OceanHub Africa Team (L-R) Herland Cerveaux, Alexis Grosskopf and Sabrina Long (Images: Supplied)
OceanHub Africa is organising its 3rd acceleration program, set to run from mid-July until the end of February 2023. OHA’s Acceleration Program aims to support ocean-impact ventures by accelerating their exposure, innovation and financial capacities.
Since its launch in 2020, the Cape Town-based accelerator has supported a total of 16 African ocean-minded startups in various sectors of the Blue Economy (aquaculture, fisheries, shipbuilding, marine renewables/biotechnologies, coastal tourism/ocean sports, awareness/education, data.exploration, ocean plastic circular economy). The business accelerator has supported them to raise 5.4+M USD in total.
This edition of the Pan-African acceleration program will be a hybrid event. OceanHub Africa’s program will start in mid-July and will include an in-person bootcamp in Cape Town. Which will cover training sessions on access-to-market, investment readiness in the impact space as well as feedback sessions on your pitch. At the end of February 2023, the accelerator will organize the 4th edition of Ocean Innovation Africa. Its international Summit dedicated to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in the African Ocean Space.
During this event, the startups selected for the acceleration program will have the opportunity to showcase their innovation, pitch their business and network with potential investors, policy makers and corporates involved in the ocean innovation space. Following the end of the program, the selected candidates will take part in OceanHub Africa’s alumni program. Through which they will benefit from fundraising, business development and networking support.
- Your start-up is ocean-minded: it has a direct or indirect positive impact on the oceans (addressing climate change, pollution or overexploitation of the ocean) and promotes ocean equity.
- You are a for-profit and operate in Africa.
- You have a scalable service or product available on the market or soon to be available on the market.
- Your product or service is clearly innovative and/or your business model is disruptive.
- You are looking for investments or new markets.
More information and registration HERE.
Startups from past cohorts:
INSECO (South Africa)
Founded in 2016, INSECO farms insects and turns them into a high-protein powder for fish farming purposes. Its solution allows to prevent overfishing of bait fish which, although commonly used to produce fish meal in the aquaculture sector, are essential to the marine food chain. Since graduating from OHA’s first cohort, the start-up has successfully closed a pre-seed fundraising of 1,5M USD, one of the largest ever raised in South African history. The impact venture has also developed new applications to its products in sectors such as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
Soso Care (Nigeria)
Soso Care is a social for-profit business which proposes a Waste-To-Health service. The startup allows people in underserved communities in Nigeria to redeem plastic recyclables to finance their yearly health cover, contributing to solving Nigeria’s plastic pollution and access to health challenges. After taking part in OHA’s acceleration program in 2022 with a focus on investment-readiness, the social-impact venture has been selected as one of the 9 startups to receive funding from the Global System for Mobile Communications. Soso Care is now focusing on scaling its social innovations across Nigeria before expanding to other African countries.
Plant Biodefenders Ltd (Tanzania)
Plant Biodefenders Ltd has developed a climate resilient and organic pesticides proven more efficient than harmful pesticides against two of the main invasive pests affecting crops in Sub Saharan Africa. Named Vuruga (meaning ‘disruptive’ in Kiswahili), the patented biopesticide can not only contribute to food security and increase revenues for small scale farmers. But it can also help regenerate coastal and marine ecosystems by resorbing spillage of chemicals into the Ocean. After working on refining their revenue model to pivot from a B2C to a B2B model, the biotech startup is gaining more and more traction with small farmers cooperatives across Tanzania and has started to export to Kenya. Its next focus will be to raise funding to increase their production capacity.
B.TECH, Fawry expand Partnership to avail easier access to finance for Customers
Mastercard and OPay strategic partnership to grow cashless ecosystem and advance digital financial inclusion for millions
Mastercard and fintech giant OPay today announced a strategic partnership, which marks a significant boost for wider financial inclusion and economic prosperity by opening up digital commerce to millions of people across the Middle East and Africa. The collaboration enables OPay consumers and merchants in the region – including Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa and the UAE – to engage with brands and businesses anywhere across the globe, thanks to a Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to the OPay eWallet.
This partnership is the latest milestone in Mastercard’s emerging market strategy where the technology company is collaborating with growing Fintech’s such as OPay to expand access to digital payments, enable multiple lifestyle services, create new pathways to financial inclusion and support the next generation of super-apps. Consumers are increasingly looking for seamless user experiences on a single platform offering easier interactions to complete various day-to-day needs, including sending and receiving money, ordering food and groceries, organizing transport, lending, investing and listing items they wish to sell.
In the initial phase of this partnership, OPay customers will benefit from the Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to their OPay wallets, to shop at well-known global brands for leisure, travel, accommodation, entertainment, streaming services and more. The service is available regardless of whether or not the customer has a bank account. It also allows small business owners to purchase from suppliers abroad and pay with the secure virtual payment solution.
Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President for Market Development, Mastercard EMEA, said: “At Mastercard, our innovation strategy is rooted in partnerships to support inclusion at scale. Our partnership with OPay demonstrates our commitment to supporting payments providers across the world to create an interconnected global payments ecosystem that benefits an array of consumers with unique needs.”
Yahui Zhou, CEO of OPay, said: “As the leading fintech in the Middle East and Africa, we are delighted to be partnering with Mastercard as we continue on our journey to promote financial inclusion, helping to open up the global economy to more consumers and businesses across Middle East and Africa.”
Since its operations started in 2018, OPay’s active users have grown to 15 million in dozens of markets in which it operates. The company processes millions of transactions per day on average. In Nigeria alone, where OPay takes significant market share, users have saved billions of US dollars in the last four years through credit-linked savings accounts from their mobile wallets and small loans from lenders that use its platform.
Plans are in place to launch OPay services in other markets in the next three to five years, significantly driving the growth of digital inclusion and digital commerce, while at the same time widening OPay customer inclusion into the global economy. Mastercard has made a worldwide commitment to financial inclusion, pledging to bring 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses – with a focus on 25 million women entrepreneurs – into the digital economy by 2025.
Autochek acquires Morocco’s KIFAL Auto to drive North Africa expansion
Autochek, the automotive technology company making car ownership more accessible and affordable across Africa, has announced the acquisition of KIFAL Auto, Morocco’s leading automotive technology startup, to drive its expansion into North Africa. This acquisition represents the first major expansion of a West Africa-based startup into North Africa and it will facilitate effective Pan-African collaboration to drive innovation across the continent’s growing automotive market.
KIFAL Auto was founded by Nizar Abdallaoui Maane (Essec Paris graduate and former BNP Paribas consultant) in 2019 to transform the automotive experience in Morocco by providing a seamless process for buying and selling used cars, and enabling access to financing, warranties, insurance and other value-added services. The startup was the first to be accepted into the inaugural cohort of CDG Invest’s 212 Founders accelerator programme, which aims to fund and support world-class startups linked to Morocco and Africa.
Morocco is one of the most developed automotive markets in Africa, with more than 180,000 new cars and around 560,000 used cars sold annually. As a result of various policy developments and investments in infrastructure, Morocco’s automotive sector is set to grow a further $14 billion over the next five years. The country is home to an innovative technology hub, powered by a thriving startup ecosystem that delivers a wide range of solutions to support the automotive industry. Over the years, KIFAL Auto has emerged as a trusted partner for individuals and organisations in Morocco seeking to buy and sell used cars, with its transparent, secure and cost-effective processes.
With this acquisition, Autochek is uniquely positioned to tap into the innovation that underpins Morocco’s thriving automotive ecosystem, introduce its market leading solutions to alleviate various challenges across the value chain and further integrate the Pan-African automotive industry to drive shared value for consumers, manufacturers, financial institutions and other stakeholders.
Autochek is building the financial infrastructure to drive the penetration of auto financing across Africa, powered by a data analytics engine that makes it easier for financial institutions to offer credit to consumers. It has existing operations across West and East Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya and Uganda), a partner-led retail footprint in over 1,500 dealer and workshop locations, and more than 70 banking partners including Access Bank, Ecobank, UBA, Bank of Africa and NCBA Bank.
Commenting on the acquisition, Etop Ikpe, CEO and co-founder of Autochek said, “from my first interaction with Nizar and his team at KIFAL Auto, I was so impressed by their passion for delivering effective solutions and their commitment to innovation. They have built an excellent platform and we are thrilled to have them onboard at Autochek to support the work we are doing to improve the automotive finance value proposition in Africa. There are so many parallels in our individual stories and I look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship for years to come.”
Nizar Abdallaoui Maane, CEO and Founder of KIFAL Auto, said “I have long been an admirer of the work Autochek has done to enable improved experiences across Africa’s automotive value chain. There is so much we can learn from each other and I am looking forward to bringing my experience and expertise to deliver more game changing innovation in Morocco and beyond. In our Industry and especially in an African context, it makes a lot of sense to continue growing with a large player. Morocco is a gateway into North Africa and I am confident that we can unlock new value and drive further transformation across the board”.
Yassine Haddaoui, Head of CDG Invest said, “KIFAL Auto is a great example of the real change that innovation and a focus on value creation is driving across Africa today. Nizar and his team have shown a lot of passion, vision and entrepreneurial spirit to drive the success the company has seen to date and we are confident that this success will continue as they join the Autochek family.”
Nizar and the KIFAL Auto team will join Autochek and continue to explore new opportunities to deliver solutions to drive positive change in the automotive industry in Morocco and beyond.