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Lagos-Based Daystar Power Startup Secures $38million Investment

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Photo credit: Ventureburn

Daystar Power, a Lagos-based Nigerian tech startup, providing solar power solutions to businesses in the region, has secured $38million in a Series B Investment. 

The investment was led by the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), the Danish development finance institution (DFI) with additional investors including STOA, a French impact infrastructure fund, Proparco, and several other investors.

The solar power-focused startup will reportedly use the funding to grow its operations in Nigeria and Ghana, with an aim to expand to other countries such as Senegal, Togo, and Côte d’Ivoire, according to a report in ventureburn.com

The report said the funding will assist Daystar Power to increase its installed capacity to over 100 megawatts, catering to clients in various sectors such as financial services, agriculture, manufacturing, and more.

Thomas Hougaard, Vice President Sub-Saharan Africa, IFU provides insight into why an investment was made into Daystar Power in an official press release.

“We believe that Daystar Power has the right elements — the client base, technology, engineering expertise, and executive leadership — to scale off-grid solar across West Africa.

“Not only is Daystar Power at the forefront of a growing market, but it is also helping to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy in some of Africa’s fastest-growing cities.”

Founded in 2017 by Sunray Ventures, Daystar Power provides affordable, renewable, and stable power to businesses in West Africa.

Christian Wessels, Co-Founder of Daystar Power and Sunray Ventures explains the aims of the solar power-focused tech startup.

“Sunray Ventures founded Daystar Power to address one of West Africa’s most significant barriers to economic development — access to reliable and affordable power.

“We are happy that this transaction will provide Daystar Power with the required financing to continue to lead in off-grid solar for commercial and industrial customers in West Africa.”

The innovative service allows commercial customers to pay in cash or pay a monthly fee for its services.

Jasper Graf von Hardenberg, CEO, and Co-founder of Daystar Power points out that businesses in the Sub-Saharan region are tapping into solar power sources to maintain stability and operations.

“By offering our commercial and industrial clients cheaper, reliable, and cleaner power, we have seen a more than 50-fold increase in power-as-a-service revenue over the last two years.

“African businesses are realizing that solar power stand-alone or in tandem with a second power source, is a superior energy alternative to the often-unreliable grid or too expensive, polluting diesel generators.”

By providing a renewable energy resource and transforming it into electricity, Daystar Power is able to reduce pollution and positively contribute to the natural environment.

Traditional methods of accessing electricity include the burning of diesel, which emits harmful gases into the atmosphere and contributes to global warming.

 

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Business

AfDB Provides $320,000 In Grant To Mainstream Gender In ECOWAS Digital Financial Operations

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Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, AfDB President

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has awarded a grant of $320, 535 to the West African Monetary Agency to mainstream gender in ECOWAS’ core digital financial services (DFS) regulatory frameworks.

The funds will support a gender gap analysis of several WAMA strategies including those for financial inclusion; gender disaggregation data analytics; digital payment services and infrastructure; and digital identity.

The project, to be executed over a three year period, will potentially affect 350 million people in all 15 ECOWAS nations including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Cape Verde, Ghana, Guinea, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

The grant will be disbursed through the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility, a blended finance vehicle, supported by the Bank.

“With a secretariat comprising all the 15 ECOWAS central banks, WAMA plays a pivotal role in the consolidation and implementation of strategic financial inclusion objectives.

“ADFI and the WAMA project team will work closely with other ecosystem players in the region to ensure harmonisation of efforts for maximum impact,” said Sheila Okiro, the ADFI Coordinator.

The project has the potential to raise by 35%, women’s participation in digital financial market operations in the region, which has a higher gender disparity than other parts of the continent as reflected in its Gender Development Index of 0.825 versus the African average of 0.871.

Africa has a gender-inclusion gap of 11% as compared to the global average of 9% according to the 2017 Findex Report. To address this challenge, it is imperative that gender is mainstreamed across all functions but more so at the level of policy and regulation.

The project is aligned to ADFI’s strategic goals including its cross-cutting focus on gender inclusion, as well as the Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy, Gender Strategy (2021-2025) and to the Integrate Africa High-5 strategic focus.

The Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI) is a pan-African instrument designed to accelerate digital financial inclusion throughout Africa, with the goal of ensuring that an additional 332 million Africans (60% of them women) have access to the formal financial system.

ADFI’s current partners are the French Development Agency (AFD); the French Treasury, Ministry of Economy and Finance; the Government of Luxembourg’s Ministry of Finance; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and the African Development Bank, which also hosts the fund.

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Nnamdi Azikiwe Int’l Airport Abuja Named Best Airport In Africa By ACI

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The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja has been awarded the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Award 2020 as judged by their customers as the Best Airport by Size and Region (5 to 15 million passengers per year in Africa).

This award represents the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) commitment to continuously improving customer experience across all Nigerian airports according to a statement by Henrietta Yakubu, General Manager, Corporate Affairs at FAAN.

“The recognition comes at a time when we are geared towards ensuring seamless airport facilitation with the opening of new terminals and upgrading of our current infrastructures across the board.

“Despite a turbulent year plagued by COVID-19 induced financial struggles, the authority has endeavoured to prioritize customer satisfaction while ensuring that health and safety remain topmost,” Yakubu said in the statement.

FAAN MD/CEO, Captain Rabiu Yadudu accepted the award on behalf of the Authority and restated FAAN’s commitment to ensuring the safety, security and comfort of passengers at all airports across the country.

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BREAKING: Crowdyvest Exits EMFATO Holdings, Raises New Investment

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……As Farmcrowdy Fully Leaves The Crowdfunding Space

EMFATO Holdings (owners of Farmcrowdy and investors in Plentywaka) have announced the exit of one of its portfolio companies – Crowdyvest, following up on new investments into the startup to grow as a digital savings company in Nigeria.

Crowdyvest, an impact-driven fintech platform, which was launched just over a year ago, has over 10,000 members who have used opportunities on its platform to sponsor projects in Agriculture, Real Estate, Transportation, Health and Education sectors.

Previously led by its Co-founder & CEO, Onyeka Akumah but today, along with the new investment, there is a change in its management of the company, with Tope Omotolani set to become its new CEO.

Onyeka Akumah explained that the change in leadership will not affect the management and staff of Crowdyvest as they will all be retained but hinted that there will be a new way Crowdyvest will operate.

Following this latest development, the one-year-old startup will set its sights on becoming a leading digital wealth and savings management company focused on a closed-community savings model under Tope Omotolani’s leadership.

“I have taken this decision to move on as the CEO of Crowdyvest as a result of the new investment in the company which provides opportunities for proper scale in the coming months.

“Today, Crowdyvest will also exit fully from EMFATO Holdings and we are very happy about the new investors and to see how Tope will lead this business to new heights.

“Now, I can focus my energy on leading Farmcrowdy and Plentywaka as CEO of both companies into new markets in 2021.

“Tope is a strong and amazing leader and I see her leading Crowdyvest to become one of the go-to wealth management and digital savings companies in Nigeria within the next 3-5 years with her team.

“I wish her all the best and will continue to advise them on their journey when needed,” Onyeka Akumah said.

DigitalTimesNG understands that with this change, Crowdyvest will no longer be an open crowdfunding platform.

An all-new Crowdyvest led by Temitope Omotolani will enter the Fintech industry fully with the launch of the Crowdyvest Savings Platform which gives savings options to over 10,000 subscribed users.

This savings platform will give its users a variety of plans to help build a savings culture based entirely on their pace, so they can reach their life goals faster.

Tope Omotolani will now lead the Fintech company, Crowdyvest to become a leading savings platform in Nigeria.

Farmcrowdy has in the past worked with Crowdyvest to crowdfund for farming projects.

Following this change, Farmcrowdy now fully exits the crowdfunding space with this sale and Crowdyvest will begin to operate a closed-community model for savings.

This new savings platform has been introduced with three new products. These platforms have been properly tailored to fit all categories of individuals, including the Millenials, Gen Z, Gen X, and Baby Boomers, and each of these products has its unique features and benefits. They are; Flex Savings, Vault Savings, and Pace Savings.

The company said in a statement that every saver enjoys the benefits of high-interest rates from 12.5% to 15%, zero bank charges, plans tailored for everyone, and effective and prompt customer service.

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