Afridigest Week in Review: 3 million more for 360
+Thanks for a successful Afridigest Lagos Meetup +212 Founders S22 batch +Algebra Ventures to the moon +SNBL +Household food spending +Lots of media mentions about funding in Africa +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 'Offline agent networks are driving Africa’s digital development.' And if you missed yesterday’s Fintech Review, click here. (Thanks to readers who called attention to the broken link to Carbon’s P&L statement, it’s been fixed in the web version and is available here.)
📌 Thanks to everyone who took the time out of their schedule to come out to the first Afridigest meetup in Lagos! I don’t take it for granted and I really enjoyed meeting you all. So much so that I’m already looking forward to the next one. 🙏🏽 🙏🏽 🙏🏽 More on this at the end of this newsletter.
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.
Week 40 2022: October 2-8
📰 Deal of the Week
🇿🇦 Talk360, a South African/Dutch international calling platform, raised $3M in the second close of its seed round from HAVAÍC, Allan Gray E2 Ventures (AGEV), Kalon Venture Partners, E4E Africa, Endeavor, and others. This takes the total amount raised in the seed round to $7M.
About Talk360: Talk360 enables users to make international & local calls via Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) at lower calling rates than traditional telcos. Unlike WhatsApp and other services, however, only the caller needs the Talk360 app. The recipient receives the call as usual and doesn’t need an app, data, or even a smartphone.
The app has active users in over 170 countries, with particularly strong traction in South Africa and Zimbabwe. According to Talk360, the company has experienced 167% growth in customers and 130% growth in revenues since last year and has connected 2.3 million people worldwide so far this year.
Notably, the company distributes vouchers for call credit through a last-mile agent network and also plans to launch a pan-African payments platform in 2023.
Hans Osnabrugge, Co-Founder & Group CEO
Dean Hiine, Co-Founder and Managing Director for Africa
Jorne Schamp, Co-Founder & CPMO
Ian Lessem, Managing Partner, HAVAÍC
In the Founder’s words: “Our mission is to bridge distance and connect lives by offering reliable, affordable, and easy-to-use digital services, delivered in a localized manner to all communities… But we’re not just solving socio-economic issues. We’re also offering micro-entrepreneurship and income-generating opportunities to our growing network of agents across the country.” — Dean Hiine
In the Investor’s words: “We invested more into Talk360 based on its strong progress in the South African market to date, as well as its potential in the rest of Africa. Since our first investment, the company has shown spectacular growth, and a genuine ability to crack the challenge of distribution in Africa.” — Ian Lessem
🔦 Other deals
OTHER FUNDRAISES ACROSS THE CONTINENT
🇳🇬 Spleet, a Nigerian rent financing & management platform, raised a $2.6M seed round led by MaC Venture Capital, with participation from Noemis Ventures, Plug and Play Ventures, Assembly Fund, Ajim Capital, Francis Fund, Metaprop VC, HoaQ, and others
🇪🇬 Glamera, an Egyptian beauty-focused B2C marketplace & B2B SaaS platform, raised a $1.3M seed round led by Riyadh Angel Investors, with participation from Techstars, Ithraa Venture Capital, 100 Ventures, Lucrative Ventures, and others
🇰🇪 Purple Elephant Ventures, a Kenyan venture studio focused on the tourism sector, raised a $1M pre-seed from Klister Credit Co., the Untours Foundation, and others. Ventures already launched by PEV include media & commerce platform Nomad Africa and direct bookings SaaS platform Elephant Bookings.
🇰🇪 Tanda, a Kenyan open agent network & financial services distribution platform, raised an undisclosed amount in an ongoing pre-series A round with participation from HAVAÍC’s Universum Core African Fund, DFS Lab, and others
🇲🇦 Morocco’s state-owned CDG Invest Fund is set to finance and incubate the following twelve Moroccan startups selected to participate in the Summer ‘22 batch of the 212 Founders program. 212 Founders offers up to ~$635K (MAD 7M) for seed-stage startups and up to ~$900K (MAD 10M) for Series A startups.
Distripha, an AI-powered inventory planning platform for the pharmaceutical industry
Humanitics, an AI-powered SaaS platform helping luxury, fashion, and beauty brands improve retail performance
Ta7alil, a healthtech platform connecting patients, doctors, and medical labs
Crealo, a copyright and royalties management platform for creative and cultural industries
SLM Impact Finance, an AI-powered big data fintech platform
Laymoon, a Shariah-compliant neobank targeting Muslims
POGO, a logistics & mobility tech platform
OPT-IN, a call center management platform
Hemicube, a B2B data engineering and data science platform
KargoLive, a digital freight forwarding platform
Digishare, an omnichannel customer experience platform
M&A, STRATEGIC INVESTMENTS, & JVS
Helicarrier, a Nigerian developer of crypto infrastructure for Africa, acquired a significant equity stake in savings & dollar-cost-averaging investing platform Accrue
The government of Kenya acquired the 60% of Telkom it didn’t already own from Helios for just $50M
Egypt’s Algebra Ventures announced the $100M first close of its second fund. Algebra Fund II initially had a $90M target but has experienced strong interest. LPs include the IFC, FMO, BII, EBRD, EAEF, MSMEDA, DGGF, and others. The Algebra Ventures portfolio includes Trella, Halan, Brimore, Khazna, and elmenus.
📚 Quick hits
FOR YOUR READING PLEASURE
Co-founding considered harmful — “The idea that you absolutely need a co-founder is one of the most harmful in Silicon Valley. It’s probably killed more companies than any other misconceptions out there.”
SNBL: A new way to pay — “Saving for a future purchase isn’t a new behavior. Consumers do it all the time, for example with personal budgeting and financial goal-setting apps. However, these products typically lack merchant integrations and therefore the ability for merchants to directly incentivize saving … SNBL providers are modernizing and productizing the layaway.”
The value of blockchain in emerging markets — Alter Global’s thesis on the most promising blockchain opportunities in emerging markets.
Directional valuation (contains a startup DCF model)
🕵️♀️ In case you missed it
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Google picks South Africa for its first cloud region in Africa
Within two months, Kenyan startup, Sendy reduces its workforce by 30%
An investigatory panel found insufficient evidence of sexual assault by the Founder/CEO of Nigerian investing platform Risevest, but confirmed claims of sexual impropriety and abuse of power
Pair with: Inside Risevest's sexual impropriety storm
The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) sued Meta for ~$50M for violating Nigeria’s advertising laws
Mobile internet service providers in Nigeria have started increasing data plan prices
Meet the six Ghanaian startups selected for the MEST Express accelerator
ESSAYS, REPORTS, & LISTS
Nitin Gajria, Google Sub-Saharan Africa Managing Director, writes ‘Delivering on our $1 billion commitment in Africa’
Thea Sokolowski, Head of Marketing & Communications at Stitch, writes ‘The anatomy of an e-commerce tech stack’
Christophe de Montille, Investment Associate at Beyond Capital Ventures, writes ‘What made Africa's startups so successful? A landscape analysis’
Franklin Amoo, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Baylis Emerging Markets, writes ‘The appetite for African data centers: Can investment keep up?’
PwC Nigeria published the report, ‘Brain exports: Growing the Nigerian economy’ (PDF)
HolonIQ published its Africa Health Tech 50 list
CB Insights published its Fintech 250 list that includes TeamApt, Paga, MFS Africa, Chipper Cash, Jumo, and OPay
Africa’s tech start-up scene is maturing, says TeamApt CEO (The Africa Report)
Why asset-light B2B e-commerce players are in a stronger position than asset-heavy competitors as VC funding dries up (Enterprise Press)
How Nigeria’s leading startups build and maintain thriving communities (Benjamin Dada)
ARTICLES ON THE FUNDING LANDSCAPE
Africa sees record venture capital investment, bucking global decline (Reuters)
Africa erupts as a deal ‘hotbed’ (Global Finance Magazine)
Funding for African startups doubles in first half of 2022 (Bloomberg)
Funding for Africa’s agritech sector increased by ten-fold in five years (bird / TechCabal)
Pair with: African agrifoodtech entrepreneurs and investors are focusing on the supply chain (Agfunder)
Fintech, edtech investment dominate SA venture capital (Ventureburn)
Meet the Founder: Doaa Abdel Hameed, Co-Founder & CBO of Egyptian foodtech solutions provider Bonbell
Meet the Founder: Emmanuel Okeleji, Co-Founder & CEO of Nigerian cloud-based human resources, payroll, recruitment, and performance management platform SeamlessHR
Meet the Investor: Efayomi Carr, Principal of Flourish Ventures
👀 Visual of the Week
Did you know? The median household in the poorest deciles (d1 and d2) in sub-Saharan Africa spends 60% of its expenditures on food. And even in the richest decile, over 40% of household spending goes towards food.
Rising food and fuel prices are putting further pressure on African households, which, according to Euromonitor, had disposable income levels that were roughly 15%-30% of global averages before recent shocks to food and fuel.
🐤 Tweet of the Week:
Martin Tobias of Seattle-based Incisive Ventures sparked an interesting discussion — worth reading the comments & the quote tweets here:
🗣️ Community Corner and Opportunities (feel free to send yours in)
Blockchain-focused investor CV VC is hiring a Capetown-based Head of Investments, Africa.
Nomba is hiring a Lagos-based Head of Product.
Applications are open until October 15th for the WomEng Africa Innovation Fellowship, powered by WomEng and the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.
Applications are open until October 23rd for the HealthTech Hub Challenge 2023. It’s a 10-month health and technology accelerator program that offers support including grants of up to $50K from the Novartis Foundation.
Congrats to Afridigest friends Tesh Mbaabu, Co-Founder and CEO of Kenya’s Marketforce, and Amadou Daffe, CEO and Co-Founder of Ethiopia’s Gebeya, on being among the ten finalists of the Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa’s Business Heroes Prize Competition.
⭐ Thanks to everyone who came out and made the first Afridigest meetup a success ⭐ It was great to connect in person and share laughs & interesting perspectives. By popular demand, we’re doing it again next month in Lagos (sign up here), and if you have any suggestions on how to make it better, don’t hesitate to reach out. 🙏🏽
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