Investors update November 9 2022
3 min Read November 9, 2022 at 12:46 PM UTC
EM-focused Quona Capital closes its third fund at $332m
- Emerging markets VC firm Quona Capital has reached the final close of its Fund III at $332 million, significantly exceeding its $250 million target.
- Quona focuses its investments on innovative technology companies that are expanding access to financial services for underserved consumers and businesses in Latin America, India, Southeast Asia, Africa, and MENA.
- The Fund III investors include an array of leading global asset managers, insurance companies, investment, and commercial banks, university endowments, foundations, family offices, and development finance institutions.
An increasing number of venture capital funds are targeting opportunities in Africa and other emerging and frontier markets, reflecting growing investor interest in the economic potential of these markets. Uncovered Fund, LoftyInc Capital, Savannah Fund, and Ventures Platform are some of such Africa-focused firms that have launched in the past year. This is the third fund from Quona Capital since its inception, bringing the firm’s aggregate committed capital to over $745 million.
Kuda expands to the UK with launch of remittance service
- Nigerian neobank Kuda has launched in the United Kingdom as its second market in order to add remittances to its growing list of services.
- The fintech is based in London but has only operated in Nigeria since its founding in 2016, where it also secured a banking license from the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2019 to run a mobile-only bank in the country.
- Last year Kuda raised a $55 million Series B funding round led by Valar Ventures and Target Global at a $500 million valuation, funding which is helping it to expand its focus and footprint.
Not often does an African firm expand into Europe or outside the continent. But for SWVL, there’s a major market opportunity in the massive diaspora remittances business. Remittances accounted for nearly 4% of Nigeria’s GDP as of 2020. Yet, sending money from places like the US and UK — the largest senders to Nigeria — to the country remains invariably expensive. Although most of the traditional players that charge high commission rates still dominate the space, fintechs like NALA, Chipper Cash, Sendwave, and now Kuda, hope to wrestle market share from incumbents with lower rates.
Cryptocurrencies fall after FTX-Binance turmoil spooks investors
- Cryptocurrencies saw a second day of sharp declines on Wednesday, as investors continued to fret about the stability of the sector and the financial health of major exchange FTX despite plans for a rescue deal from bigger rival Binance.
- Crypto giant Binance signed a nonbinding agreement on Tuesday to buy FTX’s non-U.S. unit to help cover a “liquidity crunch” at the rival exchange.
- The proposed deal between high-profile rivals followed week-long speculation about FTX’s financial health that snowballed into $6 billion of withdrawals in the 72 hours before Tuesday’s deal, raising questions about the solvency of one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges.
The turmoil at FTX is the latest sign of trouble in the fast-moving world of cryptocurrencies. Crypto prices have slumped so far this year as a broader downturn in financial markets prompted investors to ditch riskier assets. After rapid growth in 2020 and 2021, bitcoin is down around 62% in 2022. FTX and Binance did not disclose the terms of their agreement, and markets face fresh uncertainty over whether it will proceed. Also, it is unclear how regulators, particularly US antitrust enforcers, will regard a deal between the two crypto exchanges.
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