23 JUNE, 2021


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Good morning ☀️ ️

Is this a good time to buy the dip?

For the first time since January 2021, Bitcoin fell below $30,000 yesterday, after China reinforced its crackdown on crypto trading. 

In today’s edition:

  • Logistics for health products is growing in Africa
  • Egyptian trucking marketplace Trella raises $42m
  • Kenyan Edtech startup, Ed Partners Africa raises $1.9m
  • GIGL launches Nigeria’s first electric cargo vans

Logistics for health products is growing in Africa

Shoes, electronics, food items and furniture. Those are items most people know they can get on e-commerce sites like Jumia and Konga. 

Did you know people also buy drugs from these platforms?

Yes, drugs!

A search under Jumia’s ‘medications & treatments’ tab reveals syrups, nasal sprays, and pain relief capsules. At the bottom of their healthcare page, a blurb assures visitors that products listed on the website are from “various trusted brands that will meet your health needs.” 

As per a report by Salient Advisory, an Africa-focused healthcare consultancy:

  • At least 61 companies are using tech for health distribution across sub-Saharan Africa, a growth of over 100% in the number of active players (28) captured in 2018. 
  • These health logistics companies include e-commerce players like Jumia, Copia and Konga, and also core health startups like mPharma, Lifestores Pharmacy, Chekkit and Sproxil. 
  • Most of these companies are in Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda, with only 6 in the francophone region. 31% of the companies surveyed were founded within the last two years and 62% operate in a single African country. 

In this article, Alex examines this shift to accelerate access to medicines and other health products.


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Egypt’s Trella raises $42 million Series A

Egypt-based digital trucking marketplace, Trella, has raised a $42 million Series A funding round, comprising $30 million in equity and $12 million in debt financing, for major expansion in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP).

The equity part of the round was led by Maersk Growth, the corporate venture arm of one of the world’s leading shipping and logistics company Maersk, and Saudi-based Raed Ventures. 

Founded in 2018, Trella is a B2B technology platform and trucking marketplace connecting shippers with carriers in real-time and has over 350 shipper partners including blue-chip brands such as Coca-Cola, Maersk, Mondi, Henkel, Orascom and Cemex.

Since its launch, it has been accepted into the Y Combinator accelerator, acquired a local competitor, and expanded into Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Kenyan Edtech startup, Ed Partners Africa raises $1.9m

Kenyan Edtech startup, Ed Partners Africa, an affordable private school financing company, has raised $1.9m. The round was led by Acumen, I&P and Zephyr.

Ed Partners is targeting affordable private schools that provide education to the low-income population and charge school fees of between $150 and $500 per year. Additionally, these schools are looking for loans of between $2,000 and $70,000 payable up to six years.

Ed Partners loans are designed for specific end-uses such as the expansion of classrooms, purchase of school buses, building sanitation facilities etc. and are designed to keeping the school cashflows and repayment abilities in mind.

Ed Partners, which was founded in 2018 by Lydia Koros and David FitzHerbert, has to date offered $ 1.5 million in loans to 142 affordable private schools, which educate 41,000 students.

GIGL launches Nigeria’s First electric cargo vans

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Last week, Nigerian logisitics giant GIGL took a first step as it introduced four electric cargo vans into its Lagos fleet in partnership with indigenous automaker, JET Motor Company (JET). 

For GIGL, the goal is for every vehicle in its fleet to be fully electric.

Why start with four vans?

It’s starting with four electric vans over an intra-city route to get a sense of how practical it is using electric vans in a country with epileptic power supply and other infrastructural challenges.

The electric vehicles can go for about 300km (driving distance from Lagos to Benin) before needing a recharge.

What’s JET up to?

The almost four-year-old automaker which established its petrol-powered line of vehicles in 2020 raised $9m solely to fund research and development into building the ‘Tesla of Africa’. At its current capacity, JET’s Lagos-based assembly plant can produce five to seven vehicles a day on demand.

Looking ahead: JET is expected to provide GIGL with at least 46 more JET EV vans over the next two years. Within the next five to seven years, GIGL hopes to convert over 60% to 70% of its fleet to fully electric vehicles. JET believes they’ll achieve this goal even faster if there are government regulations incentivising the production and use of electric vehicles.

Read more:Nigeria’s GIGL Partners Nigeria’s JET Motor Company To Launch The Country’s First Electric Cargo Vans 

This Friday

This Friday, June 25th at 11 am (WAT), Elsa Muzzolini – GM (Commercials and Mobile Financial Services), MTN Nigeria will be on TechCabal Live to discuss how fintechs can find and secure strategic partnerships.

She will be joined by other industry leaders such as Tomilola Majekodunmi – Co-founder/CEO, Bankly; Abubakar Suleiman – CEO, Sterling Bank; Tayo Oviosu – Founder/CEO, Paga; Tosin Osibodu, CEO – Chaka; and Robert Kotei – Operations Director for Africa at Ria Money Transfer.

Topsy Kola-Oyeneyin, Partner at McKinsey & Company will moderate the event.

It will be a practical discussion full of lessons for fintech innovators, bank executives and other professionals in the financial sector. Even if you don’t belong to this category but are enthusiastic about Africa’s financial sector, you should still totally join in.

Register now: http://bit.ly/tclivejune25

This event is brought to you in partnership with Chaka. It will also offer expert insights from McKinsey & Company.

Note: By clicking on the registration link for this event, you’ve indicated interest in the event and will get an invite to attend. To opt-out, please ignore the invite.


Written by – Daniel Adeyemi

Edited by – Edwin Madu


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