African startups Cartona, Bizao raise Series A; Stakefair nabs pre-seed cash

 African startups Cartona, Bizao raise Series A; Stakefair nabs pre-seed cash

Egyptian B2B e-commerce platform Cartona has secured $12 million in its Series A funding round led by Silicon Badia, with the participation of the SANAD Fund for MSME, Arab Bank Accelerator and Sunny Side Ventures.

Existing backers Global Ventures and Kepple Ventures also took parr in the funding round for the asset-light venture.

Cartona was founded in 2019 by Mahmoud Abdelfattah, Mahmoud Talaat and Rafik Zaher. It seeks to digitise the traditional trade market in Egypt by connecting small retailers, FMCG producers, wholesalers, and distributors on its platform.

It will use the investment to spruce up its product, technology, and services, and explore new verticals beyond FMCG, besides expanding across Egypt.

Bizao

France-headquartered but Ivory Coast-based fintech venture Bizao has scooped up €8 million ($8.2 million) in a Series A equity and debt funding round from AfricInvest, Adelie, and Seedstars Africa Ventures.

AfricInvest participated via its Financial Inclusion Vehicle (AfricInvest FIVE).

Bizao is a three-year-old payment service provider that enables merchants to process transactions across all major offline and online digital payment schemes in Western and Central Africa. It was incubated within Orange France.

Bizao says it connects more than 200 million mobile subscribers with 30 mobile network operators, mobile money operators, and banks.

The funding will enable Bizao to hire talent, expand in North Africa, and develop digitally embedded finance products to meet the market needs, including bulk payments, money transfers and the distribution of value-added digital content.

Aurélien Duval Delort, CEO and Founder of Bizao, said: “We have spent the last few years working closely with our partners (telecoms operators, banks and mobile wallet providers) to improve our products and services in line with our customer requirements. Thanks to this close collaboration with industry players, we have multiplied the transaction volumes processed by our platform by almost 20 over the past 12 months.”

Stakefair

Stakefair, a decentralised finance (DeFi) platform, has secured $670,000 in a pre-seed funding round from several investors including Adaverse, Nestcoin, and Kepple Africa Ventures.

Other investors were Canza Finance, Voltron Capital, Echo VC Chain, Timi Ajiboye, Tomiwa Olaosebikan, Peter Kisadha, Saturn Blockchain Ventures, Thrive Africa Syndicate, Nehikhare Igbinijesu, Oluchi Enebeli and Clement Hugbo.

The startup was previously launched in beta as BetDemand. It offers a gaming platform where users can predict the outcome of sports matches and other events, stake digital currency on these predictions and earn money.

Founded by Akindele Akinyemi, Stakefair has now made a formal public launch and is looking to expand its services to include a B2B API service.

Vivek Sinha

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