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July 14, 2022

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Good day , 

Victoria here,

Wave, an African fintech that provides mobile money services in Senegal and Ivory Coast, laid off approximately 15% of its employees in June 2022.

According to TechCrunch, nearly 15% of the company's 2,000 employees were laid off. This roughly translates to 300 people, most of whom worked in Wave's new markets of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Uganda.

Recall that the company announced that it had raised a syndicated loan of €90 million ($91.5 million) last week.

In its statement to employees on June 30, the company said it was scaling back its teams in these markets to avoid relying on new funding at a time "when investors around the world are cutting back."

As it continues to serve its new markets, Wave said that withdrawing from newer markets will allow it to focus more on Senegal and Ivory Coast, core markets "where we are market leaders in mobile money with growing businesses."

For context, listen to today’s episode of the Techpoint Africa Podcast here.

Today, I’ll be discussing:

  • Gideon Dada's venture capital guide
  • How Kenya’s SNDBX help African startups
  • Zazuu’s $2 million
  • Persistent Energy’s $10 million

Unrelated, but if you've been reading Techpoint Digest in Spam, please click the three dots in the upper right corner and select "Report not spam."

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Gideon Dada's venture capital guide

Chimgozirim's latest story takes me back to my university days. Man, I've seen a lot in my life. 😂😂 Okay, I haven’t really; that was supposed to crack you up. Anyway, I recall having to work to get by in school.

I worked as a laundress and a freelance writer. To be clear, I didn't wash anyone's clothes. I had someone who washed cheaply for me while I focused on running the business. Nah, it was too cheap! Thinking about it, how did she survive on that?

It started with this thought: Why not tell people you wash, and give their clothes to her, instead? That wouldn’t be demanding.

And that was how I started. Honestly, it was indeed demanding, and it came with a lot of risks, but that’s not today’s story.

Now let's begin: Gideon Dada started working at 200 level and believes having a side job demonstrates your ability to manage your time. Do you agree?

Ah, apologies! I know you’re wondering who Gideon is. Well, he is an Investment Associate at Metis Capital Partners, the family office of Nigerian businessman, Hakeem Belo-Osagie.

He joined the firm in December 2021, following his departure from Sankore Investments, where he was a member of the team responsible for optimising the wealth management process.

But why would he leave a stable job for the murky waters of venture capital? Gideon was most excited about working with his current bosses at Metis Capital.

He believes venture capital is much more flexible.

What exactly does he mean by flexible? “So today, I’m looking at something in Bitcoin wallet infrastructure. The next day I’m looking at data infrastructure and fintech the next. You have to go out to get the knowledge for all of these opportunities you come across," he says.

But how did he end up in venture capital? You can read his guide here: Gideon Dada’s guide for getting into venture capital

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How Kenya’s SNDBX help African startups

Do you remember Joram Mwinamo? Oluwanifemi discussed his journey in tech in the Expert and African series in May 2022.

Joram is a Kenyan expert who is always talking about the potential of technology and how he's been assisting businesses tap into it by allowing them to see the problem from a human perspective.

Today, we'll talk about his startup, SNDBX, which provides services like accounting, law, marketing, human resources, and business development to help startups grow their businesses.

But how did Joram get started? He became involved with AIESEC, a global leadership-focused non-profit organisation while studying computer science at Egerton University. This introduced him to the management field, and his activities took him to Europe for a while.

He realised that because of how organisations were structured in the West, local businesses lacked some good internal systems, processes, and structures that would help them scale.

So he became very interested in how he could package knowledge, learning, and consultancy for African-led businesses and assist them in understanding how to structure their finances, human resources, and marketing.

The sandbox concept has been explored globally and in other African countries. So, how does Joram’s SNDBX work? Find out in Emmanuel’s latest article: Kenya’s SNDBX is helping African startups build for global markets

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Zazuu’s $2 million

Zazuu, a UK-based and Africa-focused fintech, has raised $2 million in a new financing round.

Launch Africa, Founders Factory Africa, Hoaq Club, Tinie Tempah, Jason Njoku, and Babs Ogundeyi took part in the round.

Kay Akinwunmi (CEO), Korede Fanilola, Tola Alade, and Tosin Ekolie founded the company in 2018. It began as a chatbot in 2020, informing users of various platforms' daily remittance rates via Facebook and Telegram groups.

The initial product, according to Akinwunmi, helped debunk customers' preconceived notions about which service had the best rates as they were introduced to new providers.

And now, the product has evolved into a full-fledged aggregator, listing over 17 service providers.

It offers money transfer options from Canada, the United States, and seven European countries. It also allows customers to use its "Search and Compare" service to find providers who can transfer funds from these countries to Africa.

The funds will be used to expand the company's user base, hire more talent, and scale its Pay with Zazuu feature, which allows users to complete in-app transactions.

The service is available to senders in the United Kingdom and receivers in Nigeria and Ghana. However, it says it plans to expand access to other sender and receiver countries.

south-africa-solar

Persistent Energy’s $10 million

Persistent Energy, an African Climate VC firm, announced that it had raised $10 million in Series C funding.

Kyuden International Corporation, a subsidiary of the Japanese Kyushu Electric Power Group, and Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa Investments led the round.

Other unnamed investors included Kotaro Tamura, BK Ventures BV, and DPI Energy Ventures.

Persistent Energy is an African renewable energy investor which assists in developing businesses that can "scale sustainably" from concept to early growth.

It accomplishes this by investing capital and human resources, and its team members join and collaborate with portfolio company management teams.

Persistent has 20 sub-Saharan African partner companies spread across 17 countries. Its portfolio companies offer residential, commercial, and industrial solar solutions, e-mobility solutions and ecosystem development.

The firm stated that the funds would be used to strengthen its team. According to Tobias Ruckstuhl, Persistent's Managing Director, the company will use the funds to accelerate its growth in sub-Saharan Africa while encouraging the adoption of clean energy options and technologies on the continent.

What I'm reading and watching

Opportunities

  • Simpu is looking for a business strategist. Check it out here.
  • Volvo has opened Internships in various UX, Data Science, Software and will sponsor your visa just for the period. Apply here.
  • BrowserStack is looking for a lead technical writer. Apply here.
Have a great Thursday!
victoria_3

Victoria Fakiya (@latoria_ria)

 

A writer with ADHD who is interested in mental health and how technology is improving the lives of Africans with mental disorders.

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