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Nigerian maritime startup OnePort 365 secures $5m seed funding to digitise freight management across Africa

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A Nigerian maritime startup, OnePort 365, has secured a $5 million seed funding to drive end-to-end digitisation of freight management in Africa and support its expansion into new markets across the continent.

According to the CEO and founder of OnePort 365, Hio Sola-Usidame, the digital freight forwarding company makes it easier for importers and exporters to move their cargo to and from Nigeria to other parts of Africa.

“OnePort 365 has developed a freight forwarding platform that enables traders to efficiently and conveniently move cargo to, from and within Africa, providing complete transparency, visibility and control, minimizing cost inefficiencies and eliminating time and effort inefficiencies resulting from traditional supply chain management methods,” Sola-Usidame said.

“With active operations in Nigeria and Ghana, the startup is building an operating system for cross-border trade in Africa, and it has now raised a US$5 million seed round to support its efforts.

“We are super excited to have these investors onboard to support our mission to optimise cross-border trading across the continent.

“With new regulations like the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement creating the potential for a new era of trade on the continent, we want to make it easier for traders to maximise the opportunity.

“We believe managing freights should be as easy as booking a flight or ordering a ride-hailing service and we are building the operating system to make this possible,” the startup CEO said.

Takeshi Watanabe, CEO of Mobility 54 Investment SAS who facilitated the sec fund, said he was delighted to support the OnePort 365 team as it embarked on the journey of digitising the end-to-end freight management process in Africa.

“There is great potential to unlock significant commercial opportunities across the continent by addressing the longstanding challenges that have made it difficult to move freights into and around the continent, and we are confident that OnePort 365 has what it takes to succeed,” Watabnabe said.

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Kenyan music streaming platform, Mdundo, reports 290% user growth since 2020 IPO

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Foremost Kenyan music streaming platform, Mdundo, says it has recorded a whopping 290 percent user growth which has taken it to a 20 million mark since going public in 2020.

Mdundo which was launched in 2023, provides access to the continent’s hottest music to users in 15 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, with millions monthly downloads and streams via its website and app.

According to Disrupt Africa, the company got listed on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market Denmark in 2020 following an over-subscribed pre-sale period that raised $6.4 million at the time in a bid to solidify its leading position in the pan-African music market.

Since then, it has grown the number of monthly active users by 290 percent from five million to almost 20 million, with revenue growing by approximately 340 percent over the same period.

Mdundo CEO Martin Nielsen, in a statement on Thursday, said the platform is also planning to focus more deeply on the five biggest music markets in Sub-Saharan Africa which include Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana.

“Our growth strategy in the last two years has paid off with strong user growth and consistent revenue growth across our core markets. Looking forward towards 2025, we will continue focusing on aggressive growth in users and revenue but with an increased focus on driving value per user and we expect a positive EBITDA by 2025,” Nielsen said.

“Our focus will remain on user and revenue growth and we expect to grow our revenues by approximately 100 per cent from this year to the year ending June 2023,” he added.

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Nigerian fintech, Moove, secures $20 million credit from British International Investment

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Nigerian mobility fintech startup, Moove has made significant moves with its capital as it has secured a $20 million four-year structured credit.

The tech company received the credit from the British International Investment (BII), the UK government’s development finance institution.

The investment was announced at a business reception in Lagos co-hosted by the British high commissioner in Nigeria.

“BII forms an important part of the UK’s package of tools and expertise to help Nigeria build their pipeline for investment and scale up infrastructure investment, in particular to achieve clean, green growth. The launch of BII marks a continuation of this partnership, and we look forward to seeing BII’s support expand and diversify in Nigeria.”  Catriona Laing said.

BII’s Chief Executive Officer, Nick O’Donohoe, while speaking on the rationale behind the move said “in Moove, BII has a partner that aligns with our commitment to back dynamic tech-enabled businesses that can help accelerate impact in Nigeria by strengthening the country’s informal transport industry.”

“I am delighted that not only will BII’s investment help to create jobs and provide entrepreneurial self-starters with the means to own their vehicles, but Moove’s clear focus on gender diversity will foster inclusive economic opportunities for women, both within the company’s workforce and among its drivers.” O’Donohoe concluded.

Moove, according to information on its official website, was founded in response to the challenge faced by over 2 million African mobility entrepreneurs – the lack of access to vehicle financing. It was initially built to solve this problem in Lagos and has since expanded to 6 cities across Africa.

Moove raised $23 million in 2021 to scale rapidly across the continent.

The tech company is raising its revenue-based financing model globally to serve the millions of mobility entrepreneurs in emerging markets around the world who have limited or no access to a vehicle or vehicle financing.

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