Afridigest Week in Review: Yuletide for Yellow Card
+Africa's spare parts opportunity +Create magic moments +Funding when capital isn't cheap +Fintech dominates Nigerian startups +Avoid scaling too early +Sturgeon, Enza, & Partech are hiring
The Afridigest Week in Review is a must-read weekly recap for Africa-focused founders, executives, and investors.
Welcome back, friends! The most clicked link from last week (aside from Obi Ozor’s TechCrunch coverage) was the Afridigest.com piece 'To scale in African markets today, startups need to run hybrid strategies.' And if you missed yesterday’s Fintech Review, click here.
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If you’re new, welcome 🙌🏽 — you're among ~5,500 readers who receive this Week in Review on Mondays, the Fintech Review on Sundays, and (for those who've opted in) the French-language Revue de la Semaine on Wednesdays. (Assuming no delays.) And from time to time, an original essay/article goes out on Saturdays. For past essays and digests, visit the archive.
💡 “One head does not hold council.” — Akan proverb
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Week 38 2022: September 18-24
📰 Deal of the Week
🌍 Yellow Card, a pan-African cryptocurrency exchange, raised a $40M Series B led by Polychain Capital, with participation from Valar Ventures, Third Prime Ventures, Sozo Ventures, Castle Island Ventures, Fabric Ventures, DG Daiwa Ventures, The Raba Partnership, and others.
About Yellow Card: Launched in Nigeria in 2019, Yellow Card allows users in 16 African countries to buy and sell crypto — not only online, but at ATMs, bank branches, partner stores, and more, depending on the country. Over the long term, however, the company is focused on moving beyond simple crypto exchange services to crypto-enabled payments, remittance, and savings solutions.
To date, Yellow Card has served over 1 million customers and last month it launched Yellow Pay, a peer-to-peer, cross-border money transfer product.
In the CEO’s words: “For the past three years, our team has worked tirelessly to … create a world-class product. This fundraise in this market not only showcases the resilience of our team but also reiterates the appetite and necessity for cryptocurrency in Africa.” — Chris Maurice
In the Investor’s words: “We are impressed by the way [the Yellow Card team] seamlessly adjusts and adapts to the unique opportunities and demands of the various African markets. We've barely touched the surface of what is possible when it comes to crypto in Africa, and we're excited for what's to come.” — Will Wolf
Congrats to you and the team, Chris 🍾🎉🥂 Do giveaway 🤲🏽
🔦 Other deals
OTHER FUNDRAISES ACROSS THE CONTINENT
🇨🇮 Julaya, a Franco-Ivorian B2B payments platform, raised a $5M pre-Series A extension round led by Speedinvest, with participation from EQ2 Ventures, Kibo Ventures, Orange Ventures, Saviu, 50 Partners, angel syndicates Unpopular Ventures and Jedar Capital, and others
🇳🇬 Remedial Health, a Nigerian health tech platform offering digital procurement and patient medication records (PMR) solutions, raised a $4.4M seed round led by Global Ventures, with participation from Tencent, Y Combinator, Cathexis Ventures, LightSpeed Venture Partners Scout Fund, Ventures Platform, Alumni Ventures, True Capital Management, and others
🇬🇭 SecondSTAX (Secondary Securities Trading and Aggregation eXchange), a Ghanaian investment platform for trading African securities, raised a $1.6M pre-seed from LoftyInc Capital, Orbit54, STEMeIn, and others
🇪🇬 Exits.me, an Egyptian online investment marketplace for buying and selling stakes in companies, raised a $1M pre-seed from Baseeta Investments Holding, Mawelni Holding for Financial Investments, a British investment firm also called Exits.me, and others
Kenyan accelerator The Baobab Network announced its latest cohort who will each receive $50K in funding and growth support:
M&A, STRATEGIC INVESTMENTS, & JVS
South African emergency response platform Namola was acquired for an undisclosed amount by Multichoice.
Virtual Nation Builders acquired FHM, the firm that created safcoin, the first South African proof-of-work cryptocurrency to list on a global exchange
Byld Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on early-stage companies building financial infrastructure in Africa, announced a $10M second close of a targeted $15M fund. The firm plans to invest an average ticket size of $500K in 15 to 20 companies out of this fund; its four existing investments to date are Ceviant, Apata, Thepeer, and Anchor.
The African Women Impact Fund (AWIF) announced its first commitment of $60M. AWIF aims to enable women-owned and women-led funds across Africa and its ambition is to raise up to $1 billion over 10 years for women fund managers.
📚 Quick hits
FOR YOUR READING PLEASURE
What I’ve learned from users — Paul Graham’s latest essay: “Focus is doubly important for early stage startups, because not only do they have a hundred different problems, they don't have anyone to work on them except the founders. If the founders focus on things that don't matter, there's no one focusing on the things that do… Speed defines startups. Focus enables speed.”
Revisiting lifetime value and customer acquisition — Quick read from Index Ventures’ Rex Woodbury on common LTV & CAC mistakes: “Blended CAC is dangerous, as it can lull you into false assumptions about your marketing efficiency or overall unit economics.”
Funding when capital isn’t cheap — a16z’s Shangda Xu, Alex Immerman, and David George: “Our aim in this piece is to arm startups with an understanding of different contract terms used to increase headline valuation, how investors think of and use those terms, and the impacts, especially on equity dilution, to consider.”
ARTICLES ON AFRIDIGEST.COM
Africa’s lucrative spare parts opportunity — Rising vehicle ownership, poor road quality, and a variety of other catalysts have created a significant opportunity to digitize Africa’s vehicle servicing & support sector. (Yemisi Isichei/Future Africa)
African businesses can win by creating magic moments — Firms across Africa have a tremendous opportunity to differentiate themselves & drive business results by competing on customer experience leadership. (Emeka Ajene)
The most exciting applications of cryptocurrencies & blockchain in the African context (Afridigest Thought Circle)
🕵️♀️ In case you missed it
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
The African Development Bank (AfDB), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and the French Development Agency (FDA) announced plans to invest $618M in Nigeria’s Digital and Creative Enterprises (I-DICE) program
Safeboda, Jumia, Tugende, join Efforts with other startups to launch the E-Trade and Startup Association in Uganda
ESSAYS & REPORTS
Balkissa Idé Siddo, Public Policy Director for Sub-Saharan Africa at Meta, writes ‘The metaverse will open up new opportunities for Africa and the globe’
Scott Walker & Belinda Bowling from African Scalecraft write ‘What drives startups to scale successfully?’
Sarah Dusek, Managing General Partner at Enygma Ventures, writes ‘Africa is poised to drive the next iteration of tech innovation. Here's why.’
Waheed Adam, Executive Chairman of iTouch and Board Member of the Mobile Ecosystem Forum, writes ‘What can the global mobile industry learn from Africa?’
BFA Global published the report, ‘Optimizing interoperability: Lessons from instant payment systems across 12 jurisdictions’ (PDF)
AgFunder published the ‘2022 Africa AgriFoodTech Investment Report’ (PDF)
Kenyan firms hit as Microsoft, Google talent war raises pay (Business Daily)
Africa agrifoodtech startups raise $1bn in 5 years, but just 1% of global investment (Agfunder)
Africa's internet speed is still below the global average (Quartz)
Venture funds flowing into Africa’s climate change businesses (The Citizen)
Meet the Founder: Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph, Co-Founder & CEO, Kippa
Meet the Founder: Ruth Iselema, Founder & CEO, BitMama
Meet the Founder: Preston Timeyin Ideh, Co-Founder and CEO, Stears (Video)
Meet the Executive: Rose Delilah Gesicho, Data Science Community Coordinator, Zindi
👀 Visual of the Week
Did you know? Fintech is the leading vertical in the Nigerian startup ecosystem. According to Disrupt Africa, 36% of active startups in the country are fintechs, but in recent times they’ve accounted for up to two-thirds of total funding raised by Nigerian startups across sectors.
🐤 Tweets of the Week:
Interesting empirical research suggesting startups shouldn’t scale too early:
The A is silent 🤐
🗣️ Community Corner and Opportunities (feel free to send yours in)
⭐ Sign up for the Afridigest Lagos Meetup in October ⭐
Spread the word: Bloomberg is recruiting software engineers in Lagos for roles in London — apply before September 30th
Spread the word: Sturgeon Capital is hiring a VC Investment Professional to cover Egypt
Spread the word: Enza Capital is hiring an Investment Principal in Lagos
Spread the word: Partech Africa is hiring a Senior Associate / Principal in Lagos
Congrats to Adegoke Oyeniyi & team on the public launch of content marketing talent platform Hankara
Congrats to Dirty Dan Kleinbaum 😁 & team on Buoy’s early success — Dan’s looking for a Chief of Staff and killer operator familiar with Francophone Africa
Congrats to the TechCabal team on a successful Future of Commerce conference
Thanks for reading Afridigest 🙌🏽
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