Cars45 CEO, Soumobroto “Sunny” Ganguly (Image source: Cars45)
Cars45 Nigeria’s leading tech-enabled automotive trading platform, Cars45, has reiterated its commitment to enabling trade within Nigeria’s automotive industry as well as defining the future of automotive trade across the country by providing consumers with a brand experience that helps them with smarter buying and selling choices.
Cars45 founded in 2016 provides an end-to-end digitized customer journey for buying and selling cars for individuals and corporate organizations with a desire to help them get the most value from any automotive transaction.
At an interactive session in Lagos, Chief Executive Officer, Cars45, Soumobroto “Sunny” Ganguly stated that meeting the needs and expectations of its customers and stakeholders will remain a major imperative even as the company intensifies efforts at solving the challenges across the automotive value chain from new, to used, logistics, aftermarket and repair services and scrap vehicles while the business continues to grow on the back of innovation and technology.
“Cars45 has moved into over twelve cities across Nigeria and two others in Africa, we have a growing franchise dealer network coupled with our Autopreneur support system that has empowered so many young people financially, and our marketplace has exceeded expectations in facilitating consumer-to-consumer vehicle trades and making the car ownership dreams of lots of people come true. We are confident in our ability to deliver and the strength of our mission to enable automotive trade across the continent.”
On the recent management changes, the CEO noted that Frontier Car Group (FCG) which had invested in Cars45 Series A fund raise in May 2017 was acquired by OLX Group in November 2019 to demonstrate their ambition to lead the online market for used cars. Cars45 has now been fully integrated as a proud member of the OLX Autos family.
Cars45 announced some products offerings that include: GoMechanic45, an aftermarket service aimed at providing quality and affordable car repair services for consumers and corporates, deepening the culture of preventive maintenance and scheduled servicing in a manner that helps them to maximize the lifetime value of their vehicles.
Institutional and Corporate Sales will cater to corporate and government institutions by solving issues around fleet liquidation and valuation as well as supply while adding value to their automotive needs and unlocking new levers of growth and productivity.
International Trade services christened as EasyShipDirect is an end-to-end importation service that will facilitate the acquisition of clean titled cars into the country, help the government realize revenue via the payment of import duties and
Lastly, Cars45 has partnered financial institutions – fintechs and banks to provide vehicle financing services to both consumers and car dealers with a view to removing long-standing barriers to car ownership and help grow the pool of car owners across the country.
The company also noted that its expansion into Kenya and Ghana is growing while strengthening its partnerships with car manufacturers and OEMs that include KIA, Kewalram Nigeria and CFAO with a view to facilitating new car sales and ownership.
Also speaking during the briefing, Head, Marketing and Communications, Shola Adekoya reiterated the company’s commitment to driving the growth of the automotive sector in Nigeria and ensuring that car-buying and ownership becomes a seamless, safe and secure experience for consumers. “We take our responsibility of providing quality service offerings underpinned by transparency and integrity very seriously. It is incumbent upon us to develop value-based products that will enhance value creation for the Nigerian used cars marketplace.”
Head, Lead Management & Marketplace; Patricia Duru noted that Cars45 has prioritized the delivery of a transformative customer experience for all stakeholders even as its marketplace provides value and variety for consumers.
The event had in attendance senior management executives from Cars45 that include: Head, Finance, Elizabeth Iyi-Eweka; Head, Technical Operations, Pankaj Bohra and Head, People Operations and Central Support Services, Olajumoke Obembe amongst others.
Issued by Cars45
Legacy Global Summit 2020: Positioning Africa for profitable partnerships
The premiere edition of the Legacy Global Summit organised by Legacy Premier Foundation held on the 5th and 6th of November 2020. The virtual event hosted business leaders, investors, educators and distinguished men and women from different sectors and works of life as they shared practical insights on several topics.
The conference, through panel discussions and plenary sessions, focused on nurturing and strengthening long term business relationships between US and Africa, opening up channels of sustainable business opportunities, supporting growing African businesses, fostering mutual business interests, and building a formidable ecosystem of trade and investment, that will enhance ease of doing business between the United States and Africa.
Day 1, Thursday 5th Nov. 2020
The event kicked off with the opening remark by Dr. Remi Duyile, Founder of the Legacy Premier Foundation and the convener of the conference. She stated the importance of intergenerational collaboration and partnership and how the future of Africa must be preserved. She spoke about her faith in the future of Africa and highlighted the possibilities of greater outcomes as regards to trade and investment in Africa.
Special remarks to the six continent participants was followed by John C. Wobensmith, Secretary of State of Maryland , USA
The opening remark was followed with a brief orientation of the virtual teleconferencing platform by Dr Wendy Brisley Executive Director of M3Linked , and a SUPER networking session by Dr. Richard Kaye from CEO space International.
Brian Castleberry, the Regional Manager – Middle East, Africa & India Office of International Investment and Trade moderated the first panel session titled “Doing Business In The UAE” which had business personalities from Dubai – Sheikha Abdulla AlNuaimi, Executive Director of Marketing and Sales Ajman Free Trade Zone UAE and Arshi Zaveri, CEO TrustwithTrade Group as panelists.
They highlighted the possibilities of doing business in the UAE and also mentioned that there are no barriers to foreign investments from diverse sectors. Sheikha Abdulla AlNuaimi pointed out that the creation of the free trade zone has become one of the biggest drivers for business growth in the UAE. In response to the question of gender inclusion in the business community of the UAE, Arshi Zaveri stated that the leadership of the UAE has ensured that women-owned businesses are supported and women are welcomed even in executive positions.
The second panel session ‘Access to capital’ was moderated by Jeannine Scott, the Founder and Principal of America to Africa Consulting, LLC (A2A). The panelists were: Alan Beard, Roshanda Johnson – Business Development Specialist US International Development Finance Corporation Brian Castleberry, Nicole Woods – Business Development Expert Export-Import Bank of the United States and Femi Akinrebiyo – Global Manager, Upstream manufacturing Agribusiness and services IFC
The discussion was centered around the issues faced by SMEs as regards getting capital for their business or projects.The essence of capacity building for business owners was also discussed in order for businesses to measure up to the requirements of financing institutions.
One of the panelists, Alan Beard, from Interlinks spoke about how important it is for business owners to have high quality financial statements before seeking capital.
Femi Akinrebiyo, global manager IFC enjoined entrepreneurs to know where to go in order to get capital or funds. He mentioned that every financial Institution has specifics, as regards what kind of idea or project they invest in.
Nicole Woods, a business development expert spoke about the role relationships and partnerships play in giving entrepreneurs access to real opportunities. She advised business owners to have a good plan and strategy before meeting with any investor or financial institution.
Rashanda Johnson from DFC stated the willingness of the dfc towards entrepreneurs to scale their business or project.
Jeannine Scott concluded by saying that the ability to be flexible and to move quickly is very important for business success.
The third panel, titled ‘Doing Business in Africa’ was moderated by the Chief Commercial Officer of Mixta Africa, Rolake Akinugbe-Filani. The panelists included: Dipo Adesina, Dr. Olawanle Akinboboye, Esther Dassanou, Hon. Idris Mohammad, and Gregory Simpkins.
The discussion centered on the importance of good government policies and how it affects the flow of business transactions. Each speaker shared their thoughts on the question asked – ‘Is Africa still a choice destination for doing business?’
Esther Dassanou highlighted the fact that Africa has the largest percentage of women entrepreneurs and business owners and she believes Africa is still a choice destination for doing business with opportunities, waiting to be explored.
Dipo Adesina, a serial entrepreneur envisaged the population strength of Africa (which is 1.2 billion people) as a pointer that Africa is still a choice destination for business. He also mentioned that entrepreneurs must continue to look at which continent is constantly growing in population so as to understand where to invest.
Dr. Akinboboye, a business leader in the tourism industry took a step by step approach to highlight the fact that Africa has a 30.2 million square kilometer area with a population of 1.2 billion people.He made his point clear that with all Africa has, Africa is still a choice destination for doing business.
Gregory Simpkins also shared insights on the goal of AGOA to increase Intra-Africa trade, and connect business people together. He mentioned that one of the benefits was the creation of scale.
In between the panelists were standalone global impact thought leaders and influencers such as Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quao , Max Sutherland and Delegate Darryl Barnes who spoke and moved people to action.
The “Public-private-partnership: A Fundamental Key To Developmental Growth” panel session engaged participants and co-speakers on the wide range of discussions, from international public-private partnerships to foreign investments in the African continent. Moderated by Shavon Smith, Principal, the SJS Law Firm, the session was an eye-opener to foreign partnerships and global business opportunities available for African business owners, as well as possible limitations. The panelist drove their points home by highlighting a few key factors influencing the Public-private-partnership ecosystem globally, amongst which are local and international policies, leadership, market accessibility, local talent and public perception.
Special remarks were also made by the State Attorney for Prince George’s County, Aisha N. Braveboy, the U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 4th Congressional District, Congressman Anthony Brown and Honorable Darryl Barnes, the Representative of the 25th Legislative District in the Maryland House of Delegates.
Friday, 6th November 2020
The second day of the event kicked off with a presentation on ‘Sustainable Ecosystem for African businesses’ by Guest Speaker Otunba Bimbola Ashiru, former Commissioner of Commerce and Industry and Director of O’DUA Investment Company Limited
He highlighted the potentials of the African market and laid emphasis on the fact that Africa is recognized as the next business hub waiting to be harnessed. “A bright light shines on the African tech ecosystem” said Otunba Bimbola.
The event continued with a Guest session anchored by as Dr Menna Demessie who spoke on the topic “Leveraging Policy and Policymakers for International Trade Relations”. Dr Menna extensively impressed the need for business owners, particularly the locals to get accustomed to the policies and laws – local, state, federal and international – that would help facilitate ease of doing business.
Hon. Aisha Braveboy
Honorable Aisha Braveboy, earlier in the event, gave a special remark acknowledging the great work done by Dr Remi Duyile, the convener of the program. She expressed in joy in the vision of the Summit, wholeheartedly, and appreciated the Speakers and participants who availed themselves on that day. Honorable Aisha also anchored the graduation ceremony of the HERISE Global Internship program.
The first panel for the day came up shortly after Dr Menna’s session. Tagged “Going Global: Understanding International Trade and Development,” the session featured Global thought leaders from various works of life namely; Tisa Clark, President, J.D. Clark Professional Services, L.L.C. (JD Clark); Don Williams, President and CEO of Princeton Healthcare International; Dr Kamaladevi Baskaran, Head of Industry Relations & Faculty, Department of Management & Commerce, Amity University, Dubai; Denise Cortês-Keyser, Entrepreneur, Motivational speaker, Finance and Investments Adviser Founder, DCK GLOBAL. Dr Kavita Kapur, an Assistant Professor at the College of Business, Bowie State University moderated the session.
The panel discussions was deeply engaging, as conversations centered on cross-disciplinary collaborations and partnerships, exploring global talent exchange, international trade processes and attracting the right investments/investors.
Mrs Toyin Sanni, CEO, Emerging Africa Capital spoke on the “Women Empowerment through Trade and Investment” She approached the topic keenly from her experience as a Financial Markets Expert and Gender Leader. Mrs Toyin, during her session, highlighted the importance of creating opportunities for women, as they are responsible to many grass root business establishments on the African continent. She went further to propose key solutions that could help promote gender empowerment and parity across the continent. Education, easy access to funding, and promotion of gender equality were some of the key solutions she mentioned, with the promotion of gender equality on the very top of that list.
Afterwards, Denise Cortês-Keyser gave an expose on The African Union’s African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) uncovering key details on the scope of the agreement. She touched on historical data, the vision of the trade agreement which is to allow free access to commodities, goods, and services across the continent; and the current number of countries who have both signed and approved ratification of the AfCFTA Agreement – which currently stands at 30 countries, as at the time of her session. Denise stated 2 major issues posing as bulwarks to the AFCFTA. Issues such as unified trade policies and markets, cultural gaps, and manufacturing pose a great challenge to the implementation of the agreement. She further suggested seven namely: trade finance, trade facilitation, and trade policy, trade related infrastructure, trade information, productive capacities, and a factor market integration.
Victory Oluwasegun, CIO of Jamborow and COO/Co-founder of SpringPort Technologies moderated the next panel session ‘Generational Bridge-Building for Emerging Leaders and Entrepreneurs’ with panel members: Josephine Agbeko, Dayo Israel and Lara Abiona.
They addressed critical issues that stand as barriers between different generations. They highlighted the fact that all generations have something to offer and more would be achieved if each generation can leverage their strengths, and collaborate instead of compete.
In response to a question on the challenges of intergenerational gap, Josephine Agbeko described the younger generation as a set of people who will always ask “why” and sometimes such characteristics might be in contrast with the perception and attitude of the older generation and vice versa. She affirmed the importance of collaboration between generations. Lara Abiona also affirmed that the younger generation are willing to provide answers for their future. Victory Oluwasegun chimed in with the phrase ‘In the long run it’s not what we do that matters but why’.
The ‘Diplomatic Round table session’ followed immediately, anchored by Dr. Lawrence Mcneil the Dean of Bowie University. The panel members were Lawrence Manzi, Amb. Pradeep K Kapur, and Kayode Alabi.
Amb. Kapur, while speaking on trade and investment stated the impact Africans in Diaspora can have on Africa if they decide to build and invest in Africa. He acknowledged the achievements of Africans in Diaspora in different sectors and suggested that it’s important that Africans in Diaspora begin to create a legacy in Africa as their heritage.
Also Mr. Lawrence Manzi highlighted 3 pillars responsible for the growth of Rwanda – Unity as a people, Accountability and thinking big.
Mr. Kayode talked about the efforts made by the Kwara State Government in Nigeria as regards trade and investment in different sectors
The last panel session was titled ‘Entertainment: Tool for Nation Building’. The session was moderated by Kemi Ajumobi with Rozina Negusei and Audi Maikori as panelists
During the session the successes and achievements of the entertainment industry in Africa and the global impact was highlighted.
Audu Maikori talked about how African content enjoys more streaming and downloads from international audiences.
Rozina Negusei also mentioned that African entertainment is now the best next thing after playing soccer drawing the attention of music lovers worldwide.
The two-day event ended with an Award session, launch of the ‘Legacy Colossus Coaching for women and also the ‘Legacy Global Network’ – a platform to connect global entrepreneurs and business leaders that will serve as an engine of growth for emerging leaders.
The summit will ultimately impact business interactions between nations, creating a bridge for investors and entrepreneurs to meet and create innovative value. The 2021 edition is scheduled to hold in the UAE.
Eksab Raises $500,000 Investment for its Daily Fantasy Sports Platform
Eksab co-founder and CEO, Aly
Mahmoud (Source: Eksab)
Cairo, Egypt: Eksab, the leading Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) platform in the Middle East and
Africa, announced an investment of USD $500,000 from 4DX Ventures as well as other
strategic investors within the international sports and entertainment ecosystem.
“Daily Fantasy Sports and monetized competitions are a multi-billion dollar a year industry in the US,” said Co-Founder and CEO Aly Mahmoud. “Our goal is to become the premier sports entertainment company in the MEA region by offering exciting Fantasy Sports competitions as well as highly engaging local sports content.”
With over 1 billion football fans across the Middle East and Africa, Eksab’s goal is to make every match more exciting. Users sign up to the platform at www.yallaeksab.com, join both
free and paid competitions, make predictions on live international football games, collect
points based on the accuracy of their predictions and then get rewarded with prizes or cash. “We’re bringing the FanDuel and DraftKings model to the world’s largest football market,” continued Aly Mahmoud.
With the investment from 4DX Ventures, Eksab plans to scale its product to the millions of football fans in the region with the goal of launching its first paid competitions over the next year. Peter Orth, Partner at 4DX shared – “We see the region as one of the most exciting and underserved markets for a sports entertainment platform. We’ve been really impressed with Aly’s vision for a next generation and technology driven platform that is also highly tailored to local fans and their preferences. We’re excited to be on this journey with Aly and the rest of the Eksab team.”
“Our ultimate goal is to provide an unmatched daily source of entertainment, engagement
and content for the region’s football fans” highlighted Aly Mahmoud.
“There has never been a more exciting time to be a football fan in the Middle East and Africa. Over the next year, we plan to work with a select group of partners to make the experience even more immersive. We’re excited to have 4DX with us on this journey.”, added Aly
Issued by Eksab
Wuilt raises $535,000 seed round for it’s Arabic-Supported E-Commerce Platform
Wuilt Team (Source: Wuilt)
Wuilt, a SaaS Arabic website builder where users can create their own professional websites in 5 minutes, has successfully raised a seed round worth $535,000. The investment round included the participation of a UK-based MENA Technology Fund, DAAL VC, prominent angel investors in the MENA and a follow-on funding from Flat6Labs Cairo. The new capital will be deployed to deepen its capabilities and expand its footprints in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Since its launch in 2019, Wuilt has been working to provide new and existing customers and businesses across the MENA region with easy-to-use and affordable options for launching and scaling their digital presence especially in the field of Arabic e-commerce. The company currently serves 30,000+ users in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Co-founded by Ahmed Rostom, Mohamed Hegazy and Mahmoud Metwaly, Wuilt’s website building platform was curated to have all the necessary tools and components of a professional website at one’s fingertips. Enabling even those with little knowledge of website building to easily create and manage their Arabic website.
“We came across many friends and businesses struggle to get a professional website designed to their style and design especially in Arabic. This highly motivated us as a team to bridge this gap by providing a solution and hence Wuilt was created and launched,” said Ahmed Rostom, CEO of Wuilt. Today, Wuilt’s all-in-one Arabic platform offers a range of features to fit businesses of all sizes and across all industries. Wuilt takes the hassle out of web designing and saves you time. In minutes, your business can have a sleek, and professional website.”
With the emergence and continuous spread of the pandemic, many businesses were forced to shift their operations online in order to stay active. Some of them had to either pay huge amounts to web development agencies, or had to collaborate with freelancers who may or may have not been up to the task.
“We are delighted to have leading investors believe in our business model and provide the necessary advice and support to progress our growth potentials. We look forward to working closely with them and successfully achieve our short term and long-term objectives,” said Ahmed.
“We witnessed a spike in the number of users and have seen a continuous increase in the number of users intending to shift their operations online since the onset of Covid-19. Our strategy is to provide the best solutions for all businesses in any sector, particularly, extending our platform to entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and small businesses,” continued Ahmed.
In addition to launching its e-commerce platform, Wuilt is planning to deploy some of its new funding to expand its presence in Saudi Arabia, which comprises nearly 30% of its customer base.
Wuilt joined Flat6labs’ Cairo accelerator in 2019 where they received huge support and ended the cycle by doubling their customer base. “Flat6labs has been a true partner to Wuilt,” Ahmed added. Wuilt has also been part of the MISK500 Accelerator, an accelerator powered by 500 Startups, in February 2020.
“Flat6Labs has been a true believer in Wuilt since they first pitched their business, and we’ve been lucky to partner with them early-on. The promising traction to date, the huge market opportunity in the MENA region and the amazing team behind Wuilt, were true assurances for us to increase our exposure to Wuilt in their second round. We wish the team all the best and look forward to continuing to support the business till it reaches its true potential”, said Marie-Therese Fam, Managing Partner of Flat6Labs Cairo.
“We’re really excited to be part of this journey with Ahmed, Mohammed, Mahmoud and the entire team. We believe in the early traction they’ve achieved, but more importantly the functionality and roadmap is what will make Wuilt a success in the coming period,” commented Omar Hassan, Managing Partner at MENA Tech Fund.
“OQAL Saudi Arabia has helped Wuilt a lot by connecting us to qualified and ready-to-invest angel investors,” Ahmed Rostom, CEO of Wuilt Abdulrahman Alqahtani, CEO of DAAL VC, said: “Innovative startups equipped with the right team who are focused on excelling in their journey are part of the qualities we at DAAL look for in our investments. In Wuilt we found it all. Enabling SMEs by providing them with state-of-the-art technology to create their business’ digital frontier is not an easy task. The market that Wuilt is serving is considered to be the future of most of our regional economies. With robust solutions and scalable technology, we believe Wuilt will become a great success story in the near future.”
To cope with today’s fast-paced environment, Wuilt’s automatic platform generates fully functioning professional websites for businesses and individuals almost instantly. Users can choose between different pre-designed section blocks, create a multilingual website with just the click of a button, build a beautiful website that’s free of technical and design errors, select from different style combinations and diverse section designs that are tailored to fit any field, with dozens of customizable color palettes, and multiple font combinations to build a clean polished layout that guarantees a vibrant professional website.
Issued by Wuilt