Last week in brief...There was an interesting crop of private capital deals in Africa last week. The biggest, by a considerable margin, comes to us courtesy of Transaction Capital, a listed financial services investment group, which has agreed to take a significant stake in WeBuyCars, a well-known used vehicle trading business in South Africa.
The investment will help WeBuyCars develop its business-to-consumer offering and tap into the expected surge in demand for bargain second-hand vehicles driven by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. WeBuyCars is a well-established business, built up over 20-years and well-positioned to exploit the growing market opportunity for its services in South Africa.
Cross-border payments fintech Thunes closed its Series B round last week. The Singapore-based business has raised $60 million from new and existing investors led by Helios Investment Partners. The round's other investors included GGV Capital, Future Shape, and Checkout.com. The capital will principally be used to hire more people and expand the company's product offering to include business payments and collections from emerging markets. Africa is seen offering the company significant expansion opportunities. One of its 12 global offices is located in Nairobi.
Chedid Capital, an investment holding company headquartered in Beirut, has acquired a 70-year old African insurance brokerage business from the family-owned Ascoma Assureurs Conseils. Employing almost 800 people on the continent, the business provides retail and institutional clients with insurance brokerage services predominantly in the property and casualty sector, as well as the healthcare insurance sector. The terms of the deal were not made available.
Staying in the insurance sector, BIMA, an emerging markets-focused mobile insurer and digital health provider has raised fresh capital from new and existing investors. Between them, existing shareholders Allianz X and LeapFrog Investments together with new investor CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund are investing $30 million in the business. BIMA will use the fresh capital to improve and broaden its digital health and insurance product range and scale its operations to meet the surge in demand for telemedicine services and life and health insurance caused by the pandemic.
We covered two seed rounds this week -Point Nine Capital has led a trio of investors investing seed capital in AMMP Technologies, developers of software used by renewable energy companies in emerging markers to monitor and manage their systems. The startup now has a total of €1.15 million to use to win more customers and invest in additional development of its product offering.
Freshbag, a startup that buys produce from Cameroon's farmers which is then distributed to thousands of the country's street vendors, has secured a seed investment from GreenTec Capital Partners. The amount of the investment, which is structured using the venture firm's "results for equity" model, is equivalent to €100,000 in value and gives GreenTec a minority position in the business.
We end with the news that CDC is once again expanding its commitment to a trade finance facility that it set up with Absa Bank. The DFI is investing an additional $50 million in the facility, structured as a revolving 2-year loan, which raises the total amount committed so far by the CDC to $300 million.
As capital flows to the continent come under pressure, the trade finance facility helps to boost systemic liquidity across Africa and enables domestic banks to sustain the availability of trade finance and underpin supply chains during the current COVID-19 crisis.
That's it for this week. As always, you can review these and other stories by clicking through to this week's preview edition of the newsletter.
Allan Cunningham is a senior media executive who has spent the last 15 years of his career working for some of the world’s most respected M&A and Private Equity media companies including Dow Jones’s publications Private Equity Analyst and VentureWire and most recently, The Deal. He has built a number of successful digital and event content businesses, both subscription and sponsor-supported, delivering information and content-marketing services to clients in the M&A and broader deal ecosystem. He recently struck out on his own and launched Rowayton Press, a multi-platform media company focused on the private capital opportunities in