AUGUST 12, 2022
4 min Read
Investor Updates: August 12 2022
Airtel Africa signs $124m credit facility with Citi Bank
- Airtel Africa, one of Africa’s largest telecom groups with a presence in 14 countries across the continent, this week announced the signing of a $125 million revolving credit facility with investment banking group Citi through its branch offices/subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa.
- The facility will be used to support Airtel Africa’s operations and investments in four of its subsidiaries. It’s in line with its strategy to raise debt in its local operating companies and will include both local currency and US dollar-denominated debt.
- Also, the deal provides potential interest rate savings in exchange for achieving social impact milestones relating to digital inclusion and gender diversity, with a focus on rural areas and women.
Airtel Africa, which has seen a strong business resurgence in recent years, was made part of the FTSE 100 Index in end-January. In March, it raised $194 million via debt from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to fund the CAPEX needs of key subsidiaries and refinance existing loans. Airtel Africa reported a net profit of $178 million in the first quarter of FY23, a 25% jump from a year earlier. But net profit fell 26% sequentially, hurt by higher costs and also barring outgoing calls for customers in Nigeria who had not yet registered their national identification numbers.
SWVL closes $20m private placement deal with US investors
- Mobility and transport solutions provider SWVL has an agreement with US-based investors for the sale and purchase of over 12 million shares along with securities for $20 million at a price of $1.65 per share.
- The Series A warrants and Series B warrants will expire five years from the date of issuance and two years from the date of issuance, respectively. If the warrants are exercised during the said period, it will receive an additional $30 million.
- Earlier this year, the transport startup went public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). It has raised a total of $264 million since its founding in Egypt in 2017.
Source: Disrupt Africa
Founded in Egypt before moving camp to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), SWVL’s fundraising methods are unique for a startup founded out of Africa, having gone public through a SPAC back in April. The decision to sell its shares privately could be seen as a response to the ongoing economic downturn, which has already seen the Nasdaq-listed company sack 30% of its employees, halted certain services in Kenya and Pakistan as well as suspended a number of routes in its home market of Egypt, and call off the $100 million acquisition of Zeelo, a UK-based B2B smart bus operator.
SA metaverse startup SodaWorld gets funding from Swiss firm
- South African metaverse startup SodaWorld has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Swiss venture capital firm CV VC to enable artists to earn much-needed revenue from their work in the Metaverse.
- Its platform, Sodaworld.tv, is a Twitch and Netflix-style portal that enables artists to engage an online audience. The platform is one of only two global projects on the Venice virtual reality program at this year’s Venice Biennale in Italy.
- The CV VC investment follows SodaWorld’s completion of the CV Labs’ global incubator program which featured 6 other Web3 startups from around the world.
Many analysts predict the metaverse could be the next incarnation of the internet, with extended reality (XR) technologies like VR and augmented reality (AR) – which merge the digital and physical world – providing an immersive consumer experience. There’s a belief that it also has the potential to unlock huge economic opportunities for Africa, however, widespread connectivity remains a concern with just 28% of the African population connected to the internet by the end of 2020, according to GSMA. Still, efforts by local players like SodaWorld should ensure the continent isn’t totally left behind.