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Nigeria’s mobility startup, Mecho Autotech raises $2.4m for wholesale spare parts distribution



Nigeria-based mobility startup, Mecho Autotech, has announced securing $2.4m in venture funds which will see it expand its wholesale spare parts distribution business.

The startup, in a statement on Thursday, said it successfully closed the pre-Series A investment round with Global Brain Corporation leading the funding, with support from Ventures Platform, and Uncovered Fund participating in the funding.

The statement said the company would use the capital to launch a B2B distribution platform for aftermarket spare parts, which accounts for 80% of the value of Nigeria’s $8BN automotive industry.

“In our original business model, our core focus was on vehicle maintenance and repair. But we soon realized a much larger issue—there was an extreme scarcity of high-quality spare parts in the market,” Olusegun Owoade, Mecho Autotech’s CEO/Co-founder said.

He added that the funds would enable the startup to leverage its partnerships with aftermarket spare parts manufacturers in Asia, as well as Mecho’s online market space to allow spare parts vendors and workshop owners buy affordable high-quality spare parts.

“This will prevent stock-outs of high-demand spare parts like tires, suspension parts, brakes, and batteries,” he said.

“In partnership with local banks, Mecho will also offer credit up to N10 million to automotive supply chain players, including inventory financing (vendors), working capital (workshop owners), and financing for vehicle maintenance and parts procurement (corporate fleet owners).”

“Spare parts vendors face frequent stockouts and struggle to access inventory financing. In our marketplace, vendors can source inventory from leading aftermarket spare parts manufacturers and access credit.”

“By solving for spare parts stockouts, we can help solve one of the biggest problems in our industry,” Owoade added.

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New documentary showcasing stories of African women leaders released



A new documentary aimed at showcasing the stories of women entrepreneurs, industry leaders and investors working to solve real problems in African markets has been released by Women Who Build Africa (WWBA).

The documentary video which is in conjunction with skincare brand Uncover, and also has Madica as partners, showcases stories and perspectives of women entrepreneurs and investors building in African markets.

Thea Sokolowski, co-founder of and head of marketing at Stitch, who announced the release of the documentary, said it one of the first to offer a wide-ranging view of women business leaders on the continent.

The video has been released ahead of the upcoming Women Who Build Africa Assembly which will take place in September in Nairobi.

“There’s nothing more powerful than hearing the stories of women that are walking the talk and actively working to build – and support – businesses solving real problems in African markets,” she said.

“I’m excited to share just a few of these stories, and showcase the women behind them, both for the rest of the world to hear and for any women considering taking the leap to walk in their footsteps. We hope to tell even more stories like these in the future.”

Also speaking on the release, Sneha Mehta, co-founder and CEO at Uncover, said:

“We are so excited to partner with WWBA on this powerful film showcasing such incredible women builders on the continent

“At Uncover, our aim is to empower women to ‘uncover’ whoever they want to be, confidently. That is so much more than products. It is a movement to inspire women to show up unapologetically.

“By showcasing more authentic stories, our hope is to show courage, confidence, vulnerability, journeys and the power that really is revolutionary.”

The video features perspectives from women leaders across organisations, from Melanin Kapital, to Partech Africa, BuuPass, Delta40, Mosmos, Kola Market, Uncover, Greenspoon, Gobeba, EarthEnable, Earthbond, Founders Factory Africa, Madica, VunaPay, Bloom Money and many more.

The full video which was produced by Strange Creature in South Africa, is available on YouTube and will be screened ahead of the WWBA Assembly.

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World Food Programme seals deal with Equity Group for easy financing to Kenyan farmers



The World Food Programme (WFP) has signed an agreement with the Equity Group that will allow farmers in Kenya have easy access to financing.

According to the terms of the agreement, WFP country offices in the country will also link value chain actors in food and agriculture to financial literacy training and concessional financing access through Equity Bank subsidiaries.

The agreement which was signed by Dr. James Mwangi, the MD and CEO of Equity Group Holdings and WFP Executive Director, Cindy McCain, on the sidelines of the WFP Executive Board Session in Rome, is a first example of linking WFP’s deep field presence and engagement with value chain actors and financial service providers, and represents a new model of private sector engagement for development impact.

“The approach aims to support marginalized communities where traditional financing is scarce,” Mwangi said while announcing the agreement.

“Together, WFP and Equity, through the Equity Group Foundation, will provide training of value chain actors to help them to access financing, as well as providing technical assistance to ready agri-processors and agri-preneurs for impact investments offered through Equity Bank.

“The agreement is a scaling of a development collaboration between WFP and Equity BCDC in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for the project Promotion of Sustainable Food Security.

“This ambitious project, which has been operational in the DRC since 2022, aims to stimulate the development of a sustainable agro-industrial sector that contributes to economic diversification, food and nutritional security, employment, and livelihood improvements,” he stated.

Also speaking, McCain said the Equity Group developed the “Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan which is committed to growing our support of access to finance for farmers, who are also dealing with the scourge of climate change, to 30% of our loan book regionally by 2030.”

“Smallholder farmers are crucial to food production in most developing countries, providing over 70% of food calories in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

“Developing local food value chains – and supporting the ecosystem of agriculture from production to purchase – is essential for enhancing farmers’ income and livelihoods and ultimately contributing to food security not just in Africa, but globally.

“This is a powerful example of how innovative partnerships can address the root causes of hunger. By empowering farmers with the tools and resources they need to thrive, we can create a ripple effect of prosperity that strengthens long-term food security for the whole community.”

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