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Wondering what happened in African tech recently?
Here’s a glimpse: Venture funding in Q2 reached an impressive $916 million, almost crossing the billion-dollar mark. Fintech is also no longer leading the pack, as energy-focused startups took the lead with $486.9 million in funding. Kenyan startups outperformed the Big 4, securing $462.4 million in funding.
Get the full gist when you download our State of Tech In Africa report. 📥
Moove raises $76 million
Moove is not slowing down. The automobile financing startup has raised $76 million in a new round.
This round includes equity and debt and comes from existing and new investors including BlackRock. It also comes soon after Moove raised about $183.3 million in 2022 across four separate funding rounds: $10 million in February, $105 million in March, $20 million in debt funding in June, $18.3 million in October, and$30 million in debt funding in December.
Image source: YungNollywood
Mooving to profitability: Moove says its new funding will be used to help the company achieve profitability over the next 12 months. According to Ladi Delano, a co-CEO, the startup is already profitable in the UAE, India, the UK, and South Africa. With this funding, Moove is valued at $550 million.
Since its launch in 2020, Moove has rapidly expanded its operations within Nigeria and entered new African markets including Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa. It has also expanded to other regions across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Zoom out: Moove’s rapid scaling is, however, coming at a huge cost. In February, Moove drivers protested in Nigeria over unfair working conditions. In May, Rest of World reported that Moove impounded vehicles for nonpayment of loans in Lagos, Nigeria, as drivers continued to complain. These “mooves” have evidently not dampened investor confidence
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Safaricom Ethiopia shuts down sites in Amhara
Image source: Reuters
Millions of people can no longer use Safaricom’s services in Amhara, Ethiopia’s second-largest region.
Why? Safaricom Ethiopia closed its sites in Amhara due to an ongoing crisis involving the military and the Fano militia, a part-time group without a formal command structure. The crisis led to the federal government declaring a six-month state of emergency in the region on August 4, 2023.
How many sites were shut down? The telecommunications company operates 1,272 sites in Ethiopia, but it has not revealed the number of sites affected by the shutdown. Michael Joseph, chairman of Safaricom who recently stepped down as Safaricom’s board director, mentioned that this situation has interrupted the company’s progress in expanding across the country. Safaricom aims to establish 3,000 network sites in Ethiopia by the end of 2024.
In the telco’s latest filings, Safaricom Ethiopia has built 875 network sites and partnered with other entities to establish an additional 397 network sites. These sites cover 22 cities within the country.
Safaricom Ethiopia has 2.1 million active users who have used its services in the past 90 days. The goal for the year 2024 is to increase this customer count to 10 million.
Despite facing challenges, the telco is still committed to launching its mobile money service in the country soon.
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Airtel Uganda to sell 20% of its shares to the public
Image Source: The Independent
Airtel Africa has announced plans to list shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).
According to a statement published on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX), the company plans to sell 20% of its shares—equivalent to 8 billion shares— to the public via an initial public offering (IPO). It will do this through its subsidiary in Uganda, Airtel Uganda Limited.
What do they hope to gain? Airtel Africa stated that the offer is expected to result in significant local ownership of Airtel Uganda Ltd., prioritising Ugandan investors. Additionally, this initiative is anticipated to play a role in advancing the development of the capital markets within Uganda.
Pending approval from the Capital Markets Authority of Uganda, the shares will be made available to investors through conventional channels as well as the Airtel Money platform. This approach is intended to enhance retail participation in the investment process.
The transaction process: Absa Bank Uganda Limited has been chosen to be the main advisor for the transaction. Crested Capital has been selected as the primary sponsoring broker to facilitate the process. Katende Ssempebwa and Company Advocates will provide legal advice and support, and EY (Ernst & Young) will handle financial reporting and related matters.
Zoom out: Airtel Africa is following in the footsteps of MTN Uganda, which recently celebrated its first anniversary as a publicly listed company trading its shares on the (USE).
Image source: TC Insights
This week, Nigerian mobility company Moove raised $76 million in an undisclosed funding round led by Mubadala Investment Company with participation from Blackrock and other undisclosed investors.
Here are the other deals this week:
- Talents Arena, an Egyptian human resource(HR) company, raised $750,000 in pre-seed funding from UI investment.
- Egypt-based Bugaurd, a cybersecurity company, secured $500,000 in seed funding; the round was led by A15 with participation from angel investors.
- FinMeUp, a South-African fintech company, raised undisclosed funding from SAAD and Blu Sky Investments.
That’s it for this week!
Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for more funding announcements. You can also visit DealFlow, our real-time funding tracker.
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The World Wide Web3
* Data as of 06:15 AM WAT, August 11, 2023.
Nigeria is finding new use cases for blockchain. Yesterday, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the director general of the country’s ICT watchdog NITDA, announced that the country would deploy blockchain in the issuance and verification of NYSC certificates.
Side-bar: NYSC is a mandatory one-year service programme all Nigerian graduates must participate in.
Since its establishment in 1973, there have been several instances of forged NYSC certificates. Previous attempts at stemming forgery included proposals for jailing and fining, but NITDA believes blockchain is the answer to the authenticity of NYSC certificates. Per Abdullahi, “We have agreed to help them develop that blockchain certificate authentication so that all NYSC certificates will be on the blockchain where people can check and verify.”
The announcement was made in Lagos, Nigeria, at a stakeholder meeting for the implementation of the National Blockchain Policy, a policy that highlights a comprehensive framework for integrating blockchain into every vertical of the country.
It is presently unclear when NITDA plans to implement its new plans.
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