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African startups get set for 3rd OceanHub accelerator programme

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OceanHub Africa, an ocean-impact accelerator which helps existing African ocean-minded initiatives grow, is launching the third edition of its eight-month acceleration program to support up to 10 of Africa’s most promising impact for-profit startups focused on preserving and restoring the health of the ocean.

The accelerator programme, according to the Cape Town, South Africa-based firm on its website, is meant to support ocean-minded start-ups with the express aim of nurturing an environmentally conscious and profitable economy that effectively mitigates the effects of global warming as well as the overexploitation and pollution of the oceans.

Leveraging its highly qualified network of stakeholders and facilitators, the programme will deliver to the accelerated start-ups an online program that seeks out sustainable pathways yielding stable profits and avenues for scalable growth throughout Africa, it said.

The OceanHub Africa which was launched in 2020, has supported a total of 16 African ocean-minded startups in various sectors of the Blue Economy, such as aquaculture, fisheries, shipbuilding, marine renewables and biotechnologies, coastal tourism and ocean sports, awareness and education, data.exploration, and ocean plastic circular economy, according to a statement by the organisers.

Participants in the programme which will run from mid-July until the end of February 2023, are guaranteed networking with of leading ocean experts, mentors entrepreneurs, investors, innovation experts, impact experts, scientists, lawyers, as well as impact investors and potential clients.

Participation in the programme is expected to be an in-person training bootcamp in Cape Town where tailored business skills, business coaching and personal development will be the main focus for the duration of the camping.

At the end of the programme, the selected startups will take part in an OceanHub Africa’s alumni programme through which they will benefit from fundraising, business development and networking support.

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Nigerian fintech startup, CredPal, secures more funding from Cairo Angels syndicate

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A Nigerian fintech startup, CredPal, has raised funding from the Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund (CASF), a micro-venture capital fund, to expand its “buy now, pay later” incentive to customers.

Launched in 2018 by the duo of Fehintolu Olaogun and Olorunfemi Jegede, CredPal has placed itself as one of Nigeria’s most preferred consumer credit platform that gives buyers the freedom to “buy now and pay later” and helps merchants acquire more customers to increase their sales.

According to Disrupt Africa, the Google-backed CredPal has over 85,000 active customers and over 4,000 onboarded merchants, with the company announcing in March it had raised US$15 million in funding to expand its consumer credit offerings in Nigeria and to scale across Africa.

While speaking on the new funding, Olaogun said:

“This support from Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund reinforces our mission to improve the quality of life of Africans through easy access to consumer credit.

“My co-founder and I are very pleased to have them as investment partners and can’t wait for how much we’ll achieve together.”

The Cairo Angels is Egypt’s first formal network of angel investors, and since its formation has been one of the most active early-stage investors in startups and high-growth businesses in the Middle East and Africa, with 31 investee companies across 18 different sectors.

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Nigerian auto tech startup, Autochek, partners with Kenya’s Pezesha to provide asset financing to African SMEs

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Nigerian auto-tech digital solution startup, Autochek, has entered into a partnership with Kenyan fintech, Pezesha, to provide asset financing to Africa Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

According to Autochek Kenyan Country Manager, Bilhah Muriithi, the company aims to build digital solutions that will enhance and enable a seamless and safe automotive commerce experience across Africa, with the hub starting with Nigeria and Ghana.

“Autochek has been focused on financing retail customers, we are excited to partner with Pezesha whose key focus is on enabling SME lending.

“Autochek will continue to invest in the market while exploring new partnership opportunities to deliver solutions for driving positive change in the automotive industry in Kenya and beyond,” said Muriithi.

Autochek, Muriithi said, plans to use technology to transform the automotive buying and selling experience for African consumers, by creating a single marketplace for consumers’ automotive needs, from sourcing and financing to after sales support and warranties.

Having expanded to Kenya late last year, the partnership between Autochek and Pezesha will enable SMEs to acquire auto assets for ease of business operations and growth.

Pezesha was founded in 2016 and has created a holistic digital financial infrastructure that connects small and medium-sized businesses to working capital offered by banks, MFIs, and other financial institutions or networks.

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