Helios Towers acquires over 1,200 sites in Senegal

in partnership



Hello there,

Welcome to TC Daily! In today’s digest: Airtel Africa and Standard Chartered Bank forge partnership; funding news from Mali and Kenya plus, today is our TC Live webinar with Victor Basta and you don’t want to miss it. Details below.

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Airtel Africa has announced a partnership

with Standard Chartered Bank in a bid to expand its fintech services and deepen its financial inclusion drive in its key markets. The partnership will lead to new fintech solutions and for existing Airtel Money subscribers, ease international money transfers, real-time deposits or withdrawals, access savings and other such services. At the moment, users can pay for utilities, top up airtime and data subscriptions or buy insurance. They will be able to do much more.

Like a number of telcos, Airtel Africa is diversifying its revenue away from voice and SMS and in the last few years, has ramped up data revenue and rolled out digital content via its video-on-demand (VOD)  platform, Airtel TV. Financial services are also part of Airtel Africa’s diversification plan. And already, the telco is seeing results. In Q2 2020, it grew mobile money revenue to US$81 million, a 20% growth over the 12 month period. As at June 2020, its mobile money user base stood at 18.5 million. A partnership with Standard Chartered opens up an extensive customer base to Airtel Africa and opportunities to create new products and keep the adoption of its fintech services on an upward trajectory.


Malian off-grid solar company Energy+
has raised US$1 million in funding (equity and fully funded enterprise development services) from a group of investors led by VentureBuilder. The company also received debt funding from Cordaid Investment Management (Cordaid), and grant financing from the United States African Development Foundation (USADF). Energy+ is working to improve access to electricity for Mali’s about 80% population who are without electricity. With the funding, Energy+ plans to scale its off-grid business throughout Mali and expand its PAYG and cash sales offering available through its retail network.

Energy+ is a subsidiary of Omnium Invest, a holding company also based in Mali and whose earliest subsidiary is a battery manufacturing company founded in 1996, a major player in the country.

In more funding news,

Kenyan human resource and payroll startup WorkPay has raised US$2.1 million in seed funding to drive its growth. WorkPay processes payrolls for more than 25,000 employees in more than 300 small and medium scale businesses on its platform. The round was led by Kepple Africa Ventures (previously invested US$100,000 in WorkPay in 2019) with participation from Y Combinator, Soma Capital, Musha Ventures, P1 Ventures, and a number of angel investors.


Helios Towers has signed an agreement  
with Senegal’s second largest mobile operator Free Senegal to acquire over 1,200 sites for €160 million. This deal will make Helios Towers the largest independent tower infrastructure provider in Senegal. Both companies have entered into a 15-year service agreement for the provision of hosting and energy services on the acquired sites and sites to be built in the future. According to Helios Tower CEO, Kash Pandya, the acquisition is in line with the company’s 2025 goal to broaden its footprint in the African tower infrastructure market. In May, the company made a similar move acquiring 65 mobile-phone tower sites in South Africa.


Twelve female-led businesses have been selected
to participate in the inaugural The Future is Female Mentorship Program, the first exclusively female PR and communications mentorship programme for African female tech founders. The startups span a range of industries from mobility to medical diagnostics and come from Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania.

The startups include ChiL Ai Lab, Easy Matatu, Mkaziprenuer, Movemeback, CAWSTEM, Clean Technology Hub, Kweza Technologies, RPA Nuggets, YISA Deliveries, Tech Educate, Divaloper, and Ninsiima eDispensary. Over the course of two months, the founders will be engaged in virtual group and one-on-one sessions with  Claudine Moore, founder of C Moore Media (program organisers)  alongside partners and other team members.


Join us today  
at 11:00am (WAT) for the 7th episode of Building in Africa. We will be joined by Victor Basta, Founder and Managing Partner of M&A advisory firm, Magister Advisors.

Basta has advised on over 120 transactions across 25 years and helped found and build three successful corporate finance firms in the process. His firm is focused on M&A exits and larger financing rounds. Some of the African transactions Basta’s Magister Advisors has participated in include Twiga Foods’ Series B round and Cellulant’s $47.5 million Series C round. Magister has also invested in Kenyan-based transport startup, Sendy.

Basta will answer questions about how big mergers, acquisitions and public offerings get done. Attendees will be able to ask him burning questions in an interactive session. The event is open to experienced and aspiring
entrepreneurs as well as everyone else who is playing in the African technology industry.

Register here to attend the event.


That’s it for today,

Have a great weekend.
– Kay

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