JULY 07, 2022
3 min Read
Investor Updates: July 7 2022
IFC backs Senegal-based Wave in $92m debt round
- IFC has invested in Senegal-based Wave, a mobile money firm that is helping lower prices to expand services in the francophone Africa region.
- IFC arranged a $92 million financing package, comprised of a loan from IFC’s account, B Loans from Symbiotics, Blue Orchard, responsAbility, and Lendable, as well as parallel loans from Finnfund and Norfund.
- The investment from IFC and other lenders is expected to help Wave substantially grow its operations in Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal, deepen its product offering, and expand its customer base for mobile money accounts and payment services.
Wave reached unicorn status last September after closing a $200 million Series A funding round. The startup offers free bill payments, cash-in, and cash-out, and charges only a 1% fee on money transfers, about 70% cheaper than what its competitors offer. The IFC deal should help the startup meet the soaring growth in demand for digital payments and mobile money in West Africa, which had only 24% of active mobile money accounts compared to 34% in East Africa as of 2020. IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—has invested or mobilized over $1.25 billion in the African technology ecosystem over the past six years.
Tunisia’s Paymee raises six-figure round led by P1 Ventures
- Tunisia-based fintech Paymee has closed a six-figure funding round led by P1 Ventures.
- Founded in 2018 by Marwen Amamou, Paymee offers online payment acceptance solutions to online merchants. It has recently launched a new product, a QR Code that replaces POS terminals.
- The startup plans to utilize the funds to accelerate its product development and grow its enterprise offering.
Tunisia’s cash-dominated small business economy offers strong opportunities for fintech companies like Paymee and its funding is reflective of an emerging fintech ecosystem in the North African country. As of 2020, 14% of the fintech firms in Arab countries were located in Egypt followed by Morocco while Tunisia accounted for 9% of the total number of fintech businesses in the region.
Startups in MENA raised $324 million in June, per Wamda
- Startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region raised $323.7 million across 66 deals in June 2022, an 84% increase in value and 57% in deal volume month-on-month, according to data from Wamda and Digital Digest.
- Deal volume was pushed up due to the graduation of cohorts from three different accelerator programs and early-stage companies led in terms of deal count. However, the overall funding value was largely driven by late-stage and high-growth companies.
- Pureharvest’s $180.5 million round solely made up 55.7% of the funding value, lifting UAE to the top spot. Collectively, Emirati startups raised $278.8 million across 16 deals, accounting for 86% of the total amount raised.
Yet another report points to a stellar June and first half of the year for startup funding in Africa, despite the decline in venture capital investments globally. With more small-to-medium-sized funds targeting the continent’s tech industry, Africa remains one of the fastest-growing VC markets in the world. More so, the continent’s tech ecosystem could end the year with around $7 billion, or more, in venture capital raised if investors keep pouring venture dollars into the region at this rate.