Venture capital Mobility 54 invests in telematics insurance company AiCare

KENYA – Toyota Tsusho Corporation and its group company CFAO SAS is investing in AiCare Group Inc., a provider of telematics insurance system for insurance companies in Kenya. The investment will be engaged by Mobility 54 Investment SAS (“Mobility 54”), a corporate venture capital subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho group which was jointly established in October 2019, through the convertible notes investment. In Kenya, it is compulsory for every car-owner to subscribe motor insurances, and approximately 3 million vehicles are insured today, and insurance premium rates are generally determined based on…

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Cybersecurity start-up Sendmarc secures funding from Endeavor South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – Sendmarc, a cybersecurity email protection and compliance start-up, has secured funding from Endeavor South Africa as it looks to scale more quickly. The amount of the investment funding was not disclosed. Launched in 2018 by Sam Hutchinson, Keith Thompson, and Sacha Matulovich, Sendmarc provides the setup, implementation and reporting functionality for a global email protection standard known as DMARC.  This protocol is designed to give email domain owners the ability to protect their domains from unauthorised use, such as impersonation attacks or email spoofing and by accelerating the implementation…

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Startup Mazi Mobility gets backing from venture builder Satgana, launches electric motorcycles

KENYA – Mazi Mobility, a Kenyan startup, has launched its electric motorcycle fleet with backing from global venture builder, Satgana. Mazi Mobility is using motorcycles, locally known as “bodas” in Kenya to accelerate the transition to efficient, affordable and clean transport in Nairobi. Its flagship motorcycle, the Magnus 3000 (M3K), is a better alternative to petrol-driven bodas, while the startup is also introducing battery swapping stations that provide on-demand energy, reducing transportation costs by 50 percent.  The MK3 offers a choice between a single and dual battery, capable of up to…

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What it takes to go global- AURA

SOUTH AFRICA – AURA, South Africa’s leading security and medical response platform, recently announced its expansion into Kenya, followed closely by a move into the UK where it aims to have over 10,000 users receiving the company’s service within seven months. Later this year 2021, the start-up will look at possible expansions in Mexico and Nigeria. Warren Myers, AURA’s CEO believes that South African startups can compete with the best in the world thanks to a focus on smart innovations that answer real-world issues. “The biggest problems in the world…

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Electric motorbike company Ampersand Rwanda secures US$3.5m investment from VC fund Ecosystem Integrity Fund

RWANDA – Electric motorbike company Ampersand Rwanda Ltd has secured a US$3.5 million investment from Ecosystem Integrity Fund (EIF), its largest-ever venture capital fund investment in sub-Saharan Africa. According Ampersand founder/CEO Josh Whale, the deal marks a turning point in global electric transport. “EIF’s support further dispells the myth that electric transport will happen in rich nations first and trickle down to developing countries later, second-hand,” he added. The San Francisco-based Ecosystem Integrity Fund is a sustainability-focused venture capital company, which invests in companies that reduce or ameliorate threats to…

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Asset finance company Tugende raises US$3.6m in series A funding

UGANDA – Tugende, a technology-enabled asset finance company, has raised US$3.6 million equity financing in its Series A round of funding. The investors who took part in the round include San Francisco and Paris-based VC firm, Partech, and Enza Capital. The investment follows the US$6.3 million raised in November 2020 and led by Toyota Tsusho investment fund Mobility 54 bringing Tugende’s total Series A financing to US$9.9 million. Founded in Kampala, the capital of Uganda by Michael Wilkerson in 2012, the company provides a technology-based medium for micro, small and medium…

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Delivery startup Quench gets funding from Imvelo Ventures, eyes further expansion

SOUTH AFRICA – Quench, South African app-based deliveries startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Imvelo Ventures to help it build brand awareness and establish more partnerships across the country. Founded in 2016, Quench provides same-day delivery of groceries, food, medication, and alcohol to customers in major centres across South Africa. The startup has seen significant growth over the last year given the effects of Covid-19, expanding from being an alcohol delivery platform to also delivering other items as most consumers opted for home deliveries.  The startup has now secured…

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VC firm Flourish Ventures opens office in Kenya to better serve startups in Africa

KENYA – Flourish Ventures, a global fintech venture capital firm and a subsidiary of the Omidyar Network of the United States of America, has opened a new office in Nairobi to support fintech entrepreneurs in Africa. The aim of opening the new office is to support its investment team to better serve entrepreneurs across Africa who are building innovations that help advance financial health and economic resilience for people and small businesses.   Flourish Ventures recently hired Efayomi Carr as Principal who will manage the company’s operations in Nairobi. Carr is an experienced entrepreneur who previously served…

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South Africa’s FlexClub secures another US$5m in funding to scale its operations

SOUTH AFRICA – South African car subscription marketplace FlexClub, has added a further US$5 million in equity and debt funding to the US$S1.2 million it raised in 2019 to help it scale. Formed in November 2018, FlexClub is a managed marketplace that simplifies investing in cars rented to people using gig platforms to earn a living and essentially allows users to purchase vehicles which are then matched with Uber drivers who pay a weekly rental charge to the investor. In 2019, the marketplace announced a partnership with Uber, offering commercial car subscriptions to…

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Venture capital Jua Fund invests in three Kenyan startups

KENYA – Three Kenyan firms are among the African startups to receive funding from the inaugural US$2 Million Jua Fund which was launched last year by Zimbabwean entrepreneur and industrialist Adam Molai. Jua Fund is considered to be the largest African venture capital fund by a private individual. The Kenyan startups are GrowAgric, a crowd-farming platform that connects farmers to working capital, Side an e-commerce distribution channel and Xetova, a tech procurement solution. The three firms were picked at a week-long “Kickstarter Olympics”, during which they pitched their ideas to…

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