Wic Capital, a Senegalese fund that invests in women-owned businesses, has received a $1 million loan from the FSDAi Nyala Facility to support its expansion plans in Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire.
Why does it matter? Merely 3.5% of Senegalese businesswomen have access to credit from financial institutions. Additionally, they don’t have access to platforms for technical help and coaching.
Thus, while the amount of money the fund will invest in these women-focused businesses is unknown, Wic Capital will provide them with financing, innovative products, and activities such as training and mentorship sessions.
- Airtel Africa launches new data centre
- tappi's $1.5m pre-seed
- BasiGo's $5m funding to assemble electric buses
Airtel Africa launches new data centre
Expected to go live in mid-2025, the facility will deliver 34 megawatts of total power, making it the first Nxtra facility in Lagos, Nigeria.
Designed to support high-density racks and incorporate the most recent construction techniques to achieve a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.3, Nxtra will enable customers to meet data sovereignty requirements.
Nigeria has seen a sharp increase in cloud computing, but one major obstacle has been the need for more infrastructure. Thus, the data centre will allow more local cloud service provision in the nations where Airtel Africa operates.
However, this new development complements the existing efforts of other telco companies like MainOne, which launched a series of data centre facilities in 2021 through its subsidiary, MDXI, in Lagos, Nigeria, to enhance digital growth.
Per the Managing Director, Segun Ogunsanya, the new development will bolster partnerships with some of Africa’s new tech unicorns.
Be the smartest in the room
Sidebar: Airtel has appointed Yahsnath Issur, the former head of Global Data Center Portfolio at Amazon Web Services, as the Chief Executive Officer of Nxtra. With over 16 years of experience, Issur has built a team of experts to execute the strategy.
tappi's $1.5m pre-seed
What happened? Six months after securing $180,000 in funding from Orbit Startups in an accelerator programme, Kenyan startup tappi has announced its $1.5 million oversubscribed pre-seed round.
Who are the investors? Mercy Corps Ventures and Chui Ventures led the round, with participation from Digital Currency Group, SOSV, Resilience17, growX Ventures, Orbit Startups, and Reflect Ventures. Angel investors and advisors from global technology companies such as Google, Salesforce, Zendesk, and the financial sector contributed to the investment.
What does the company do? Launched in 2022 by Kenfield Griffith and Louis Majanja, tappi is a Kenyan end-to-end digital commerce SaaS solution designed for small and medium-sized businesses.
The startup helps small businesses grow by connecting them with customers and leveraging customer reviews to establish online credibility. It also automates tasks like gathering and compiling client evaluations for online testimonials and grants them access to advertising resources to streamline SMEs' interactions with technology.
Plans for the new investment? Per Griffith, the company plans to invest the funds in three key areas. It intends to increase its on-the-ground presence by hiring direct sales agents and "capitalising on its strong 90% retention rate."
Second, Tappi plans to partner with banks and fintech companies while strengthening its current relationships with mobile operators. Finally, a significant chunk of the investment goes towards marketing and branding initiatives to establish Tappi as a reputable brand in the markets it serves.
What’s more, Griffith says the company has grown significantly since its inception, interacting with over 150,000 customers, obtaining verified reviews on $3 million transactions, and indexing over 5,000 online pages.
BasiGo's $5m funding to assemble electric buses
Remember this? BasiGo gets $1.5m to support its expansion into Rwanda
A month after the Kenyan mobility startup announced its funding, BasiGo has announced a $5 million (KSh766.7 million) debt facility from British International Investment (BII) to support its local effort to assemble electric buses.
BasiGo currently operates 19 electric buses on routes throughout Nairobi, with plans to expand that number to 1,000 electric buses across Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda over the next three years.
In November 2023, the startup received delivery of an additional 15 new electric buses cleared at the Port of Mombasa.
In 2022, the e-mobility startup received $6.6 million (KSh804.5 million) from Silicon Valley venture capitalists to begin local electric bus manufacturing and charging infrastructure installation.
In the same year, the electric mobility company also released the first line of locally assembled electric buses in collaboration with the Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers.
Sidebar: By 2025, South Africa wants 20% of new vehicles in its automotive market to be EVs. In November 2023, Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) and Tibco's Chargify planned to install 127 new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in South Africa.
In case you missed it
- MTN Group plays ahead of 2024, appoints Selorm Adadevoh as new CCO
What I'm reading and watching
- Federal government releases application portal for conditional grant, loan for nano businesses
- The Internet is Worse Than Ever – Now What?
- How the body keeps the score on trauma
- Lawyers Hub has opened applications for its 2023 Startup Law Accelerator program. Apply here.
- If you are a female between the ages of 18 and 28 who lives in Africa and is interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity, apply for the CyberGirls Fellowship by December 11, 2023 here.
- Do you live in Nigeria and work with a local or foreign company? Whether it's remotely, on-site, hybrid, full-time, part-time or as a freelancer, @TheIntelpoint is trying to understand the Nigerian workspace: how you work, and toxicity in the workspace among others. Please, fill out the questionnaire here.
- If you are a software engineer, creative designer, product manager, design researcher, or a techie looking for an internship role, please, check out this website.
Have a terrific Thursday!
Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.