MAY 16, 2022
3 min Read
Investor Updates: May 16 2022
Nigeria’s Topship raises $2.5m seed round
- Topship, a Nigerian tech startup building a shipping platform to help Nigerian merchants ship locally and internationally, has announced a $2.5 million seed round months after concluding the recent Y Combinator winter batch.
- Flexport led the round, which includes participation from other backers Y Combinator, Soma Capital, Starling Ventures, Olive Tree Capital, Capital X, True Capital and individual investors.
- This new funding will help the company expand operations to more African countries, improve its asset-light technology and build out a proprietary global shipping infrastructure to make imports and exports significantly faster and easier.
Africa contributes an increasingly significant amount to global maritime trade, with a reported 12% of the 811 million containers handled at ports worldwide. Its clearing and forwarding market is thus growing, with the market size estimated at $4.2 billion, and expected to grow 12.5% as new services emerge. However, several challenges—including congestion at ports and complex payment systems—could hinder the realization of this potential. Therein lies the opportunity for Topship, and several other startups that are digitizing Africa’s freight forwarding space.
Amazon acquires 4% of Egypt’s valU for $10m
- Amazon has agreed to acquire $10 million in EFG Hermes global depositary receipts (GDRs), with the option to replace it with future investment in valU.
- That translates to a stake of 4.255% of valU’s issued share capital, based on a current post-money valuation of $235 million.
- The transaction represents about 1% of EFG’s GDRs, which have a current market cap of $976 million. Upon the deal, valU will be listed as a payment method for Amazon.eg customers.
Amazon runs a widespread local logistics and operations network across Egypt, operating in the country since 2017 through Souq.com. Last July, it launched a dedicated platform called amazon.eg in the Arab world’s most populous country. With more than 3,500 points of sale, valU offers customisable financing plans and access to a wide network of retail and e-commerce providers across diverse sectors. Through the agreement, eligible customers who shop on Egypt’s Amazon domain will now have the option to buy now and pay later through a new consumer financing payment method offered by valU.
Nigerian fintech startup Bridgecard raises $440k pre-seed funding
- Nigerian fintech startup Bridgecard has raised a $440,000 pre-seed funding round to expand its user base and build out its platform.
- Bridgecard merges a user’s cards, bank accounts and fintech wallets into one card and an app, allowing users to perform online transactions, pay bills, and withdraw from any linked account.
- The startup will use the funding to increase the number of bank accounts that can be linked to it, expand to support crypto wallets in supported countries, get the product in the hands of more people, and solve online and card payment issues better.
Source: Disrupt Africa
Across Africa, innovation in the fintech space is at an all-time high as consumers increasingly rely on mobile financial services, tech startups roll out newer solutions, and venture investors incrementally back founders in this landscape. Bridgecard’s “one debit card for all bank accounts” solution is one interesting fintech use-case and early traction suggests it could be appealing to Africans who aren’t keen on shuffling multiple cards. A private beta saw the solution launched to 120 users and processed over $70,000 transaction volume within two months.