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MicroStrategy Completes $500M Offering of 6.125% Senior Secured Notes Due 2028

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The software company, MicroStrategy has completed its $500 million offerings of secured notes, according to a statement. The company said it plans to use the proceeds, which it estimates at $488 million — after discounts, commissions and expenses — to buy more bitcoin.

The aggregate principal amount of the notes sold in the offering was $500 million and the notes bear interest at an annual rate of 6.125%. The notes were sold in a private offering to qualified institutional buyers in reliance on Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and to persons outside of the United States in compliance with Regulation S under the Securities Act.

The offering was of secured notes due 2028. MicroStrategy intends to use the net proceeds from the sale of the notes to acquire additional bitcoin.

The company currently holds 92,079 bitcoin, which is under the purview of its newly formed subsidiary MacroStrategy. The price of bitcoin is currently $40,700, suggesting that MicroStrategy will be able to buy around 11,990 more bitcoin, taking it well above the 100,000 marks.

MicroStrategy announced this latest offering on June 7, initially planning to raise $400 million before it was upped to $500 million. According to reports, the company had more than $1.6 billion worth of orders for the notes, “including interest from a large number of hedge funds.”

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Bank of America, Coinbase Ventures Invested in Paxos’ $300M Funding Round

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Paxos – a provider of blockchain infrastructure – said Bank of America, crypto exchange FTX, Founders Fund and Coinbase Ventures were among a heavyweight list of investors in its $300 million Series D funding round, the firm disclosed on Thursday.

Oak HC/FT led the funding round, which the nine-year-old company announced in late April at a valuation of $2.4 billion. The round also included PayPal Ventures and Mithril Capital, among others. The firm has raised more than $540 million over multiple funding rounds.

The company noted that Bank of America joined the Paxos Settlement Service earlier this year. The platform uses blockchain technology to achieve the same-day settlement of stock trades.

“We’re defining this space and are excited to grow our enterprise solutions besides these market leaders,” Paxos CEO and co-founder Charles Cascarilla said in a press release.

Paxos started providing infrastructure for PayPal’s crypto service last year, which has extended to PayPal’s Venmo payments app. Credit Suisse, fintech Revolut and Societe Generale are among other customers.

In an April interview with CoinDesk, Cascarilla called the latest funding round “confidence capital” that would give customers certainty that Paxos would “be around for the next five to 10 years.”

In a statement, Founders Fund partner Napoleon Ta called Paxos “a trusted operator in blockchain-based financial market infrastructure,” highlighting “its commitment to regulation, reliability and security for enterprises entering digital asset markets.”

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African e-Wallet Startup PayQin Closes €300k Seed Investment Round, Plans To Expand in Africa

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PayQin, a cross-border payment startup that operates a comprehensive e-wallet service for the underbanked in West Africa, is announcing a new €300,000 seed investment round that takes the company’s funding up to $1 million. The company aims to reach one million daily transactions in a year and envisions a single payment area for the West African countries.

PayQin is among the alumni of the Estonia-founded Startup Wise Guys accelerator’s first fintech batch powered by Swedbank. The company is also backed by several business angels and VC companies from the Baltic countries (United Angels VC, Startup Wise Guys), and venture capitalist investors from the US and Africa, including Planet42 co-founder Eerik Oja; and Jānis Krūms, the founder of PlanGrid (acquired by AutoDesk).

Founded in 2017 by Fabrice Amalaman and Pierre-Antoine Sesque, PayQin is driving financial inclusion in Africa’s vast underbanked markets, where the mobile phone penetration is twice the rate of banking access.

PayQin’s customers can store mobile money, use cross-border debit cards, make payments, and manage crypto transactions from a single app.

Launched in the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Senegal, and Mali, which together represent over 22 percent of the people in West Africa, PayQin is moving towards developing a single payment area for West African countries, home to 400 million people. PayQin is the first company in the West-African francophone countries to offer crypto for cross-border payments. The company currently has plans to open the platform to remittances from Europe, making for a large inflow of transactions that totaled $48 billion in Sub-Saharan Africa alone in 2019.

The company is working with Producement, a product engineering company founded by Wise alumni, to enhance the quality of the PayQin platform to a world-class level. The founders have gathered a tight circle of advisers to foster their ambitions. For their growth strategy, the company is advised by Iliana Björling Lindeberg, the head of marketing for Jumia Food and Jumia Travel Africa.

“The Sub-Saharan market is really one of a kind with leapfrogging technology such as mobile money and a young population eager to explore what companies like PayQin have to offer. Since PayQin fills an interesting gap in this space, I’m excited to be a part of their journey. Concepts like this are giving the banks a good run for their money,” Lindeberg commented.

The company is giving out free virtual cards in strategic partnership with Africa’s largest fintech company, Flutterwave, to open small local business owners up to the world of online ads to promote their products and services for increased sales. “We are building a safe and secure environment for online transactions, giving the unbanked access to products and online services that are not available locally,” said Fabrice Amalaman, PayQin cofounder and CEO.

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Seplat Energy’s Subsidiary Westport Oil Raises US$50 Million Offtake Facility

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Seplat Energy Plc, a leading Nigerian independent oil company listed on both Nigerian Exchange Limited and the London Stock Exchange, announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Westport Oil Limited, has successfully raised a US$50 million offtake facility due April 2027.

The oil company disclosed in a statement signed by Mr. Emeka Onwuka, the Chief Financial Officer, Seplate Energy Plc.

According to the company, the US$50 million (offtake facility) is subordinated to the US$100 million senior reserve-based lending facility (the “RBL”).

The initial interest on the offtake facility is Libor + 10.5 percent payable semi-annually and the repayment is scheduled to commence in March 2023.

“The statement reads, Seplat Energy Plc (“Seplat” or the “Company”), a leading Nigerian independent energy company listed on both the Nigerian Exchange Limited and the London Stock Exchange, announces that its wholly owned subsidiary, Westport Oil Limited, has successfully raised a US$50 million offtake linked reserved based lending facility due April 2027 (the “Offtake Facility”).

“The Offtake Facility is subordinated to the US$110 million senior reserve-based lending facility (the “RBL”). The Offtake Facility carries an initial interest of Libor + 10.5% payable semi-annually and is scheduled to commence repayment from March 2023.”

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