Software startup Bamba secures US$3.2m seed fund to scale its app

KENYA – Bamba, a mobile-first enterprise software for micro-merchants in Africa, has secured US$3.2m in seed funding to scale its app and build its team. Venture capital firm 468 Capital led the round with participation from Presight Ventures, Jigsaw VC, and high-profile angels Mato Peric, Leonard Stiegeler, Laurin Hainy and Thomas Stafford. Ex-Wells Fargo exec says the company held ‘fake…

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Mobile payments provider SnapScan acquires payroll startup Radar

SOUTH AFRICA – South African HR and payroll startup Radar has been acquired by mobile payments provider SnapScan as founders Kobus Ehlers and Gerrit Greeff exit their second startup to their first one. The acquisition will see the Radar founders exit the business, while the rest of the team will join Firepay. There will be no immediate changes for existing…

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Pan-African crypto exchange Mara launches with backing from Coinbase Ventures

KENYA – MARA, a Pan-African crypto exchange, has received US$23 million (KSh2.7 billion) in funding from a number of angel investors led by Coinbase Ventures to set up the continent’s crypto portal. Other investors include Alameda Research (FTX), Distributed Global, TQ Ventures, DIGITAL, Nexo, Huobi Ventures, Day One Ventures, Infinite Capital and nearly 100 other crypto investors, and angels including…

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Standard Bank appoints Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita as the bank’s Chairman

SOUTH AFRICA – Standard Bank Group (SBG) has named Nonkululeko Merina Cheryl Nyembezi-Heita as the bank’s first Black female chairman-designate for SBG and Standard Bank of South Africa (SBSA), effective June 1. Nyembezi–Heita will replace Thulani Gcabashe, who is slated to retire later this month. Nyembezi–Heita, born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the…

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IFC becomes Equity Group’s second largest shareholder after acquiring 6.71% stake

KENYA – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and the IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund has acquired a 6.71% stake in financial service company Equity Group, becoming the second-largest shareholder after Arise BV of Norway and Netherlands. The acquisition was revealed during a partnership agreement which will see IFC inject KSh19 billion (US$165 million)…

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Cameroon receives US$28m financing from EIB to strengthen economic resilience

CAMEROON – CCA Bank and Commercial Bank-Cameroun have received US$28.46 million (EUR27m) of new long-term financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support investment by entrepreneurs and businesses across Cameroon and strengthen economic resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two new credit lines will be managed by leading local financial partners, EUR 15 million (US$15.81m) by CCA Bank and…

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L Bank partners Adanian Labs to improve the information flow on cryptocurrency

KENYA – L Bank, a crypto trading platform and Kenyan-based AI and blockchain-powered venture incubator, Adanian Labs have entered into a partnership, in a bid to develop and nurture the future of blockchain in Africa. The partnership seeks to improve the information flow and learning around blockchain and cryptocurrency. Allen Wei, CEO of LBank said that the partnership will allow…

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South Africa’s Mama Money accelerates global expansion, appoints new CEO

SOUTH AFRICA – Mama Money, the Cape Town-based fintech, has appointed Nicolas Vonthron as CEO, as the start-up has set its sights on expanding its global footprint, which now reaches over 50 countries across Africa, Asia and Europe. In a statement, it says this year, Mama Money’s cross-border money transfer volumes more than doubled compared to the previous quarter, with the…

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KCB set open new subsidiary in Rwanda after completing the acquisition of BPR Bank

RWANDA – Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Group has announced plans to open a new subsidiary in Rwanda, seeking to double its regional business in the next two years and support economic expansion in Rwanda. The lender merged KCB Bank Rwanda with its newly acquired Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR) to form BPR Bank Rwanda Plc last month. The acquisition of…

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Insurance companies Sanlam and Allianz merge their operations in Africa

AFRICA – Non-banking financial services company, Sanlam, and leading insurers and asset managers Allianz, have signed a deal to combine their current and future operations across Africa to create a Pan-African non-banking financial services entity operating in 29 countries in the continent. The partnership aims to increase life and general insurance penetration, accelerate product innovation and drive financial inclusion in…

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