TechCabal Daily – Deals, deals, deals

by cloudnewsmag
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THE DAY IN REVIEW

1. PLANET42 GETS $30 MILLION INVESTMENT FUND

Naspers Foundry has invested $30 million in South African car subscription company Planet42. Naspers Foundry is a R1.4 billion ($90 million) early-stage tech investment fund for South African companies. Its latest investment is part of its commitment to grow South Africa’s early-stage tech ecosystem. 

This comes after Naspers’ CEO, Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, announced in October that the fund was open to pitches. The investment comprises $6 million in equity and $24 million in debt financing. 

Planet42 is a car subscription service that buys used cars and rents them to customers who cannot access traditional bank credit. Customers pick either new or used cars based on their budgets and Planet42’s algorithm, then Planet42 buys the car and rents it to the customer based on subscription models.

While Naspers Foundry led the equity round with $3.4 million, other investors like Change Ventures, Startup Wise Guys, Martin and Markus Villig of Bolt, and Ragnar Sass of Pipedrive also pitched in. The financing round was also supplemented with R380 million ($24 million) of debt raised from existing debt investors like the impact debt fund, Lendable, and others. 

Speaking of expansion plans, Planet42’s co-founder, Eerik Oja, said the company was looking towards the Mexican market. “In South Africa, 1.1 million second-hand cars are sold and bought every year. In Mexico, that number is 7 million. So, the Mexican market is six times larger than South Africa. We want to go for the really big markets,” he said.

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2. PIPIT AND CELLULANT EXPAND PARTNERSHIP IN SUB-SAHARAN MARKETS

Ireland-based fintech company Pipit Global has expanded its partnership with pan-African fintech company Cellulant to now include 12 more countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

With this partnership, the companies hope to provide both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) payments services to existing and future financial institutions, mobile money providers, and digital financial services providers. This expansion brings Cellulant’s presence in African markets to a total of 18 companies. The announcement comes five months after the two companies announced a partnership to enable remittances into Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania and Mali at lower rates. Africans in the UK and EU from any of these listed African countries can send cash home, top-up e-wallets, send money to domiciled bank accounts, and pay bills directly for their families.

Speaking on the partnership in Pipit’s news blog, David Waithaka, Cellulant’s Chief Business Officer for Enterprise said, “International and intraregional remittances are an engine for growth for many economies in Africa, providing resilience to financial shocks and improving livelihoods. Enabling lower rates and powering for-purpose remittances for us is about the direct impact on people’s lives.” 

Pipit and Cellulant hope to develop “for-purpose” remittance which will enable Africans abroad pay bills and make orders directly to merchants from the UK and the EU, rather than the usual peer-to-peer remittance method where the money “may not be used for its intended purpose”.

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3. APPLE SUPPLIER PLANT REMAINS SHUT IN INDIA

According to Indian government officials on Tuesday, Foxconn’s plant in southern India will remain shut this week.

If you’re wondering who Foxconn is, they’re a Taiwanese multinational manufacturing company known as the world’s largest contract maker of electronics, and Apple’s biggest supplier. They’re also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. and are the fourth largest technology company in 2021 based on revenue.

The decision to suspend activities at the plant came after a food poisoning incident last week that led to 150 employees being admitted to the hospital. Employees took to protesting, blocking a key highway and getting arrested in the process. Most of the workers in the plant are women, and it’s estimated that nearly 70 women were among those detained.

Apple is already dealing with delivery delays from chip shortages and global supply chain issues, and Foxconn’s issues will only worsen its current state.

A police vehicle and security personnel were seen on the site recently but no workers have been sighted. The plant has been shut down since Saturday, and according to government officials, it will remain that way for the rest of the week.

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