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International energy firms, partner to develop 1.7MW solar project in Benin Republic

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Two international energy outfits, NEoT Offgrid Africa and Paris-based asset manager Meridiam have revealed plans to develop a 1.7 megawatt (MW) solar power project in Benin Republic.

The two is a mini-grid project to provide electricity in 12 rural localities, including 3 MWh of battery capacity that will supply more than 5,000 homes and businesses with electricity, and that should be completed within a year.

 According to a statement by the companies, the project represents an investment of 8.5 million euros ($8.79 million), co-financed by NEoT Offgrid Africa, as a financial partner, and funds from the U.S. government’s main development fund, Millennium Challenge Corporation.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Africa has 60% of the world’s best solar resources, but only 1% of solar generation capacity. To achieve its energy and climate goals, Africa needs $190 billion of investment a year between 2026 to 2030, with two-thirds of this going to clean energy,

The project will be a pilot for regulated off-grid electrification in Benin, part of a region that historically has failed to capture its huge renewable resources because of inadequate investment.

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South African venture capital firm, 4Di Capital, announces new $25 million seed funding

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South African early-stage venture capital fund firm, 4Di Capital, has announced a new $25 million seed funding few months after the company raised $8 million funds from the South African SME Fund.

Founded in 2009, 4Di Capital principal partner, Justin Stanford, said the outfit has since then played a key role in uplifting startups across different parts of the continent with the startups reaping from its hands-on experience and approach in growing and scaling new businesses in Africa.

“Having spent the past 13 years refining our investment strategy and expanding our footprint past South Africa into the East African market and beyond, we look forward to collaborating hand-in-hand with our new partners,” Stanford said in a statement on Wednesday while announcing the funding.

The new fund which was created in partnership with DotEXe Ventures in Mauritius, Stanford said, will help 4Di Capital invest in more viable startups in Africa.

“Unlike other markets globally which have become saturated, the African market still represents an opportunity for investors.

“The investment landscape is less competitive, resulting in more favourable valuations and terms, and thus the opportunity to potentially achieve higher returns,” Stanford added.

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Egyptian supply chain startup, OneOrder, secures $3 million funding to scale up expansion plans

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An Egyptian supply chain solutions startup, OneOrder, has successfully raised $3 million in seed to enable it achieve its aim of expanding beyond the MENA region, the company’s cofounder and CEO, Tamer Amer, announced on Tuesday.

According to Amer, the funding was led by angel investor, Nclude with participation from Delivery Hero Venture and A15.

The company which was in 2021, enables restaurants to order food supplies directly on its platform, thereby helping to tackle shortages, price fluctuations, product consistency and accurate delivery.

“As a startup, OneOrder is able to improve such efficiencies across the supply chain by using its proprietary technology, which helps ensure product availability, as well as fast and accurate fulfillment,” Amer said.

“By using the platform, restaurants can order supplies for next-day delivery, eliminating the need to pay for additional storage and warehousing costs, as well as cutting costs by leveraging OneOrder’s economies of scale,” he added.

The company has so far raised $7.5 million since its launch last year. The latest round of funding, according to Amer, will also be used to “expand the team, invest in its proprietary technology, and grow the startup’s warehouse footprint across Egypt and the MENA region.”

“As a restaurateur myself, I have witnessed first hand the avoidable overheads and hassles HoReCa businesses go through in serving their customers.

“We are delighted by the level of adoption and growth we have recorded over the past year which is a testament to the fact that we are addressing a huge unmet demand in our region,” he added.

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