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FairMoney Raises $42 Million in Series B Funding

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Nigerian fintech startup FairMoney announced it has raised $42 million in Series B funding to diversify its offerings and expand to “become the financial hub for its users.” 

Tiger Global Management led the round. Existing investors from the company’s previous rounds, DST Partners, Flourish Ventures, Newfund, and Speedinvest, participated. The investment comes after FairMoney raised €10 million Series A two years ago and €1.2 million seed in 2018.

Founded in 2017 by Laurin Hainy, Matthieu Gendreau, and Nicolas Berthozat, FairMoney started as an online lender that provides instant loans and bill payments to customers in Nigeria.

When CEO Hainy spoke in February, the company was six months into its expansion to India. One of the highlights of that discussion was FairMoney’s impressive numbers in 2020. Last year, the company disbursed a total loan volume of $93 million to over 1.3 million users who made more than 6.5 million loan applications.

The company also made some progress on the India front, processing more than 500,000 loan applications from over 100,000 unique users.

So what has changed since then? For one, Hainy says FairMoney ticked one of the goals which was acquiring a microfinance bank license. The license allows FairMoney to operate as a financial service provider in Nigeria.

“We have received our MFB banking license which now enables us to open current accounts for our users, and we’re doing that on quite a big scale,” Hainy said to TechCrunch. “We opened accounts for our repeated and new customers, which I think is quite a unique company strategy because we don’t need to burn millions of dollars of customer acquisition cost on users like other competitors. I think all of that has enabled us to become sort of the largest digital bank in Nigeria.”

Quite the claim but behind it are figures to back it up. Of the company’s current 3.5 million registered users, 1.3 million are unique bank account holders. The company says it is projecting to disburse $300 million worth of loans to them this year. How will it finance that? By raising bonds. FairMoney’s loan book is grown by its capital markets activity and has convinced some investment banks to invest a substantial amount in its unlisted bond.

The credit-led neobank offers loans to individuals from ₦1,500 (~$3) to ₦500,000 (~$1,000) ranging from days to six months. Small business loans have become a prominent service most digital banks have begun to offer in Nigeria’s retail sector, and FairMoney sees an opportunity there. Hainy states that from now on, the company will start servicing loans to registered SMEs in Nigeria. In the works also is the issuance of cards. However, unlike the credit cards operated by Nubank, FairMoney is shipping debit cards, the more prevalent one in the Nigerian market.

“The ambition is that by the end of the year, the customer has the full-fledged banking experience from P2P transfers and lending to debit cards and current accounts. In addition to that, we are working on a number of additional services from savings products, stock trading, and crypto-trading products potentially depending on where regulation is heading,” Hainy continued.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Fund Raising

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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Fund Raising

Nigerian Venture Capital Firm, Unicorn Group, Invests in Kenyan Ada Animation

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Ada Animation, an entertainment Tech company under the Ada Labs Africa group of ventures, today announced its pre-seed capital raise from Nigerian venture capital firm Platform Capital through its technology vehicle, Unicorn Group. This investment is a first of its kind in East Africa and is set to elevate entertainment companies in Africa as potential partners in the VC investments realm.

Founded in 2020, Ada Animation was born out of the desire to build capacity in the animation industry, tell animated African stories and catalyze the animation industry for growth.

Ada Animation will use the secured investment to support the company’s growth ambitions to hire great talent, create African content, and further develop its proprietary technology. Ada Animation is supported by a strong advisory board of Dean Lyon, Director at Splinter Studios; Jack Giarraputo, Co-Founder at Happy Madison Productions; Firdaus Kharas at CEO at Chocolate Moose; Joann Yarrow at Executive Director at LIVE Animation Studios. As part of Platform’s investment, Dr. Akintoye Akindele, Chairman of Platform Capital will join the board.

Speaking of the investment, Joy Mwangi, CEO of Ada Animation said, “We are incredibly proud of our partnership with Unicorn Group, a Platform Capital company. This strategic investment represents an important step in our growth as a company, we will immediately ramp up our efforts to attract top talent in animation production to join our journey. Ada Animation is at the forefront of animation industry on the continent, changing the way we represent our content to produce more than we consume and share our stories from our perspectives. We see huge potential for Ada Animation content on millions of screens worldwide. The world will watch movies made from our imagination and will visualize color and creativity born from our culture.”

“We look forward to showcasing to the international community that there is a massive animation market opportunity in Africa for investment and scale through our work, talent and programs. The timing is so critical for us as we have started producing our first animation movie set for a global release next year.” Concluded Mwangi.

Dr. Akintoye Akindele, Chairman of the Unicorn Group explained “We are excited about our partnership with Ada Animation. We have seen how passionate and committed they have been since inception to add value into the animation creatives sector in Africa. We see this as an opportunity to build a dynamic animation industry for the youth. It is about time we fabricated and developed a platform that encourages and supports young creatives on the continent to be at the epicenter of telling African stories. We are optimistic about the development of creative talent and growth of homegrown platforms that will spur international companies’ partnerships in boosting the animation industry.”.

The funding comes soon after the company’s recent partnership with Kenya Film Commission (KFC) to launch an animation summit and the second season of Ada Animation boot camp that will be the largest nationwide training program in the sector.

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Fund Raising

Don Jazzy Launches SapioFunds, a Social Funding Platform, for Donations, Fundraising

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Don Jazzy SapioFunds - Investors King

Don Jazzy, a leading music producer and record label owner in Nigeria, has launched SapioFunds, a social funding platform for fundraising and donations across Africa.

The music executive disclosed this on his Instagram page and kickstarted the project with a N1 million donation.

He said “Give Away time. What can N100,000 do for you right now? What project do you want to fund? Just Sapio fund it. It’s simple. Go to www.Sapiofunds.com state what you are trying to fund. Whatever it is. People that can help you raise the money will come thru for you. But for today I’m going to go through the projects and pick 10 people to Sapio fund their N100,000 project.”

He added that “After setting up your project on the Sapio fund website, share it here and tag me so I can check it out.”

In the video that accompanied the statement, the music mogul said following growing requests for financial assistance on his social media pages by fans in need, he has partnered with a friend, presumed to be Sonnia Agu, a graduate of Eastern Mediterranean University, Cyprus, and the founder of The Sapio Club, to launch a social enterprise platform to bridge the gap that exists between donors and the people in need across Africa.

To SapioFunds Projects

  • Signup on through SapioFunds official website
  • Then create a fundraising campaign and wait for donors

However, you can share your fundraising campaign via direct messages on social media and other platforms. The platform hopes to help Africans meet their genuine needs and reduce poverty.

On its website, SapioFunds said “Help Africans” thrive by providing free and easy access to funds, basic capital and the resources needed. No 100-page grant applications, no donors demanding you modify your message, no last-minute edits from investors. Just you doing you, adding value and getting support.”

“If you care about Africa, then turn compassion into action and help raise funds for her people and causes.

“Charity begins at home – For Africa by Africa.”

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