OCTOBER 28, 2022

11 min Read

African Tech Weekly Recap: October 24 to October 28, 2022

Welcome to our weekly recap where we share the most important news of the African Tech Ecosystem 🌍

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Egypt’s KarmSolar secures $2.4m funding from QNB ALAHLI

KarmSolar secures $2.4 million funding from QNB ALAHLI
Image from Wamda


  • Egypt-based cleantech KarmSolar has secured $2.4 million in funding from Qatar National Bank ALAHLI (QNB ALAHLI), as part of the company’s Phase 2 expansion of existing solar microgrid solution.
  • Founded in 2011, KarmSolar provides several sectors in Egypt with renewable energy as part of its target to enlarge the private clean energy market.
  • This new funding will boost KarmSolar’s plans to deploy battery solutions in Egypt and across the region on a larger scale.

Source: Wamda

Our Takeaway

Most businesses in Africa grapple with expensive electricity tariffs, frequent power outages, and load shedding. These issues limit production and increase operating and maintenance costs, thereby hindering growth. The decreasing costs of solar systems, relative to either grid or diesel generators, have helped solar solutions—provided by companies like KarmSolar—become economically viable alternatives for commercial and industrial use. Access to reliable power not only saves costs but also expands the number and variety of business and job opportunities available in an economy.

Flourish launches program to support African pre-seed startups

Global VC Flourish Ventures launches Madica, an Africa-focused program, to back pre-seed stage startups
Image from TechCrunch


  • US-based venture capital firm Flourish Ventures has launched Madica, an Africa-focused program aimed at boosting access to capital and funding for pre-seed stage startups.
  • The sector-agnostic Madica will offer funding, technical support, and mentorship to underrepresented founders across the continent.
  • The program has set aside $6 million for investment in up to 30 African startups, each receiving up to $200,000 in exchange for equity, availing the much-needed funding. The initial investment phase will run for three years.

Source: TechCrunch

Our Takeaway

Access to funding and lack of support systems are some of the greatest challenges faced by startup founders in Africa. And while venture capital and founder support programs within the continent are growing, a lot still remains to be done to meet the financing, technology, and social capital needs of the especially marginalized groups. It’s why the launch of programs like Madica is important, especially as it plans to reach underserved markets in the continent, outside the well-established hubs of Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. 

Crypto giants buy massive units of Bitcoin through Binance, Coinbase

Crypto giants are massively buying Bitcoin through Binance and Coinbase
Image from Nairametrics


  • Two major Bitcoin entities are reportedly stockpiling Bitcoin (BTC) at the moment despite uncertain market conditions. It’s important to note that the benchmark digital currency has decreased by almost 60% this year.
  • This is according to Ki Young Ju, the CEO of analytics company Crypto Quant, who has 308,400 followers on Twitter, wealthy investors are aggressively stockpiling bitcoin through renowned digital asset exchange Binance.
  • Ki Young Ju further noted that the volume of spot trading in bitcoin has grown significantly over the last six months on all exchanges, indicating that there is enough demand to resist the intense selling pressure.

Source: Nairametrics

Our Takeaway

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency, has seen a significant decline from its record high this year amid turmoil in financial markets across the world. As the central banks globally continue to aggressively tighten monetary policy to tackle rising inflation, investors have fled from riskier asset classes like cryptocurrencies, leading to sell-offs in large quantities this year. However, the volume of spot trading in bitcoin has grown significantly over the last six months on all exchanges, per Crypto Quant, indicating that there might be enough demand to resist the intense selling pressure.

Climate-focused Satgana targets African deals with $30m fund

Image from Disrupt Africa


  • Climate tech VC firm Satgana has announced the first closing of its fund, with a $30 million target size, and plans investments in Africa and Europe.
  • Headquartered in Luxembourg, Satgana plans to invest in startups providing technological solutions to the climate emergency across both continents. 
  • The fund has already invested in three startups addressing the climate crisis, including Kenya’s Mazi Mobility, and will back up to 40. It invests up to $500,000 at the pre-seed and seed stages while also providing hands-on operational and strategic support to its portfolio.

Source: Disrupt Africa

Our Takeaway

Climate change affects Africa more than other continents but at the same time, nowhere promises bigger opportunities than in Africa. The continent offers a massive business opportunity given the need to reinvent all sectors, and we’re already seeing new value chains and business models created – from sustainable agribusiness to renewable energy, driven by a young and rapidly-growing population increasingly tackling big challenges and creating new markets. These present an ever-increasing pipeline of climate-related investment opportunities. Africa needs around $133 billion annually to meet its energy and climate goals by 2030. This underscores the importance of funds like Satgana.

Yellow Card bags Africa’s first-ever cryptocurrency license

Image from Ventureburn


  • Yellow Card has become the first cryptocurrency company in Africa to be granted a virtual asset service provider license to operate in Botswana. 
  • The license was issued by the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority [NBFIRA] and will become the standard for crypto operations in the country.
  • The development is a monumental moment for the company, its customers, investors, and the crypto industry as a whole as it positively impacts everyone across the value chain.

Source: Ventureburn

Our Takeaway

African governments are warming up to cryptocurrencies, that much is obvious. Recently, news emerged that Nigeria was discussing with Binance and Talent City about a special economic zone for crypto and blockchain businesses in the country. And earlier on, Ethiopia’s Central Bank ‘ordered’ all crypto operators to register with the national cybersecurity agency, a move that indicates acceptance of digital currencies. With the issuance of licenses in Botswana, the future of cryptocurrency trading and other digital tokens on the continent looks positive.

African companies have doubled their earnings over the past decade

Reports say African startups raised record-smashing $4.3B to $5B in 2021 |  TechCrunch
Image from TechCrunch


  • Over the last 10 years, leading African companies outside South Africa have doubled their earnings but fallen from a valuation (PE ratio) of 13 times earnings to only 10 times earnings.
  • That’s according to Andrew Schultz, head of frontier markets at Investec Securities, who argues now is “an exceptional time” to invest in African stock exchanges.
  • “Shares are stupidly cheap,” he said. “There are very good companies with strong management teams, who have proved they are very good at making the most of a tough situation.”

Source: African Business

Our Takeaway

In what was generally a tough year for equity investors, some stocks and stock markets across Africa performed well in 2021, ranking high among global peers. These include Lusaka Securities Exchange, Ghana Stock Exchange, and Malawi Stock Exchange, which recorded returns as high as 93.2%, 38.59%, and 32.24%, per data from Business Insider. Africa remains one of the most attractive investment destinations for emerging market investors. For those considering investing in some of the best publicly listed companies, last year’s best-performing stocks include Sothema (184.3%), Sancom or MTN Ghana (82.0%), FBN Holdings (75%), Misr Fertilisers (60.3%), to name a few, listed across the 29 exchanges on the continent.

Airtel Africa grows half-year revenue by 12.9% to $2.57bn

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Image from ShareCast


  • Airtel Africa Plc, which is listed on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) and covers the telco’s operations across the continent, grew its half-year revenue by 12.9% to $2.57 billion.
  • That’s according to its financial report for the period ending 30th September 2022 released this week. It shows that without unavoidable macroeconomic challenges, growth for the period would have been around 20.4% in constant currency terms.
  • For mobile services and mobile money services combined, total revenue grew in Nigeria by 19.7%, East Africa by 16.2%, and Francophone Africa by 13.0% over the period.

Source: ShareCast

Our Takeaway

Whilst being affected by the current macroeconomic challenges and currency devaluation risks in Nigeria, its primary market, Airtel Africa continued to deliver strong results with growth accelerating in the second quarter. Its double-digit revenue growth was largely driven by customer growth of 9.7% and ARPU growth of 7.2%, as the telco increased penetration and usage of its service offerings. The company’s outlook is bright, especially after getting Payment Service Bank and Super-Agent licenses under which it launched mobile money operations.

Safaricom rolls out commercial 5G network across Kenya

Pedestrians walk on a sideway outside the Safaricom mobile phone customer care centre in the central business district of Nairobi
Image from Reuters


  • Kenya’s largest telecoms operator Safaricom has rolled out 5G networks in five counties across the country, enabling customers to access faster internet speeds. The network was unveiled in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisii, Kakamega, and Kisumu.
  • Currently, Safaricom has 35 active 5G sites spread across those locations and it plans to expand to 200 areas across the country by March 2023.
  • Plans are also underway to provide 5G data packages for mobile internet customers and leverage a device-financing solution to avail more affordable 5G smartphones.

Source: Reuters

Our Takeaway

With the rollout of commercial 5G in Kenya this week, Safaricom became the first firm to deploy the technology commercially in East Africa. However, its adoption faces hurdles due to the high cost of 5G-enabled handsets as well as data in the country. Per reports, only one in three people access even 4G handheld devices. And out of nearly 27 million smartphones in use in Kenya, only about 200,000 are 5G-compatible. The telco thus plans to initially focus on 5G Wi-Fi rather than mobile as there are still relatively few 5G-compatible devices in Kenya

valU acquires minority stake in Egyptian fintech Kiwe

valU acquires minority stake in fintech Kiwe
Image from Wamda


  • Egypt’s Kiwe, a social payment app targeting the unbanked segment, has secured funding from valU, a subsidiary of EFG Hermes Holding that provides a buy now pay later (BNPL) service.
  • Founded in March 2021, Kiwe’s solutions allow users to collect, send, and spend money electronically, while also providing small businesses and startups with a digital payment platform.
  • valU was founded in 2017 and counts EFG Hermes Finance, EFG EV Fintech, dfin Holding, and Marakez among its shareholders. The deal follows an initial investment Kiwe secured last year, with plans to raise a seed round in the coming months.

Source: Wamda

Our Takeaway

The demographics for the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) offer a huge opportunity for fintech startups like Kiwe. More than 60% of the population are under the age of 30 while also being extremely tech-savvy. In Egypt, there’s a population of over 103 million people, growing at approximately 2% a year with around half of its adults unbanked. While there’s been a surge in digital payments over the past few years, estimates suggest only 4% of consumer spending is cashless.

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Image from the daba website

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This material has been presented for informational and educational purposes only. The views expressed in the articles above are generalized and may not be appropriate for all investors. The information contained in this article should not be construed as, and may not be used in connection with, an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or hold, an interest in any security or investment product. There is no guarantee that past performance will recur or result in a positive outcome. Carefully consider your financial situation, including investment objective, time horizon, risk tolerance, and fees prior to making any investment decisions. No level of diversification or asset allocation can ensure profits or guarantee against losses. Articles do not reflect the views of DABA ADVISORS LLC and do not provide investment advice to Daba’s clients. Daba is not engaged in rendering tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult a qualified professional for this type of service.

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