Knowledge

Verdant Capital ranked joint first in M&A league table for 2021

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Date: 14 March 2022

Verdant Capital was ranked joint No 1 by M&A deal flow for 2021 in the prestigious DealMakers Africa leagues tables, for the pan-Africa (ex-South Africa) region overall.  DealMakers is the pre-eminent league table agency for Africa and announced its results for 2021 on March 11, 2022 In the East Africa region league table (deal flow), Verdant Capital finished joint first.  In West Africa, Verdant Capital finished second.  Landmark transactions completed by Verdant Capital in 2021 include the USD 80 million capital raise for leading pan-African telecoms infrastructure company, WIOCC, the USD 25 million capital raise for leading East Africa tech-enabled […]

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Third Annual VIDEO AFRICA by Verdant Capital

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Date: 27 January 2022

Verdant Capital is pleased to announce its third annual Video Africa virtual investor conference this coming March. Last year, Verdant Capital held its 2nd Video Africa event over three days in March, arranging more than 140 one-on-one meetings with over 45 leading relevant investors from 22 countries, and 18 of our selected clients with operations in 13 countries across Africa, ranging from fintechs to inclusive financial institutions. Represented were microfinance banks, credit-only institutions, innovative credit businesses, technology-driven leasing businesses, payment companies, and insurtechs raising debt or equity through Verdant Capital. The event responds to changing patterns of doing business following […]

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Verdant Capital and KfW establish new fund to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) growth in Africa

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Date: 14 January 2022

Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa January 14, 2022 Verdant Capital and KfW establish new fund to support MSME growth in Africa Verdant Capital Hybrid Fund initially has USD 36 million of committed capital Support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) through investment in financial institutions Better access to financing, creation of employment and income generation for MSME in Africa Verdant Capital Hybrid Fund (VCHF) has reached its first closing with committed capital of USD 36 million. The fund is targeting high developmental impact, including job creation and income generation through SMEs and micro-entrepreneurship. The fund will be investing hybrid […]

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Verdant Capital Wins PEA Local Financial Advisor Of the Year 2021

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Date: 1 December 2021

Private Equity Africa (PEA) has announced that the 2021 Local Financial Advisor Award Winner is Verdant Capital! In their 10th year, the PEA awards are the ultimate accolade of success in the African Private Equity industry. The final winners were selected by an independent panel of 20 judges which included representation from CDC, DEG, EBRD, IFC, Mbuyu Capital Partners, Wimmer Family Office, 27four Investment Managers and Family Office Data Alliance. The 36 winners beat stiff competition and will be presented with their trophies at the landmark 10th Annual PEA Awards Gala Dinner to be hosted in London in 2022.

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Verdant Capital advises WIOCC on USD 80 million equity capital raise

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Date: 25 November 2021

Verdant Capital has advised WIOCC Holding Company Limited (or “WIOCC”) on an USD 80 million equity capital raise.  USD 75 million of equity was invested by CAPE IV, a fund managed by leading African private equity fund manager African Capital Alliance.  The balance was invested by management and an existing shareholder. The equity raised has been supplemented by a debt capital raise.  The total capital raise of USD 200 million will be used to expand its connectivity within Africa and internationally, and through Open Access Data Centres (or “OADC”) – a newly created WIOCC Group company – to launch a […]

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Verdant Capital raises USD 7.9 million for leading challenger fintech, Zeepay

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Date: 6 July 2021

Verdant Capital has successfully completed its fourth major fintech transaction in the last 12 months.  The debt and equity raise for leading challenger fintech, Zeepay, head-quartered in Ghana, follows a USD 20 million equity and debt capital raise for Tugende, an East African technology-enabled asset financing business, an USD 11 million debt capital raise for Retail Capital a technology-driven SME-lender in South Africa, and a USD 13 million equity and debt raise for Planet42 an innovative car subscription business in South Africa. Zeepay is a pioneer of digital remittances from the diaspora to mobile wallets, bank accounts and visa cards […]

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Verdant Capital arrages EUR 2.5 milion for Tugende

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Date: 23 May 2022

Tugende, the innovative fintech platform for MSME credit and asset-financing in East Africa, has closed an additional EUR 2.5 million in debt financing from a leading European impact investor whose mandate is to support the growth of MSMEs across the African continent. The investment strengthens Tugende’s balance sheet, allowing it to continue growing its portfolio and address a significant credit demand amongst MSMEs, particularly after the strict lockdowns of 2020 and 2021. Tugende continues to deliver this MSME support with award winning positive social impact to its clients and their beneficiaries. A further accolade for Tugende’s business model was achieved when […]

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Verdant Capital arranges a USD 10 million Debt Capital Raise for UsPlus Limited

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Date: 23 May 2022

UsPlus, a fast growing South African based specialist SME financing firm, has on the back of the further successful debt raise through its ZAR 1 billion Domestic Medium Term Note Programme as announced on SENS on 12 May 2022, successfully raised USD 10 million (approx. ZAR 162 million) in debt funding from a leading US Impact Investor. This recent facility will take UsPlus’ book of total receivables to USD 17 million (approx. ZAR 270 million), and broadens the range of blue chip institutional Funders. UsPlus was founded in 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa, with the mission of providing flexible working capital […]

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Finclusion Consolidates in it’s Current Markets

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Date: 23 May 2022

Finclusion Group Limited successfully consolidated its operations in Kenya and Tanzania, in a transaction that saw it increase its stake in TrustGro SCA Limited (“TrustGro”), Fikia Finance Limited (“Fikia”) and awamo Uganda Limited (“awamo”) to 100%. Further to the consolidation of TrustGro, Fikia and awamo, Finclusion is currently expanding its South African footprint by integrating Commonwealth Financial Services (Pty) Limited (“Medifin”) into the Group building out its BNPL presence materially.  Medifin focuses on financing life changing loans to support medical procedures, predominantly originated through medical practitioners (channel partner model).    In conjunction with the integration of TrustGro, Fikia, awamo and Medifin, Finclusion […]

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Africa Tech Summit Nairobi

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Date: 22 April 2022

The Race for Payments in Africa: Where are we now and what’s next? Verdant Capital participated in an important panel discussion on the “race” for digital payments at the Africa Fintech Summit in Nairobi this past month. Imran Patel, Director at Verdant Capital, was joined by senior executives from Africa’s leading payments-focused fintechs: Amandine Lobelle, Head of Business at Paystack, Leon Kiptum, Kenya Country Director at Chipper Cash, Hilda Gathuya, Kenyan Country Manager at Global Accelerex, and Sike Bamisebi, Chief Business Officer at Cellulant. The panel was moderated by Tage Kene-Okafor of TechCrunch. The discussion covered key drivers of digital payments including […]

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The Race for Payments in Africa: Where are we now and what’s next?

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Date: 23 March 2022

Verdant Capital participated in an important panel discussion on the “race” for digital payments at the Africa Fintech Summit in Nairobi this past month. Imran Patel, Director at Verdant Capital, was joined by senior executives from Africa’s leading payments-focused fintechs: Amandine Lobelle, Head of Business at Paystack, Leon Kiptum, Kenya Country Director at Chipper Cash, Hilda Gathuya, Kenyan Country Manager at Global Accelerex, and Sike Bamisebi, Chief Business Officer at Cellulant. The panel was moderated by Tage Kene-Okafor of TechCrunch. The discussion covered key drivers of digital payments including competitive dynamics, cross-border expansion strategies, regulation, success in new markets, as well […]

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MFS Africa has completed the acquisition of Baxi

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Date: 15 March 2022

MFS Africa has completed the acquisition of Baxi taking its footprint into Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and perhaps its most dynamic fintech market. The transaction was first announced in November 2021 pending approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria, which has now been achieved. As well as providing a market entry into Nigeria for MFS Africa, the combination provides exciting synergies:  Baxi simplifies and integrates online and offline payments for SMEs and merchants in Nigeria through its omni-channel distribution network; MFS Africa simplifies cross-border payments, integrating payments via one hub.  Baxi’s growth has accelerated over the last 24 months achieving […]

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Verdant Capital will be hosting it’s one of a kind virtual conference from the 15th to the 17th of March 2022.

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Date: 1 March 2022

The event will be 1-on-1 video conferences; the “Meetings” will be 50-55 mins each. The deadline for scheduling is Friday 11th of March, 2022. We are pleased to be hosting 15 of our prestigious clients. The countries represented will be Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The types of companies will include but are not limited to, Insurance, Innovative credit, Insuretech, Fintech, MSE Bank, Renewable Energy, MFI, SME Lender, Leasing, BNPL, Mobile Financial Services, Credit only businesses, Invoice Discounting, Deposit-taking businesses and Media. Please send an email to video.africa@verdant-cap.com to secure a spot. For a more […]

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Volker Renner joins VC Germany Management GmbH as AIFM Managing Director based in Frankfurt, Germany

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Date: 27 January 2022

Volker has joined VC Germany Management GmbH as AIFM Managing Director. Volker has over 25 years of senior management and governance experience in development finance, SME-and microfinance, financial inclusion, project and change management. Volker currently acts as board director for several banks and non-bank financial institutions of the FINCA Impact Finance network, focusing on MSME business. Since 2019 he has also acted as Supervisory Board Member of FLOCERT GmbH in Germany, the global certifier for Fairtrade. Volker has worked as senior management in multiple positions including FINCA Impact Finance, Internationale Projekt Consult and ProCredit Bank Ukraine, he brings with him […]

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Verdant Capital arranges USD 3.4 million equity capital raise for Planet42

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Date: 27 January 2022

Planet42 has successfully raised USD 3.4 million in equity funding from leading South African investor, Naspers. Naspers invested USD 3.4 million through its Naspers Foundry business. This funding round is a precursor to a Series A capital raise in 2022. Planet42 provides alternative vehicle finance through its Rent-To-Buy model in South Africa. The company’s target clients are the underbanked South Africans who are otherwise unfairly ignored by the local banks. The company uses its proprietary scoring algorithms to vet potential clients. These algorithms cover a wider set of data points as compared to traditional scoring systems used by banks thus […]

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Verdant Capital DFI / MIV Survey 2021

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Date: 17 January 2022

Verdant Capital’s 2021 survey peered through the lens of DFIs / MIVs to unpack the current investment landscape within the context of the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic. The results point a positive investment outlook on the African Market.  The key insights, as packaged in the summary statements that follow, reflect on – portfolio performance, adaptations by both MIVs and MFIs to the Covid-19 environment, and the future growth of the inclusive finance/ microfinance investment industry.   84% of participants reported that their microfinance/inclusive finance investments in Africa performed either at par or above par when compared to their other global investments. […]

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Verdant Capital advises Tugende on a significant additional funding to grow it’s portfolio, further driving social impact in it’s key markets

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Date: 9 December 2021

Tugende, East Africa’s leading innovative MSME credit and asset-financing business, has closed an additional USD 16 million in debt financing.  The overall funding round has been structured to include a subordinated debt tranche into the Ugandan subsidiary providing partial equity credit to be leveraged by senior lenders, as well as senior debt funding for its younger but rapidly growing Kenyan subsidiary. This latest round of debt funding was led by a leading European development finance institution (“DFI”), existing MSME-focused impact investors that increased their commitments to Tugende, and a decentralized credit platform backed by an iconic Silicon Valley-based venture capital […]

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Verdant Capital advises Briisk with respect to funding from the DEG

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Date: 9 December 2021

Verdant Capital is pleased to have advised Briisk on an investment by DEG.  DEG is a leading international development finance institution and a subsidiary of KfW, Germany’s development bank. Briisk is an insurtech company which enables insurance from a financial inclusion perspective across developing markets. The company is a SaaS platform developer and it uses these platforms to link insurers with its extensive distributor network to access end user customers on a mass scale. Briisk targets 2.9 billion underinsured individuals and small businesses in c.40 countries in Africa, India and Turkey. To date the company has transacted more than 1 […]

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Verdant Capital advises Alpha Direct on a pre-series A investment

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Date: 9 December 2021

The insurance sector in Africa is underpenetrated vs most of the world. Given complexity, accessibility and inflexibility, insurance is seen as being a product “that is only available to the rich”. Alpha Direct is Africa’s only risk carrying Insurtech focused on delivering simple, affordable and accessible insurance products for Africa’s growing consumer market, using cloud, big data and AI. The company has become the fifth largest short-term insurance underwriter in their home market in under five years, and is now focused on regional and continental expansion across Africa as well as entering the long-term insurance market. The company recently won […]

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Verdant Capital has advised Kibo Capital Partners on the sale of its stake in Kenyan logistics company, General Cargo Group

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Date: 25 November 2021

Kibo Capital Partners (“Kibo“) has sold its stake in the Kenyan logistics company General Cargo Group (“GCG“) to Velogic, the logistics arm of the Mauritian-based Rogers Group. Verdant Capital is pleased to have advised Kibo on this transaction. Kibo, which is focused on small and medium-sized enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean countries, has around $100 million in assets under management. It has backed 17 companies across nine countries. Verdant Capital is active in East African advisory and was ranked 3rd by DealMakers Africa for East African M&A in 2020. 2021 is also a strong year with four […]

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Zambia’s Newly-Elected President Announces the Creation of a Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises to Address Challenges of Access to Finance

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Date: 17 November 2021

President Hakainde Hichilema’s victory in the August Zambian presidential election is said to have caused the winds of change to begin blowing within the country. His win was largely favoured and celebrated by the Zambian youth who constituted over 50% of the electorate. Alongside vows to foster a better democracy and restore the country’s economy, the President and his government also announced the creation of three new ministries: the Ministry of Technology and Science, the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment and the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development. Zambia’s new Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development is […]

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The Need for Wholesale Funding Inclusive Financial Institutions to Strengthen their Lending Operations in Africa: The Nigerian Microfinance Banking Sector Case

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Date: 17 November 2021

In March 2020, and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Bank of Nigeria (the “CBN”) announced the need to recapitalise the microfinance banking sector. The CBN in consideration of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic activities extended its deadline to April 2021 for microfinance banks (“MFBs”) to comply with the outlined minimum capital requirements. In March 2019, the CBN had reviewed the minimum capital requirements for MFBs, with a view to ensuring continued operations of these banks in rural, unbanked and underbanked areas of the economy. National MFBs were expected to meet the minimum capital […]

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Navigating Credit Risk in Africa’s Cleantech Sector

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Date: 17 November 2021

The shift towards disintermediated, de-centralised energy generation in Africa is moving at a fast pace. The failure of many African governments to meet the energy needs of their economies has forced individuals and businesses across the continent to seek alternate sources of power. To aggregate this demand, energy-as-a-service (EaaS) is becoming a scalable business model to entrepreneurs and companies that have been able to identify, implement, execute and derive its strategic benefits. OneWattSolar (Owatts) is a Nigeria-HQ, Africa focused “cleantech” decentralized EaaS aggregator, with a high end, transparent digital payment/blockchain platform. Owatts makes clean energy available to a wide spectrum […]

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Verdant Capital has advised Philafrica on the sale of its soya oil crushing interests

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Date: 15 November 2021

Philafrica, a subsidiary of AFGRI, has sold its soya oil crushing plant, which trades in the market under the names Nedan, Marathon, Soya Ya Ka, Promax (soya oil cake). Philafrica, based in South Africa, is an investment company involved in food processing in South Africa, Mozambique, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Its focus is on expanding food sourcing and production across the continent. AFGRI is owned by Helios Fairfax Partners, which is a leading pan-Africa-focused alternative investment manager, and the Public Investment Corporation of South Africa.  The transaction reinforces Verdant Capital’s position as a leading advisor to the private equity […]

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Verdant Capital raises ZAR 300 million for leading South African minibus taxi finance provider, Bridge Taxi Finance

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Date: 15 November 2021

Verdant Capital has successfully raised ZAR 300 million (approx. USD 20 million) in debt financing for Bridge Taxi Finance from a small group of leading international impact investors. The funding will be used to grow the institution’s lease portfolio.  Bridge Taxi Finance, based in South Africa, provides affordable credit facilities to South African drivers – each an entrepreneur running his own taxi business – in the minibus taxi industry. It has a vertically integrated business model that includes impact vehicle finance, day to day tracking, advice and management, and vehicle repairs and services. The company has financed over 3,200 entrepreneurs […]

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Verdant Capital raises ZAR 150 million for leading South African SME-financier, Retail Capital

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Date: 15 November 2021

Verdant Capital has successfully raised ZAR 150 million (approx. USD 10 million)  in debt funding for Retail Capital. The first tranche of ZAR 50 million was drawn during the month of October and the balance of which will be drawn in 2022. Retail Capital is the first and largest Merchant Cash Advance provider in the South African SME market. The company was established ten years ago, and it has disbursed over ZAR 4.5 billion to more than 38 000 merchants since inception. It is on target to disburse ZAR 8 billion to small businesses by 2023. The business’ approach is […]

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Verdant Capital was named the best independent advisor of the year, pan-Africa, by Africa Global Funds, for the second year running in October 2021.

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Date: 27 October 2021

Africa Global Funds Logo

The sale of Baxi is Verdant Capital’s fifth successful fintech transaction of the year, having advised Retail Capital, a leading tech-enabled SME-financier in South Africa on a USD 10 million capital raise; Zeepay, a leading pan-African digital remittance and mobile payments business on its USD 8 million Series-A and on its acquisition of Mangwee in Zambia; and Tugende, a leading tech-enabled SME-financier in East Africa on its USD 10 million Series-A.   Verdant Capital’s transactions in the sector include landmark transactions across West, East and South Africa.   In part because of its successful track-record in transactions in the fintech […]

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Verdant Capital advises Baxi, a leading super-agent in Nigeria, on its sale to MFS Africa.

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Date: 27 October 2021

MFS Africa is acquiring Baxi to expand its network into Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and perhaps its most fintech dynamic market.  Nigeria is also the largest remittance market in Africa representing one-third of intra-Africa remittance flows, and is home to the largest number of SMEs.  Verdant Capital views the two businesses as highly complimentary:  Baxi simplifies and integrates online and offline payments for SMEs and merchants in Nigeria through its omni-channel distribution network; MFS Africa simplifies cross-border payments, integrating payments via one hub.  The transaction further extends Verdant Capital’s track-record of advising on transactions shaping the fintech sector in Africa.  […]

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Flash International and FINCA sign a landmark strategic partnership

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Date: 31 July 2021

Flash International (“Flash”), the largest fintech and payments aggregator in the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”) and with operations in the Republic of Congo (“ROC”) and Cote d’Ivoire, has entered into a strategic partnership with the DRC subsidiary of FINCA Impact Finance, FINCA DRC (“FINCA”). This partnership leverages their respective platforms and provides greater access to a full suite of financial services to a significantly underbanked population. The World Bank estimates that only 26% of the DRCs population of approximately 90 million have access to financial services in spite of a 44% mobile phone penetration rate and 23% data penetration […]

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Alpha Direct successfully launches in Zambia

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Date: 31 July 2021

Alpha Direct has successfully commenced operations in Zambia, its first overseas expansion. Sales have been promising to date. Alpha Direct has become the fifth-largest short-term insurance underwriter in their home market, Botswana, in under five years. Over the next five years, Alpha Direct plans to expand its product offering to include long-term insurance products and expand its footprint to include South Africa, Kenya, Egypt and Nigeria. In addition, Alpha Direct plans to license its products and technology in 10 African countries outside those where it has a physical presence. Alpha Direct recently won The African Insurance Award for Innovation of […]

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Finclusion, a leading fintech in Southern and Eastern Africa, launches Click2Pay.

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Date: 31 July 2021

Finclusion, a leading fintech in Southern and Eastern Africa, has launched Click2Pay, a buy now, pay later (“BNPL”) business model supporting SMEs and other businesses in South Africa.  Traditional credit-card payment is a system that desperately needs innovation as more and more consumers are opting out of interest-heavy purchases. This is pushing South African businesses to find solutions to attract and retain customers, such as the BNPL model. As the pandemic continues to reshape customers’ payments expectations, as well as providing a further spur to e-commerce volumes overall, BNPL is expected to play a vital role, offering a flexible alternative […]

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Video Africa Virtual Investor Conference Drives Capital Raising Activities in Africa

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Date: 15 July 2021

Verdant Capital – IMAP South Africa recently hosted its proprietary Video Africa virtual investor conference. Edmund Higenbottam, Managing Director at Verdant Capital shares details on the conference’s origins and explains why investor conferences such as theirs are so vital in terms of helping drive essential capital raising activities especially during the current economic crisis triggered by COVID-19. What led to you to decide to host your own investor conference? The first Video Africa was held last year during the first weeks of the disruption caused by the pandemic. We had been due to attend a large investor event in London, […]

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Verdant Capital announces new investment advisory partnership with Invest in Visions of Germany

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Date: 6 July 2021

Verdant Capital is pleased to announce a new investment advisory partnership with Invest in Visions GmbH (“IIV”) of Germany. Under the partnership Verdant Capital will, on a pan-African basis, originate, prepare for execution, and monitor investments for IIV’s funds investing in inclusive financial institutions (“IFIs”). These institutions include microfinance banks non-banking financial institutions, credit-only institutions, leasing businesses, innovative or technology-driven credit businesses, as well as commercial banks that credibly serve SMEs. The partnership with IIV is an important additional pool of capital for Verdant Capital’s Specialist Funds platform. Verdant Capital Specialist Fund’s principal aim is to alleviate the impediments to […]

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Zeepay Ghana acquires Zambia mobile money operator Mangwee

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Date: 4 May 2021

Zeepay, the leading African challenger fintech with operations in over 10 African countries, acquired a 51 percent stake in Mangwee Mobile Money Zambia. The stake was acquired through a new issuance of shares. Mangwee started operations in 2018, and was initially set up to operate as an alternative wallet targeting university students in Zambia with the aim of driving the cost of mobile money services downward. Zeepay is the leading African challenger fintech with active operations in over 10 African countries. The company specializes in paying remittances into mobile money wallets across Africa and is regulated by both the Bank […]

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Tugende launches boat engine financing, further strengthening its product portfolio

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Date: 4 May 2021

Since launching its business in 2012, Tugende has consistently delivered strong growth while maintaining industry-leading portfolio quality. Tugende is a technology-driven innovative financial services company providing financing of productive assets and related services to its clients, including to family members. Although the business was originally focused on one product, motorcycle taxis, in one country, Uganda, the company launched its Kenyan operations 18 months ago and is successfully scaling its business in that market. To enhance its growth profile, Tugende conducts a diligent product development process that screens assets that have a latent demand for credit from MSMEs, runs a pilot […]

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Covid-19 reverses electricity access progress in Africa

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Date: 4 May 2021

Access to electricity across Africa is increasingly viewed as an impact “success story”. Testament to this claim: the number of people gaining access to electricity in Africa doubled from 9 million a year between 2000 and 2013 to 20 million people between 2014 and 2019, outpacing population growth. As a result, the number of people without access to electricity, which peaked at 610 million in 2013, declined progressively to around 580 million in 2019. Much of this recent dynamism comes from a small number of countries leading the progress, for example Kenya, Senegal, Rwanda, Ghana, and Ethiopia. However, the demonstration […]

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Verdant Capital ranks third in the prestigious DealMakers Africa league table for East Africa

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Date: 1 April 2021

Verdant Capital ranked ninth in the DealMakers Africa pan-African M&A league table in 2020 in the recently announced awards. Verdant Capital operates on a pan-African basis in 2020 completed transactions in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa. The highest regional ranking for Verdant Capital was in East Africa where the firm finished third. Overall deal volumes in pan-African rankings in the pandemic impacted year were approx. flat with 489 completed transactions compared to 464 completed transactions in 2019. Aggregate deal value fell by approx. half, reflecting weaker activity in certain “big ticket” sectors such as Oil & Gas and […]

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Verdant Capital supports USD 9.9 M Series A equity capital raise for Tugende, a leading technology enabled MSME lender in East Africa.

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Date: 31 March 2021

Tugende, a leading technology enabled MSME lender in East Africa, has closed an additional round of USD 3.6 million equity funding bringing the total amount raised in its Series A equity financing to USD 9.9 million. The latest round was led by Partech Africa, a member of the Partech Group and a leading global technology venture capital fund, and Enza Capital, an early-stage venture capital fund that focuses on partnering with founders and management teams that leverage technology in scaling their business while solving social issues. This round is complementary to the first round led by Mobility 54, the Africa-focused venture […]

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Video Africa virtual investor conference hosted by Verdant Capital

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Date: 31 March 2021

Verdant Capital hosted its second Video Africa virtual investor conference on March 2-4. Over the three days, more than 140 one-on-one meetings were held with 45 leading relevant investors from 22 countries, and 18 of our selected clients with operations in 13 countries across Africa, ranging from fintechs to inclusive financial institutions. Represented were microfinance banks, credit-only institutions, innovative credit businesses, technology-driven leasing businesses, payment companies and insurtechs who are currently raising debt or equity through Verdant Capital. The first Video Africa was held last year in the first weeks of the disruption caused by the pandemic. Given the success of the […]

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Verdant Capital was awarded Best Fintech Capital Raising Team in Africa by cfi.co in its Q1 2021 business and finance awards.

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Date: 31 March 2021

Verdant Capital won the award in a period of record deal volumes in Africa, with some USD 500 million of capital raising and M&A in the Fintech sector in 2020. Verdant Capital successfully completed transactions in the sector in 2020 with a total value of USD 40 million. The capital raises included businesses such as Tugende, a leading technology enabled MSME lender in East Africa, Retail Capital, South Africa’s Leading SME-credit tech player, and Planet42, the first mover in the South African socially-inclusive car-subscription market. The transactions were notable both for the commercial success of the businesses and their broad-based […]

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Africa “Firsts” in Multi-lateral Trade and Finance

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Date: 2 March 2021

The Continent scored two firsts in the world of multi-lateral trade and finance in February. First, Nigerian-born Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was finally approved as Director General of the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) in Geneva, the first African to be named to the post (as well as the first female). Ms. Okonjo-Iweala had previously been a Vice President at the World Bank and served as Nigeria’s Finance Minister twice, from 2003-06 and 2011-15, and widely credited as bringing more transparency to Nigeria’s public finances as well as helping restructure the country’s debt position during her first term. Later in the month, Makhtar […]

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New Investment Committee members to the Verdant Capital Hybrid Fund

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Date: 2 March 2021

Verdant Capital is pleased to announce that two new members have joined the Investment Committee of the Verdant Capital Hybrid Fund. Sari Nikka previously served as the CEO of Norsad Finance, the Development Finance Institution (“DFI”) for Southern Africa. Prior to working for Norsad, she held senior investment positions at Finnfund, the Finnish DFI. Ms Nikka has served on various Boards and Board Committees of companies and investment funds investing in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. She has a range of experience from project finance, senior debt instruments, mezzanine, and equity investments, as well as financing solutions for […]

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Investing in African Fintech

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Date: 2 March 2021

In February, Edmund Higenbottam discussed the increasingly broad opportunities for investors in Africa’s fintech sector with African Business. The podcast coincided with the UK-Africa Fintech Summit on February 3-4, 2021. The podcast discussed key recent developments driving investor interest, including the accelerated digitization of the financial services hierarchy, dating back to the launch of M-Pesa in Kenya in 2007. Payments is a natural starting point for digitization, given the lower risk and easier adoption as a platform. Even within payments, there has been layers of advancement; for example, Capricorn Digital of Nigeria has advanced its business model from payment of […]

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Africa – The Fintech Fulcrum Between East and West

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Date: 3 February 2021

Africa is currently home to just under 500 Fintech firms¹, with South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya at the forefront of startup activity. So, what makes the continent so attractive? The African Fintech market is not only potentially very large, it is highly unpenetrated. Of the 1.1 billion people in sub-Sahara Africa, two-thirds of them are unbanked. Therefore, there is enormous scope for Fintechs to onboard these demographics into the financial sector. Furthermore, customers with access to credit is only a fraction of the proportion of the population with a bank account, so for innovative credit businesses, this is a huge […]

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Second Annual VIDEO AFRICA by Verdant Capital

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Date: 26 January 2021

Verdant Capital is pleased to announce its second annual Video Africa virtual investor conference this coming March. The event responds to continuing travel limitations globally due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the resultant impact on cross-border investment flows. Responding to the same challenges last year, Verdant Capital held its inaugural Video Africa event over three days last May, arranging more than 150 one-on-one meetings with over 50 leading investors for eight of our selected clients with operations in seven countries across Africa. This year’s event will be held from March 2nd to the 4th, and like last year will connect […]

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African Fintech Sector: Growing up with Covid

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Date: 26 January 2021

In the December 2020 issue of the Africa Global Funds magazine, Verdant Capital’s Edmund Higenbottam discussed the trends driving growth in the African fintech sector, including drivers during the Covid-19 pandemic. The well-documented themes for the success of African fintechs include the under-penetration of financial services, but also the nominally low income levels and low density of its populations. “Last-mile” fintech businesses such as Baxi in Nigeria, whereby tens of thousands of merchants and micro-entrepreneurs “double” as agents in Baxi’s national network as well as in its digital platform provide critical “last mile” solutions to these challenges. Furthermore, a well-trained and cost […]

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Overcoming Trade Finance Barriers for African SMEs

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Date: 26 January 2021

In the December 2020, Verdant Capital’s Patrick Ball was a panelist in a session focused on overcoming trade barriers for African SMEs at the MFW4A’s Annual General Assembly. The session focused on the initiatives to facilitate trade finance in Africa, as well as the enabling potential arising from the advent of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The discussions focused on the challenges and opportunities for African SMEs, notably new forms of finance building on supply chain links such as factoring that can increase their access to finance. Commenting on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on African trade […]

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Verdant Capital completes its third fintech transaction in 2020

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Date: 16 December 2020

Verdant Capital completes its third fintech transaction in 2020 with the closing of the final leg of a USD 13 million debt and equity raise for the South African innovative car subscription business, Planet42. The capital raise follows transactions completed by Verdant Capital for innovative productive lease-financing business in East Africa, Tugende and technology-driven SME lender in South Africa, Retail Capital. Verdant Capital raised a total of USD 40 million in the sector in 2020, evidencing strong support for the sector in Africa from a variety of investors types, and from investors from around the World. In total in Africa in […]

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Verdant Capital is awarded Independent Investment Bank of the Year – Pan Africa – in the prestigious Africa Global Funds awards, 2020

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Date: 16 December 2020

Africa Global Funds, the leading industry journal covering private equity and other asset classes across Africa, awarded this accolade to Verdant Capital in recognition of the firm’s major transaction volumes in 2020 across M&A and private credit and across the Continent. Geographically, Verdant Capital completed transactions in South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Namibia with buyers and investors from the US, Switzerland, Germany, the UK, Japan, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Baltics, South Africa, and Nigeria. To read the full list of winners please see https://www.agfawards.com/

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Covid-19 and the Capital Conundrum

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Date: 11 December 2020

The negative economic repercussions of Covid-19 has not spared the capital structures of Inclusive Financial Institutions (“IFIs”) across Africa. Even top-quartile IFIs who have shown resiliency through Covid-19 with the benefit of sufficient capital and liquidity buffers will mostly either break-even or make losses in 2020, i.e. a one-time loss of retained earnings. There has been a global response to balance sheet strains faced by financial institutions in the form of deferred Basel III implementation. The Basel Committee’s Oversight body, the Group of Central Bank Governors and Heads of Supervision endorsed in March a number of measures to provide banks […]

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Verdant Capital raises USD 10 million of debt funding for Planet42 to provide alternative finance through its Rent-To-Buy model

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Date: 11 December 2020

Planet42 is an innovative car subscription company that helps individuals ignored by banks to get access to a personal vehicle. To date, Planet 42 has bought and delivered over 2 000 second-hand cars in South Africa, its primary market. The debt capital raise, which follows an equity capital raise of approx. USD 3 million earlier in the year will help the company get many more South African mobile. Its Rent-To-Buy product is a flexible alternative to traditional finance for individuals who do not have access to financing from banks as a result of stringent lending policies. Planet42 signs motor vehicle […]

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Verdant Capital Microfinance Survey 2020

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Date: 11 December 2020

Verdant Capital’s 2020 IFI survey points to a year of transition ahead. Verdant Capital’s 2020 survey of Inclusive Financial Institutions points to a year of transition ahead, in terms of accessing capital markets, restructuring relationships with borrowers and changed business models. The survey also looks at steps taken by IFIs to weather the storm presented by Covid-19 and related economic dislocation and to support clients. The key takeaways are summarised in this report. 57% of respondents indicated that they expect to raise equity or equity-like capital in early 2021. This is consistent with Verdant Capital’s experience that IFI clients are […]

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Verdant Capital raises USD 6.7 million for Retail Capital in South Africa

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Date: 30 November 2020

Retail Capital is the leading and the first Merchant Cash Advance provider in the South African SME market. Retail Capital was incorporated in 2011 in Cape Town and has expanded geographically to Johannesburg and Durban; other cities are served by agents. In 2018, the company acquired First Asset Finance, an asset leasing business to bring an additional diversification into the credit book. The Asset Finance book which is mostly in the medical space has proved to be highly resistant during the covid-19 related lockdowns. The business is evolving into a broader technology- and channel-driven SME lender. As of March 2020, […]

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To License or Not – Nigeria’s Evolving Approach to Mobile Money Licensing

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Date: 30 November 2020

Nigeria now allows non-financial companies to apply for mobile banking licences — part of an effort via mobile banking aimed at transforming Africa’s biggest economy and unlocking the Continent’s largest unbanked population. According to Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) 2018 access survey estimates that 60 % of the 100 million adult population are “unbanked” or financially excluded. The move permits mobile telecoms providers, including larger operators like MTN and Airtel, to tap into the approximately 60 million adult Nigerians who do have and operate bank accounts, in a country where most transactions are still made using cash. In practice, […]

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Building Back Better: ESG + Sustainable Finance in Africa

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Date: 30 November 2020

In October 2020, Africa Banker arranged an ESG and Sustainable Finance Panel, “Building Back Better”. Verdant Capital’s Managing Director, Mr. Edmund Higenbottam highlighted how sustainability issues have filtered into the wider African continent and into capital markets. There has been considerable growth in sustainable finance over the last few years, essentially reaching a record high of about USD 415 billion dollars at the end of last year, said Nigel Beck, Head of Sustainable Finance at Standard Bank. We are starting to notice a diverse diversification of products into social bonds, sustainable bonds, green loans as well as a kind of […]

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Signatory Organisation Report on Covid-19 Pledge Implementation and Lessons Learned

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Date: 17 November 2020

Signatory Organisation Report on Covid-19 Pledge Implementation and Lessons Learned

Over the past months, the financial inclusion sector has embarked on a journey to face the Covid-19 crisis. On the field, microfinance institutions have taken measures to face the health risks, lock downs and the economic recession. In the meantime, lenders, investors, support organisations and technical assistance providers had to adapt their intervention principles and coordinate their actions (1). By signing the Pledge on Key principles to protect microfinance institutions and their clients in the COVID-19 crisis (the “Pledge”), 30 organisations committed to complying with some key principles. Six months after the signature of the Pledge, a working group of […]

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Verdant Capital Awarded 2020 Best Independent Advisory Firm – Pan Africa by Africa Global Funds

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Date: 28 October 2020

Africa Global Funds Logo

Verdant Capital was pleased to be awarded the “Best Independent Advisory Firm – Pan Africa”, by Africa Global Funds’ (“AGF”) 2020 Africa Service Provider Awards. The Awards were created to generate industry and public recognition of Fund Service Providers covering Africa as well as to honour the awardees for their outstanding efforts and accomplishments. The 5th edition of the AGF Service Providers Awards are a recognized symbol of excellence as the organization is the only such international award for African Fund Services. Africa Global Funds provides comprehensive coverage and analysis of the African investment space, coving traditional and alternative assets classes of […]

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Verdant Capital Completes a USD 10 million Debt and Equity Financing for Tugende

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Date: 8 October 2020

Tugende has raised USD 10 million in debt and equity capital from a consortium of investors arranged by Verdant Capital. This capital raise includes a strategic equity investment by Mobility 54, the Africa-focused investment fund of Toyota Tsusho Corp. This adds further strength to Tugende’s balance sheet and pushes the total balance sheet size above USD 30 million. Additional details on the equity raise can be found here. Tugende’s business has rebounded robustly after the lockdowns imposed in Uganda to help stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Since the relaxation of the lockdowns, Tugende’s client payments have recovered to […]

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Zeepay Partners with VISA to Bring Digital Payments to More Consumers in Ghana

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Date: 8 October 2020

One of Africa’s leading mobile money and digital remittances services provider, Zeepay, extends Visa payment solutions and credentials to simplify cross border remittances. Zeepay, a fast-growing African fintech, on 28 September 2020 announced a partnership with Visa that will allow Africans in the diaspora to send money directly onto Visa debit and prepaid cards in Ghana. Through the partnership, Zeepay will integrate Visa’s real-time push payments solution Visa Direct, with INSTNTMNY its money transfer platform, to provide users of the Zeepay app a fast, convenient and secure way to receive money and remittances directly into their eligible card credentials. This […]

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Africa Free Trade – new markets small businesses

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Date: 8 October 2020

The Continent’s new intra-continental free trade agreement provides significant opportunity for small businesses. Open borders, improved contracts, and better structured value chains are some of the key benefits to small businesses from the African Continental Free Trade Area (“AfCFTA”).  The AfCFTA commits the majority of the participating countries to 90 percent tariff cuts within a five-year period. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (“UNECA”) estimates that the AfCFTA has the potential to boost intra-African trade by 52.3% by eliminating import duties and could double trade if non-tariff barriers (“NTBs”) are also reduced. Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (“MSMEs”), informal […]

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Retail Capital retains its national BB+ credit rating despite Covid-19

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Date: 11 September 2020

Retail Capital, a leading and first Merchant Cash Advance provider in the South African SME market, has retained its national BB+ credit rating from the Global Credit Rating (“GCR”) agency. Despite a downgrade in the sovereign rating of the South African Economy, which was hit even harder by Covid-19, the local small and medium enterprise (SME) financier has retained its national BB+ credit rating while its international rating has dropped by one notch to B- in line with South Africa’s credit downgrade in March, both ratings have a stable outlook. Local and international investors remain confident to place more funding […]

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Ethiopia takes further steps towards opening its financial sector

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Date: 11 September 2020

Ethiopia recently announced two measures that represent hopeful steps towards opening its financial system to greater investment and sophistication. These measures could have positive implications for financial inclusion in the country. First, the National Bank of Ethiopia’s (“NBE”) passing of a directive on 18 August to allowing local currency banks to borrow from foreign banks. Ethiopia is one of Africa’s largest countries: its population of 115 million ranks second and its GDP size of USD 105 billion ranking seventh. Annual GDP growth has been one of Africa’s most dynamic, averaging between 8-12% annually since 2010. Potentially fueling future growth is […]

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Covid-19 and Congo: Opportunity Amidst the Crisis

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Date: 11 September 2020

Like elsewhere in Africa, the worst-case health impacts of Covid-19 in the DR Congo have so far not materialized. But like elsewhere, the economic impacts of the crisis have been swift and widespread. In response, the government announced several economic stimulus programs and initiatives. To increase liquidity and funding, the Banque Centrale du Congo (“BCC”) granted a moratorium on the increase in commercial banks’ minimum capital requirements to USD 50 million until January 2022. The BCC also opened a long-term funding facility for banks for up to 24 months and relaxed requirements on the classification of non-performing loans (“NPLs”), while […]

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Covid Business Rescue Assistance

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Date: 29 July 2020

Covid Business Resuce Assistance

Many businesses have been facing new challenges as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic and related restrictions on ordinary life and commerce. While many businesses have enjoyed new opportunities, the net impact on most South African companies has been negative and many businesses have found themselves in financial distress. Verdant Capital is pleased to announce that it has partnered with the COBRA initiative – which stands for COVID Business Rescue Assistance. The COBRA initiative was established to provide assistance from professional advisors to South African businesses in need. Verdant Capital offers services both in respect of M&A advisory and restructuring […]

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Zambia takes measures to help Financial Institutions in response to COVID

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Date: 29 July 2020

Africa’s second-largest copper exporter was already burdened by high fiscal deficits and foreign debts heading into the crisis; Zambia’s budget balance was approx. a deficit of 17.6% of GDP with foreign exchange reserves representing import cover of only eleven weeks (Source: Fitch Solutions, June 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic has further constrained the sovereign’s external liquidity. Reflecting this risk, both Fitch and Moody’s downgraded Zambia’s long-term issuer ratings in April (to CC and Ca, respectively), citing the increased likelihood of a default event. Since then, the country has hired Lazard’s as advisor on a formal ‘liability management’ mandate in negotiations with […]

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The end of the CFA Franc? The debate continues…

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Date: 29 July 2020

Late last year, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron jointly announced plans for the West African CFA Franc (the “XOF”) to be replaced by a new regional currency, the “Eco”, from mid-2020, reversing the decades-long currency regime in West Africa. The XOF is pegged to the EUR at 1 EUR to 655.957 CFA Francs. The critical tenant of the currency is that the French Treasury guarantees convertibility at this fixed-rate, in exchange for UEMOA-member countries depositing 50% of their respective reserves with the French Treasury. The timing of the December announcement was viewed with some surprise, […]

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Receivables Finance: Innovative approaches to unlocking Access to Finance for African SMEs

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Date: 30 June 2020

Restricted access to finance for SMEs remains a roadblock to growth for economies worldwide. Africa remains no different, as SMEs typically provide 50% or more of the workforce in most countries, yet the SME “funding gap” perpetually totals in the billions of dollars. SMEs are continually frustrated by raising capital from traditional funding channels such as banks, who still typically require traditional (and expensive) information sources such as audited financial statements that few SMEs have a consistent need for or collateral security that few SMEs have access to. The current pandemic-induced economic crisis is accentuating this situation, with SME demand […]

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South Africa is poised to ease lockdown restrictions

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Date: 30 June 2020

South Africa is poised to enter a phase of normality under “advanced” level 3 of the national lockdown as announced by the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa on the 17th of June 2020. South Africa entered level 3 on June 1, 2020. The “advanced” level 3 is a further relaxation of the lockdown. Most businesses will be returning to normal trading at this level. Following consultative discussions with scientists and industry leaders, the country is easing restrictions on certain business industries. Restrictions will be eased in South Africa for the following activities: Restaurants for ‘sit-down’ meals Personal care services, including […]

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Verdant Capital supports key Inclusive Finance sector initiative on debt refinancing coordination

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Date: 30 June 2020

Verdant Capital has signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on “Coordinating among MIVs in response to COVID-19”. Verdant Capital has long collaborated with other market participants on such initiatives and recognizes the constructive outcomes for the viability inclusive financial institution (IFIs) that can result from coordination and transparency at this critical juncture for the sector. Specific measures among lender groups to ease the burden on such institutions – such as consolidated reporting and liquidity forecasting templates and coordinated reconsideration of financial covenant thresholds and repayment schedules – can immediately alleviate liquidity pressures that provide these institutions with the ability to replicate […]

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Receivables Finance: Innovative approaches to unlocking Access to Finance for African SMEs

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Publication: Making Finance Work for Africa Blog

Date: 8 June 2020

Making Finance Work for Africa Logo

Restricted access to finance for SMEs remains a roadblock to growth for economies worldwide. Economies across the African continent remain no different: in South Africa, where SMEs are estimated to employ between 30 and 50% of the workforce and contribute 20% of GDP[1], the estimated credit gap for SMEs in SA between $6 and $23 billion;[2] in Kenya, recent estimates put the MSME Finance gap as a percentage of GDP at 31%, totalling nearly $20 billion.[3] Similar estimates put SMEs providing 80% of the country’s employment and contributing 20% of GDP;[4] and  in Côte d’Ivoire, 2016 government reports indicated that […]

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SPECIAL REPORT: One Size Does Not Fit All – Restructuring for Uncertain Times, from Verdant Capital

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Publication: MicroCapital Monitor, May 2020

Date: 1 June 2020

MicroCapital

This sponsored content was written by Edmund Higenbottam and Patrick Ball, who serve, respectively, as the Managing Director and a Director of Verdant Capital. Verdant Capital is a leading specialist financial advisory firm that operates across Africa. A combination of factors is challenging the economic sustainability of financial institutions and other businesses large and small across Africa. Globally, the COVID-19 crisis and associated lockdowns have had the effect of “calling the end of a long bull market” that has run since the credit crisis of 2008. In most African markets, however, the bull market had already ended some years before […]

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Verdant Capital Inaugural Video Africa Virtual Investor Conference

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Date: 29 May 2020

Video Africa by Verdant Capital

Verdant Capital successfully held its inaugural Video Africa virtual investor conference on May 5-7. Over the three days, more than 150 one-on-one meetings were held with over 50 leading relevant investors and eight of our selected clients with operations in seven countries across Africa, ranging from microfinance banks to credit-only institutions and “fintechs”. For the foreseeable future, logistical challenges, especially around travel, will impact how cross-border investment flows are negotiated and diligenced. Video Africa plays an important role in stimulating access to finance for these types of institutions working within the parameters of the “new normal”. Such funding is important now […]

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Restructuring – time for a change in direction?

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Date: 29 May 2020

A combination of factors in the current environment is challenging the economic sustainability of businesses and financial institutions large and small across Africa. Globally, the COVID-19 crisis and associated lockdowns had the effect of “calling the end of a long bull market” since the credit crisis in 2008.  In most African markets, the bull market had already ended some years before the pandemic. In Africa, the pandemic has compounded the difficulties presented by weaker commodity prices, sovereign credit challenges, volatile exchanges rates and uncertain public policy regimes. From an investment perspective, there has been an increasingly “risk-off” investor approach to […]

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Ghana – digital payments in the Covid-19 era

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Date: 29 May 2020

Ghana has been taking steps to sustain its economy amidst the coronavirus pandemic and related lock-downs and has started multiple initiatives. African countries, in general, have taken a hard knock from the impact of the pandemic and most countries remain in the early stages. The Ghanaian government’s quest to ease the pain of small businesses from the devastating consequences of the novel coronavirus is expected to reach at least 200,000 companies, as said by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI). Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta in March announced that as part of the Coronavirus Alleviation Program (CAP), an amount […]

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Zeepay Ghana granted EMI license by Bank of Ghana

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Date: 30 April 2020

Zeepay Ghana has been awarded the Electronic Money Issuer (EMI) license to operate as a mobile financial services company by the Bank of Ghana, the regulator of banking and financial services. As a leading African fintech company with footprint in over 20 African markets, their service will now enable subscribers to utilise a complete set of mobile money services such as Cash In – Cash Out, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Transfers, Micro Insurance, Mortgage Remit, Airtime top up, Bill Payment and Pension Collections all in partnership with third parties such as Insurance Companies, Banks, and Pension Trustees amongst others extending its current […]

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Proactive Crisis Management – Enterprises Taking Action to Stay Ahead of Crisis

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Date: 30 April 2020

Verdant Capital’s clients have proactively addressed the pandemic-induced economic crisis, on behalf of staff and clients, acting in cooperation with stakeholders. The companies are looking ahead at their strategic positioning for the period post crisis. Some examples of the steps taken are set out below. Tugende, the leading MSME asset finance firm in East Africa, quickly suspended all penalties for two months and allowed clients to retain their assets and keep working where possible under local lockdown rules. Tugende also provided a $6.50 unconditional cash transfer to its 23,000+ clients across Uganda and Kenya to help with household essentials during […]

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Verdant Capital advises Planet42 on its ongoing capital raising programme. Planet42 (formerly ‘CarGet’) is the fastest-growing provider of Rent-to-Buy vehicle finance in South Africa

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Date: 30 April 2020

Following the successful closing of a 2.3-million-euro equity capital raise, Planet42 is seeking local and hard currency debt funding from specialist investors for the expansion of its second-hand vehicle long-term rental portfolio. Planet42 democratizes access to mobility by serving the financially excluded portion of the population – the people ignored by banks and other traditional financiers. The founding team of Planet42 has extensive experience in alternative vehicle finance and private equity in Africa. The CEO was previously a Country Manager in Mogo Finance while the CFO was the Head of African Investments for Trigon Capital. The customers of Planet42 are […]

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“Impact in Action” at Verdant Capital

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Date: 24 March 2020

Verdant Capital’s clients continue to translate social intent into real-world impact. To ensure it properly supports their impact objectives – and meaningfully aligns and contributes to best practices – Verdant Capital is continually enhancing its industry collaboration: CERISE SPI4: The SPI4 social audit tool, overseen by French NGO CERISE, assists financial institutions to better evaluate their implementation of the Social Performance Task Force’s “Universal Standards for Social Performance Management”, including the Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Principles. The tool is now an industry standard. Verdant Capital participated in the SPI4 Steering Committee developing the new web-based tool, comprised of leading industry […]

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CBN widens activities of Microfinance Banks

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Date: 24 March 2020

The Central Bank of Nigeria (“CBN”) has updated its Revised Supervisory and Regulatory Guidelines for Microfinance Banks (“MFBs”) in Nigeria to support their continued development and sustainability. A recent financial sector report published by the CBN concluded that the MFB sector is facing headwinds, including increased competition (for origination and deposits) and increasing credit risk. This is considered the case, especially for the smaller institutions. With these conclusions in mind, in early March the CBN announced a new minimum capital requirement for MFBs, while also splitting the categories of licences from three into four. The new minimum capital structure, states […]

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VIDEO AFRICA by Verdant Capital

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Date: 24 March 2020

Given the increasing restrictions on travel in most countries, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some impact on cross-border flows of investment are inevitable. However, Verdant Capital is committed to maintaining its funding initiatives for its clients as pro-actively as possible. In fact, the work of specialist banks, microfinance banks, microfinance institutions, and fintechs in facilitating credit to the real economy in Africa is now more important than ever. Over the last five years, Verdant Capital has arranged for clients each year in early May one-one-one investors meetings in London. In 2020, May 5 to May 7, Verdant Capital is hosting […]

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Collateral Registry for Movable Assets: Helping unlock access to finance for MSMEs across Africa

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Date: 28 February 2020

Micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) remain the engines of Africa’s economies. They are the principal job creators, and thus critical sources of liquidity. Paradoxically, most entrepreneurs behind these ventures do not have land or real estate to use as collateral to access expansion capital such as bank loans. A 2006 World Bank study affirmed this observation, reporting that 50% of credit applications to banks were rejected because of “insufficient collateral.”  Microfinance plays an integral role in fulfilling this liquidity gap in Africa, as elsewhere, but is often insufficient, keeping many MSMEs from realizing their potential. Furthermore, weak creditor rights, […]

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Kenya’s APA Insurance Ltd wins the 10th European Microfinance Award in recognition of its response to “Strengthening Resilience to Climate Change”

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Date: 28 February 2020

APA Insurance Ltd (“APA”) is a Kenyan insurance company, providing index-based agriculture insurance to cover yields and livestock, providing farmers with a safety net. Index-based insurance is an innovative approach to insurance whereby payments are linked to easily measured environmental conditions known as an “Index” (e.g. the level of rainfall, yields or vegetation levels as measured by satellite) directly connected to the loss of agricultural output. When the Index exceeds a particular threshold, farmers automatically receive compensation. In Kenya, over 75% of farmers are smallholders and are especially vulnerable to the economic impact of climate change. APA covers more than 350,000 families throughout Kenya […]

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Battle of the electronic payment juggernauts

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Date: 28 February 2020

The Nigerian payments space has the two biggest electronic payment rivals going toe-to-toe in the market. Visa and Mastercard, two of the largest companies in the world, each with market capitalisations of multiple hundred billions of dollars, have been making investments in Nigeria in an attempt to complement their core business and increase their exposure to Africa’s largest economy. Between the two companies they have made four investments in the payments sector in Nigeria, in-keeping with similar investments made in other large emerging markets operators.   It is estimated that the number of cards issued in Nigeria by December 2019 […]

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Ghanaian government intends on digitising public services by 2020

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Date: 4 December 2019

The Ghanaian government intends on digitising its public services by 2020, with the aim of achieving 100% paperless and cashless transactions. The West African country also intends to tag every household electronically, including informal settlements, with the aim of eradicating corruption in the country’s public sector. This initiative comes at a very interesting time for the country, with meaningful adoption by the consumer services sector of digital services, which include mobile money, cashless payment solutions, digital remittances and cloud-based services amongst others. Using technology to enhance the transparency and accountability of administrative systems will, in turn, achieve in the short term […]

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S4A’s activities improve water access

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Date: 4 December 2019

Solutions 4 Africa (“S4A”), a member of the VinMart Group of Companies, is the leading provider of water infrastructure solutions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”). S4A’s two flagship projects shall impact close to 2 million people (roughly 2.5% of the country’s population) who will finally benefit from access to potable water as well as basic sanitation and hygiene facilities. The first project has been contracted by the state water utility, (REGIDESO), to provide potable water to approximately 500,000 residents of Kolwezi. The second, in a rural area close to Mbuji-Mayi, has been contracted by ENABEL (the Belgian Development Agency) […]

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Verdant Capital commissioned in October its first survey of investment professionals working for leading Microfinance Investment Vehicles (“MIVs”) investing in Africa.

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Date: 4 December 2019

The survey results support our assertion that growth in senior debt funding available for microfinance/inclusive finance institutions has positively contributed to their growth, but also to the rising leverage levels for the sector as a whole. The key takeaways from the survey: 70% of participants responded that the amount of MIV funding available is growing. This response was consistent for the last and next twelve months prospectively, as well as for funds available to invest globally and also those specifically allocated to Africa. 50% of respondents confirmed that capitalization ratios for their MFI investees are lower than 12-18 month ago […]

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Patrick Ball joins the Johannesburg team as a Director

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Date: 17 October 2019

Patrick has joined the Johannesburg team as a Director. Patrick has over 14 years’ experience in investment management in both global private equity and microfinance investing. Patrick has worked at leading global investors including Doughty Hanson & Co, Deutsche Bank, Developing World Markets (DWM) and Incofin Investment Management. Patrick brings a broad range of skills and experience to Verdant Capital, including investment banking at Bear Stearns in New York and London, and as CFO of FINCA’s microfinance bank in the DR Congo. Patrick will be dedicated full-time to the Verdant Capital Hybrid Fund upon its first close. Verdant Capital is […]

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Verdant Capital opens Lagos office and hires IK Izedonmwen

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Date: 17 October 2019

Ikponmwosa (or Ik. for short) joined Verdant Capital in August, to open Verdant Capital’s Lagos office. Verdant Capital’s office in Lagos is the firm’s fifth office in the continent, the others being Johannesburg, Accra, Kinshasa and Ebene. The physical presence in Nigeria is expected to increase the amount of business the firm executes in Nigeria, a market where Verdant Capital has been active at different stages in the cycle. Ik has over 18 years investment banking experience in West Africa. Prior to Verdant Capital, Ik performed similar roles at firms including Citi, FBN Capital / FBN Quest Merchant Bank, and […]

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Mobile Money Market in Cameroon

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Date: 17 October 2019

In Cameroon, the opportunity in its mobile money sector is underpinned by high mobile penetration rates. More than 20 million Cameroonians out of an estimated population of 24 million are currently subscribing to the mobile phone and notwithstanding the reduction in subscriber numbers, significantly more Cameroonians have a mobile phone than a bank account!  In Central Africa, Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) can only offer Mobile Money in partnership with banks. MMOs are doing what banks have not done i.e. serving informal or unbanked customers i.e. 85% of Cameroonians. Efforts remain to be made as so far only 5 out of 14 banks operating […]

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Trustco Group Holdings ratings upgraded to B+(NA)/B(NA)

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Date: 16 October 2019

The JSE-listed financial services group Trustco Group Holdings reported a successful completion of its formal debt term-extension process with the lender group which reflects a positive outlook and provides clarity of funding for the business going forward. The successful term-extension unlocks potential new funding for Trustco Finance. Trustco Finance works in parallel with group company, Institution of Open Learning (IOL) an accredited tertiary learning institution leveraging technology to provide remote learning on a part-time basis. Trustco Finance is the largest part of the Trustco’s banking and finance segment. The other part of the segment is Trustco Bank which has an […]

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Tugende: MicroFinanza’s Financial and Social Rating Affirmation

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Date: 16 October 2019

Tugende, founded in 2012 in Kampala is a leading technology-enabled productive asset financing company. It has achieved notable growth milestones including the financial and social aspects of the business. MicroFinanza completed a financial and social rating recently to support the capital raising programme arranged by Verdant Capital and was the first rating since inception. This rating produced impressive results for an institution of this size as indicated below. Its financial rating of BB Stable indicates that the institution has good risk management and financial performance. Other aspects include adequate governance and strong market position. Tugende has reached a critical scale […]

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Verdant Capital has hired Brett Roberts as a Director and Head of M&A.

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Date: 14 August 2019

Brett is an experienced M&A banker who has worked at bulge bracket investment banks in London and Johannesburg including Deutsche Bank and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  In a 21-year career, Brett has also worked in M&A at Rand Merchant Bank, as an M&A specialist at Vodacom, and earlier in his career as an equity research analyst and as a strategy consultant. Brett has experience transacting in a range of sectors, including telecoms, mining, financial services, media, technology, healthcare, and industrials. Brett started work last month and reports to Edmund Higenbottam, Managing Director of Verdant Capital.

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Ethiopia opening up its financial sector

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Date: 25 June 2019

  Ethiopia expands access to its financial sector as it has approved Equity Group Holdings, Kenya’s biggest lender by market value to open a representative office in Addis Ababa. This will allow Equity Group to provide remittance services by partnering with an Ethiopian lender to target the three million Ethiopians living abroad. Equity Group’s entry into the country will give the lender access to a combined 500 million people in its six markets of operation including Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, Equity Group won’t be the first Kenyan bank to gain access into […]

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Financial Inclusion in Africa boosted by African Digital Financial Inclusion (ADFI) Fund

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Date: 25 June 2019

  African Development Bank (AfDB) launched the African Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI) in June which is designed to boost digital financial transactions as well as aiding safety in Africa. This facility is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Government of Luxembourg with the goal of financially including at least 320 million Africans, the majority being women by providing access to digital financial services. The fund aims to disburse a total of USD 400 M to up-scale digital financial services in rural and poverty-stricken areas by 2030. Focus will be […]

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Financial Inclusion Enhancement Through Technology

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Date: 25 June 2019

  Partnerships between financial institutions and technology firms allow financial institutions to utilise modern technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Science to create advanced, technology driven products with a greater reach thus enhancing financial inclusion. Such institutions include Medina Islamic Finance, a digital microfinance platform focused on Africa, partnering with United Labs which is a data science venture studio based in New York that focuses on social impact enhancement in Africa. This partnership allows Medina to leverage machine learning and data science to improve its microfinance digital banking platform while United Lab’s AI technology and automated local language […]

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Financial Inclusion through Digital Savings

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Date: 7 June 2019

    The importance of financially including underserved and low-income segments and expanding access to formal financial services has led to the development of advanced, technology driven products across developing countries. Digital Financial Services (DFS) recognises that although there are strong saving tendencies among adults in low-income countries, the usage of saving products at financial institutions is still low. Digital savings however, is still blossoming and identifying the market, product and policies is important as all these factors influence the usage of digital savings. The essential components of digital financial inclusion include: retail assets, digital transactional platforms, devices and additional […]

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La Regionale S.A Engages CNPS as Part of its Digital Transformation Plan

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Date: 7 June 2019

La Regionale S.A. (“La Regionale”) and the National Social Security Fund of Cameroon (“CNPS”) have entered into partnership agreement. CNPS is the state agency in charge of social security. Social security started in Cameroon in 1946. The partnership agreement allows La Regionale, as part of its overall financial services activities, to remit social insurance and entitlement payments on behalf of CNPS. La Regionale is headquartered in Cameroon and it is one of the leading and profitable “2nd category” MFI – a licenced deposit-taking financial institution allowed to provide loans and advances to SMEs and individuals. La Regionale is planning to […]

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Mastercard aiming to create a cashless Africa

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Date: 7 June 2019

  The majority of Africa depends heavily on cash for retail transactions and as a result, there has been an increase in innovative digital payment systems from leading technology companies such as Mastercard. Cash hinders growth in Africa as it places a strain on economies through production costs, crime, corruption and fraud prevention as well as the dangers associated with carrying cash. Small businesses are also negatively impacted due to the costs associated with accessing, securing, transporting and storing cash which further constrains growth if they don’t have the facilities to accept electronic payments. Mastercard believes that expanding access to […]

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Verdant Capital Secures Debt Financing of USD 6 million for Tugende, a Leading Ugandan Fintech Leasing Business

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Date: 20 May 2019

  Verdant Capital secures USD 6 million of debt funding for a leading Ugandan technology-driven leasing business. The funding is part of Verdant Capital’s overall funding programme for Tugende from international specialist investors for the expansion of Tugende’s productive asset finance portfolio, the bulk of which is leases for motorcycle taxis. This debt funding programme has strengthened Tugende’s diversification of its funding base and represents a strong platform for further successful raises from the international specialist market internationally. Part of the funding shall be drawn immediately, and part shall be drawn following the completion of the forthcoming equity round, on […]

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Verdant Capital finished in the top three in DealMakers Africa corporate finance league table for East Africa

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Date: 20 May 2019

  Verdant Capital finished in the top three in DealMakers East Africa corporate finance rankings. Verdant Capital, a specialist financial advisory firm operating on a pan-African basis, in 2018 completed high profile transactions in Southern Africa, Central Africa and East Africa. In East Africa Verdant Capital achieved its highest ranking, finishing second by deal volumes and third by deal value. In a competitive market for mergers and acquisitions advisory in Africa, the firm is differentiated by its global reach. Verdant Capital is the IMAP partner firm for Africa and, along with its partner firms in Morocco and Egypt, have eight […]

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Institute for Open Learning (IOL), Namibia’s Largest Distance Education Institution has Launched a Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme

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Date: 25 April 2019

The Institute for Open Learning (IOL) has launched its fully-fledged Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme for skills training in various fields including bricklaying and plastering; plumbing and pipefitting. TVET was identified as an area where the most economic impact can be derived due to a high number of unskilled and unemployed Namibians. Exploiting synergies across the group, Trustco Bank intends to provide financing for Namibians who wish to start their own businesses in these fields, subject to the individuals enrolling for the programme. IOL is regulated by the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) and by the Ministry of Education […]

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La Regionale’s Transformation into a Fully-fledged Commercial Bank

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Date: 25 April 2019

  La Regionale, a leading microfinance institution in Cameroon is the latest of a number of leading MFIs in the region to be planning to convert into a bank, and obtain a universal banking licence. Its current licence is as an MFI (2nd category) and it has been operating since 1993. The main objective of the conversion is to facilitate broader deposit products and therefore deposit mobilisation for the institution. The goal is principally to better serve the institution’s core customers with micro, SME and housing/education customers continuing to represent around 90% of the bank’s loan book, with larger SMEs […]

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The Central Bank of Nigeria’s New Policy Formulation on Customer Deposits Collection Currently Underway

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Date: 25 April 2019

  Nigeria is currently formulating a new policy which will enable mobile network operators to transfer money, a measure targeted at softening the previous policy that protected the country’s commercial banks. The regulatory environment in Nigeria has generally been considered one of the least permissive in terms of mobile network operators participating in the financial services sector. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may have realised that a heavy reliance on financial institutions to extend their financial services to about 50 million adults out of total country population of about 200 million people would not achieve the best financially inclusive […]

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Verdant Capital advises OTI on the sale of MediSmart

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Date: 24 January 2019

  Verdant Capital advised OTI on the sale of MediSmart, a leading secure personal health informatics solution provider focused on the East African market. MediSmart provides a platform to manage information and claims submission for the medical sector by incorporating contactless smart card and biometric technologies. This enables efficient and secure access to medical information, transactions, claims and reporting. By enabling efficient patient identification and claims administration, MediSmart facilitates the broadest possible access to medical insurance. MediSmart is an example of the application of technology to further the goal of financial inclusion. OTI is listed on NASDAQ in New York. […]

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Tugende, a Kampala-based leading provider of finance leasing for motorcycle taxis and other income generating assets

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Date: 24 January 2019

  Tugende is Uganda’s leading provider of productive asset financing headquartered in Kampala, Uganda and has nine branches broadly covering the busiest towns and districts in the Central, Southern and Eastern Regions of Uganda. Tugende means “Let’s go”. Tugende’s products include lease to own financing packages for motorcycle taxis (locally known as “boda bodas”) and automobile taxis, which includes training, insurance and safety equipment. Tugende’s current target market includes the more than 1 million motorcycle taxi drivers across East Africa, and the USD 37 billion credit gap for SMEs in the region. Tugende is growing through a combination of domestic […]

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Ferme Jambo: Feeding the Future

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Date: 24 January 2019

Verdant Capital acted as sole advisor and manager to Ferme Agro-Pastorale Jambo SARL (Ferme Jambo), the leading integrated maize flour producer in the DRC, in raising USD 7 million in debt financing. Verdant Capital’s expertise, combined with Ferme Jambo’s strong leadership, convinced investors of the management’s integrity and vision along with the viability of the business plan. Ferme Jambo was founded in 2014 by two leading DRC-based businessmen, who have built a reputed and diversified business group over the past 15 years. The company’s objective is to reduce the dependency on imported flour in the Greater Katanga region, where imports […]

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One industry to rule them all

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Date: 24 January 2019

  The Institute of International Finance recently released a report on the size of “Big Tech China”, written by Dennis Ferenzy, which provides an insight into the scale, scope and ambition of Big Tech China. The world is witnessing a rise of an industry that is expected to control every aspect of our lives. Through technologies such as deep learning and AI, together with collaboration with the Chinese state for mass data collection of its citizens. Chinese Technology companies are able to make customized user experiences and predict future consumer behaviour. Two companies that are ruling the stage with this […]

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Orange and MTN Launch pan-African Mobile Money Interoperability

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Date: 17 January 2019

  Interoperable payments are now possible across Africa as the continent’s largest mobile operators and mobile money providers, Orange Group and MTN group announced their joint venture, Mowali. Interoperability levels between digital financial service providers are now beyond the levels of which MTN’s and Orange’s operations and markets could individually achieve, enabling the support of 338 million mobile money accounts in Africa while connecting financial service providers and customers in one inclusive network. This has resulted in the ability to immediately transfer money between mobile money accounts at a low cost. Greater usage of mobile money by clients is the […]

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Financial Inclusion through Technology: The Investors’ Perspective – European Microfinance Week 2018

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Date: 17 January 2019

  The 9th European Microfinance Award in 2018 titled “Financial Inclusion through Technology” intended to highlight how technology assists financial services providers in reaching unbanked and under-banked segments and essentially financially including those segments which do not have access to formal financial services. As published in September 2018, Advans Côte d’Ivoire, ESAF Small Finance Bank and KMF were selected as three finalists.  During European Microfinance Week in Luxembourg – the winner of the award was announced. KMF, a microfinance institution in Kazakhstan, one of the most remote regions of the World, won the award.  To reach clients and improve efficiencies […]

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Digital Financial Services Improving Financial Inclusion

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Date: 17 January 2019

  Positive developments can be achieved through building a more financially inclusive financial sector which serves a vital purpose, offering savings, credit, and payment products allowing for broad access to financial services to benefit poor people and other disadvantaged groups. According to the Global Findex Database Report (2017) published earlier this year, the number of adults who have an account with a formal financial institution increased by 18% since 2011. However, a wide variation remains between gender, high and low-income economies, age differences and level of education. Globally, about 1.7 billion adults (56% women) remain unbanked. Developing economies account for […]

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Hybrid Capital Solutions to Support the Next Phase of Inclusive Growth

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Publication: MicroCapital Monitor, October 2018

Date: 17 November 2018

In recent years, the Inclusive Financial Institution sector has grown significantly in Africa and elsewhere, driven in part by growth in the global specialist investor base supporting the sector, and in part due to the growth of local debt markets. In Africa, this growth has stretched the equity capital bases of many institutions – and of the sector as a whole – due to the narrow range of equity and equity-like capital sources and instruments available to these institutions. One solution to this problem is hybrid capital, an intermediate capital type that sits between debt and equity while meeting the regulatory capital requirements of financial institutions. In Africa, […]

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Verdant Capital Completes a Debt Financing of approx. USD 10 million for Premier Credit

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Date: 13 November 2018

    Verdant Capital has raised approx. USD 10 million for Premier Credit from leading international specialist investors. Premier Credit is a microfinance arm of Platcorp Holdings and its loan products include MSME loans, loans to schools (education portfolio) and asset financing in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The funding will be used for the expansion of its loan book in Kenya and Uganda. A total of five investors have joined this funding round. This funding brings diversification benefits after the group has been historically supported mainly by shareholders, high net worth individuals (HNIs) and other local investors. Premier Credit was […]

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Banking on the Future (DRC)

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Date: 19 October 2018

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a country with significant resources. Its surface area of 2.3 million square kilometres (km) spans the equivalent of two-thirds of the European Union. Despite its vast expanse, the country remains virtually unconnected due to the lack of basic infrastructure, agricultural production, and notable industrial base. As per the CIA World Factbook, only 2,794 km of paved road exists along with only 4,000 km of railways leaving the country disconnected and the population without access to affordable domestic transportation. In contrast to this reality, the DRC, with 80 million hectares of arable land and […]

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Brastorne Bridges the Digital Gap by using Mobile Technology as a Vehicle for Rural Development

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Date: 28 September 2018

  Fintech continues to alter the way many services operate in the process tilting scales in favour of consumers. According to forecasts, Africa’s fintech space will be in the value of approx. USD 3 Bn by 2020. In Botswana, government-owned Botswana Innovation Hub has launched a USD 1.2 M innovation fund targeting fields such as information technology and business services. Africa has unceasingly faced technological and economic problems that Brastorne has been proactive in helping solve. Internet penetration of the African population is only 35.2%, which is significantly lower when compared to the rest of the world’s penetration of 58.4%. […]

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Zeepay, Digitising Ghana’s Economy One Remittance at a Time

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Date: 28 September 2018

  Africa’s fragmented markets and lack of legacy foreign exchange trading infrastructure means that the continent has become a melting pot of fintech activity and innovation. The emergence of fintech in Ghana has sparked a tremendous increase in domestic and cross-border payments. The mobile money industry within Ghana has witnessed stiff competition between Telcos, such as MTN Ghana and licensed service providers in the digital sector. One of the most prominent service providers is Zeepay, which facilitates mobile money payments, domestic transfers and international remittances. Despite the upsurge in the number of banks in Ghana, approx. 70% of the population […]

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European Microfinance Awards for Financial Inclusion through Technology

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Date: 28 September 2018

  The European Microfinance Award 2018 on “Financial Inclusion through Technology” has selected Advans Côte d’Ivoire, ESAF Small Finance Bank and KMF as the three finalists for this award. This award recognises how technology assists financial services providers in reaching unbanked and under-banked segments and essentially financially including those segments which did not have access to formal financial services. The benefits of financial technology include lower costs, provides a platform to exchange information and communication, faster and more reliable financial services and various other methods in which to innovatively provide financial services efficiently and effectively. These three finalists have been […]

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Naspers’ brings its Financial Services to Africa Targeting the Financially Excluded Population

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Date: 31 July 2018

  Naspers, one of the largest technology investors in the world and the largest company in Africa according to market value, has plans to bring its financial services to all of its PayU markets including Africa. South Africa will be the first country to benefit from Naspers’ lending services followed by other African markets. “Naspers has intention to support its lending activities using its own funds”, said the CEO, Bob van Dijk. This will be mainly initiated in countries where Naspers in confident about their customers’ capacity to repay their loans. Naspers will establish partnerships with several technology companies including […]

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Letshego Continuously Improving Lives by Tapping into the Financially Excluded Population

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Date: 31 July 2018

  In 2018, Letshego has embarked on major additional loan portfolio improvements in Uganda and Botswana as part of its “financial inclusion or improving lives” agenda. In Uganda, Letshego has launched a ground-breaking partnership with D.Light Solar to provide home solar power financing to low income earners, the first of its kind in Uganda. D.Light Solar is a leading manufacturer and distributor of solar powered solutions mainly for homes and families with no access to reliable electricity. Access to electricity remains a challenge in Africa with half a billion people currently living without electricity and with many homes left in […]

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FINCA Driving Financial Inclusion through its Digital Transformation

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Date: 31 July 2018

  Finca Impact Finance’s (“FIF”) mission is to bring the financially “excluded” around the world into the financial system. As such, digital solutions have become increasingly important in order to achieve this objective. This is particularly important in FIF’s African markets (Uganda, Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and the DRC) where income levels and transaction sizes are lower, and physical distances and poor infrastructure can make transactions more expensive. FIF’s other markets – such as those in markets Latin America, the Caribbean, Eurasia, the Middle East, and South Asia- are generally more developing. In 2017, FIF successfully launched its HaloYako mobile […]

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Verdant Capital joins IMAP

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Date: 23 May 2018

Verdant Capital has joined IMAP, the leading global M&A partnership, becoming the second partner firm in Africa. The IMAP partnership was established in the early 1970s and has over 500 M&A professionals spanning five continents. IMAP was ranked 8th in the global mid-market M&A league table in 2017 (source: Thomson Reuters). The partnership offers clients buy and sell-side M&A advisory on a global basis as well as related debt advisory and corporate finance services. www.imap.com. Becoming a partner of IMAP provides Verdant Capital’s M&A business with a global reach which is perhaps unparalleled in the middle-market in Africa. Going forward, all […]

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Nigeria launches e-ID Card Programme to Boost Financial Inclusion

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Date: 23 May 2018

In August 2014, the Nigerian Government launched a pilot programme to issue Nigerian National Electronic Identity (“e-ID”) cards to 70 million Nigerians who are 16 years old and above by the end of 2019. The e-ID card combines payment capability and breaks down most significant barriers to financial inclusion including proof of identity, while simultaneously enabling Nigerian to access state-of-the-art financial services. It will also allow users (including the unbanked population) to make payments for goods and services in any part of the world, deposit funds and withdraw cash at ATMs. The National Identity Management Commission (“NIMC”) is working in […]

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The Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa’s hidden gem

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Date: 9 May 2018

The Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”) is a country with significant resources and the country has the true potential to be one of the richest countries on the African continent and a significant driver of Africa’s growth. Despite its vast expanse, the country remains virtually unconnected due to the lack of basic infrastructure, agricultural production and notable industrial base. The lack of depth in the domestic financial sector is perhaps the most important headwind to sustainable growth. The DRC is one of the larger economies in Africa that lacks a domestic stock exchange. More strikingly, aggregate domestic bank assets [of […]

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Verdant Capital Completes Debt Financing of approx. ZAR 95 million (USD 7.5 Million) in Local Currency for Retail Capital

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Date: 9 May 2018

Verdant Capital has raised approx. ZAR 95 million (USD 7.5 million) equivalent in local currency debt financing for Retail Capital from the leading international specialist investors for the expansion of its loan book. This is the first of Retail Capital’s fund-raising programme with international investors. The company has been receiving funding support from specialist local investors, however the transaction arranged by Verdant Capital diversifies Retail Capital’s funding base and represents a foothold in the international specialist funding market. Retail Capital was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in Cape Town with other offices in Johannesburg and Durban. It is the […]

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Special Report: “Aadhaar: Lessons for the African Continent?”

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Publication: MicroCapital Monitor, May 2018

Date: 5 May 2018

In 2009, India launched the world’s largest IT project, i.e. the Aadhaar biometric identification program. The program is intended to drive social and financial inclusion, reform public-sector service delivery, improve fiscal management, increase convenience, etc. An Aadhaar number can be viewed as a permanent financial address. Considering that almost the entire Indian population is now enrolled in Aadhaar – the underprivileged as well as the rich – it also can be viewed as a tool for justice and equality. The program consists of the following: A demographic database with a 12-digit number for each person, secured by fingerprint and retina […]

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EIB Awards for Innovation and Social Impact

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Date: 26 February 2018

At the third EIB Southern Africa SME & Microfinance Academy, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the bank of the European Union, honoured three leading inclusive financial institutions in Southern Africa for innovative solutions and social impact in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise finance...

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Female Participation in the Botswanan Economy

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Date: 2 February 2018

Botswana has taken significant steps towards diversifying its economy. These include diversification away from the historically diamond-heavy economy, reducing unemployment and the empowerment of women. Female entrepreneurs are on the rise in Botswana. The Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (which tracks the percentage of female business ownership in 54 countries), ranked Botswana second in the world in 2017, with female business ownership at 34.6% (a close second to Uganda at 34.8% – Saudi Arabia scored the lowest at 1.5%). Not only are Botswanan women stepping out of the shadow of their male counterparts in terms of business ownership, but they […]

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Improving South Africa’s Payments Infrastructure

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Date: 2 February 2018

BankservAfrica has recognised the need for significant improvement of South Africa’s payments infrastructure. The focus of BankservAfrica for 2018 will be keeping South Africa’s payments infrastructure in-line with the advancing of a digital economy and to promote financial inclusion. According to Emile Burger, the COO of BankservAfrica, “Design-phase talks were being held with bank executives and the Payments Association of South Africa on what the future payments architecture should look like.” The consensus is that it should be affordable and easily accessible if it is to promote financial inclusion. An open-source software released by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation […]

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Scaling Up African MFIs

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Date: 8 January 2018

This article is a synopsis of some of the key take-away points from the “Scaling Up African MFIs” panel discussion at European Microfinance Week in Luxembourg on 1 December 2017. The panelists were Soulemane Djobo (Senior Projects, ADA), Gregoire Danel-Fedou (Group COO, Advans Group), Alexandre Nayme (Head of Social Business and Microfinance Africa, BNP Paribas), Eric Campos (CEO, Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation) and Edmund Higenbottam (MD, Verdant Capital). Edmund Higenbottam discussed the importance of the availability of funding for microfinance institutions (“MFIs”) in Africa is largely dependent on the size of the institution. Most investors prefer larger investment sizes and […]

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The Future of Financial Services

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Date: 8 January 2018

This article is a synopsis of some of the key take-away points from “The Future of Financial Services” panel discussion at SuperReturn Africa in Cape Town on 5 December 2017 with the following panelists: Chijioke Dozie (CEO, OneFi) and Edmund Higenbottam (MD, Verdant Capital). OneFi is an innovative consumer lender in Nigeria, using technology to underwrite, disburse and collect loans. Edmund and Chijioke expect technology to be the driving force that will shape the future of the financial services industry in Africa. Technology is expected to play a significant role on a strategic level, as well as on an operational […]

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Soc Gen Launches YUP

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Date: 8 January 2018

Societe Generale (“Soc Gen”), a multinational French bank (in partnership with Tagpay, a French fintech firm), has launched a new mobile banking app called YUP. YUP has thus far been introduced in Ivory Coast and Senegal, and provides an alternative to traditional banking. The app offers transactional and other financial services, even to those who do not have a bank account. The functionalities of “banking” with YUP include basic transactional services like deposits, withdrawals and money transfer among others. The introduction of more advanced services through the app, like credit advances, is in the pipeline. YUP is already being used by […]

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The Impact of Basel III and IFRS 9 on Bank Lending

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Date: 13 December 2017

Much has been written about Basel III and IFRS 9 and their impact on bank lending. It is important to remember that, especially outside South Africa, banks are large lenders to non-bank financial institutions and other financial intermediaries. We estimate that around one-quarter of borrowings by non-bank lenders in Africa, outside South Africa, is sourced from banks. Basel III, and especially higher minimum common equity tier 1 ratios mean the banks have to increase their lending rates (or cut staff costs) to stand still in terms of their return on equity. Equally, banks must either raise equity or reduce their […]

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Verdant Capital’s Sale of afb Ghana on behalf of JUMO World Recognised as the Best Financial Services Transaction in Africa 2017

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Date: 13 December 2017

Verdant Capital’s successful sale of afb Ghana on behalf of JUMO World has been awarded the accolade, best financial services transaction in Africa 2017. Full financial details were not disclosed but at the time of sale, afb Ghana had total assets of GHS 97 million (approx. USD 23 million). JUMO World is a leading Africa fintech business, which elected to sell the afb Ghana when it ceased to be core to its operations. The transaction was awarded the accolade in recognition of the breadth of interested generated in the transaction, including from local financial institutions, regional pan-African institutions and private […]

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Discovery and TymeDigital set to Launch Digital Banks in South Africa

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Date: 13 December 2017

In September 2015, Discovery announced its intention to launch a bank. Fast-forward two years, and Discovery has obtained a banking licence. Discovery has a track record of achieving success by taking an unconventional approach and differentiating themselves from competition. One can be reasonably certain that this will be the case for Discovery Bank as well. What we know for certain is that the bank will be branchless and target the higher end of the market, i.e. LSM 8 and above. In a similar way to how Discovery Health incentivises people to live a healthy life, it is expected that Discovery […]

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IMAP Creating Value, No 3

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Date: 3 December 2017

Creating Value strives to capture what entrepreneurship and leadership in successful companies attempts to achieve: creating value for clients, employees, shareholders, and for society as a whole. This mindset is also what drives our more than 350 M&A advisors, who strive every day to enhance the interests of IMAP clients in more than 35 countries around the globe.

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Futuregrowth Investment in Retail Capital

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Date: 2 October 2017

In September 2017, Futuregrowth Asset Management (a specialist investment company within the Old Mutual Investment Group) acquired through its Development Equity Fund, a minority shareholding (39.4%) in Retail Capital after receiving approval from the Competition Commission of South Africa. Development Equity Fund has a long and successful track-record of making investments with a social and developmental focus. Having previously invested in the education and healthcare sectors among others, the fund hopes to increase their exposure to SMEs. Retail Capital was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in Cape Town with other offices in Johannesburg and Durban. Retail Capital funds SMEs […]

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Nigeria’s Financial Inclusion Education Campaign

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Date: 2 October 2017

A study by the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation in 2012 revealed significant literacy gaps among Nigerian adults, and a positive correlation between literacy and income. The literacy gaps are more prominent with regards to money management, and a significant portion of the population do not possess the skills to manage their finances and make use of the available financial products. Many Nigerians who do make use of financial services are victims of unethical practices by financial institutions, which can be attributed to low financial literacy. A collaboration between the Central Bank of Nigeria (“CBN”), the Nigeria Education Research and Development […]

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BBS Demutualisation

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Date: 2 October 2017

Botswana Building Society (“BBS”), headquartered in Gaborone is the leading provider of property finance in the country. BBS is in the process of demutualising as a Society to become a Company limited by shares. The decision to demutualise received support from the majority of shareholders (99.97%) at the Special General Meeting held on 24 August 2017 in Gaborone. BBS expects to acquire the Conversion Certificate from the Registrar of Building Societies and the Certificate of Incorporation from the Registrar of Companies by November 2017. BBS will apply for a banking licence in January 2018 and expects to become a fully-fledged […]

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Oil and Gas

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Date: 1 October 2017

The continued drop in oil and gas prices since the summer of 2014 led to a survival mindset in the industry, highlighting the importance of cost reduction and efficiency...

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RenMoney – MSME Finance to Small Scale Retailers Adopting the Baxi Box

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Date: 7 September 2017

In 2015, Capricorn Digital Limited introduced a unique technology-driven Point of Sale (POS) device known as Baxi Box (pictured above), to help improve online business transactions on a real-time basis for the mass market consumers (people who do not use smartphones) through a network of agents. Capricorn is a digital solutions and distribution company that supports the growth of agents, merchants and MSMEs through the efficient and effective distribution of digital products and services utilising its extensive distribution network across Nigeria. RenMoney is providing loans to small retailers and other agents to fund purchases of a Baxi Box and associated […]

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Africa Accounts for Over Half Mobile Money Transactions Worldwide

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Date: 7 September 2017

The 2016 Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (“GSMA”) report “State of Mobile Money in Sub-Saharan Africa” revealed that the number of live mobile money services amounts to 140 across 39 countries in the Sub-Saharan region at the end of 2016 from its lowest level of 2 in 2006. This represents more than half of the 277 mobile money transactions across the globe. In the last ten years, the global mobile money adoption has been driven by the growth in the Sub-Saharan Africa where this comprises of East Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa bringing the region at the forefront […]

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South Africa Poses a Challenging Environment for Entrepreneurship

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Date: 7 September 2017

A study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) released in July 2017 revealed that just 26% of business loans from banks in South Africa are granted to SMEs, and that the number of microfinance providers has dropped. This is significantly lower than other wealthy emerging countries. For comparison, banks in South Africa’s BRICS counterparts China and Brazil lend 64% and 40% of their business loans to SMEs respectively. A study by the International Labour Organisation in 2016 revealed that microfinance ranked last out 11 possible ways to finance a start-up business. The high unemployment rate and unequal […]

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Amazon to Expand its Lending to Small Businesses in Challenge to Big Banks

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Date: 7 July 2017

Amazon, a Seattle-based company announced in June 2017 that Amazon Lending has surpassed USD 3 billion worth of loans and advances to small businesses since its launch in 2011. The company is targeting to expand its lending to small businesses in the US, the UK and Japan which will prove to be a direct threat to the big banks which have historically denominated these markets. We view Amazon Lending as interesting case study for the African market given the increasing successes of many e-commerce players and various supply chain financing institutions (more on this next month). Within the past year, […]

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Safaricom Rolling out Mobile Money after the Sale of Vodafone Stake

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Date: 7 July 2017

In May 2017, Vodacom announced it had agreed to buy from its parent company Vodafone, a 35% stake in Safaricom, a Nairobi-based mobile network operator company for USD 2.6 billion. The sale of such stake will enable Safaricom to look to new markets as it is now planning to expand its popular mobile-banking service M-Pesa into other African countries such as Nigeria and Angola. This move is expected to expose the company to growth opportunities outside its home country where it is under pressure from lawmakers and regulators with respect to its dominance in the market. M-Pesa has more than […]

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Premier Credit – Asset financing business

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Date: 7 July 2017

  Premier Credit, an MSE-lending business in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, has continued to expand and broaden its “Partnership Products” programmes, its high impact asset financing programmes. Premier Credit has financed 500 bio-gas digesters in Kenya since 2014. Each digester uses 2 kg of cow dung per day, approximately the product of two cows. Each digester produces three cubic metres of gas each day which is used by most households for cooking. The bi-product is a slurry that can be used as a fertiliser, especially for higher value crops such as vegetables. The bio-gas digesters are an Indian technology. The […]

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Senegal, a member of Western African Economic and Monetary Union (“WAEMU”) Creates Digital Currency History

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Date: 15 June 2017

December 2016, Senegal, a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (“WAEMU”) became the second largest country in the world after Tunisia to launch a block-chain based national digital currency which could either provide big opportunities or competition in the banking sector. Known as the eCFA, it is designed to operate alongside the CFA Franc, the country’s and the region’s national currency, adopted by fourteen countries in the region. The new currency will be compatible with other digital cash systems like MPesa which have themselves been revolutionary for the millions of unbanked population in the African continent. eCFA […]

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Mobile Money Panel at East Africa Com – May 2017

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Date: 15 June 2017

A number of issues were raised on the East AfricaCom Mobile Money panel in May regarding the future of the USSD mobile money channel, the breadth of services offered through the channel and the potential threats to and opportunities for this business model. The panel was hosted in Nairobi, Kenya, the birthplace of mobile money. Ed Higenbottam, Managing Director of Verdant Capital identified two competing themes: (i) the ever-broadening product offering through the USSD channel: payments, micro-loans, micro-insurance, remittances, micro-investments (for example the recent M-Akiba bond); and (ii) the long-term potential threat to the USSD-business model as a result of […]

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Caisse Centrale de Garantie wins the “Financial Inclusion” Award at the 2017 African Banker Awards

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Date: 15 June 2017

Caisse Centrale de Garantie (“CCG”) based in Morocco won the “Financial Inclusion” trophy hosted at the African Banker Awards 2017, organized on the side-lines of the annual meetings of the African Development Bank (“AfDB”) held in Ahmedabad, India. Such an award recognizes CCG’s commitment and successful strategy in terms of financial inclusion with a demonstrated impact on improving access to financing for MSMEs and low-income individuals. Established in 1949, the CCG is a public financial institution, which is assimilated to a credit institution under the banking law. The CCG is administered by a Board of Directors chaired by the Minister […]

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Medical Devices

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Date: 1 June 2017

There are strong underlying fundamentals and high valuations making this segment attractive...

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IMAP Creating Value, No 2

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Date: 1 June 2017

Creating Value strives to capture what entrepreneurship and leadership in successful companies attempts to achieve: creating value for clients, employees, shareholders, and for society as a whole. This mindset is also what drives our more than 350 M&A advisors, who strive every day to enhance the interests of IMAP clients in more than 35 countries around the globe.

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Verdant Capital has won the prestigious award Best Capital Raise in Africa, 2016

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Date: 3 May 2017

Elsewhere in the financial services sector, Verdant Capital has won the prestigious award Best Capital Raise in Africa, 2016 from Acquisition International for its ZAR 450 million capital raise for Trustco Group.  The award is in recognition for the complexity of the transaction combining senior and subordinated tranches, as well as its size versus market benchmarks, as one of the largest transactions in the Namibian history.  Separately, Verdant Capital has also been shortlisted for the African Banker award for Financial Inclusion, 2017

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Verdant Capital advises JUMO World Limited on the sale of 100% of afb Ghana to Letshego Holdings Limited.

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Date: 3 May 2017

Letshego has announced the completion of the acquisition of afb Ghana following final regulatory approvals.  afb Ghana was launched in 2010 and has total assets of GHS 97 million (approx. USD 23 million), making it now one of the largest consumer and micro lending institutions in Ghana.  JUMO World advised by Verdant Capital, has sold the business in order to focus on its core financial technology business. Letshego Holdings Limited, is a leading pan-African inclusive finance institution, listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange, with total assets of BWP 7.5 billion (approx. USD 710 million).  The transaction is one of a series of successful transactions […]

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Verdant Capital opens office in Kinshasa

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Date: 3 May 2017

Verdant Capital, head-quartered in Johannesburg, is opening its fourth office, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. DR Congo is the seventh largest economy in Sub Sahara Africa and has a population of over 77 million. Imran Patel, has joined Verdant Capital as a Vice president, to open to the firm’s office in the country.  Imran Patel, based in Kinsasha, has 15-years experience in investment management and business strategy.  Following many years working for a leading North American hedge fund, Imran returned to DR Congo, the country in which he was raised.  In addition to financial services, Imran has extensive experience in sectors […]

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47% of Tanzania’s GDP Transferred through Mobile Phones

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Date: 24 April 2017

Tanzania has witnessed a significant increase in financial inclusion reaching 86% from its lowest level of 16% eight years ago. Mobile money revolution is the driver of such growth with TZS 43 trillion (equivalent to 47% of the country’s GDP) being transferred through mobile phones. Mobile money has helped many Tanzanians including the poor to transact in a fraction of seconds despite the vast distances between some of them. Mobile money services have become popular just in a decade with major players including Vodacom’s M-Pesa, Tigo Pesa, Airtel Money and Ezy Pesa competing against each other for customers. This brings […]

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Zimbabwe Could Soon Accept Livestock as Loan Collateral

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Date: 24 April 2017

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe will soon establish a collateral registry for movable property to enable the economy’s informal sector mostly made up of small businesses to use movable property including livestock and vehicles as security against loans from banks. Zimbabwe’s economy is now dominated by informal businesses following the contraction of the formal sector between 2000 and 2008. The Movable Property Security Interest Bill presented this month by the Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa aims to make it easy for the small businesses to access funding from local banks. Most small businesses are not in possession of the immovable property […]

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Letshego – a Leading pan-African Inclusive Financial Institution

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Date: 24 April 2017

Letshego, a leading pan-African inclusive financial institution operating in eleven African markets spanning Southern, Eastern and Western African is expanding certain initiatives to further enhance its financial inclusion impact as well as its customers’ convenience. Letshego has an innovative mobile product which uses the USSD-system to allow customers to move money from their Letshego current accounts to their mobile money accounts to facilitate convenient mobile money payments. Convenient access to money is of course a key driver of customer behaviour in terms of choosing to participate in formal savings. Letshego has rolled out this product in markets where it has […]

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Telematics

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Date: 19 April 2017

The broad application and range of telematics solutions and value-added services is attracting new players, new solutions and new business models which are contributing to rapid expansion of the overall market. Read this IMAP report for more information.

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Logistics India, Industry Report

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Date: 19 April 2017

Logistics is an integral activity for economic growth as it involves the management of flow of goods from place of origination to place of consumption. Click here to read this industry report.

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Indian IT Industry, M&A Landscape 2017

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Date: 19 April 2017

India is the world's largest sourcing destination for the global information technology ("IT") industry with overall annual revenue of USD 130 billion (2016). Click here to read this industry report.

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Trustco Bank re-starts micro and SME-lending after the closing of ZAR 450 million group funding

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Date: 4 April 2017

Trustco Bank, formerly FIDES Bank, has started micro and SME-lending, following the first disbursement from the European Investment Bank (EIB) of its EUR 7.5 million (equivalent) facility. The facility from EIB was part of a ZAR 450 million group funding arranged by Trustco’s advisors, Verdant Capital, which was announced in November 2016. The overall ZAR 450 million of funding is being used to support, Trustco Bank, Trustco Finance (Trustco’s education lending business) and Trustco’s property development business, which is focused on affordable housing. In 2014, Trustco acquired FIDES Bank which had been known as the micro/SME bank in Namibia. The […]

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The Importance of a More Developed Banking System – Africa

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Date: 4 April 2017

In Angola, more than 50% of the population do not own a personal bank account and approximately 60% of the country’s GDP circulates outside the banking system. The banking infrastructure is still underdeveloped in most African countries which is a major drawback for development. Maria Luisa Andrade who spoke at the official opening of Banco Postal this year said: “this is a significant loss to Angolan society, to the extent that these resources, as they are outside the financial system, do not generate taxes, they do not drive credit development and limit the growth of the country.” Banco Postal is […]

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Fund Raising for Inclusive Financial Institutions in Nigeria from International Markets

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Date: 4 April 2017

Current challenges in raising funding for inclusive financial institutions in Nigeria from international markets include, the uncertainty around the foreign exchange policy and risk of central bank rationing of US Dollars when the time comes to service the debt. International investors who have invested over the last few years and have executed offshore currency hedges have been impacted by rationing of US Dollars. International investors today who are looking at the market, are exploring different hedging mechanisms, including back-to-back facilities with local banks, or even providing unfunded guarantees, but many specialist inclusive finance investors are maintaining a watching brief for […]

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Driving financial inclusion in Africa: Verdant Capital has identified four main themes as the driving forces behind financial inclusion

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Publication: Banker Africa Issue 42 March 2017, CPI Financial March 2017

Date: 24 March 2017

A critical theme in terms of the development agenda in Africa is financial inclusion, meaning increasing the proportion of poorer people (including those who live in rural areas) who have access to financial services, for example basic savings products, credit and insurance. Persons without access to such services are said to be financially excluded. We identify four key themes driving financial inclusion in Africa: (i) technological change, (ii) adoption of best practice, (iii) the broadening of wholesale funding markets available to the lending institutions on the ground, and (iv) finally, financial inclusion has become a mainstream segment for a broad […]

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GreenFin expands its clean energy business

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Date: 8 March 2017

Perhaps no other continent has witnessed the same excitement in terms of opportunities for renewable power, especially solar as Africa. In East Africa, innovators have used the technology to bring power to off grid locations. South Africa has been better known for utility scale renewable projects and several bid rounds dating back to 1988. However, South Africa has a growing grid-tie market for renewable energy and is making a significant impact on climate change abatement. This is where “on-grid” customers invest in solar technology to supplement grid power, e.g. roof top solar at shopping malls. GreenFin Financial Services, a Cape […]

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Climb Credit shakes up American student loans – a role model for Africa?

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Date: 8 March 2017

Access to education by students is a global challenge with a large number of students failing to settle their massive student loan debts after graduating. This has been a consistent problem of the US system. Climb Credit, a US based fintech startup provides small student loans to the American students for short programmes normally less than a year. It originates loans at an average size of USD 10 000. The programmes range from coding to web design, from underwater welding to programming robots for carmakers. Some students have scant formal education; others advanced degrees. The number of loan applications is […]

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MyBucks: fintech and financial inclusion

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Date: 8 March 2017

MyBucks founded in 2011, is a Luxembourg-based fintech company primarily engaged in the consumer lending sector. Through its brands GetBucks, GetBanked and GetSure the company offers unsecured consumer loans, banking solutions as well as insurance products to customers. The company has experienced an exponential growth since its inception and has completed major milestones to date including the listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange with an initial public offering that raised EUR 15.5 M (approx. USD 16.5 M) in 2016. The proceeds assisted the company to complete its Pan-African expansion strategy through the acquisition from Opportunity International (a US-based NGO) of […]

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The M&A Market in Africa’s Alternative Finance Sector

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Publication: MicroCapital Monitor, February 2017, Vol 12: Issue 2

Date: 16 February 2017

Headlines in the M&A market in Africa recent years seem to have been dominated by the to-ing and fro-ing of Anglo-South African giants such as Barclays Africa / ABSA and Old Mutual. However, the middle market in financial institutions has been perhaps more active. The M&A market in the alternative finance sector (non-bank or “speciality” lenders) has seen at least thirty transactions (excluding minority stakes) completed over the last five years, and activity levels remain robust over the last 18 months notwithstanding the slow-down of the M&A market overall. The alternative finance sector covers a range of credit institutions which […]

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Peach Payments announces intention to expand into Kenya, Nigeria and Namibia

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Date: 17 January 2017

Peach Payments, a South African fintech start-up recently announced their intention to expand into Kenya, Nigeria and Namibia. The company offers businesses esp SMEs a way to receive payments from customer across platforms without need for an online platform or integration. In 2016, the company launched a payments solution called “PaySafe” which has already processed over ZAR 1 Billion in transactions and will change how businesses receive payments from customers across the globe. “Our initial target for Peach Payments was online or mobile merchants wanting to monetise audiences in South Africa. Over 200 South African online merchants are using Peach […]

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Verdant Capital's MD speaks at the recent AfricaCom Conference

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Date: 17 January 2017

Verdant Capital’s Managing Director, Ed Higenbottam spoke at the recent AfricaCom conference on the panel on mobile financial services, alongside Equity Bank’s John Staley (Chief Officer – Finance Innovation & Technology) and Letshego’s James Wainaina (Group Head of Customer Experience). John Staley explained Equity Bank’s strategy in entering the MVNO business as to try to break the operator dependency, which is an inevitable consequence of most mobile banking in Africa being conducted through the USSD channel. Equity Bank has introduced a film SIM technology to allow customers to switch network in order to perform banking. He explained that most telcos […]

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Verdant Capital advises Jumo World Limited on the sale of 100% of afb Ghana to Letshego Holding Limited.

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Date: 17 January 2017

afb Ghana was launched in 2010 and has total assets of GHS 97 million (approx. USD 23 million), making it now one of the largest consumer and micro lending institutions in Ghana.  Jumo World, which is backed by leading specialist funds such as Leapfrog, Vostok and Gemcorp, is divesting from afb Ghana in order to focus on its core financial technology business. The acquirer of the business is Letshego Holdings Limited, a leading pan-African consumer and micro finance institution, listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange, with total assets of BWP 7.5 billion (approx. USD 710 million).  afb Ghana’s strategy of […]

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Raising Funds for Non-bank Financial Institutions in Africa

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Publication: MicroCapital Monitor, January 2017, Vol 12: Issue 1

Date: 14 January 2017

The non-bank financial institution (NBFI) sector, often referred to as the alternative finance sector or the shadow banking sector, around the world is largely dependent on the institutional market for funding. By regulation, NBFIs in most markets are prohibited from gathering deposits or restricted from transactional banking services, which are critical to attract deposits. In most markets, banks themselves are reluctant to lend to NBFIs, given the potential long-term competitive threat. For example, Capitec of South Africa and Equity Bank of Kenya, which are now very much fully-fledged banks, have roots as NBFIs. In South Africa, the deepest and broadest […]

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Creating Value, No 1

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Date: 1 January 2017

Creating Value strives to capture what entrepreneurship and leadership in successful companies attempts to achieve: creating value for clients, employees, shareholders, and for society as a whole. This mindset is also what drives our more than 350 M&A advisors, who strive every day to enhance the interests of IMAP clients in more than 35 countries around the globe.

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Verdant Capital successfully arranges GHS 13 million loan facility for First Allied Savings and Loans

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Date: 2 December 2016

Verdant Capital has successfully arranged for First Allied Savings and Loans, a leading Ghanaian financial institution, a loan facility amount of GHS 13 million (approx. USD 3.2 million) from a leading international impact investor. This facility is the first tranche of a private placement debt deal of GHS 60 million (approx. USD 15 million), the balance will close early in the new year. The institution has total assets of around USD 90 million with about 63% of its loan book is represented by micro-enterprise loans and 34% by SME loans. SMEs and micro-enterprises are critical for the economic and social […]

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Funding raised for Trustco Bank Namibia

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Date: 7 November 2016

Trustco Group concluded a 100% acquisition of Fides Bank Namibia Limited, one of six licensed banks in Namibia in 2014. The financial institution was renamed “Trustco Bank Namibia” following the acquisition and recapitalization. SME lending continues to be a priority of the Bank: to offer financial assistance to Namibian entrepreneurs which will boost employment and profitability of the SMEs in the country. Part of the funding raised in this financing round will be used to restart this part of the loan book. Frankfurt School of Finance and Management is providing technical assistance to the Bank. The Bank also plans to […]

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Verdant Capital completes debt financing of approx. ZAR 450 million for Trustco

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Date: 7 November 2016

Verdant Capital has completed for Namibian financial services and property group, Trustco, a debt financing of approx. ZAR 450 million. Trustco is listed on the JSE and the Namibian Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of ZAR 2.9 billion (approx. USD 215 million). The financing represents the second largest equity or debt financing by a Namibian-owned private sector company. The funds raised will be deployed principally in Trustco’s banking and finance segment, through Trustco Bank and Trustco Finance, the Company’s principal lending arms. The funds will be mainly used for home loans, small enterprise and individual business loans, as well […]

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Verdant Capital awarded Africa M&A Deal of the Year by Acquisition International

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Date: 18 October 2016

Verdant Capital has been awarded the prestigious Africa M&A deal of the year (2016) by Acquisition International, for its USD 51 million sale of Greenbelt Fertilisers to Yara International. The transaction, which is one of the largest transactions in the fertiliser sector in Africa in recent times, completed in May 2016 following COMESA competition authority approval. The transaction is part of a broader global trend whereby the largest upstream producers are buying up regional fertiliser blending and marketing businesses. Over the last five years there have been 30 such transactions globally (about a quarter of which in Africa) for a […]

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Verdant Capital arranges USD 3 million credit facility for Pan African Building Society

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Date: 18 October 2016

Verdant Capital has arranged for leading Zambian non-bank financial institution, Pan African Building Society (PABS) a revolving credit facility to support its invoice discounting and supply chain financing activities. The initial facility amount is USD 3 million, with the opportunity to upsize, and the financing is supported by technical assistance. The intention is that the financing structure will provide a platform which other funders may ultimately join. PABS is a leading Zambian deposit-taking financial institution regulated by the Bank of Zambia under the Banking and Financial Services Act and the Building Society Act. The institution has a total balance sheet […]

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Adoption of financial technologies rapidly benefitting financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Date: 13 October 2016

The adoption of mobile money and financial technologies has enhanced a rapid transition towards financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past few years. This has brought Sub-Saharan Africa’s population much more than just access to financial services. This has generated new and innovative services that are influential in achieving some of the key targets UN has laid under the “Sustainable Development Goals Initiative” In 2015, the UN adopted the 2030 Development Agenda titled “Transforming our World” with goals including no poverty, quality education, gender equality, affordable clean energy, decent work, and economic growth, reduced inequality. Irrational Innovations, a venture […]

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Verdant Capital arranges a revolving credit facility for Pan African Building Society

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Date: 13 October 2016

Verdant Capital has arranged for leading Zambian non-bank financial institution, Pan African Building Society (PABS) a revolving credit facility to support its invoice discounting and supply chain financing activities. The initial facility amount is USD 3 million, with the opportunity to upsize, and the financing is supported by technical assistance. The intention is that the financing structure will provide a platform which other funders may ultimately join. PABS is a leading Zambian deposit-taking financial institution regulated by the Bank of Zambia under the Banking and Financial Services Act and the Building Society Act. The institution has a total balance sheet […]

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Trustco Finance selected as semi-finalists for European Microfinance Award

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Date: 13 October 2016

Trustco Finance, a subsidiary company of Trustco Group Holdings Ltd submitted its application for the 7th European Microfinance Award 2016 on “Microfinance and Access to Education” in mid-2016. Trustco Finance was selected as one of the ten award semi-finalists. The 2016 award attracted a total of 30 applications from 19 countries. With the award being focused on “Microfinance and Access to Education”, it is intended to recognize the role of microfinance in enabling access to education for children and/or skill-training for youth and adults to enhance their employment and self-employment. Trustco Finance provides 100% of financing on all Institute for […]

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Orange launches international money transfer service, Orange Money

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Date: 7 September 2016

Orange, one of the largest operators of mobile and internet services in Europe and Africa has announced the launch of Orange Money to allow customers in France to transact with and make money transfers to customers in Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Senegal. “We are delighted to offer the Orange Money solution to our customers living in Metropolitan France and particularly to those with a link to Africa,” said Patrick Roussel, Orange France Consumer Sales Director. The Orange Money service was launched in Cote d’Ivoire in 2008 and now has over 18 million customers in 14 African countries and also has […]

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Jumia launches online payment solution

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Date: 7 September 2016

Jumia, Nigeria’s No. 1 online retailer and Pan-African leading e-commerce announced in August 2016, the launch of Jumia Pay, a third-party payment solution aimed at providing a safer, faster and more convenient online payment solution across the 23 countries in which the company operates. “Jumia Pay has a very simple yet crucial objective: go even further in providing a safe, a secure and a convenient shopping experience to our customers, building trust along the way between us, our thousands of sellers and our millions of customers. We are very proud to be able to offer this new service to our […]

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Bank of Zambia launches collateral registry

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Date: 7 September 2016

While much attention was drawn to the recent presidential elections, the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) and the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) recently announced the launch of a collateral registry. The registry is intended to facilitate SMEs to access funding using other forms of movable property as collateral security. “The launch of collateral registry will increase access to funding, especially for SMEs, and lead to better terms for loan contracts. Currently many SMEs are excluded from the formal credit market largely because they lack assets that can serve as collateral, although they may generally have a wide array of […]

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Is technology the key disruptor of financial services across Africa?

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Publication: Deal Makers Africa, Vol 9: No 2, 2016

Date: 19 August 2016

In many markets on the African continent, significant growth in the number and breadth of financial services providers can be seen. This is in terms of the number of non-bank financial services providers who have reached critical mass in terms of size and scale, as well as the number of “non-traditional banks” (ie non-bank financial services providers) who have climbed the regulatory hierarchy and become deposit-taking banks (for example, Trustco in Namibia, and before them Capitec in South Africa). A number of critical factors have contributed to this trend including technology and innovation changing the shape of asset origination, as […]

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RenMoney Introduces new Education Loan

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Date: 1 August 2016

RenMoney, a leading Nigerian inclusive lender, is launching a new education loan product, specifically tailored to fund school fees payments by their customers. The education loan product will deploy funding raised by Verdant Capital, as well as RenMoney’s existing resources. RenMoney, like many unsecured lenders in Africa, is aware that a significant part of its customer base use their loans for purposes of school fees, such is the importance placed on education by parents across the continent. The tailored school fees product will go one step further: the loans will be repayable by parents but will be disbursed directly to the schools who […]

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Sidian Bank Lauches Car Loan based on Uber Data

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Date: 1 August 2016

Uber’s recent arrival in Kenya has not only disrupted the traditional taxi industry but has also brought an incidental by-product which looks set to make inroads in the East African nation’s highly constrained credit market. Kenya’s consumer lending market has historically been severely limited by the lack of consumer data. Currently, only 4.4% of population have taken out a personal bank loan with most Kenyan’s facing an average interest rate of 18%. However, in this era of unprecedented connectivity, the transport company is now also helping to bridge this credit gap. Through the use of Uber driver data, Sidian Bank has […]

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Africa's Mobile Ecosystem contributes USD 150 billion to the Continent

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Date: 1 August 2016

In a recent report released by GSMA Intelligence titled, “The Mobile Economy: Africa 2016”, research suggests that the mobile ecosystem is fast becoming a major economic driver throughout the African continent with its services contributing more than USD 150 billion to the African economy. According to Mats Granryd, Director General of GSMA, “The transformational impact of mobile is being felt more profoundly in Africa than anywhere else in the world; Africa’s mobile industry is at the forefront of helping to deliver the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.” While Africa is the least penetrated mobile market globally, it still represents the […]

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First Allied Savings & Loans

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Date: 1 July 2016

First Allied Savings & Loans, one the of the largest savings and loans institutions in Ghana has made impressive strides in terms of the implementation of its agency business model in the first year of its operation. The agency business model, branded “AlliedAgent” which is an important part of their overall financial inclusion strategy, was launched in June 2015. Each “AlliedAgent” is a kiosk in a corner shop or fuel station. So far First Allied has 150 agents; in comparison First Allied has 25 branches, so the agency model has multiplied the total number of “outlets” their customers can utilise […]

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Has the gloss come off the Africa rising narrative?

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Publication: Deal Makers Africa, Vol 8: No 4

Date: 16 February 2016

The historic combination of favourable macro-economic conditions for Africa began to reverse in 2013, with a weakening of most commodity prices as well as the taper tantrum in the global financial markets. Over the course of last year the decline in commodity prices has continued and even accelerated, and in December, the US Federal Reserve finally announced its first increase in interest rates for nearly a decade. Two to three years of falling commodity prices has now left governments grappling with meaningful current account and fiscal deficits. Previous economic darlings, such as Nigeria and Angola – 18 months on from […]

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FNB says SA must use its high mobile penetration to sustain financial inclusion

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Date: 9 February 2016

One of South Africa’s leading banks, FNB said the country must use its high mobile penetration to sustain financial inclusion. FNB said the country needed to take advantage of its growing mobile penetration to protect current gains and further broaden access whilst reducing the cost of enablement. FNB Life’s Chief Executive Officer, Lee Bromfield said the country needs to ensure that the current state of the economy does not derail the progress made to date. South Africa’s commitment to broadening financial inclusion focuses on enabling citizens to transact, borrow (credit), invest and insure. Insurance, especially funeral insurance has been a […]

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ZAGACE raising capital for ongoing customer acquisition costs

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Date: 9 February 2016

Zagace is a custom built app store for small medium-size enterprise packages in called zag apps. The platform offers a full suite of enterprise management products from accounting, inventory, sales, manufacturing, storage, HR at a price that is affordable to African SMEs, and accessible via android. The platform, having operated to just over a year, has a customer base from a diverse range of sectors (mainly in Kenya to date) and is in the process of expanding its footprint and product offering into other African markets and already has a customer base in the US. ZAGACE is currently raising additional […]

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Verdant Capital awarded the accolade of Best Corporate Finance Firm in South Africa

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Date: 7 December 2015

Verdant Capital has completed four cross-boarder transactions in 2015. In recognition of the strength of its cross border franchise, Verdant Capital was awarded the accolade of Best Corporate Finance Firm in South Africa, 2015 by Acquisition International. Following its transaction in agri-chemicals in South Africa last quarter, the sale of Greenbelt Fertilisers is Verdant Capital’s second transaction in the agri / fertilisers sector this year alone. Over the last two years Verdant Capital is perhaps the most active firm in Africa in this sector.

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Verdant Capital opens Ghana Office

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Date: 4 August 2015

Verdant Capital has opened an office in Accra, Ghana, and now has a total of three offices (Johannesburg, Ebene, Accra). The Accra office will be led by Kwabena Appenteng, Vice President. Kwabena has extensive corporate, entrepreneurial and corporate finance experience in Ghana and beyond, including as Senior Private Sector Officer at US AID. Save Save

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Verdant Capital has raised c USD 10 million for Madison Finance

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Date: 4 August 2015

Verdant Capital has raised c USD 10 million equivalent in local currency debt financing for leading Zambian micro-SME and consumer lender, Madison Finance. The transaction was successful notwithstanding the macro economic challenges facing Zambia, and demonstrates the depth and resilience of Verdant Capital’s investor franchise. European Investment Bank was the largest investor in the transaction, which was shared by a large private institution based in South Africa. The transaction represents the first internationally sourced senior debt financing raised by Madison Finance. The transaction was signed late in 2014, and closed in H1 2015 following the satisfaction of final conditions precedent. […]

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