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OceanHub Africa launches acceleration programme for ocean-minded startups in Africa

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OceanHub Africa Innovation Africa Summit  Pitch Session 2023. Photo: Moegammad T. Abrahams

OceanHub Africa, an ocean-impact catalyst that has supported 24 startups across the continent focused on various aspects of the Blue Economy since 2020, has announced the launch of its fourth acceleration program. The Pan-African accelerator is seeking ocean-minded entrepreneurs who want to advance their startups through increased exposure, access to funding opportunities, and mentoring on financial and technical aspects of their ventures. 

The acceleration program has been successful in supporting its portfolio of startups raise 3,5 million USD in 2022 and expand to other countries, growing their economic, social, and environmental impact.  One such example is Captain Fanplastic, a South African-based startup that scaled its award-winning international environmental education program, leveraging behaviour science to lead children to consume less plastic and manage it before.  Captain Fanplastic scaled its solutions in eight additional countries in Africa in 2022.  

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This year’s hybrid acceleration program is set to kick off in July and will include an in-person bootcamp in Cape Town. The program will offer training on investment readiness, access-to-market, pitching and ocean-impact measurement and management. Selected entrepreneurs will also receive tailored advice from key mentors and industry experts up until their graduation, coinciding with Ocean Innovation Africa, the accelerator’s international Summit dedicated to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in the African Ocean Space, at the end of February 2024.

Eligible startups must have a positive impact on ocean sustainability and contribute to ocean equity, operate in Africa, have a scalable service or product available on the market, and be clearly innovative and/or have a disruptive business model. Don’t miss this opportunity to join OceanHub Africa’s acceleration program and become part of a network of ocean-minded entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, and businesses who are committed to accelerating the development and adoption of new sustainable ocean solutions across Africa.Applications for the fourth cohort of OceanHub Africa’s acceleration program close on 14 May 2023. For more information and registration, visit OHA or email contact@oceanhub.africa.

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Press Release

Mastercard partners with NAPS to drive innovation across Morocco

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Mastercard and NAPS, a leading Moroccan fintech company, have initiated a collaboration to develop innovative payment solutions for individuals and businesses. The partnership consolidates the strong historical relationship between the two entities. NAPS is on a mission to expand the horizons of digital payments in Morocco. NAPS benefits from the 30+ years of expertise of M2M Group in software for electronic payments and biometric identity. As Mastercard’s partner, NAPS benefits from access to its extensive network, expertise and wide-ranging portfolio of products and services, powered by innovative and secure technologies.

In line with NAPS’s long-term strategy, the collaboration will boost the company’s innovation capabilities through Mastercard’s advanced technology and optimize time to market for its upcoming digital offerings.

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“At Mastercard, we are committed to supporting a global network of innovators with the aim of building a more accessible and sustainable digital economy. We serve as a trusted partner of pioneering fintech companies across all stages of development, helping them achieve agility and speed. We are delighted to share our technological expertise with NAPS to pursue our common objective of advancing inclusive growth,” said Mohamed Benomar, Country General Manager, MENA West, Mastercard.

“The partnership with Mastercard will reinforce our position as a market-leading fintech company and support the culture of innovation that is at the core of everything we do. By accelerating the development of digital payment solutions in Morocco, it will also contribute to cementing the country’s status as a premier fintech hub in the Arab world,” said Hassan Ghellab, CEO, NAPS.

NAPS and Mastercard aim to create new ecosystems of digital services in Morocco to unlock the full potential of digital payments and provide users with an enhanced experience through innovative services in order to promote financial inclusion. These digital ecosystems will enable the development of high-value applications and explore new service opportunities, contributing to innovation and the digital transformation of the sector.

The CGAP report Fintechs Across the Arab World, issued in December 2020, highlighted Morocco as the third-largest fintech hub among the 22 member countries of the Arab League. High mobile coverage, a large unbanked population, an abundant supply of talent, infrastructure upgrades and government initiatives encouraging the uptake of digital financial services, coupled with enabling regulations, are among the key drivers of growth in this space.

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MoCaFi, founded by Nigerian Wole Coaxum, raises $23.5M funding to end racial wealth inequality

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MoCaFi Founder and CEO, Wole Coaxum (Image: Wole Coaxum)

Mobility Capital Finance, Inc. (“MoCaFi”), a turnkey fintech platform leading financial empowerment for traditionally underserved communities, announces $23.5M in Series-B financing, led by Commerce Ventures. MoCaFi provides Financial Services as Infrastructure™ to various levels of government to improve the efficiency of providing financial and other resources to underserved communities across the country.  The company’s mission is to help excluded communities create wealth through better access to public, private, and social capital. 

Founded in 2016 by Wole Coaxum, a Black former Wall Street Executive who was inspired by the 2014 murder of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, to address stark social inequities by closing the racial wealth gap. MoCaFi advances a vision of socioeconomic justice by creating pathways to financial empowerment for millions of unbanked or underbanked Americans. With over $100 million of financial resources disbursed to underserved communities across 15 cities and counties across the country, MoCaFi is utilizing its capital to fulfill that vision and scale. 

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“Commerce Ventures has been unbelievably impressed by MoCaFi’s passion for helping underserved communities access high-quality, affordable financial services,” said Dan Rosen, Founding Partner and Head of Fintech Investments at Commerce Ventures. “MoCaFi’s scalable payments platform enables government agencies (Federal, State and Local) to disburse benefits directly to vulnerable populations in some of the country’s largest municipalities, including Los Angeles, CA, St. Louis, MO and Birmingham, AL. We’re excited to see the company deliver similar value to the next dozen municipality clients while also enabling the under-banked to get access to digital banking services and pathways to accessing credit and building wealth.”  

“We are pleased to be joined by new investment partners with such valuable expertise. MoCaFi has established unique government partnerships that are capable of creating dramatic impact at scale, for millions of Americans currently unable to access quality financial services and benefits.”, said Tom Hutton, lead Series A Investor and investor in the Series B round, MoCaFi Board Member and accomplished Fintech venture capitalist. 

Billions of dollars in public benefits are left unspent due to various complexities and inefficiencies in disbursement methods. MoCaFi’s platform provides governments with a solution that increases adoption and delivers benefits efficiently while reducing fraud. 

“MoCaFi has been the perfect partner for the City of Birmingham. Over the last three years, we have delivered almost $20 million in emergency assistance to thousands of families – keeping them in their homes and keeping the lights on, and we couldn’t have done it without MoCaFi. More than just a payment processor- the MoCaFi team has been a fully engaged thought partner from conception through execution. We are incredibly appreciative of their support and hope to work with them again soon!” said Kelvin Datcher, Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Birmingham.  

“We are excited to welcome the new investors to the MoCaFi mission, and appreciate the support of our existing investors, many of whom continue to show their trust by participating in the latest round . This Series B round allows MoCaFi to scale quickly and validates our unique business proposition. With this capital and more importantly, support from these terrific strategic investors, we can continue to innovate and bring our products and services to more municipalities, government entities and community partners – ultimately helping more people.” said Wole Coaxum, MoCaFi CEO & Founder. 

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Dawi Clinics raises EGP 250 million to fund its expansion in Egypt

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Dawi Clinics, the largest chain of outpatient care in Egypt, has raised EGP 250 million to fund the growth of its chain of clinics across the Egyptian market by opening 30 new branches. The investment round is led by Al Ahly Capital Holding (ACH), the local investment arm of the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) with a co-investment by the Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund (EAEF),  a US Congressionally-supported investment fund, and already invested in Dawi.

Dawi Clinics, which is currently operating 20 branches across 10 governorates, offers coordinated family care provided by more than 260 doctors across multiple specialties. In 2022, Dawi offered its services to more than 120 thousand patients across the country. The Clinics’ unique operating model delivers better health outcomes by handpicking physicians and enabling them to work in a coordinated manner through a cloud-based medical electronic record platform that keeps all patient medical data on file.

 “We are pleased to partner with the founders of Dawi, a company which has impressively grown over the past years with strong and dynamic management. We believe that this investment complements and fits well with the mission statement and growth strategy of our healthcare platform, providing high quality affordable healthcare services across the country. We look forward to continuing to expand in Dawi and our healthcare platform hand in hand.”, commented Karim Saada, Managing Director of ACH.

On his part, EAEF’s chairman James Harmin noted: “We are excited to support Dawi Clinics in its next stage of growth. Founded and led by two prominent women entrepreneurs, Dawi is revolutionizing Egypt’s healthcare market by offering consumers a comprehensive offering of health services through its primary care clinics. We look forward to supporting Dawi in the years ahead as it delivers on its mission to provide quality, affordable healthcare to consumers across Egypt”

“Securing new investments amid ongoing local and global economic challenges is a testimony to the value inherent in the Egyptian market, particularly in the healthcare sector and more specifically in the ability of Dawi Clinics to unlock this value and deliver superior returns”, said Magda Habib, Co-founder and CEO of Dawi Clinics.

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She added: “Our proven and unique operating model across 20 successful branches is the reason that these investors have put their trust, and their money, in Dawi Clinics”.

“Our doctors are our key asset. We are proud of our high caliber, empathetic, young, and educated team of doctors. We have high trust in the superior caliber of Egyptian physicians graduated and trained in Egyptian medical institutions When supported by a solid institution that operates within a structured framework, they can deliver superior care and better outcomes for each of our patients” said Mairose Doss, co-founder and COO at Dawi Clinics.

ACH was represented in the investment round by MHR & Partners in association with White&Case. EAEF was represented by Nour & Partners in association with Al Tamimi & Company. Dawi was represented by Ibrachy Legal Consultancy (I&P)

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