- Bwala Africa Raises Undisclosed Funding from Silicon Valley Investor
Rapidly growing Bwala Africa raises undisclosed funding from experienced Silicon Valley investor, Justin Caldbeck, to solve last mile logistics in East Africa, expands to Kampala, Uganda
Bwala Africa Group is a fast growing last mile logistics marketplace helping brands to easily deliver their merchandise to consumers and solving a major pain point in East Africa.
Justin Caldbeck is an investor in many successful marketplaces and consumer products in the United States including Grubhub, Snapchat, Stitchfix, Taskrabbit, Bellhops, Dia and Co, Uber, and Opendoor.
26th February, Nairobi: Kenya’s Bwala Africa Group, a rapidly growing last mile logistics marketplace launched early 2018 to bring consistency and reliability to a historically unreliable and highly fragmented freight industry has raised undisclosed funding from well-known Silicon Valley angel investor Justin Caldbeck and expanded to Kampala, Uganda.
Investing in his personal capacity, Justin Caldbeck has made personal investments in Collective Health, Uber, SpaceX, Opendoor, Boom Technologies, Imperfect Produce, Anomalie, Goodeggs and others. Caldbeck will be joining Bwala Africa as a Board Member.
“I would like to officially welcome San Francisco based Investor and entrepreneur Justin Caldbeck to Bwala Africa as a Board Member. Justin was previously Co-Founder of Binary Capital and a former partner at Lightspeed Ventures,” said Kennedy Nyabwala, Bwala Africa’s founder and CEO.
“Bwala will be Justin’s first African investment. It is a great honor and opportunity to bring his vast experience and knowledge to our board and be part of our pan-African expansion journey. We do look forward to working with Justin, learning and growing the Bwala SaaS last mile technology
across various African markets.”
This latest funding announcement follows Bwala Africa’s Ksh 24,000,000 debt financing from South African-based bank CFC Stanbic in September last year.
The September funding saw the firm unveil 8 new trucks from ISUZU East Africa, four directly funded by CFC and the other 4 funded internally by Bwala Group to meet its growing demand for last-mile deliveries in Nairobi.
The firm also announced BwalaPay escrow payment service to collect payments for its customers. BwalaPay allows customers to pay on delivery and the seller on the other will either get cash when the item is sold or returned. Their offerings are seeing accelerating adoption from a wide range of brands including Jumia, Naivas, Copia among others.
Earlier this month, Bwala launched in Kampala, Uganda where it has made over 100 deliveries in its short span of existence in its second market in East Africa. The firm is also signing up more fleet partners and truck owners to its platform for last mile fleet connectivity in the country.
“Bwala Uganda officially kicked off operations on March 1st 2019,” said the founder. “We have landed major partnerships with some of the largest super stores in the country and are powering their last mile deliveries, so far, we have fulfilled over 100 deliveries and are eyeing more by the close of this quarter.
At Bwala, we understand merchant’s pain points in last mile logistics especially in Africa where there are no proper transport systems, poor navigation and traffic management, fluctuating fuel costs, complexity of the legal systems and a lack of capacity to do this in house. We are therefore offering merchants an efficient last mile logistics option so that they focus on their core business.”
In Kenya, Bwala Africa is working on Ksh 100 million state-of-the-art warehouse set for August 2019 launch in addition to its 3,000 square feet warehouse in Nairobi’s Industrial Area. The new warehouse will help the firm serve more clients in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu towns where it recently expanded as well as its new Kampala businesses. Bwala is in talks with VCs to raise $5 million for regional expansion.
Global Oil Drops as Coronavirus Infections Rises in India and Other Nations
Oil prices declined on Monday during the Asian trading session amid rising concerns that the surge in coronavirus in India and other nations could force regulators to enforce stronger measures at curbing its spread and eventually affect economic activity and drag on demand for commodities like crude oil.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined by 22 cents or 0.33 percent to $66.55 per barrel at 8:19 am Nigerian time on Monday, following a 6 percent surge last week.
The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) declined by 18 cents or 0.29 percent to $62.95 per barrel, after it gained 6.4 percent last week.
The decline was after India reported 261,500 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, taking the country’s total cases to almost 14.8 million, second to only the United States that has reported over 31 million coronavirus infections.
“With … a resurgence of virus cases in India and Japan, topside ambitions continue to run into walls of profit-taking,” said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at Axi.
Businesses in Japan believed the world’s third-largest economy will experience a fourth round of coronavirus infections, with many bracing for an additional slow down in economic activity.
While Japan has had fewer COVID-19 cases when compared with other major economies, concerns about a new wave of infections are fast rising, according to responses in Reuters poll.
On Tuesday, April 20, 2020, Hong Kong will suspend all from India, Pakistan and the Philippines because of imported coronavirus infections, authorities stated in a statement released on Sunday.
India’s COVID-19 death rose by a record 1,501 to hit 177,150.
Global Markets Near Record Peaks and Will Get Stronger: deVere CEO
As the FTSE 100 hits 7,000 points for the first time since the Covid pandemic, global stock markets are poised to “get even stronger”, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.
The observation from Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as London’s index jumped over the important threshold in early trading in London, gaining over 0.5% to 7024 points.
Mr Green notes: “London’s blue-chip index is up 40% since the worst lows of the pandemic.
“This landmark moment represents the wider optimistic sentiment gripping global markets which are near record peaks.
“We can expect global stock markets to get even stronger as investors look to seize the opportunities from economies reopening.
“They are looking towards economies rebounding in a post-pandemic era due to the monetary and fiscal stimulus, pent-up cash and demand, and strong corporate earnings.
“The current ultra-low interest rate environment and the under-performance of bonds will also act as a catalyst for stock markets.”
However, the CEO’s bullish comments also come with a warning.
“I would urge investors to proceed with caution as there are some headwinds on the horizon, including relations between the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest economies, which could be coming to a tipping point in coming weeks.
“As such, in order to capitalise on the opportunities and mitigate risks, investors must ensure proper portfolio diversification.”
Mr Green concludes: “A variety of factors are going to drive global stock markets. Investors will not want to miss out and should work with a good fund manager to judiciously top-up their portfolios.”
Refinitiv Expands Economic Data Coverage Across Africa
Building on its commitment to drive positive change through its data and insights, Refinitiv today announced the expansion of its economic data coverage of Africa. The new data set allows investment managers, central bankers, economists, and research teams to use Refinitiv Datasteam analytical data for detailed exploration of economic relationships and investment opportunities among data series covering the African continent.
Securing reliable, detailed, timely, locally sourced content has not been easy for economists who have in the past had to use international sources which often can take many months to update and opportunities to monitor the market can be missed. Because Africa is a diverse continent, economists and strategists need more timely access to country-specific data via national sources to create tailored business, policy, trading and investment strategies to meet specific goals.
Africa continues to develop critical infrastructure, telecommunications, digital technology and access to financial services for its 1.3bn people. The World Bank estimates that over 50% of African inhabitants will be under 25 by 2050. This presents substantial opportunities for investors who can spot important trends and make informed decisions based on robust and timely economic data.
Stuart Brown, Group Head of Enterprise Data Solutions, Refinitiv, said: “Africa’s growing, dynamic and fast evolving economies makes it a focal point for financial markets today and in the coming decades. As part of LSEG’s commitment to empowering the global markets with accurate and timely data, we are excited about making these unique datasets available via the Refinitiv Data Platform. Our economic data coverage of Africa will provide our customers with deeper and broader inputs for macroeconomic analyses and enable more effective investment strategies and economic research.”
Refinitiv Africa economic data coverage:
- Africa economics content comprises around 500,000 nationally sourced time series data covering 54 African nations
- Content is sourced from national statistical offices, central banks and other key national institutions
- The full breadth of economics categories in Datastream including national accounts, money and finance, prices, surveys, labor market, consumer, industry, government and external sectors
- International sources including OECD, World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank, Oxford Economics & more provide comparable data & forecasts across the continent
Refinitiv® Datastream® has global macroeconomics coverage to analyze virtually any macro environment, and better understand economic cycles to uncover trends and forecast market conditions. With over 14.2 million economic times series map trends, customers can validate ideas and identify opportunities using Refinitiv Datastream. Access its powerful charting tools, 9,000 pre-built chart templates and chart studies for commonly used valuation, performance, and technical and fundamental analysis.
Refinitiv continually grows available data – the China expansion in 2019 covered a unique combination of economic and financial indicators. Refinitiv plans to expand Southeast Asia covering Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia with delivery expected in 2021. This ensures that Refinitiv will have much needed emerging market economic content.
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