Investor Updates: March 8 2022
3 min Read March 8, 2022 at 1:42 PM UTC
Egypt’s Mowarrid acquired by Saudi firm Sary
- Saudi Arabia-based B2B e-commerce platform Sary has acquired Mowarrid, an Egypt-based B2B marketplace, for an undisclosed amount.
- Founded in 2018 by Ahmed Essam, Mowarrid focuses on B2B food and grocery, allowing retailers to digitally procure their needs across its platform.
- In December 2021, Sary raised $75 million in a Series C round, taking the total funding raised by the startup to $112 million. The acquisition is part of Sary’s plan to expand into the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan markets.
Tech-enabled procurement in the wholesale and retail trade industry is fast becoming a big deal in the Middle East and North Africa region. In Egypt, the industry has witnessed significant growth over the past few years with very strong startup-driven digitization. Sary, which reaches over 350,000 customers and serves more than 40,000 businesses in 15 cities across Saudi Arabia, enters the country through the deal, which births a strong entity with a solid footprint, regional network, and technological capabilities in both MENA economies.
Ghana’s Dash raises $32.8m seed to connect African mobile wallets
- Dash, a Ghana-based unified payments app has announced that it has raised $32.8 million in an oversubscribed seed round to facilitate interoperability for digital payments platforms in Africa.
- The deal, which ranks among the largest in Africa, will help in building a Mastercard and Visa sort of intermediary services for mobile payment wallets across Africa.
- The startup will use the fund to expand to new markets such as Tanzania and South Africa, get the licenses needed to operate there, build out its team, invest in technology, and launch new features.
Per a 2020 GSMA report, sub-Saharan Africa relies heavily on mobile money, with 159 million active accounts across 200 mobile money providers and 100 banks. However, there is a lack of interoperability across these mobile wallets which hinders cross-border transactions. Dash’s idea, like MFS Africa, is to create a network where providers can work together for users and it’s processed over $1 billion since launch in 2020. More so, its seed round is one of the largest of its kind in Africa.
New US-led initiative to help grow small businesses in Africa
- The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and US African Development Foundation (USADF) have launched the African Small Business Catalyst (ASBC), a business accelerator for early growth-stage small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- The ASBC seeks to support SMEs in four countries – Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda – focused on key sectors.
- The initiative will provide loans in amounts ranging from $100,000 to $1 million, complemented by both technical assistance and grants up to $100,000.
Source: Disrupt Africa
The private sector is widely believed to be an engine capable of driving inclusive and sustainable growth in Africa and has the potential to accelerate socioeconomic transformation on the continent. However, overcoming the daunting challenges facing players in the sector, from funding to mentorship and other forms of support, is needed to realize this potential.
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