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Egyptian online auto parts startup Mtor raises $2.8m funding

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Egyptian online auto parts startup, Mtor, has announced raising $2.8 million in pre-seed funding to enable it expand its product portfolio to digitise local car workshops in the country.

Co-founder and CEO of the startup, Mohamed Maged, who made the announcement, explained that with the funds which were secured from Algebra Ventures with participation from the Dutch Founders Fund (DFF), Aditum Ventures, LoftyInc Capital Management, and a number of local and global angel investors, the firm was set to expand its offering.

“With the new funds, we aim to become the most trusted partner for our mechanics by empowering them to better cater to the car owner’s needs in terms of quality parts and fast service,” Maged said.

“It can be a car owner’s nightmare to get their car serviced. Mtor was founded to fundamentally transform this reality and make the process easier and more efficient, empowering a layer of local car workshops that are well rounded with quality parts, a suitable price position, and a good customer experience.

“The local automotive aftermarket is inefficient with a fragmented and scattered supply chain. Workshops and mechanics face many challenges, including limited product availability, inaccurate fitment data, and a lack of price transparency.

“These issues inevitably trickle down to car owners, who are also faced with limited-service quality guarantees and a complex, time-consuming spare parts procurement process.

Mtor aims to overhaul this system through its controlled, tech-enabled marketplace, backed by its proprietary Mtor Mechanic app, where pricing, availability, and fitment data are reliably just a click away,” the CEO stated.

He added that the funds raised would be used to further grow Mtor’s product suite, digitise local car workshops, and eliminate major inefficiencies in the automotive spare parts supply chain in Egypt and the region.

Founded in 2022 by Maged, Moaz El-Megharbel, Mohamed Altaf, and Khaled Kandil, Mtor provides a unified platform for local car workshops and on-demand automotive spare parts at reasonable prices.

It has delivered over 70,000 orders, partnering with over 2,500 car workshops in the greater Cairo area, according to the company’s profile on its website.

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Applications open for 2024 Africa’s Business Heroes competition

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Applications are now open for the 2024 cohort of the Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Prize Competition in continuation of its sixth annual continental search for 10 entrepreneurs who strive to make a positive impact in their local communities.

Zahra Baitie, Head of Partnerships & Programs, Africa’s Business Heroes, who made the announcement, said since its inception in 2019, ABH had spotlighted and supported some of Africa’s brightest entrepreneurial minds, noting that this year’s edition would be no different.

In a statement on Monday, Baitie noted that the ABH top 10 finalists also known as “Heroes” have, over the last five years, created 123,000 direct and indirect jobs in Africa, while serving over 37.5 million customers in Africa and beyond and have raised over $153 million.

“As ABH enters its sixth year, it is calling on entrepreneurs across Africa to pitch on the biggest entrepreneurial stage in the continent,” he said.

Applications are open to entrepreneurs from all 54 countries, from all business sectors, of all ages and genders.

“Along with invaluable benefits such as training, exposure and networking opportunities, the top 10 finalists will also compete for their share of $1.5 million in grant money.

“Over the past five years, we’ve had the privilege of witnessing the incredible growth of our Heroes. Many of our Heroes have leveraged the grant funds to expand their geographic footprint, hire talent, grow their operations and invest in new products and services.

”It’s been heart-warming to see our Heroes collaborate with each other and to tap into the ABH network of judges and experts.

“We are motivated to continue to play our part in supporting the African entrepreneurial ecosystem. We are calling on all eligible African entrepreneurs who are creating positive impact to join us in this journey!”

Baitie added that applications for the ABH 2024 are open from until May 19, with the top 50 finalists to be announced in July.

The final winners will be unveiled at the Grand Finale in November, Baitie concluded.

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MainOne lands optic submarine cable in Nigeria’s Akwa Ibom State

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Data centre and connectivity solutions provider, MainOne, has landed Africa’s first ever
optic submarine cable in Nigeria’s Akwa Ibom State.

MainOne, a subsidiary of Equinix Company, announced the feat of the first and only submarine cable system in Nigeria outside of Lagos.

According to the Regional Business Head at MainOne, Abayomi Adebanjo, the collaboration between the company and the state marks a significant “milestone in enhancing broadband connectivity and driving economic development in the South-South, South-East and North-Central regions of Nigeria.”

The optic cable known as 2Africa, Adebanjo said, spans 45,000km in length and will be one of the world’s largest subsea cable projects which will interconnect Europe, Asia, and Africa, with a design capacity of up to 180Tbps.

“The significance of 2Africa lies in its capacity to address critical internet needs and enhance reliability across vast expanses of Africa,” he said.

“Furthermore, 2Africa serves as a catalyst for the advancement of 4G, 5G and fixed broadband accessibility, extending its impact to billions of people.

“With a commitment to consistently deploy financial capital and project resources towards infrastructure investments, MainOne is dedicated to improving internet capacity and driving various aspects of development, including economic growth, digital transformation, healthcare, security, agriculture, and increased state revenue in South-South Nigeria.

“Akwa Ibom’s selection as a landing site underscores its strategic importance in Nigeria’s digital transformation journey and by offering cable diversity and resiliency, 2Africa contributes significantly to the country’s digital infrastructure resilience and MainOne’s role as the landing partner solidifies this endeavour,” he stated.

He added that MainOne will facilitate the establishment of a terrestrial metro fiber network in the state and the entire South-South Nigeria, seamlessly connecting enterprises and people in the region to the submarine cable system.

“By hosting the submarine cable system landing and the fiber cable interconnection, Akwa Ibom State, the South-South Region and Nigeria will unlock numerous economic and social benefits, fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, job creation, and improved public service delivery,” Adebanjo said.

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