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Nigeria’s food delivery startup Chowdeck raises $2.5m to optimise operations

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Nigeria’s on-demand food delivery startup, Chowdeck, has announced securing the sum of $2.5 million in seed funding that will enable it optimise operations and support its expansion plans into more cities across the country.

Femi Aluko, the CEO and co-founder of Chowdeck who made the announcement on Thursday, said the funds which came from investors including Y Combinator, Goodwater Capital, FounderX Ventures, Hoaq Fund, Levare Ventures, True Culture Funds and Haleakala Ventures, will will enable the startup to double down on its market leadership in the cities they are already operating in as well as lay the groundwork for further expansion into other Nigerian cities.

“We know that Nigerians love good food, and we just want to make it as easy as possible for them to access the food they desire,” Aluko said.

Chowdeck was birthed to fulfil this purpose and we are committed to delivering truly excellent experiences for our customers, vendors and riders.

“We are pleased with the success we have achieved to date and excited to have raised these funds that will enable us to replicate that success in more parts of Nigeria, and add value to our customers, vendors, and riders in as many ways as we can,” Aluko added.

Chowdeck which was launched in Lagos in October 2021, allows customers to order meals from a variety of restaurants and have them delivered to their doorstep within 30 minutes.

A participant in the Y Combinator accelerator in 2022, Chowdeck has acquired more than 500,000 users and more than 3,000 riders, serving eight Nigerian cities including Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Port-Harcourt, Ilorin, Benin City, Abeokuta and Asaba.

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Kenya’s Fidelity Shield Insurance launches digital health coverage product ‘My Afya Shield’

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Kenya’s Fidelity Shield Insurance has launched a new digital health coverage scheme known as
‘My Afya Shield’ which is designed to transform healthcare access in the country.

The new product, according to Richard Marisin, Managing Director of Fidelity Shield Insurance, is an initiative that “reinforces Fidelity’s commitment to prioritizing preventive healthcare and enhancing wellness among its members.”

Marisin noted that “My Afya Shield” offers an extensive range of benefits, including access to treatments, vaccines, counseling services, mental wellness support, rehabilitation services, and personalized wellness programs.

“Notably, it includes coverage for alcohol and drug abuse rehabilitation as a standard feature, along with regular health check-ups.

“Underwritten by Fidelity Shield Insurance, My Afya Shield is accessible through a digital platform that seamlessly connects Fidelity members with a nationwide network of healthcare providers.

“Users of My Afya Shield can initiate treatments from the user-friendly digital interface, monitor benefits and limits in real-time, and easily locate and access care at healthcare providers.

“They also have the flexibility to add family members as dependents. The platform further facilitates efficient claims processing and timely payments to healthcare providers, improving the overall healthcare experience.

“We are happy to introduce My Afya Shield as a health coverage product designed to address the evolving needs of our members. This launch solidifies our commitment to delivering comprehensive and technology-driven solutions for healthcare access,” Marisin said.

He added that “My Afya Shield” leverages digital technology, allowing customers to conveniently apply for services online and minus the requirement for paper forms.

“My Afya Shield will gain rapid uptake allowing millions of Kenyans to gain comprehensive health coverage, including traditionally uninsured benefits like vaccinations, mental health, counseling, and rehabilitation services,” he added.

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IFC partners SA health-tech group Lenmed Hospital to expand quality healthcare services in Africa

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The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has entered into a partnership with South African health-tech startup, Lenmed Hospital Group, aimed at increasing access to quality healthcare, especially in underserved communities in South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, and Mozambique.

Under the terms of the partnership, IFC will provide Lenmed with an initial investment sum of R200 million senior loan to help help the company expand its healthcare services over the next four years through the acquisition of new facilities, the purchase of medical equipment, and by hiring and training additional medical staff.

Lenmed on its part, will also expand the number of beds in its hospital portfolio from 2,318 to almost 3,000.

Amil Devchand, Lenmed’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), said the IFC’s loan is part of a larger, syndicated loan package with three other South African lenders, Rand Merchant Bank, Ashburton Asset Managers, and ABSA Bank, which runs into a total of R2.5 billion.

“The combined financing will also support Lenmed’s plans to expand into other African countries and help meet the company’s refinancing and working capital requirements,” said Devchand.

“In addition to financing, IFC will also help Lenmed improve its environmental and social standards and ensure sustainability across its operations.

“We are extremely excited to have concluded this significant debt package with IFC and our other funding partners, which underscores the confidence in both our Group and the work that we do.

“This additional capital will allow us to continue driving towards achieving our ambitious growth strategy while, at the same time, fulfilling our core purpose of creating healthier and more prosperous communities.”

Cláudia Conceição, IFC’s Regional Director for Southern Africa who also spoke on the partnership, said:

“Our investment in Lenmed will increase access to quality healthcare in South Africa and in other African countries, enabling more people to access the services they need.

“IFC complements public healthcare efforts by leveraging private sector funding and expertise to increase access and meet growing demand for services.”

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