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HouseAfrica, CARMA, Two Other African Blockchain Startups Receives $125K Funding From CV Labs

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Start-up - Investors King

Four African blockchain startups, HouseAfrica, CARMA, Mazzuma and Pravica have received $125,000 in Funding from CV Lab, these startups also qualify for a three-month CV Labs Global Incubation program and other CV VC-run initiatives.

CV VC  (Crypto Valley Venture Capital) is a Swiss Investment Company and an early-stage venture capital investor with a focus on startups that build on blockchain technology. CV Labs offers a three-month hybrid Blockchain incubation program that invests up to $125’000 in great startups in return for 10% equity and /or tokens

In July 2021, CV VC extends its operations into Africa setting up the company’s first office on the African continent in Cape Town. The company said, “CV VC’s goal in Africa, together with partners from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and local stakeholders, is to invest in 100 startups that have the potential to tackle the challenges of the African continent over the next four years. The SECO signed a special agreement with CV VC. The joint project aims to support the development of an independent ecosystem in South Africa by transferring know-how and experience from Swiss Crypto Valley to serve as a hub for Africa”.

The program, which also includes BlockFrauds (UK) and CO2DAO (Switzerland), recently kicked off with “Africa Week,” in which CV VC partner Binance Smart Chain, the University of Johannesburg, and the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative collaborated with the innovators for a week in both Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The four Selected African Blockchain Startups are:

HouseAfrica (Nigeria) is a Blockchain Technology company building a digitized property record system that assists home buyers and financial institutions to access, verify authenticity and value properties before investing. Properties are accessed and sold by sharing site digital layout.

CARMA (Nigeria) is the world’s first P2P data marketplace company created to fill the credit-data gap in sub-Saharan Africa. Organizations are provided credit data which allows them to make data-driven business decisions.

Mazzuma (Ghana), “the Future of Online Payments” is a mobile payments system that specializes in the use of Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain to facilitate seamless payments transactions.

Cairo-based startup Pravica, is a unified, secure and privacy-compliant communication platform that uses blockchain technology to empower user privacy and security.

CV Labs has incubated 22 businesses throughout the world, the managing director of CV VC Africa, Gideon Greaves said he’s excited to see the collaboration with SECO to assist the establishment of an autonomous blockchain ecosystem in Africa to become reality.

“I’m incredibly excited to be a part of CV VC’s journey into Africa. Being a leapfrog population, we are in a prime position to adopt this disruptive technology and I believe this continent can lead the crypto and blockchain charge”. He said

“We are happy to start our Africa chapter with an initial foothold in South Africa, a thriving hub for entrepreneurs, developers and creatives and an already well-established startup and technology ecosystem. With the experience and know-how from Crypto Valley, including infrastructure providers, an enabling regulatory framework and our global network, we will be able to accelerate growth for blockchain startups and grow the blockchain ecosystem in all of Africa”, said Mathias Ruch, CEO and founder of CV VC.

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Fund Raising

Nigerian Health Tech Startup Helium Health Secures $30 Million in Funding to Expand Offering in Africa

Nigerian health tech startup Helium Health has secured $30 million in series B funding to expand its offering across Africa.

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Nigerian health tech startup Helium Health has secured $30 million in series B funding to expand its offering across Africa.

The funding round was led by AXA IM Alts, with participation from Capria Ventures, Angaza Capital, Anne Wojcicki, and Flatworld partners. Other existing investors that participated in the round include Tencent, Ohara Pharmaceuticals, LCY Group, WTI, and AAIC.

With the recent funds raised, Helium Health seeks to expand the reach of its fintech product Helium Credit, which is one of the leading digital finance products for Africa’s healthcare sector.

Speaking on the recent funds raised, Helium Health CEO and Co-founder Adegoke Olubusi said, “We believe in a future where good healthcare is a reality for Africans, not just a few. We are deeply committed to supporting both private healthcare providers and public health stakeholders with finance, technology, and data to achieve that vision. We are delighted to have such seasoned healthcare investors accompany us on our journey”.

Also commenting on the funding round, Helium Health lead investor AXA IM Alts through the head of impact investing Jonathan Dean said, “We are delighted to invest, through AXA IM Alts’ impact investing strategies, in ‘Helium Health’s mission of providing digital solutions to improve the quality and efficacy of health services in resource-constrained environments, whilst also directly equipping health sector enterprises with affordable financial services. This investment directly contributes to AXA IM Alts’ broader impact goals of improving financial inclusion and reducing inequalities globally.”

Launched in 2020, Helium Health has extended more than $3.5 million in credit to over 200 healthcare facilities in Nigeria, including pharmacies, diagnostics centers, Hospitals, and Clinics, which have used the loans to purchase medical equipment and medications in bulk and also expand their locations.

The health tech startup works with leading global health organizations and governments, supporting them to execute their strategies, informing policy and decision-making, and improving outcomes for us all. The YC-backed HealthTech startup claims to be the widest-reaching EMR platform in West Africa, used by over 10,000 health workers across 1,000 facilities to care for over 1 million African patients, Investors King understands.

Since Helium’s health series A investment, it has grown its credit from $250,000 to a handful of healthcare facilities to more than $3.5 million across 200+ healthcare facilities in Nigeria.

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Logistics Startup Fez Delivery Raises $1 Million Seed Fund to Expand Operations

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Technology-driven company that provides hassle-free last-mile logistics services to businesses and individuals across Africa, Fez Delivery has raised $1 million in a seed round to deepen its products offering and expand operations to other African markets.

The funding round was led by Ventures Platform, with participation from other investors such as Voltron Capital, and Acasia Ventures as well as other Angel investors.

This funding announcement follows Fez Delivery’s acceptance as one of the only two logistics companies in Nigeria to have received investment from Techstars Toronto, an elite global tech accelerator.

Speaking on how the recent capital raised will be deployed, Fez Delivery CEO Seun Alley disclosed that the company will continue to push towards leveraging technology to solve real problems.

In her words, “With this funding, we are repositioning as a full-fledged tech company focused on last-mile deliveries. We are currently focused on the $10 billion transport and logistics market in Nigeria, where we still have room to grow. We plan to keep growing in Nigeria and expand to other markets starting in the last quarter (Q4) of this year. Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa are on our list, but we haven’t decided on the order yet. While the platform is currently in development, interested parties can sign up to join the waitlist”.

Also commenting is the company’s co-founder and CTO Oluwafemi Jose who said, “Our goal has always been to create something truly transformative. We are excited to use this funding to accelerate our innovation, expand our team, deepen our development efforts and bring more value to our customers and partners”.

Founded in 2020, Fez delivery distinguishes itself from its competitors by offering tailored and hybrid solutions that combine physical touch-points with technology to serve its customers.

The startup offers APIs to its business clients and claims over 17,000 people currently use its platform, with 70% being individuals and 30% being a mix of SMEs and startups.

Fez Delivery makes money by charging individuals per delivery, and businesses a monthly subscription. It offers customers live tracking. Upon placing an order, customers will receive a tracking ID to track their order with an up-to-the-minute status report as well as the courier’s live location, Investors King understands.

In 2022, the logistics startup completed 200,000 trips and grew revenue by 20% month-on-month. Fez delivery boasts a team of well-trained professionals that provide best-in-class services and are committed to making the delivery as hassle-free as possible. Some of its partners include Opay, Kuda, Fairmoney, Techstars, Flutterwave, and paystack

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African Identity Verification Platform Smile Identity Raises $20 Million to Expand Into New Markets

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Africa’s leading identity verification and digital platform Smile Identity has raised $20 million in Series B funding to expand its product and services into new markets.

The funding round was led by Costanoa and Norrsken 22, with participation from other Investors such as Two culture capital, Courtside Ventures, Value stream Ventures, Intercept Ventures, Latitude, Future Africa, and 500 fintech. Lexi Novitske from Norrsken 22 will also join Smile identity’s board as part of the series B funding. This brings the total funds raised to $31 million including $7 million in series A funding raised in 2021.

Investors King understands that the recent funds raised will help Smile identity to expand its product and engineering team, accelerating the development of specialization of its AI-powered biometrics, document verification, anti-fraud and compliance solutions tailored for new African markets.

The startup is optimistic that the money raised will enable it to partner with the governments of African countries as well as ID authorities to create consumer consent standards, enforce local African data protection laws, and share data on fraud and financial inclusion trends.

Speaking on its expansion plan, the company’s CEO Mark Straub said, “we believe the majority of people are honest. The challenge in the digital age is to prove this regardless of how a user is on boards, whether via agents, apps, tablets, the web, blockchains, or paper forms. We are thrilled to have the support of our partners and investors as we solve this problem across IDs, devices, and compliance regimes to ensure Africans are among the most trusted in the world”.

Since its operation in 2017, Smile Identity has been leading the way in digital transformation, providing secure and verifiable identities for millions. The startup has been driven by a desire to ensure that any African, anywhere in the world, can easily verify their identity.

Currently, Smile Identity is developing tools and software that will revolutionize the way millions of Africans prove and authenticate their identities online. Its artificial intelligence and identity verification tools have been specially designed for African faces and have a 99.8 percent accuracy rate.

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