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09 - 03 - 2020

Hi there and happy International Women's Day yesterday. Welcome to another edition of TC Daily! If this email was forwarded to you, please take a moment to subscribe. Also, join us on Telegram for all the hot takes and deep dives into Africa's technology sector.

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Egyptian on-demand delivery startup, Breadfast has raised pre-Series B round of funding with participation from Paul Graham, the founder of YCombinator. Created in 2017, Breadfast specialises in delivering fresh bread and bakery products to users. Speaking with Menabytes, the startup claims it delivers “tens of thousands” of orders monthly. In 2018, it raised an undisclosed Series A funding. The amount raised in its latest round of funding was also not disclosed. However, alongside Graham, the round pulled in important investors including Endure Capital, Shorooq Partners and Paul Buchheit who founded Gmail while at Google. Breadfast also said it pulled in other investors from Tanzania, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. With its new funding, the company is expanding to new cities in Africa and the Middle East starting with Dubai.
The battle between banks and fintechs is ongoing in South Africa. The southern African country is one of Africa’s most advanced economies with a robust banking system. A few digital-only banks have entered the market – Discover Bank, TymeBank and Bank Zero. They promise to make banking cheaper and easier for customers. Traditional banks don’t want to lose market share to these upstarts. So they’re taking them on. FNB, one of the biggest banks in the country, launched its digital-only bank in November 2019. This article from MyBroadBand SA questions whether fintechs have a chance against the banks.
The coronavirus has forced a rethink of the 2020 Seedstars Summit. Originally scheduled to hold in Switzerland next month, the startup pitch competition will now be done online. The Seedstars event is the latest conference to either be cancelled, shifted or held online because of the coronavirus. Still on the virus, TechCabal’s Alexander Onukwe wrote this interesting article about how a number of tech companies in Nigeria are reacting to the outbreak.
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Egyptian fintech, Khazna has raised an undisclosed seed round of funding. The round was led by Algebra Ventures, with participation from Accion Labs. The startup plans to offer a number of financial services. For now, it operates Khazna HR, a salary advance service that allows workers to borrow money based on their salary.

Liberia is a country that uses two currencies. Weird. I first discovered how this worked when the Jollof Road team visited Monrovia last year. In this new entry for the TechCabal's Digital Nomads series, Muyiwa helps us get a better feel of life in Liberia. He spoke with a Liberian citizen who explained that in Monrovia ride-hailing services don't exist and people use VPN to get around internet restrictions. Of course, there's the discussion around mobile money and the ATMs that dispense dollar. An interesting read.

TC Insights: The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is an active investor in Africa’s startup scene. Over the years, it has backed a number of fintech companies on the continent. The organisation wants to streamline international remittances while improving financial inclusion in emerging markets.

It has invested in companies like Interswitch, Branch, Fawry, and Zoona. Last week it joined a consortium of investors to acquire TerraPay, a payments company with over 25 licences and operations in around 60 countries. IFC’s investment targets are growth and late-stage companies. Typically, it invests between $3 million and $20 million for a minority equity stake. Sometimes it provides debt financing, with a minimum of $10 million. Are you an investor or founder interested in getting access to free and premium TC Insights reports and analysis? Please fill in this form to let us know your interests.
That's all for today, Have a productive week - Abubakar       Share TC Daily with everyone you care about!
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