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GreenHouse Capital to Invest $10m in 13 Tech Startups

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GreenHouse Capital

GreenHouse Capital, a venture capital firm, has commenced the implementation process of investing $10million in 13 technology startups that have great solutions developed locally, but with global appeal and with the ability for global scale up.

Although the venture capital firm plans to invest the money in two tranches of $5 million each, it has already spent well over $3 million, spread across the 13 startups.

One of the founding partners of GreenHouse Capital, Mr. Bunmi Akinyemiju who made the disclosure, while showcasing the 13 startup companies at a technology show in Lagos, weekend, said “the future is about virtual technology and no longer oil and gas, and that is the reason we are investing in tech startups. We have invested over $3 million out of the $5 million that we planned to invest in the first tranche. In all, we plan to invest a total of $10 million in the next two years.”

Giving reasons behind the zeal to raise seed funds for tech startups, Akinyemiju said the VC firm decided to invest in them in order to support young entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas, who do not have the right funding to scale up.

The list of top global companies today by market capitalisation, is made up of technology companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple. Gone are the days when oil and gas companies used to top the list and that is the direction of the world today, so we need to guide and support Nigerian tech startups in that global direction, Akinyemiju said.

We are investing big in technology startups companies, because the financial gain is going to be exponential in the future. A VC firm like GreenHouse only needs about three successful startup companies, out of 20 sponsored companies to settle the amount of money spent promoting 20 tech companies, and still make huge turnover, Akinyemiju added.

Speaking on the vision and mission of GreenHouse Capital, its Managing Partner, Nichole Yembra said the mission is to promote and support tech entrepreneurs in Africa that have great talents but do not have the encouragement and funding to actualise their dreams.

Big entrepreneurs that are behind big brands like Uba, Google, Microsoft, among others, started as very small entrepreneurs and they got support to arrive at where they are today. So we want to replicate that kind of success out of Nigeria and Africa, Yembra said.

According to Akinyemiju, “We need to scale-up their business but all the money needed for scale-up will not come from Nigeria, because we will source for funds from outside Nigeria and Africa, from places like the US, UK, China, Hon Kong among others. But the money from these countries will not be made available unless African investors are able to support the initial funding and that is exactly what GreenHouse Capital is doing by investing in 13 technology startups.”

Among the 13 startups that were showcased at the Lagos technology show, some are into solar energy solution, financial solutions for banks, micro finance solutions, logistics solutions, and gifting solutions. The solutions were developed locally in Nigeria, but designed to scale globally.

It was however revealed that three out of the 13 tech companies that are being sponsored by GreenHouse Capital, have attracted international investors who are now investing in their solutions.

One of the tech startups, Chinedu Azodoh who manages Max Ventures with Tayo Bamiduro, said they provide logistics services for clients and help them to deliver items within three hours of purchase, using their network and locally designed technology solution.

Another startup, Ahmed Macaulay who runs AppZone, said they offer instant card issuance for banks, in order to reduce insider fraud and backlog of customers’ Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards. SureGifts is another startup company on display, managed by Kehinde Olufunmilola and her team that provides convenience for clients and customers, by developing gift cards that could be used for shopping after funds are loaded into the cards.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Investment

Lagos State Government Set to Demolish $200 Million Landmark Beach Resort

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Landmark Beach

The Lagos State Government has issued a demolition warning to the proprietor of the $200 million Landmark Beach Resort, a renowned tourist destination in the region.

The resort nestled along the picturesque coastline faces imminent destruction to make way for the construction of a 700-kilometer coastal road linking Lagos with Calabar.

Paul Onwuanibe, the 58-year-old owner of the Landmark Beach Resort, revealed that he received a notice in late March instructing him to vacate the premises within seven days to facilitate the impending demolition.

The resort, which spans a vast expanse of land and hosts over 80 businesses, is a hub of economic activity, sustaining over 4,000 jobs directly. Also, it contributes more than N2 billion in taxes annually.

The news of the resort’s potential demolition has sparked concerns among investors and stakeholders in the tourism sector. Onwuanibe expressed dismay at the government’s decision, highlighting the substantial investments made in developing the resort’s infrastructure.

He explained that the planned demolition would not only lead to significant financial losses but also jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of employees and businesses associated with the resort.

The Landmark Beach Resort is a popular tourist destination, attracting approximately one million visitors annually, both local and international. Its unique amenities, including a mini-golf course, beach soccer field, and volleyball and basketball courts, make it a favorite among tourists seeking leisure and recreation.

The prospect of the resort’s demolition has triggered widespread panic among international and domestic investors associated with the Landmark Group. Many are now considering withdrawing their investments, citing concerns about the viability of the business without its flagship beach resort.

The Lagos State Government’s decision to proceed with the demolition is part of its broader plan to construct the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway, a 700-kilometer roadway connecting Lagos to Calabar.

The government had earlier announced its intention to remove all “illegal” constructions along the planned route of the highway, including the Landmark Beach Resort.

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Investment

Investors Petition EFCC as Over N3 Billion Trapped in Agrorite Investment Scheme

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Agriculture - Investors King

Investors in one of Nigeria’s agritech crowdfunding platforms, Agrorite, have lodged a petition with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to recover more than N3 billion trapped in the company’s investment scheme.

Agrorite, which touted itself as a premier digital agricultural platform connecting smallholder farmers with finance and markets, is now at the center of a financial debacle.

The investment scheme operated by Agrorite attracted funding from eager investors who were promised returns on investments within a fixed timeframe.

However, the situation took a turn for the worse late last year when investors found themselves unable to access their funds as promised.

Despite repeated assurances from Agrorite’s founder and CEO, Toyosi Ayodele, the repayment deadlines were continually postponed until it became evident that the company had no intention of honoring its commitments.

The magnitude of the crisis became apparent as copies of the petition submitted to the EFCC revealed that investments totaling over N3 billion were trapped in Agrorite’s schemes.

Investors, including one individual who had invested N482 million in a Naira-denominated project and $100,000 in a dollar project, are now pinning their hopes on the EFCC to facilitate the recovery of their funds.

The dire consequences of the situation were tragically highlighted by the case of an elderly woman who had invested her entire pension benefit of N40 million in Agrorite.

Upon realizing that her savings might never be recovered, she collapsed and was rushed to the hospital, underscoring the devastating impact on individual investors’ lives.

Efforts to reach Agrorite’s CEO for comments proved futile, with reports indicating that he had been arrested by the EFCC in connection with the investment debacle.

While some staff members confirmed the CEO’s arrest, they claimed ignorance regarding the reasons behind the company’s inability to fulfill its financial obligations to investors.

According to them, the EFCC’s investigation revealed a severe lack of funds in Agrorite’s accounts, leading to the arrest of key management personnel.

As the EFCC intensifies its efforts to recover investors’ funds, Agrorite’s website, agrorite.com, has mysteriously disappeared from the web, further fueling suspicions of financial mismanagement within the company.

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Treasury Bills Yields Reach 17.67% Amidst Central Bank’s Tightening Policy

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FG Borrows

The Treasury Bills yields rose to 17.67% amidst the Central Bank’s rigorous tightening of monetary policy.

This sharp surge in yields reflects the profound impact of the Central Bank’s efforts to rein in inflation and stabilize the foreign exchange market, though at the expense of investors and borrowers alike.

The surge in Treasury Bills yields from a modest 6.29% at the beginning of the year to 17.67% as of March 26, 2024 underscores the magnitude of the Central Bank’s tightening measures.

This unprecedented rise comes in tandem with a series of aggressive interest rate hikes with the monetary policy rate soaring by 600 basis points to 24.75% since the start of the year. Such a drastic increase in borrowing costs has sent shockwaves through the financial sector and prompted investors to reassess their portfolios and risk appetite.

Analysts attribute this surge in Treasury Bills yields to the Central Bank’s unwavering commitment to curbing inflation and stabilizing the foreign exchange market.

By raising interest rates and tightening monetary policy, the Central Bank aims to stem the tide of rising prices and restore confidence in the Nigerian economy.

However, these measures come with significant repercussions for investors and businesses, as borrowing costs escalate and investment returns diminish.

The Central Bank’s decision to issue a total of N1.64 trillion in Treasury Bills in the second quarter of 2024 further underscores its commitment to tightening liquidity and reducing inflationary pressures.

This substantial issuance of Treasury Bills is expected to absorb excess liquidity from the financial system, thereby exerting downward pressure on inflation and supporting the stability of the Nigerian currency.

While the Central Bank’s tightening policy may yield benefits in terms of price stability and exchange rate management, it poses challenges for investors and borrowers alike.

High borrowing costs and elevated Treasury Bills yields have the potential to dampen investment activity and constrain economic growth, particularly in sectors reliant on credit and financing.

As the Treasury Bills market grapples with soaring yields and heightened volatility, investors are advised to exercise caution and adopt a prudent approach to risk management.

In an environment characterized by uncertainty and policy tightening, navigating the financial markets requires a keen understanding of macroeconomic dynamics and a proactive strategy to mitigate potential risks.

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