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Payday Secures $1M Pre-Seed Fund to Build “Paypal for Africa”, Eyes Rwanda as Its African HQ

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PAYDAY-Africa-Investors King

Payday, an African fintech startup has secured a one million dollars pre-seed fund to continue with its efforts to enable swift global payments for Africans.

After the cold launch in June 2021, Payday has grown exponentially with over 5,000 users and $1.4 million in transactions successfully processed within the first three weeks with most of its users coming through referrals and “word of mouth”.

With the vision to become the “Paypal for Africa”, Favour Ori, founder and CEO of Payday said, “several investors including LoftyInc Capital, Microtraction, Magic Fund, Ventures Platform, Voltron Capital, CcHub Syndicate, Helicarrier Inc, Greencap Equity, Midlothian Angel Network, Emergence Capital, Olugbenga Agboola (GB), have backed the company to achieve this goal”.

Other investors include; Charles Odita, Eke Eleanya, Adegoke Olubusi, Edmund Olotu (Bloc), Prosper Otemuyiwa (Eden), Dimeji Sofowora, Perseus Mlambo (Union54), Abdul Hassan (Mono), and Onyekachukwu Somtochukwu Eyisi.

Payday is facilitating sending and receiving money globally from Africa and enabling payments between foreign employers and clients. As well as issuing Virtual Mastercards, and paying tuition and other fees in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

With the investment, Favour Ori told benjamindada.com that “Payday will expand into new territories and also hire talents for their Engineering, Product, Compliance and Growth roles to scale its operations and also acquire additional licenses”.

According to Ntoudi Mouyelo-K, the Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of Rwanda Finance Limited, “Payday’s continental ambition will benefit from KIFC premier Pan-African financial network. The number of African and international investors supporting Payday is a recognition of Mr. Ori’s innovative solution developed from Rwanda and it illustrates the attractiveness of Kigali International Financial Center as a new home for fintech in Africa”.

Mouyelo-K who is leading the agency in charge of the promotion and development of Kigali International Financial Center (KIFC) has welcomed the establishment of Payday in Rwanda.

Meanwhile, Temi Awogboro, General Partner at MAGIC Fund said “Magic is delighted to be an early backer of Favour and the Payday team in achieving their audacious vision of enabling swift borderless online payments services for Africa, thereby connecting its users with vast opportunities around the world.”

According to her, “this aligns with our founders-backing-founders thesis and we are excited by the opportunity to support the team as they positively disrupt the space.”

“Africa is home to some of the most talented and ambitious entrepreneurs we see in the world today, and they are solving problems for one of the biggest markets on the planet’ Sunil Sharma, Managing Director of Techstars Toronto said ‘sending money remains complicated, time-consuming and expensive but we believe Payday Africa has the vision to liberate Africans and the global diaspora to send and receive money quickly and affordably”

Payday’s team is made up of bankers and engineers with the co-founder and CEO of Co-Creation Hub, Bosun Tijani, Gossy Ukwanwoke and Olalekan Olude as advisors.

Bosun believes that “Payday’s solution is extremely timely and it backs up Africa’s agenda of a single market. Making it seamless and easy to pay people in their local currency and through multiple checkouts, the option is a strong boost for AfCFTA”.

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Fund Raising

Autochek Secures $13.1M Funding to Scale Across Africa

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Autochek-Investors King

Automotive and Fintech company, Autochek has raised $13.1 Million in seed funding to expand its operations across Africa. 

Participants in its latest funding round include existing investors such as Golden Palm Investments, Enza Capital, Lateral Capital, TLcom Capital, and 4DX Ventures. First-time investors such as Mobility 54 Investment SAS, the venture capital arm of Toyota Tshusho, and ASK Capital also participated in the round.

Recall that last year, Autochek raised $3.4 Million in pre-seed funding to grow its markets in Nigeria and Ghana. That round also saw TLcom Capital, 4DX Ventures, and Golden Palm Investments in participation. The funding came months after Autochek acquired marketplaces Cheki Ghana and Cheki Nigeria from one of Africa’s largest classifieds Group, ROAM Africa. The company continued its expansion by acquiring Cheki Kenya and Cheki Uganda to expand into East Africa. The company also partnered with CFAO Group to bring its marketplace into the Francophone region.

Cheki was launched in 2010 as an online car classified for dealers, importers, and private sellers in Nigeria. The startup, headquartered in Lagos, expanded operations to Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. In 2017, Cheki got acquired by ROAM and joined a list of online marketplaces and classifieds in its network like Jobberman.

Autochek is currently present in five African countries, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Ivory Coast, and Uganda and according to reports, the company has set its sights northwards and southward on the continent towards the second-largest and third-largest economies in Africa, South Africa, and Egypt.

Autochek is an automotive/fintech company that was founded by the co-founder and chief executive of Jiji subsidiary Cars45, Etop Ikpe. Autochek’s platform operates a marketplace-driven model and has a focus on financing and after-sales. The company generates revenue through fees charged on customer transactions and commissions paid by dealers and service shops on the platform, the company also has financing partnerships with banks.

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Nigerian Agri-tech Procurement Platform, Vendease Secures $3.2M Seed Round To Expand Operations

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Vendease, a Nigerian agri-tech startup that allows restaurants and hotels to order food supplies directly from farms and food manufacturers at the best price, has raised US$3.2 million in a seed round to expand operations.

The seed round was led by San Francisco-based venture capital firm Global Founders Capital. Others are local investors and early backers such as Paga CEO Tayo Oviosu, Remita CEO John Obaro, and Magic Fund.  Y Combinator participants like Hustle Fund, Liquid 2 Ventures, Hack VC and Soma Capital also invested in the startup.

Vendease was founded by Tunde Kara, Olumide Fayankin, Gatumi Aliyu and Wale Oyepeju in January 2020 to help solve food supply chain problems by digitising procurement processes, storage operations and logistics. A flexible payment system was integrated to facilitate transactions on the platform.

Earlier this year, Vendease was part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2021 cohort and has developed mobile and web apps that allow food businesses to place orders for food supplies, manage inventories, track expenses and gain access to their credit facilities with a buy now pay later service.

In achieving this, Vendease has built a network of farmers and food manufacturers to foster a solid food supply on its platform, speed up delivery and ascertain the quality of food production.

In September, Vendease reported to have delivered approximately 100,000 metric tonnes of food and plans to expand its capacities with the $3.2 million seed round.

Mr. Tunde Kara, Cofounder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Vendease said, “the rising food inflation coupled with effects of COVID-19 across Africa has positioned Vendease to scale up food systems by digitising end-to-end processes from farm to table. We currently operate out of Lagos, Ibadan and Abuja, but this funding will act as a buoy for us, as we scale our solution to other cities across the continent,”

Mr. Kara further explained that the company has created a predictive analysis and storage system that will help businesses predict future food prices, store food in advance and peg their prices for any duration depending on the food category.

This process, according to the CEO, has saved businesses on the platform a lot of money and human capital. He said, “when we compare market prices to what users buy on our platform, we’ve approximately saved them about $480,000 in the last nine months, cutting a lot of unnecessary expenses from their general costs — savings that can go into other things in terms of expansion and growth.”

Mr. Kara says the company hopes to 10x this number in the next 12 to 18 months. “Proactively, in our small way, we are helping to grow the GDP for the food businesses both on the farmers and vendor side of the marketplace.” He said.

The CEO said Vendease will use the newly raised $3.2 million to expand its operations to other cities and countries before the end of the first quarter of 2022. In addition, the funding would allow Vendease to continue to build out its technology stack, as well as secure partnerships with some payment platforms and banks to deepen its financial products, especially its buy now and pay later.

Don Stalter, the managing partner of Global Founders Capital, said it was the quality of the team that attracted his firm to Vendease. He said, “as a backer of one of Africa’s very first unicorns, Jumia, we’ve seen a great deal of talent in the market – and Tunde and the Vendease team are best in class both in EMEA and globally. Their laser focus and rapid growth are unprecedented, and there’s a massive opportunity ahead,” he said.

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The Africa Blockchain Center (The ABC) Raises a 7x Figure Seed Investment from Next Chymia Consulting HK Limited

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The Africa Blockchain Center (The ABC), a Kenyan startup focused on building technology capacity and offering blockchain solutions to key sectors announced today that it has raised a $ 7x figure investment from Next Chymia Consulting HK Limited, an Asian based company that provides blockchain solutions, consultancy services and training to global entities.

Founded in September 2021, The Africa Blockchain Center’s mandate is to propel Africa into the adoption of 4IR (fourth industrial revolution) technologies by building capacity in blockchain programming and catalyzing industry readiness; offering solutions to enterprises seeking to explore the technology, and incubating blockchain startups.

This investment will help The ABC set up structures across 6 markets in Africa including Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa and build a community of blockchain stakeholders for knowledge sharing and best practice guidelines.

The Founder of The Africa Blockchain Center Irene Kiwia said “we understand the potential that blockchain has in solving some of the challenges that are facing Africa and we believe that we can use our disruptive nature as a continent to create value for ourselves through the adoption of the technology. However, there is a massive capacity gap that we must fill to accelerate this. We aim to train 10,000 blockchain programmers, 5000 business leaders and executives on blockchain readiness, incubate 50 blockchain startups and launch robust solutions for the market in the next 2 years.”

The ABC aims to demystify blockchain technology and create platforms where the industry can learn, run research programs (R&D), launch blockchain solutions and access blockchain as a service for various applications across industries and sectors.

“The African continent has a massive untapped appetite to understand, learn and experiment with decentralized technologies. This, coupled with the opportunities that the market presents in applying blockchain technology in key sectors like finance, agriculture, health and general governance makes the center a timely intervention.” Further stated Kiwia.

The ABC is an Adanian Labs startup, the Pan African smart technologies venture studio with a mission to build, nurture and scale 300 impact driven tech startups across Africa.

The CEO of Adanian Labs John Kamara said “We are extremely proud to see such progress with our startups. We pride ourselves in providing the right environment, tools and resources to support startups and help them build scalable solutions. The ABC is very timely as Africa is exploring the potential for smart technologies in support of its 4IR efforts. Adanian Labs will continue to work with the Africa Blockchain Center and support its roll out across the continent.”

The female economy is at the center of The ABC’s mission. The ABC will have a special gender lens to ensure that women are an integral part of this transformation.

The CEO of Next Chymia Consulting HK Limited Kenji Sasaki said “We are delighted to support and partner with The ABC, their model is groundbreaking on how they want to scale blockchain technology in Africa, and we have confidence in the team. We are aligned in vision as well as our commitment to building blockchain capacity and providing blockchain solutions to key industries. We want to champion good governance for blockchain and we see the appetite and gap in Africa where this cutting-edge technology can solve some of the inequality issues that will catapult the economic growth of the continent.”

Driven by the desire to train African Blockchain engineers to solve African problems, the center aspire to create a space for collaboration where multi-industry stakeholders from development partners, civil societies, entrepreneurs, academia, government, private sectors, and all industry sector players can harness the common good of decentralized technologies in enhancing health, agriculture, education, good governance, financial independence and general economic growth.

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