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PRESENTED BY TEK EXPERTS
22 - 07 - 2019

Hello there! Welcome to today's edition of TC Daily. If this mail was forwarded to you, please take a moment to subscribe so you don't miss out on future editions.

A MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSOR

Tek Experts, a leading, global provider of business and IT support services with presence in 7 countries, including Nigeria, is recruiting heavily for various IT roles in its Lagos office. Tek Experts provides service options that enables global teams work effectively by developing technologies that enhance customer experience. Whether it’s providing follow-the-sun software support services that deliver exceptional customer experiences, developing technologies that enable sales teams to increase and retain revenue or training and developing people to be the best they can be, Tek Experts’ focus is always on putting the customer first. Interested candidates can view available vacancies and apply here.

The Kenyan government has unveiled the Lake Turkana Wind Power Plant, the largest wind energy system in Africa. The plant, which has 365 wind turbines, will generate 310 MW of electricity for the country. Built at the cost of $775 million, the government wants the plant to provide 13% of the country’s electricity supply. This is the latest push by the country to switch completely to renewable energy for its electricity needs. Already generating 70% of its electricity from renewable energy, the Kenyan government aims to produce 100% of the country's electricity from clean energy by 2020. Recently we at TechCabal held our Renewable Energy townhall to capture the state of clean energy development in Africa, and our speakers shared that interest in the sector is growing. This growing interest is captured by recent funding news such as GridWorks’ $7.5 million investment in Mettle Solar Investments, Arnergy’s recent $9 million funding round, and Ecoligo’s latest €2.5 million round.

PowerHive, a US energy company with operations in Kenya, has raised $9.3 million Series B funding. The round was led by Toyota Tsusho, a company owned by Japanese automobile company Toyota. Other investors in the round include Caterpillar Venture James Sandler, Tao Capital, Prelude Ventures, Total Ventures, Kouros and TO.org. Originally secured in early July, the new funding will help PowerHive provide off-grid energy solutions in emerging markets. It already holds a license to provide alternative energy in Kenya and is the first private firm to secure such license in that country. With the new funding, the company has now raised $41.3 million.

In more funding news, Nigerian fintech startup, VertoFX has raised $2.1 million seed funding. The round was led by Accelerated Digital Ventures, with participation from YCombinator, and different African angel investors. VertoFX is a business to business platform helping to solve forex and international payment issues for small and medium scale businesses in emerging markets. The platform allows businesses to trade in 19 currencies and also helps settle transactions in 120 countries. It processed around $7 million last month and counts companies such as Flutterwave and some banks as clients. The new funding will be used to scale VertoFX’s technology and expand its operations to more countries.

Applications are now open for Moroccan startup accelerator program, HSEVEN Disrupt Africa. Targeted at seed and early stage startups, the HSEVEN Disrupt Africa is a 6-months program available to startups with 2-5 cofounders. It provides €150,000 seed investment in return for a maximum 7% equity in selected startups. Click here to apply for the program.

Interswitch, one of Africa’s biggest fintech companies, is planning an initial public offering (IPO) according to Bloomberg. The company had originally wanted an IPO two years ago, but it never went through with it. This time around, the firm is making serious efforts to list on both the London Stock Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Over the last few weeks, Interswitch has engaged banks including JP Morgan & Chase Co, Citigroup and Standard Bank Group to help structure the offering. Bloomberg says the company could be valued at $1.3 billion and $1.5 billion. News of Interswitch’s listing follows recent stock market debuts by companies operating in Africa. Companies like Jumia, Airtel Africa, Multichoice, Econet’s Cassava Smartech and MTN Nigeria have all made their stock market debut recently.

A power outage and mobile money blackout expose the vulnerability of Zimbabwe’s economy

Flowing from the recent interests in IPOs from African companies, US banking giant, JP Morgan has announced it is hiring more people in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). “International investors are interested and more open to the African growth story than ever before,” said Barry Meyers, Managing Director of JP Morgan’s Capital Market businesses in the UK and SSA. The company revealed that more African companies will list on the London Stock Exchange over the next 12 months. It however declined to mention companies planning listings. So the bank is expanding its Africa-based staff to support this capital market interest.

In this piece, Victor Asemota advises Nigeria's security agencies to adopt and fund technology startups in order to fight adversaries of the economy and the state.

Egyptian bus hailing startup, Swvl has expanded to Pakistan. This the third market the startup is officially operating in alongside Kenya and Egypt. The company is in an expansionist mood presently. In addition to Pakistan, the startup previously announced it will expand to Nigeria later this year.

From TechCabalBike hailing has gained a lot of attention in Nigeria since the start of the year. Yet regulatory issues remain an important problem for startups in this business. In this article, I explore the regulatory challenges, what startups are doing about them and explore what could happen in the future. +  Cooling technology company Sure Chill has secured £4 million Series A investment from Africa-focused VC, Novastar Ventures and London-based VC, The Garage Soho. Kay Ugwuede writes that the company's cooling technology harnesses a unique property of water to keep its vaccine and blood bankrefrigerators cool for longer hours without power.

Thanks for reading,

See you tomorrow.   - Abubakar
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