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👨🏿‍🚀TechCabal Daily – Planet42 raises $100 million | TechCabal

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23 FEBRUARY, 2023

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How much does climate impact agriculture, and can tech companies help?

In the second episode of our new video series My Startup in 60 Seconds, Emeka Nwachinemere talks about his startup Kitovu Technology Company, an agritech that helps over 16,000 small farmers across Nigeria make operational decisions.

There’s more about Emeka and Kitovu right here on YouTube.

CRYPTO MARKET

Bitcoin

$24,480

+ 1.10%

Ether

$1,667

+ 1.17%

BNB

$313

+ 1.79%

Solana

$24.47

+ 0.35%

Name of the coin

Price of the coin

24-hour percentage change

Source: CoinMarketCap

* Data as of 05:20 AM WAT, February 23, 2023.

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AFRICAGOGREEN FUND SECURES $47 MILLION FOR AFRICAN CLIMATE TECH

The AfricaGoGreen Fund (AGGF) has planted some good news today, announcing its successful second fundraising of $47 million in investments from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), and the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA).

Per Africagogreen, this brings AGGF’s total funding to $138 million—a little over $120 million away from its $230-$250 million goal.

This is reportedly the first structured debt fund in Africa focused on energy efficiency solutions. This investment will enable the fund to branch out its financing for climate-friendly African projects. These projects include purchasing high-efficiency appliances and industrial equipment, retrofitting existing and new green buildings, and installing rooftop solar, and battery storage for residential, commercial, and industrial consumers, and more.

It’s good to see more Africa-focused funds get the green light to fuel Africa’s journey towards a more sustainable future.

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CBN IN TALKS TO PARTNER WITH BLOCKCHAIN COMPANY R3

Word on the street is that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is chatting with New York-based blockchain company R3 to give the infrastructure of their digital currency, e-naira, a revamp.

This doesn’t mean the CBN is seeking to immediately part ways with Bitt Inc.—the Utah-based blockchain company it previously worked with to issue the e-naira. Apparently, Bitt is still adding more features to the e-naira as we speak. Moreover, per Coindesk, Bitt knows that the CBN is exploring all their options to increase the sophistication of its digital infrastructure.

So why is the CBN talking with R3?

The CBN might be thinking that it needs to “coin” some fresh ideas to boost adoption of the CBDC.

Despite ranking as one of the top 10 countries with the most crypto adoption in the world, Nigerians are largely ignoring the CBDC, e-naira. The e-naira is struggling to gain widespread acceptance, with only ₦4 billion worth of transactions (~ $10 million) since its launch in October 2021 recorded, as revealed by the CBN governor in August 2022. Only less than 0.5% of Nigerians use the e-naira, despite more than 10% of the Nigerian population being exposed to crypto assets.

The CBN governor previously cited a lack of awareness for the low adoption rate, but it seems like the CBN is also hoping that a “complete makeover” will do the trick. 

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PLANET42 RAISES $100 MILLION

Planet 42’s CFO Marten Orgna, and CEO Eerik Oja

Estonia-founded and South Africa-based vehicle rental startup, Planet42, has announced that it has closed a $100 million round to scale its operations across South Africa and Mexico.

The investment, according to CEO Eerik Oja, comprises $15 million of equity from new and existing shareholders, including Naspers Limited, Andrew Rolfe, Change Ventures, $10 million of debt from shareholders, and a $75 million credit facility from Rivonia Road Capital.

The funding will be used to ramp up the company’s South Africa operations and further accelerate the process of penetrating the Mexico market.

“In South Africa, we want to put the pedal to the metal using this new financing to quickly add about 10,000 more cars to the fleet,” said Oja in an interview with Bloomberg. “In Mexico we are exploring where best to find customers, and how to switch on dealerships, so it takes time to get the ball rolling, but we have started to test the market and have about 250 cars on that side.”

He stated that the reason for gunning for the Mexican market was a result of the similarities they realised between the country’s operating environment and that of South Africa.

Planet42 employs proprietary algorithms and data points to score a customer’s risk level and generate an offer to buy a car from a dealership of choice within minutes. 

The startup claims to have almost a thousand car dealerships in its network, which generates about 40% of its sales.

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IN OTHER NEWS FROM TECHCABAL

🚀Entering Tech #20: How to become a customer success manager.

Presto Eat wants to be Libya’s introduction into Africa’s growing startup space.

As Nigeria’s big banks struggle with reliability, more customers are turning to digital alternatives.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • The 100x Impact Accelerator is open to applications from impact-driven social enterprises that work across eight sectors including health, climate and education. Selected enterprises will receive £150,000 grants and access to LSE’s world-class expertise, plus a 12-week programme of bespoke support from experts and social unicorn founders. Register by March 10.
  • Do you have what it takes to become the next supplier to leading South African enterprises in the furniture sector? Apply for the 2023 eThekwini Furniture Cluster Acceleration Programme. Apply by February 28.
  • The Jasiri Talent Investor Programme is looking for highly driven individuals with a history of achievement and/or entrepreneurial action who aspire to launch a high-growth venture. Apply by April 23.
  • The Catalyst Fund makes grants between $2,500–$15,000 to anyone, anywhere in the world who has an early-stage idea or project that addresses pressing global challenges. Apply by February 28.
  • The Growth Africa Accelerator Programme is calling for applications from ambitious and committed entrepreneurs from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia or Ghana with the potential to grow and create impact through their businesses. Apply now.
  • Applications are now open for the Nigeria Media Innovation Programme’s (NAMIP’s) Sustainability Challenge. Winners will be awarded up to $50,000 for their project and join NAMIP’s innovation and capacity building program that extends up till 2024. Apply by February 28.

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Written by – Timi Odueso & Ngozi Chukwu

Edited by – Timi Odueso

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Jay Ndungu

Jay is a computer scientist and journalist with a passion for the intersection of technology and society. He has a background in computer science, developing a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the industry, including programming languages and software development methodologies. Currently, He writes for Nairobi Times, covering a wide range of topics including technology, politics, sports, and entertainment. With his unique combination of technical knowledge and journalistic experience, Jay brings a unique perspective to the stories he covers, able to explain complex technical concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. His work is dedicated to bridge the gap between technology and society, and to make people more aware of the potential of technology to make the world a better place.

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