Afridigest Week in Review: There's money in mobility, there's cash for cars

+VConnect's next act +Innovation in Chinese consumer internet +The evolution of agent networks +Everything from Marc Andreessen +Market-creating innovation boot camps +Whatsapp & mangoes & KFC

The Afridigest Week in Review is a must-read weekly recap for Africa-focused founders, executives, and investors, as well as interested observers.

Welcome back! And thanks to Jim, Abas, David,
Frederic, and Chris for great conversations over the last week or so.
If you’re new, welcome 🙌 — you’ll (generally) receive 2 weekly Afridigest emails: the weekly digest (every Monday) and an original essay/article (generally on Saturdays). For past essays and digests, visit the archive.

Week 32 2021

📰 Deal of the week

Moove, a Nigerian ‘mobility fintech’ platform incorporated in the Netherlands, raised a $28.2M Series A equity round and an additional $40M in debt financing.

Speedinvest and Left Lane Capital led the round, with a variety of others participating. The debt portion is comprised of $20M from the IFC and $20M from EMSO Asset Management.

Moove is Uber’s exclusive fleet manager in sub-Saharan Africa (outside of South Africa). The company enters into agreements with drivers who, as independent contractors, lease cars to use on Uber’s platform via two products: (i) Moove Flexi-Rental — a short-term rental option; and (ii) Drive To Own — a long-term option (with terms of 30, 36, or 48 months) that conveys vehicle ownership to drivers upon successful completion.

⛏️ Go deeper:

  • Payment flow participation: Under its agreements with drivers, Moove receives driver gross earnings from Uber directly, then deducts amounts owed and remits the remaining balance to drivers.

  • Driver-friendly: The company employs alternative credit-scoring techniques that take advantage of driver performance data from Uber — as a result, the company is able to extend more favorable terms. In Nigeria, for example, Moove requires a 5% deposit, charges an 8-13% net effective annual interest rate, and offers repayment terms of up to 4 years; Nigerian banks, on the other hand, typically require 10-50% deposits, charge 20-25% interest, with shorter ~2-year repayment terms.

  • The road ahead:  Moove has a variety of options to achieve scale. The company can: provide services off the Uber platform, expand to additional regions, offer financing for new classes of vehicles, and/or expand the scope of offerings.

    "[T]he potential for that technology and the Moove team to expand even further is very exciting. They have the opportunity to become a full-service mobility fintech and expand their offerings to insurance and other financial services." — Dan Ahrens, Managing Partner at Left Lane Capital.

🔦 Other deals
  • Omnibiz, a B2B logistic platform from VConnect founder Deepankar Rustagi, raised a $3M seed round — V&R Africa, Timon Capital, and Tangerine Insurance led the round, with participation from LoftyInc Capital, Musha Ventures, Sunu Capital, Launch Africa, and Rising Tide Africa

  • Chekkit, a Nigerian B2B product authentication & distribution tracking platform, raised a $500K pre-seed round — Launch Africa, Japan Strategic Capital, Blockchain Founders Fund, and others participated

  • Acumen Software, a South African workforce & asset management platform, raised an undisclosed amount from Imvelo

  • CapitalSage Technology Limited, an “integrated fintech group” that operates the Kolomoni agent banking network and other business units, raised ~$4M in corporate bondsthe company asserts that this is the highest debt amount raised by a fintech company in the Nigerian capital markets


🌏 Asia Read of the Week

Index Ventures’ Rex Woodbury pens a fascinating piece about innovation in Chinese consumer internet.

“In China, there’s a fascinating dating app called Yidui. Yidui users go on a video date chaperoned by a matchmaker, who helps guide the conversation and keep the date on track. At the same time, viewers—often thousands of them—can livestream the date. Viewers type in the chat and suggest conversation topics, give reactions to how they think the date is going, or send virtual gifts to the people on the date…Yidui shows that on the internet, everything—even the most intimate life experiences—can be participatory and social. ”

💡 “5 Lessons from China's Internet Companies” by Rex Woodbury

📚 Reads of the Week

An examination of the emerging agent network landscape across Africa.

“Once regarded primarily as a key driver of financial inclusion, … the agent network model is being deployed successfully to drive results for other digital players as well. [And] as agent networks increasingly spread across various verticals and use cases, the opportunity for value creation via aggregation and the provision of underlying infrastructure increases as well. ”

🥇 “How offline agent networks are driving Africa's digital development” by Emeka Ajene

📢 Afridigest is the industry newsletter for Africa’s startup ecosystem.

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📚 Quick Hits

🙈 Visual of the week

Nearly 60% of Africa's adult population is unbanked. And 25% of the world's 1.7B unbanked adults are in Africa — nearly 500M people.
(From Banking the Next Billion: Digital Financial Inclusion in Action — Citi, Jan 2020)

🕵️‍♀️ In case you missed it
  • Briter Bridges is building an assessment of Africa's angel investing landscape — if you invest directly or via a syndicate/rolling fund, be sure to participate

  • On September 26: Flourish Ventures’ Efayomi Carr will sit down with Apollo Agriculture Co-Founders Eli Pollak & Benjamin Njenga — register here

  • The Legatum Center at MIT and the Clayton Christensen Institute are offering boot camps on market-creating innovation for entrepreneurs operating in Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, or Uganda — apply or sign up to receive future notifications

  • Lexi Novitske, Managing Partner at Acuity Venture Partners, writes Africa’s tech ecosystem must tackle sexual harassment
    “To move the needle on harassment, investors must hold the senior management of portfolio companies responsible for the implementation of non-discrimination and equal inclusion plans through measurable and achievable goals.”


🗣️ A final word

“On résiste à l'invasion des armées, on ne résiste pas à l'invasion des idées.” — Victor Hugo


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