Retail-tech startup Alerzo acquires payments platform Shago to boost growth

NIGERIA – Retail-tech startup Alerzo has acquired fintech company Shago Payments as it looks to build on already impressive growth that saw its annualized September transaction volume exceed US$155 million. Founded in 2019, the Ibadan-based Alerzo is an all-in-one technology and services platform that transforms how Nigeria’s informal retail stores operate. Retailers can order stock, have it delivered quickly, receive and make cashless payments, and track store profitability better. Alerzo currently works with more than 150,000 informal retail stores. The startup announced a US$10.5 million Series A round, led by London-based Nosara…

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Grit Real Estate to acquire Orbit Africa facility in Kenya

KENYA – Mauritius-based Grit Real Estate Income Group has secured funding of US$31.5 million for the acquisition, expansion, and redevelopment of the Orbit Africa warehousing and manufacturing facility in Nairobi, Kenya. The funding was secured from Mezzanine Partners GP Proprietary Limited and BluePeak Private Capital with backing from an International Finance Corporation (IFC) debt facility. “The total purchase consideration of US$53.6 million will be settled by way of US$25 million in senior debt finance negotiated with the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, and US$28.6 million…

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Kenyan tech startup MarketForce enters Nigerian market

NIGERIA – MarketForce, a Kenyan B2B platform for retail distribution of consumer goods and digital financial services, has entered the Nigerian market. For merchants, the B2B webshop can serve as a platform for planning procurement, ordering periodically scheduled deliveries, overseeing the execution of contracts, and such. Co-founded in 2018 by Tesh Mbaabu and Mesongo Sibuti, MarketForce is a B2B retail marketplace that empowers informal merchants in Africa to source, order and pays for inventory digitally and conveniently, access financing, collect digital payments. One can also make extra money by reselling…

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Digital retail bank TymeBank partners retail giant TFG to provide an alternative payment option

SOUTH AFRICA – TymeBank, a digital retail bank, has announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with The Foschini Group (TFG), a leading retail giant. The partnership will see the introduction of TymeBank financial products and services both instore and on digital platforms for the benefit of TFG’s more than 26 million customers in South Africa. It should be noted that TymeBank currently has just over 3.8 million customers. “TFG houses some of South Africa’s most popular and well-established consumer brands and is renowned for its retail strength…

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MarketForce appoints FMCG distribution veteran Arthur Bourekas as Chief Commercial Officer

KENYA – MarketForce, Kenya and Nigeria-based B2B platform for retail distribution of consumer goods and digital financial services in Africa are pleased to announce the appointment of Arthur Bourekas as the Chief Commercial Officer, effective 1st October 2021. Mr. Arthur has over 25 years of experience executing commercial growth, logistics and distribution in some of the most challenging countries in the world. He worked for A.G. Leventis (Nigeria) PLC and PZ Cussons in Nigeria, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia. He is a veteran FMCG distribution expert in Africa, where he has…

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European auto parts company Aptiv set to construct US$43.8 million automotive plant in Morocco

MOROCCO – Aptiv, the European auto parts company, has entered into an agreement with the Council of the Oriental Region (CRO), the Regional Investment Center (CRI) of the Orient, and provincial authorities of the Oriental region of Morocco to bring to the region a new automotive plant with approximately US$43.8 million in investment funds. The new auto factory’s construction is scheduled to begin in January 2022, with a planned opening date in June of the same year. The plant will employ 3,500 local residents and will span eight hectares within…

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Premium dried fruit snack company ReelFruit secures US$3m funding to expand production

NIGERIA – Nigeria’s leading dried fruit snack brand, ReelFruit, has raised a Series A investment of US$3 million to expand its production fivefold, increase its product offerings and double down on exports to the US and other international markets. The funding round was led by Alitheia IDF which invested 67 per cent or US$2 million, while other investors including Samata Capital and Flying Doctor Healthcare Investment Company also took part in the round. Founded in 2012, ReelFruit pioneered the dried fruit snack industry in Nigeria and remains its market leader.…

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The Foschini Group acquires Flat Circle team to sharpen digital offerings

SOUTH AFRICA – TFG Labs, the new technology arm of local retail chain The Foschini Group (TFG), has completed the talent acquisition of the Flat Circle team, a specialist mobile app development agency based in Cape Town. Launched in 2021, TFG Labs has the mandate to attract the continent’s best tech talent, as the retailer invests significantly in technical capabilities to accelerate its digital strategy. The tech division aims to attract tech talent to develop software and solutions that will redefine the customer shopping experience and reshape TFG’s omnichannel capabilities, said the…

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Cairo-based startup Shiphaly raises funding round to expand its online marketplace

EGYPT – Shiphaly, a Cairo-based startup connecting shoppers and travellers, has raised an undisclosed six-figure round from angel investors in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The round is led by Faisal Abdulsalam the founder of Purity, and active investor in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, with the participation of well-known angel investors in Saudi Arabia. The new investment will be used to expand the online marketplace’s storefronts to Africa and other Middle Eastern nations, as well as to introduce new product features. “We are very proud of the traction that Shiphaly has…

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Software firm Karooooo acquires Picup for US$5m as it eyes South Africa’s e-commerce space

SOUTH AFRICA – Karooooo, a global software company, has acquired a controlling stake in Picup, an on-demand delivery platform for documents, packages, parcels and incidentals, for R70 million (US$5 million). The Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Karooooo, which owns South African vehicle tracking and fleet management solutions company Cartrack, now controls 70.1% of the start-up. The firm says that Picup has strong growth prospects, given the acceleration of e-commerce transactions and the demand to digitalize logistics. The Picup platform allows enterprises and transporters to plan and allocate their loads and access real-time tracking…

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