Connect with us

E-Business

African Fintech, Agribusiness Firms Attract Interest from Investors

Published

on

African private equity and venture capital deal-making in April were dominated by investments in technology companies, particularly fintech and business-to-business platforms, together with encouraging activity in the agribusiness & food sector.

 

This according to data provided by Africa Private Equity News, an industry information service.

 

Fintech investments were mostly in mobile-enabled banking and financial services companies.

 

These include: French development-finance institution Proparco’s $3-million backing of JUMO, which helps customers to access loans and savings products in East and West Africa; and a $70-million round, led by US-based Trinity Ventures, into credit provider Branch International.

 

Digital payments network MFS Africa also raised $4.5 million in funding, led by LUN Partners Group, thereby becoming one of the first fintech players on the continent to receive funding from a China-based venture capital firm.

 

Business-to-business solutions remains an attractive theme, with TLcom Capital announcing two investments in the space – a $5-million injection in Nigeria-based mobile marketing company Terragon, and a $3.5-million Series-A round for Kenyan consumer-feedback platform mSurvey, which plans to use the capital to scale and expand into more countries.

 

Asoko Insight, a provider of data on African companies, attracted $3.6 million in additional funding from its early shareholders and some new ones, while South Africa-based Giraffe – which enables businesses to recruit high volumes of medium-skilled staff – closed a second round of investment, supported by FirstRand’s Vumela Fund, with participation from Omidyar Network, the Brozin family’s Forever Young Capital and Catapult Trust.

 

The continent’s rapidly-growing food market could be worth more than $1 trillion annually by 2030 as imports are substituted with high-value locally-produced food, according to the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.

 

With 60% of the world’s unused arable land, Africa’s potential in the broader agribusiness sector is also enormous.

 

The sector continues to attract interest from private equity firms such as DOB Equity, which last month backed Rwanda-based grain trader Sarura Commodities.

 

Furthermore, Agri-Vie and Norfund announced a $7 million co-investment in Marginpar Flower Group Holdings, which has floriculture interests in Kenya and Ethiopia.

 

In addition, South African-based The Beverage Company, in which Ethos Private Equity and Nedbank Private Equity owns a stake, signed an agreement to acquire 100% of SoftBev, the sole licensed bottler for Pepsi and its related brands in South Africa, from Bowler Metcalf and the original founders.

 

“In South Africa specifically we’re seeing agro-processing and food production becoming quite topical. If you pick the right investments here you can generate superior returns,” commented Tshego Sefolo, CEO of Agile Capital, in an exclusive interview with Africa Private Equity News.

 

When it comes to private equity exits, glass packaging manufacturer Consol, which counts the Brait Fund IV as a significant shareholder, in early April announced its intention to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), only to later withdraw its IPO plans, citing unfavourable market conditions.

 

However, private equity firm Abraaj might soon realise its investment in South Africa’s Libstar Holdings after the food and personal care manufacturer said it would list on the JSE in May.

 

Also on the exit front, Helios-backed Vivo Energy, a retailer and marketer of Shell-branded fuels and lubricants in Africa, announced that it too plans to float on the London Stock Exchange and the JSE.

 

 

 

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

E-Business

Nigeria’s Online Travel Booking Space in Search of Real Value

Published

on

Although boasting a lot of potential, Nigeria’s travel and tourism industry has remained in a state of near-misses and failed projections occasioned by the glaring gap and huge vacuum in the online travel booking space.

 

According to available statistics, the direct contribution of Travel and Tourism to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was N2,29bn, approximately 1.9% of total GDP in 2017 –  a figure that is expected to rise by 2.9% in 2018 and 4.3% per annum from 2018-2028, to N3,605.7bn, effectively representing 1.9% of total GDP in 2028.

 

On the other hand, the total contribution of Travel and Tourism to GDP was N6,205.8bn representing 5.1% of GDP in 2017 and is forecast to rise by 1.6% in 2018 and 4.8% per annum to N10,094.5bn from 2018-2018, representing 5.4% of GDP in 2028.

 

While the figures appear promising, it is worth considering where the Nigerian travel industry stands in the global scheme of things.

 

Ranked on a global list of 185 countries, Nigeria presently stands at positions 48 in total contribution and 163 in relative contribution respectively to GDP from the Travel and Tourism sector. In terms of expected real growth in the sector, Nigeria stands at a poorly 168 position and 59 in long-term growth forecast (2018-2028) in the sector.

 

Compared with global indices, Travel and Tourism represents 10.4% of global GDP while one-tenth of jobs worldwide are supported by the industry, representing 9.9% of global employment. Furthermore, one-fifth of all of all global net jobs created in the last decade have been within the Travel and Tourism sector.

 

It is an open secret that travel and tourism is an important global economic activity, with the potential to contribute significantly to a nation’s GDP.

 

Added to this is the immense employment-generation opportunity it holds when harnessed efficiently – a point aptly embellished by Gloria Guevara Manzo, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council when she enthused that “inclusive growth and ensuring a future with quality jobs are the concerns of governments everywhere. Travel & Tourism, which already supports one in every ten jobs on the planet, is a dynamic engine of employment opportunity.”

 

Here in Nigeria, the engine of economic prosperity inherent in the Travel and Tourism is yet to be unleashed, owing predominantly to the vacuum in the online travel booking space which holds the key to transforming the sector.4

 

In real terms, only a small proportion (about 13%) of Nigerian air travelers currently book travel products online – a damning statistic for a country boasting a population grossing over 190 million.

 

For the four components of the Travel and Tourism sector which include Leisure travel (inbound and domestic), Business travel, Domestic travel and Foreign travel, the outlook remains the same: total contribution of the sector to GDP is nearly three times greater than its direct contribution.

 

Aligned to this is the poor experience of most Nigerians, many of whom have expressed their dissatisfaction with the level of service in the online travel booking space, despite the existence of a glut of players. For many corporate travelers, a segment that represents the overwhelming majority of online travel service consumers, the prevailing opinion is a glaring lack of real value. Same sentiment dominates among leisure travelers – many of whom are frustrated by sub-standard service and the limited choices of packages/offers available among current players – two of the most recurring pain-points that have drained confidence among customers in the sector.

 

Considering the nexus between technology and value-offerings in the online travel booking space, there is a growing need for a strong player backed by cutting-edge technology to fill the vacuum in the sector and take the industry to the next level. Further justifying this need is the undoubted influence of a world-class online platform and innovation in service delivery which has transformed the entire value chain of an allied sector such as e-Commerce in Nigeria, as seen in the rise and dominance of strong local players such as Konga which has re-defined the scope of offerings and customer experience in the industry.

 

The global travel and tourism industry is a multi-billion-dollar establishment which relies heavily on innovative technology and world-class customer experience in delivering a wide range of value offerings to all classes of travelers.

 

Nigeria is due for this disruption which has the potential of growing the sector’s contribution to GDP. Digital innovation is the way forward.

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

E-Business

TechX Innovation Hub Unveils Office in Enugu

Published

on

Technology Extra, TechX, Innovation Hub, a global organization that is concerned with the slow adoption of technology in the developing countries especially Africa has opened office in Enugu, South Eastern part of Nigeria.

Tech X is focused on four key areas of technological advancement; Awareness, Access, Adoption and Application.

Speaking at the unveiling of the office, Tony Ojobo, founder, TechX Innovation Hub, said that a key strategy that addresses the issue of low ICT penetration is awareness.

“People need to be aware of the power of ICT to transform lives, businesses and the economy at large. The most capitalized firms in the world today are playing in the ICT space. The capacity of technology to lift peoples and nations out of poverty is phenomenal.

In recognition of these tested facts, we decided to start from the area where penetration is low and scale up to other regions in the country.

“Nigeria however, has the market, the people and local innovations that can disrupt business models around the world. We are on track to making this happen,” he stated.

According to him, “TechX shall create a platform for people with ideas to incubate, startups, business developers, coders, programmers and techies to perfect and scale up their innovations through a structured mentoring process, training and knowledge development programs.

“Our focus will encompass the following; Coding, Gaming, Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT’s) Robotics, Digital Innovations, Business Development, ICT Training, Software Development, Cyber Security, Digital Marketing etc.

“Our teeming youths can focus their creative energies more positively with a platform such as TechX Innovation Hub to give them a head-start in live. ICT has become the new oil and countries that have depended on oil as the economic main stay are beginning to embrace technology.”

“We have examples from UAE, Qatar and other countries in the Gulf region. The federal government has been making efforts towards diversification of the economy; however more still needs to be done through the encouragement of innovations, startups and SMEs.

“In realization of this need, TechX was set up to play our part towards the economic development of our people and thus contribute to poverty reduction in the region in particular and the country at large,” he said.

Ojobo noted that TechX will be collaborating with relevant Stakeholders, such as; the Media, Regulators, Hub owners, Tertiary Institutions, State Governments, Federal Government, SME’s, Multilateral Agencies, Embassies, Equipment Manufacturers, Ministries Departments and Agencies.

 

Continue Reading

E-Business

NSE Trading Platform Suffers 4 Hours Technical Glitch

Published

on

Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday encountered a technical glitch which impacted trading activities for about four hours.

 

Mr. Bola Adeeko, head of Shared Services Division, NSE, said the glitch was resolved and market transactions continued at 1:45pm.

 

Due to the lost trading time, Mr. Adeeko explained that a decision was taken to extend the trading hours on Monday to 3:30p.m, from the usual time of 2:30p.m.

 

He further confirmed that the root cause of the disruption has been fully rectified.

 

According to Mr. Adeeko, NSE has a robust business continuity framework in place with processes designed to forestall and reduce the impact of such unpredictable technical glitches when they occur.

 

“The Bourse has a solid track record of high availability and systems resilience, whilst working with some of the cutting edge technologies required to power up a modern Exchange and will continue to work to enhance this”.

 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Communication Week Media Limited.