JULY 29, 2022
3 min Read
Investor Updates: July 29 2022
SA’s Michanic secures $400k debt from MultiChoice Innovation Fund
- South African mobile car service and repair platform Michanic has secured US$400,000 in debt capital from the MultiChoice Innovation Fund to help it continue to develop its technology and expand across the country.
- Formed in 2016 by Lesetja Dikgale, Michanic allows users to request instant service and repair quotes from its online platform.
- The startup works with over 100 partner mechanics and has serviced thousands of cars since its inception. It is now planning for further expansion after securing backing from MultiChoice.
Source: Disrupt Africa
The significance of Michanic’s funding lies in two major points. Firstly, an increasing number of African startups are turning to debt financing after more than $700 million in debt was raised last year. And secondly, corporate venture capital, though nascent, is slowly becoming an established corporate development activity in Africa. South Africa has particularly registered major CVC activity from their leading corporates; Naspers, Standard Bank, Nedbank, and Multichoice have each in the past decade set up CVC units.
PayGate partners with Samsung Pay to expand merchant payments in SA
- Online payment gateway PayGate, a subsidiary of South Africa’s DPO Group, has announced that it is enabling Samsung Pay as an additional payment method for its merchants.
- The mobile payment solution provides a secure and private way to make mobile payments – without having to hand over cash or share payment card details for each new transaction.
- Samsung Pay is integrated with a number of major banks, including Absa Bank, Capitec Bank, Discovery Bank, FNB, Investec, Nedbank, RMB Private Bank, and Standard Bank, for online payments and checkout.
Across Africa, merchant acquisition is proving to be the “new” scramble for payment services on the continent. Offline and informal merchants exist all over Africa and account for up to 90% of businesses on the continent. As such, there’s a significantly large market of non-digital SMEs waiting to be tapped by Africa’s budding technology startups. Layering digital solutions on offline SME activity can create more efficiency for merchants, and generate returns for the startups and investors.
Agritech startup Aerobotics launches new platform for growers
- South African agritech startup Aerobotics has released a new yield management platform, offering growers tools to measure, manage and protect their yields.
- Founded in Cape Town in 2014, Aerobotics uses aerial imagery from drones and satellites and blends them with machine learning algorithms to provide early problem detection services to tree and wine farmers and optimize crop performance.
- Over the past seven years, Aerobotics – which has raised over $23 million in Series A and B rounds – has collected perennial crop imagery from more than one million acres with over 200 growers to identify over 195 million plants.
Source: Disrupt Africa
With the huge strides made by startups like Aerobotics, Africa is fast becoming a global leader in the agritech space. Between 2016 and 2019, the industry grew by 44% year-on-year, and the continent has registered the highest number of agritech services in the developing world reaching more than 30 million smallholder farmers as of 2021. The global agritech sector will reach nearly $200 billion by 2025. How much value Africa can tap from the vast and dynamic market will be determined by how well startups and companies continue to capitalize on the challenges in agriculture on the continent.