markets and enhance its range of product offerings. The funds will be utilized to fuel the company’s growth, improve its technology infrastructure, and reach more merchants and customers in the DRC.
Google has revealed the lineup of 25 African startups that have been chosen for the third cohort of Google for Startups‘ Black Founders Fund. Each of these startups will receive generous support, including non-dilutive cash awards of up to $150,000, $200,000 in Google Cloud credits, Google Ads assistance, and personalized mentoring from industry experts and Googlers.
Out of the startups selected for the 2023 cohort, an impressive 18 (72%) are led or co-founded by women. Furthermore, 10 (40%) of the chosen startups are based in Nigeria, which stands out as the leading country among the participants. In terms of sectors, healthtech startups represent 6 (24%) of the cohort, with fintech closely following as the second most represented industry.
For more information about the 2023 cohort of the Google for Startups’ Black Founders Fund, use this link.
Fast Credit, a Nigerian fintech startup, has successfully raised $3.6 million through a Series 1, 2, and 3 Commercial Paper issuance. The funding round was facilitated by Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited, which served as the Lead Arranger and Issuing and Placing Agent. FSL Securities Limited, Planet Capital Limited, and United Capital PLC also participated as Joint Arrangers and IPAs.
Established in 2014, Fast Credit Limited aims to revolutionize the financial landscape by leveraging technology. The company harnesses the power of artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics to drive operational efficiencies and provide a positive customer experience. Since its inception, Fast Credit has been dedicated to improving accessibility and promoting financial inclusion.
The Fashion Kingdom (TFK), an Egyptian fashion e-commerce marketplace, has acquired OPIO, a direct-to-consumer (D2C) fashion brand. The exact financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed.
TFK was founded in 2020 by Marianne Simaika, Fadi Antaki, and Karim Abdel Kader. The company provides a comprehensive platform of support to its brands, offering services such as manufacturing, operations, marketing, and content creation. TFK’s scalable tech stack powers these capabilities, enabling brands to thrive in the fashion industry.
The acquisition of OPIO is part of TFK’s strategic vision to establish an all-in-one fashion aggregator and venture builder. By integrating OPIO into its portfolio, TFK aims to revolutionize the fashion industry in the region. The acquisition will enable TFK to enhance its offerings and strengthen its position as a leading player in the Egyptian fashion e-commerce market.
Cash Cows, founded in 2017, specializes in helping startups refine their operations and strategies to achieve profitable expansion and develop stronger brands. They work closely with clients to bridge the gap between traditional business practices and innovative approaches, enabling companies to thrive in their respective industries.
The partnership between Cash Cows and VMS involves the launch of a collaborative platform where startups can exchange ideas, showcase their innovations, and potentially connect with investors. This joint initiative creates a valuable opportunity for both companies to leverage the experiences and opportunities present in their respective markets, expand their customer base beyond their home countries, and tap into new markets.
Seedstars Capital and Fondation Botnar have joined forces to launch the Seedstars Youth Wellbeing Venture Fund. The initiative aims to invest $20 million in early-stage, purpose-driven companies that focus on improving the wellbeing of young people in low- and middle-income countries across Africa.
The fund will primarily support pre-seed to Series A companies operating in various sectors that directly impact youth wellbeing. These sectors include health services, environmental sustainability, local food security, water and sanitation, waste management, digital technologies, quality education, access to employment, financial services, safe transportation, and affordable housing.
The initiative also seeks to co-invest with like-minded investors, thereby multiplying the impact of their investments. The fund will be deployed across Africa, with a specific focus on companies operating in or expanding to Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal, Morocco, and Egypt.
CrossBoundary Energy, a leading operator of commercial and industrial renewable energy systems in Africa, has secured a significant investment of $50 million. The investment consists of a $30 million multi-country facility provided by the Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI) managed by Cygnum Capital, with an additional $20 million expected to be arranged by FEI in the third quarter of 2023.
Founded in 2011, CrossBoundary Energy specializes in developing distributed renewable energy solutions for businesses in Africa. The company offers power purchase and lease agreements, providing cheaper and cleaner energy to its clients. Its current portfolio of solar renewable energy assets is valued at over $285 million, serving notable companies such as Unilever, Diageo, Rio Tinto, Heineken, and AB InBev.
The investment will be utilized to expand CrossBoundary Energy’s commercial and industrial (C&I) portfolio across Africa. The facility agreement, structured as an innovative construction loan facility, allows CrossBoundary Energy to scale its investments in fully financed renewable energy solutions tailored for corporate customers. This funding will support the company’s mission of advancing sustainable and affordable energy options for businesses in the region.