FEBRUARY 01, 2023

3 min Read

Investors update: February 1 2023

Egypt’s MNT Halan clinches $1bn valuation after raising $400m


  • Egyptian fintech and e-commerce ecosystem MNT-Halan has raised up to $400 million in equity and debt financing from local and global investors as it continues to serve underbanked and unbanked customers in the North African country.
  • The round includes $260 million in equity financing and $140 million through two securitized bond issuances secured within the past year, investments that will now see MNT-Halan command a post-money valuation of about $1 billion.
  • The company plans to expand internationally after solid growth in Egypt and progress on a swap agreement between super app Halan and Netherlands-based microlending platform MNT Investments.

Source: Disrupt Africa

Our Takeaway

Having begun life as a ride-hailing app back in 2018, MNT-Halan has morphed into a super app of sorts and has now become Egypt’s most funded and valued startup after its latest mega funding round. The $400 million deal—the single-largest funding secured by an Africa-focused startup alongside Opay’s round in 2021—should ensure its continued growth even as it becomes Egypt’s only unicorn startup at the moment. The startup is also reportedly in the advanced stages of raising $60 million in additional capital in the coming weeks.

SA-based Lulalend raises $35m to scale its lending business


  • Lulalend has raised $35 million in a Series B round led by international impact investor Lightrock, with participation from new investors.
  • The Cape Town-based startup uses an online application process and internal credit metrics to provide short-term loans to small and medium-sized businesses that are often unable to obtain working capital.
  • The capital raised will enable Lulalend to increase the size of its loan book, launch new solutions, and invest in the technology and talent to accelerate the rollout of its new digital business banking platform.

Source: TechCrunch

Our Takeaway

Access to capital remains a significant barrier to the growth of many small businesses in Africa—available data shows a $330 billion financing deficit for the small enterprises that make up 90% of businesses on the continent. In South Africa, the annual SME credit gap is estimated at about $20 billion, according to the International Finance Corporation. It’s a problem several startups and foreign investors are particularly keen to address as it promises attractive returns, which explains the recent increase in funding activity within the space.

Investors in Nigerian stocks gained $2.4bn in January


  • The equities market finished the first month of the year in the green territory as the NGX All-Share Index appreciated by 3.88% to close the final trading day with 53,238.67 index points.
  • Despite the rising inflation, interest rate hike, and naira redesign, equity investors increased their buying pressures on an expected impressive full-year 2022 corporate earnings results.
  • That the ASI opened the trading year at 51,251.06 indexes on January 4, 2023, and during the month gained 1,987.61 basis points.

Source: Nairametrics

Our Takeaway

Market analysts quoted by Nairametrics believe the renewed positive sentiment in the Nigerian Exchange has been driven by investor interest to increase capital gains, on the back of low prices of stocks in the buildup to the 2023 general elections. Investors in the equities market, therefore, gained N1.083 trillion ($2.349 billion) as the market capitalization settled at N28,998 trillion as against an N27.915 trillion it recorded on the last trading activity of 2022.

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