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Sprints Raises $1.2 Million Seed Round to Scale Its Tech Skills Learning Programs Across MEA

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Sprints, a Cairo-based EdTech startup successfully raised $1.2 million in seed round. The funding round was led by Alexandria Angels Network as well as participating members of MED Angels and other investors: AUC Angels, Cubit Ventures,Challenge Fund, EdVentures, Falak Startups, Cairo Angels

Sprints is the first end-to-end solution to bridge the tech talent gap. Starting from assessing talent pools, delivering a customized learning journey, guaranteeing a top-paying job, and supporting their alumni’s career growth. Sprints is the only EdTech startup in MEA that offers guaranteed hiring programs. Graduates only pay upon successful hiring in 0% interest payments over 3 years. 

Co-founded in 2019 by Ayman Bazaraa and Bassam Sharkawy, Sprints targets youth in the age range of 18-35 years who want to start or advance their software career in MEA. Where the unemployment rate is 31%. Sprints delivers its programs utilizing a holistic learning approach. Which allows learners to meet role-played customers, gather design requirements, and deliver software products on a weekly basis. This learning experience simulates the real business environment and acts as a sandbox for learners to acquire both technical and business skills. Through this distinctive learning journey, Sprints is growing at an exponential rate by leading a new generation of talent to transform the tech industry in MEA. 

Ayman Bazaraa, co-founder and CEO of Sprints, mentioned: “I’m very proud to witness the growth rate and achievements of Sprints’ team over the past 2 years. Together, we succeeded in delivering 20,000 learning experiences, resulting in more than 80% employment rates. Over the upcoming 3 years, we target to revolutionize the tech sector by upskilling and employing 1 million youth”. 

“While technology has transformed most industries, it has yet to do the same in education. Before COVID-19, most startups did not look different from how they did in the previous decades. Now EdTech startups promise scalable, cost-saving, flexible and personalized learning experiences. Sprints is an eye catching example of a startup that is paving the way for the future of education and job creation in the region, and we at Alex Angels are proud to be leading the round alongside renowned investors from AUC Angels, and Cairo Angels, with participation from Cubit Ventures, EDVentures, and Falak Startups.” said Tarek Elkady, Founder & Chairman of Alex Angels & The Mediterranean Angel Investors.

 

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B.TECH, Fawry expand Partnership to avail easier access to finance for Customers

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B.TECH, Egypt’s number 1 omnichannel consumer electronics retailer, consumer financing specialist and leading purveyor and Sole Agent of Blue chip home appliances international brands, Signed today a memorandum of understanding with Fawry, the leading platform in banking technology, digital transformation, and electronic payments in Egypt, to expand the Partnership between the two companies and provide more services to their customers to avail easier access to finance. The MoU was signed by Dr Mahmoud Khattab, Chairman and Managing Director of B.TECH and Mr Ashraf Sabri, CEO of Fawry.
Commenting on the Partnership, Dr Mahmoud Khattab, Chairman and Managing Director of B.TECH, said: “We are proud to expand the partnership with Fawry, as part of our ambitious strategy to be accessible to all segments of society and provide them with technological and financial solutions, whether through our stores, which have exceeded 120 in more than 25 governorates nationwide, or through partnership and integration with companies that enjoy a wide outreach and the confidence of customers such as Fawry, to make it easier for customers to subscribe to our services such as Mini Cash, instalment payment solutions, cash vouchers, and PoS machines, in addition to other features and benefits.”
 Mr Ashraf Sabri, CEO of Fawry, said: “We are pleased to sign this partnership to offer our extensive expertise and digital solutions to serve B.TECH customers and provide many electronic collection methods simply and easily, whether through Fawry Plus branches or the FawryPay portal, which offers a variety of payment methods, including bank cards, electronic wallets, and instalments, through Fawry outlets and the MyFawry mobile application, in addition to bank channels and 250,000 points of sale.”
One of the advantages of the Partnership is the availability of FawryPay Promo Engine e-voucher exchange service that helps build an integrated points system, providing many flexible points replacement options. In addition, Fawry’s pioneering loyalty and point replacement program helps B.TECH offer promotions and incentives to its customers.
Fawry’s various payment solutions will be available within B.TECH branches, in addition to installment collection through Fawry’s machines. The Partnership will also benefit Fawry customers through B. TECH’s exclusive offers and promo codes, opening a Mini Cash account, and other benefits.
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Mastercard and OPay strategic partnership to grow cashless ecosystem and advance digital financial inclusion for millions

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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.

 

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Autochek acquires Morocco’s KIFAL Auto to drive North Africa expansion

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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.

 

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