Capital goods distributor Groupe Premium raises US$4.9m debt fund from DEG

MOROCCO – Groupe Premium, the Casablanca-based capital goods distributor and a part of Amethis Fund, has raised €4 million (US$4.9 million) debt funding from German development finance institution DEG under the AfricaConnect programme to develop its activities in West Africa.  This loan targets in particular the financing of Groupe Premium’s subsidiaries in Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso to support their growth in these new markets.  A family business created in 1949, Groupe Premium has established itself over the years as a key player in the distribution of capital goods In Morocco.   It has exposure to segments like…

Read More

NBE secures US$100m loan from EBRD to support SMEs

National Bank of Egypt partners IFC

EGYPT – National Bank of Egypt (NBE) has secured US$100 million loan from European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to support the country’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).    The loan will benefit Egypt’s SMEs in terms of energy efficiency, climate change mitigation and the introduction of adaptation technologies, according to the EBRD.    NBE will on-lend the funds to SMEs operating in the sectors of industry, commerce and agriculture to help improve the use of energy, water and land resources, as well as investments in high-performing technologies, which is expected to support…

Read More

World Bank to finance smallholder farmers and agri-enterprises in Liberia

LIBERIA – The World Bank has approved a new financing to increase productivity and market access for smallholder farmers and agri-enterprises in Liberia.   This new financing targets 60,000 persons, 50 percent of whom are women, mainly smallholder farmers and agri-entrepreneurs (private agribusiness investors, cooperatives, and SME processing or providing other services to agri-food systems) who are engaged in the selected value chains.  Funded by the International Development Association (IDA), the US$55 million credit financing will seek to address challenges for developing agri-food value chains and pave the way for rural economic transformation.   This Rural Economic Transformation…

Read More

E-commerce platform Tejarra.com raises seed investment from VC firm Openner

EGYPT – Egyptian electronics e-commerce platform Tejarra.com has raised seed investment from venture capital (VC) firm Openner, Egypt’s first Venture Builder model.  Through the partnership, Openner will not only offer capital, but also in-depth, hands-on technical support, scientific expertise and additional resources for the platform’s marketing and sales operations as well as its market success and positioning.  “In an already fast paced world, with challenges that rise every day, both consumers and retailers around the region are seeking new and innovative shopping and marketing solutions respectively,” said Islam Erfan, Founder and CEO of tejarra.com.  “After closely monitoring both…

Read More

Kenya Airways hires consultancy firm to guide its turnaround strategy

KENYA – Kenya Airways (KQ), the flag carrier airline of Kenya has picked a British consultancy firm, Steer Group, to guide it on the most viable turnaround strategy options in the face of deepening financial losses and depressed passenger numbers. The airline’s  chief executive officer Allan Kilavuka said the London-based consultancy firm took up the assignment in May 2021 and will be retained for three months. “Kenya Airways has come up with short, medium, and long-term strategies to help in realising two main objectives.” “The first is to survive the…

Read More

Orange, AXA Assurance acquire controlling stake in health-tech company DabaDoc

MOROCCO – Orange Middle East and Africa and AXA Assurance Maroc have acquired a majority stake in DabaDoc, a Moroccan health-tech company digitalizing access to healthcare in Africa.  The financial terms of the transaction, announced Monday, have not been disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.  “DabaDoc, a leading health-tech platform in Africa, is supporting the digital transformation of healthcare professions,” Zineb Drissi-Kaitouni, co-founder and CEO of DabaDoc, said.  “Orange’s investment in DabaDoc and AXA’s renewed investment will strengthen DabaDoc’s growth ambitions through Orange and AXA’s presence in Africa and the Middle East.…

Read More

Telkom SA and fintech Ukheshe partner to launch virtual card for transactions through WhatsApp

SOUTH AFRICA – Telecommunications company Telkom SA has launched what it calls Africa’s first Mastercard virtual card for use on WhatsApp, enabling Telkom Pay customers to make e-commerce payments. According to the integrated telecommunications company, this move is expected to empower millions of South African customers even those without a bank account – to access the digital economy and transact online. Launched in 2020, Telkom Pay is a digital payments wallet that enables its users to make and receive payments using WhatsApp on their mobile phone. With the addition of the Mastercard virtual (non-plastic)…

Read More

Ride-hailing platform Bolt introduces electric tuk-tuks, bikes and bicycles in Kenya

KENYA – On-demand ride hailing platform Bolt has introduced electric tuk tuks, and e-bicycles on its platform as the company expands its greener transport options in Kenya in the food category. The initiative is geared towards reducing Bolt’s environmental footprints, at the same time fulfilling the demand for light, smart and green modes of transport and also serves to eliminate the challenges associated with constant fluctuating fuel prices which currently form the most significant operating cost for drivers and couriers. “This is a great step towards realizing environmentally conscious ways…

Read More

Mobility startup WhereIsMyTransport secures US$14.5m Series A extension round led by Naspers

SOUTH AFRICA – Mobility startup WhereIsMyTransport has raised a US$14.5 million Series A extension round as it bids to continue its expansion across emerging markets. Formed in 2016, WhereIsMyTransport is a big data platform for sustainable mobility in emerging markets, which connects and collects data and integrates this information on its open data platform. Its products are used by cities to coordinate and monitor services, operators to integrate their systems, and passengers, who access the platform through apps and endpoints connected to the WhereIsMyTransport platform. The company, which is active in South…

Read More

Solar startup Pawame secures US$2.45m in grant and equity funding for geographic expansion

KENYA – Pawame, a solar energy startup, has raised US$1.7 million in grant capital and an additional US$750,000 in equity funding to finance its geographic expansion. Founded in 2016 by Alexandre Allegue, Majd Chaaya and Nick Sparks, Pawame allows customers to access solar home systems via a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) subscription model, and also helps them to obtain micro-loans via their mobile phones. The startup offers a portfolio of innovative, high-quality solar home systems in remote areas of Kenya on a micro-financed basis, using mobile money repayment and the business model also uses…

Read More