Afridigest Week in Review: A provisions procurement pivot pays off
+Some Q4 developments +Lagos meetup on Thursday +17 other fundraises +Extrapolating from Indian e-commerce +Africa's contribution to the global middle class +Meg Whitman in Kenya +More
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 was Yemisi Isichei’s 'Africa’s lucrative spare parts opportunity.' And if you missed yesterday’s Fintech Review, click here.
📌 Q4 is finally here. And one of my goals for the quarter is to actively develop Afridigest beyond what exists now towards what’s in my head. I published the first Week in Review on Substack over two years ago and very little has changed since then — see for yourself.
📌 But this quarter, a number of new developments will come to life: offline events (the first is happening this Thursday), an online community platform, the (re)launch of the Thought Circle, other new offerings to be announced later, new team-members to join Dan & I, and more. To achieve this, we’ll need your support, and I don't just mean emotionally. 😄
📌 While this Monday Week in Review will remain free, we’ve reviewed our ad formats + pricing and are actively courting sponsors. (It’s a good time to inquire.) The Sunday Fintech Review, on the other hand, is going paid, and a subscription will offer gated access to the new community and more. More details will be shared soon. As always, feedback is welcome & your support is appreciated. 🤗 Exciting times ahead 🤸🏾
If you’re new, welcome 🙌🏽 — you're among thousands of 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. And from time to time, an original essay/article goes out on Saturdays. For past essays and digests, visit the archive.
💡 “Whenever you wake up, that is your morning.” — Igbo proverb
LET’S GO! 🎯
⭐ Reminder: The first meetup for Afridigest readers is happening in Lagos this Thursday. Details have been sent out to those who signed up. Ping me if anything. See you there. ⭐
Week 39 2022: September 25 - October 1
📰 Deal of the Week
🇳🇬 Vendease, a Nigerian online B2B food marketplace, raised a $30M ($20 equity / $10M debt) Series A co-led by Partech & TLCom Capital, with participation from VentureSouq, Hustle fund, Hack VC, GFR Fund, Kube VC, Magic Fund, Kairos Angels, and others.
About Vendease: Launched in 2020, Vendease is digitizing Africa’s food supply chain with an online food procurement platform that allows restaurants and other food businesses to buy food supplies and pay in advance, on delivery, or with BNPL solutions.
The startup, which currently operates in eight cities across Nigeria and Ghana, pivoted from an initial asset-light model connecting buyers directly to farms and food manufacturers to an asset-heavy model where it buys items in bulk itself, warehouses them, and makes deliveries to buyers through third-party logistics partners in less than 24 hours. It now also offers working capital financing to buyers via financial partners.
According to Vendease, over the last twelve months it’s delivered ~400,000 metric tons of food to over 2,000 customers.
Tunde Kara, Co-Founder & CEO, Vendease
Cyril Collon, General Partner, Partech
Andreata Muforo, Partner, TLcom Capital
In the CEO’s words: “We’re building technology to efficiently move food from the point of production to the point of consumption. Everything we build at Vendease — financing, logistics, warehousing, inventory management — is tailored towards ensuring that food flows efficiently… It is more than just placing orders for supplies, we want to transform how the entire sector works and remove the bottlenecks that stunt the growth of restaurants and food businesses.” — Tunde Kara
In the Investor’s words: “Vendease is delivering vital solutions that impact critical issues around the food system in Africa…We see huge scope for growth in Nigeria and beyond.” — Cyril Collon
🔦 Other deals
OTHER FUNDRAISES ACROSS THE CONTINENT
🇿🇦 iiDENTIFii, a South African identity management & face-based biometric authentication platform, raised a ~$15.2M (ZAR272M) Series A led by Arise (backed by Rabobank Partnerships, Norfund, NorFinance, and FMO), with participation from Sanari Capital and others.
🇿🇦 SweepSouth, a South African on-demand home cleaning & services platform, raised an $11M venture round assumed to be a Series B led by Alitheia IDF, with participation from existing investors Naspers Foundry, The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, and Futuregrowth Asset Management, and new investors Endeavor Catalyst, Endeavor’s Harvest Fund II, Caruso Ventures, and E4E Africa.
🇬🇭 Farmerline, a Ghanaian agritech marketplace that connects farmers with high-quality inputs, raised $1.5M in the second close of a pre-Series A round led by Oikocredit, with participation from Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF), FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, and Greater Impact Foundation.
🇹🇳 Kumulus Water, a Franco-Tunisian water tech startup whose solutions generate drinkable water from air, raised a ~$980K (€1M) pre-seed from Paris Techstars Accelerator, Flat6Labs, WILCO, Bpifrance, and others.
🇪🇬 InGame Sports, an Egyptian sports gaming platform, raised over $1M (including grants & noncash resources) in a pre-seed round led by Openner, with participation from Sports Radar & others.
🇰🇪 Unchorlight Kenya Limited, a Japanese/Kenyan BNPL vehicle financing platform for motorcycle taxi drivers, raised ~$623K (90 million yen) seed round from Honda Trading and Skylight Consulting — UKL is the Kenyan subsidiary of a joint venture between Skylight Consulting and Uncovered Fund.
🇳🇬 Bitpowr, a Nigerian blockchain infrastructure provider offering SMEs solutions for wallets, payments, settlements, and cloud and custodian services, received $150K from 500 Global as part of its accelerator program.
🇿🇦 Drive to Own, a South African vehicle financing platform, raised $100K from Mobility54 as a winner of its 2022 Digital Transformation Challenge for Africa
Egyptian trucking technology platform Trella secured debt facilities from Contact Financial Holding
M&A, STRATEGIC INVESTMENTS, & JVS
Knife Fund III, South African VC firm Knife Capital’s new fund, announced a $40M second close with unspecified commitments from Standard Bank and the SA SME Fund — Fund III is targeting $50M to invest primarily in Series B startups in South Africa and beyond; Previous commitments include $10M from the IFC, and unspecified amounts from the Mineworkers Investment Company and others.
The Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA), the equity investing arm of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), announced its first close of $670 million across its four fund strategies. Among other vehicles, FEDA operates a $25M venture fund that invests in early-stage African ventures including, most recently, Kobo360.
BMCE Capital Investment, part of the BMCE Capital Group, launched a $4.5M (MAD 50M) venture capital fund dedicated to financing Moroccan startups.
📚 Quick hits
FOR YOUR READING PLEASURE
The pathway to 1B Indian consumers: Shiprocket’s e-commerce revolution — An insightful read from Tribe Capital on India’s Shiprocket that’s worth extrapolating to African markets: “Market structure and geography matter when great opportunities emerge… In India, core enablers of e-commerce, logistics & payments, are presently the largest barrier to adoption… This difference between market structures is the reason why [Indian e-commerce] cannot be done the same way it was done in the U.S.”
Why culture eats strategy — An interesting read on culture-market fit: “Culture-market fit (CMF) is that blissful intersection of an opportunity in the market with a culture that can execute on said opportunity… Having CMF means that your organization’s design, product, and operating mandate match the market opportunity”
ARTICLES ON AFRIDIGEST.COM
Five obstacles to MSME financial inclusion in Nigeria — Nigeria's 40 million MSMEs are the engine of employment in the country and a key contributor to GDP. Ensuring inclusive access to finance for them is critical. (Olu Akanmu, Co-CEO, OPay Nigeria)
Offline agent networks are driving Africa’s digital development — Agent networks across Africa are increasingly being used beyond mobile money as a last-mile channel for various traditionally digital businesses. (Emeka Ajene)
🕵️♀️ In case you missed it
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Kenyan e-commerce marketplace Sky.Garden faces closure after funding falls through
MTN, which is in talks to buy Telkom SA, seeks clarity on Rain’s merger offer
Ethio Telecom is planning to launch music and video streaming services
ESSAYS & REPORTS
MEST Africa’s Olufemi Adewumi and Bhavik Doshi write ‘Building global tech entrepreneurs in Africa’
Mark Wien, Founder and CEO of PocketPatientMD, writes ‘The untapped opportunity in African healthcare: How to establish a stronger private sector by giving doctors a voice’
Adelaide Njoki, Venture Sourcing Analyst at Founders Factory Africa writes ‘Expats still have the funding edge. Where can African founders take control?’
Former CNN Anchor Zain Verjee writes ‘Investors ready for a big bounce can find it in Africa’
Why US tech billionaire Meg Whitman took up job as ambassador to Kenya (The Citizen)
Taking on Takealot — Shoprite, Woolworths, and Massmart (BusinessTech)
How Algeria’s Yassir is leveraging users’ trust to build francophone Africa’s biggest super app (TechCabal)
2022 and the African tech talent ‘Japa’ wave: What’s next for tech employers? (Nairametrics)
Investors require startups to have technical cofounders. But is that necessary? (TechCabal)
Meet the Investor: Jake Kendall, Partner at DFS Labs
Meet the Investor: Marsha Wulff, cofounder of LoftyInc (Video)
👀 Visual of the Week
Did you know? Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to account for 5% of global middle class growth this decade — the largest regional contribution outside of Asia.
🐤 Tweet of the Week:
Good thread from Future Africa’s Head of Investments on VC level returns (+ a solid response from Oui Capital’s Peter Oriaifo)
🗣️ Community Corner and Opportunities (feel free to send yours in)
⭐ Remember: The Afridigest Lagos Meetup is happening on October 6th ⭐
Applications are open until October 7th for the Polygon Bootcamp Africa Class of 2022 — It's an 8-week program to learn how to build decentralized apps on the Polygon blockchain that includes a hackathon with cash prizes
Founders Factory Africa is hiring a Johannesburg-based Chief Operations Officer
The IFC’s Venture Capital team is hiring a Dakar-based Associate Investment Officer
Nomba is hiring a Lagos-based Head of Product
Congrats to Arnaud from Meditect, Vivian from Medsaf, Dare from Chekkit, and other readers whose organizations are among the 30 African healthtech startups receiving grant funding and commercialization support from the Gates Foundation-backed Investing in Innovation (i3) program
Congrats to AltSchool Africa, Ozé, Shekel, and PressOne Africa for their selection to pitch at TechCrunch Disrupt
Congrats to Funke Opeke, MainOne Founder and CEO; Ezra Olubi & Shola Akinlade, Paystack's co-founders; Iyin Aboyeji, Co-Founder of Flutterwave & Andela; and Ola Brown, Founder of Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment, on their selections to receive Nigeria’s national awards
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