We’re delighted to share the second edition of our quarterly newsletter where we share the latest industry insights and portfolio updates.
We kicked off the year in high gear by ramping up our investments in category-leading companies building the future of the digital economy and aligned with our investment thesis. In this edition, we will announce new investments and our strategy at the intersection of traditional finance (TradFi) and decentralized finance (DeFi) to drive financial access to customers & businesses.
March is women’s history month and we’re proud to recognize our Founding Managing Partner, Barbara Iyayi, who was recently honored as part of a select number of women chosen as the “Standout 45” due to their outstanding contribution in Fintech (Women in Fintech Standout45 2021). This month we are also excited to announce our first investment in a women-led company!
NEW PORTFOLIO UPDATE
We’re proud to announce our first investment in a women-led company. We led Credrails $2.5m Seed funding alongside Softbank. The company aggregates financial data from multiple online and offline sources and makes the unified data available to businesses via an API. Read more here
We’re delighted to share that we co-led the investment in ThankuCash $5.3m Seed round. ThankUCash is the largest interoperable multi-merchant loyalty and cashback platform for customers and businesses leveraging decentralized reward points to achieve massive scale in Africa. Read more here
We’re delighted to announce our investment in a Web3.0 native company. Fonbnk enables prepaid mobile users to convert their airtime credits into digital money. Users can access, earn, transfer, pay, and save money easily, from the comfort of their mobile devices. Read more here
Our new portfolio company Touch and Pay (TAP) enables digitization of micro-transactions via NFC cards & mobile payment system. TAP is the exclusive provider of public transport payment platform (Cowry) to Nigeria’s largest states including Lagos, Kano, Kaduna & Ogun.
We are excited to partner with Churpy, the first end-to-end platform providing accounts receivable automation, invoice marketplace, and reconciliation with integrated B2B payments in Africa. Churpy will be a critical partner to businesses and lenders in Africa, and can effectively address the significant credit gap faced by SMEs for supplier finance and working capital. Read more here
Helping ThankUCash leverage Web3.0 for Decentralized Reward Points
ThankUCash has built a decentralized and interoperable merchant rewards and loyalty platform that enables customers to earn and redeem loyalty points across different merchants. When we invested in ThankUCash, we saw an opportunity to help them leverage blockchain infrastructure for their decentralized rewards platform which empowers merchants in Africa with tools to successfully run their businesses. ThankUCash is tokenizing their loyalty points and will enable buy now pay later services to give more value to customers. Our strategy lies at the intersection of DeFi and TradFi; we are actively driving Web3.0 across our portfolio. We will continue to focus on investing Web3.0 enabled companies that are driving financial access to businesses and customers. Watch the Keynote here
TAP Joins the W22 Y Combinator Accelerator Program
Our portfolio company TAP has been listed in the most recent W22 Y Combinator batch. The company set out to build a unique mobile payment and services platform capturing offline and online transactions in a seamless way and to especially focus on the processing of micro-transactions in Africa. TAP intends to utilize its backing by the Y Combinator accelerator program to digitize cash-based micro-transactions, expand across African markets and create a truly cashless ecosystem by mopping up cash across several sectors with technology. Techcrunch reported that Africa as a whole had 24 startups in the latest batch, a record beating the S21’s 15 batch. Read more here
UNICORN TEAM HIGHLIGHTS
Unpacking Web3.0 Investment Opportunities at Africa Tech Summit
Our Principal, Duncan Muchangi, recently participated in a panel at Africa Tech Summit in Nairobi. Duncan stated that
“Web3.0 is experiencing one of the fastest acceleration of technology adoption in history and Africa has the right ingredients to catalyze many new opportunities.” Watch the panel here
Unicorn Growth Capital Featured at Raise Global
We’re excited to share that we were profiled for our Africa focus alongside 271 funds in this year’s RAISE Global Summit Emerging Manager Database. Download or view the market map here
How Fintech is Driving Africa’s Digital Economy.
Our Founding Managing Partner, Barbara Iyayi was recently featured on the Trajectory Africa podcast where she shared her views on FinTech in Africa as a cross-cutting enabler and lucrative investment opportunity. Listen to the podcast here