Nairobi-based fintech startup Pezesha, which is creating a lending platform for small and medium enterprises, and had topped up its seed round last year, has pulled in $11 million in a pre-Series A equity-debt round.
Women’s World Banking Capital Partners II led the round. Other investors who took part in the round were Verdant Frontiers Fintech Fund, cFund and Cardano blockchain builder Input Output Global (IOG).
The financing round included $5 million in debt capital from Talanton and Verdant Capital Specialist Funds.
Pezesha was founded over five years ago by Hilda Moraa, who is also the chief executive officer of the venture. It is currently operational in Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda.
Pezesha says it is working with over 20 partner companies and has on-lent to more than 100,000 businesses.
Last year, it had raised an undisclosed seven-figure sum in funding from GreenHouse Capital, adding the money scooped previously from Consonance and Seedstars. GreenHouse is an African fintech investment fund that counts the unicorn Flutterwave among its portfolio companies.
Duplo
Lagos-based fintech Duplo, which seeks to digitize payments for B2B companies, has raised $4.3 million in an oversubscribed seed funding round in which as many as 45 investors participated.
Investors included Liquid2 Ventures, Soma Capital, Tribe Capital, Commerce Ventures, Basecamp Fund, and Y Combinator. Oui Capital, which backed Duplo with pre-seed cheque earlier this year,  re-invested.
‍Duplo was founded last September by Yele Oyekola along with Tunde Akinnuwa. Duplo is currently focused on the FMCG retail sector but will look to expand its presence to other sectors including travel, farming, B2B marketplaces, alcohol and beverages.
Octiv
South African gym management software startup Octiv has secured an eight-figure (over $10 million) Series A funding round from venture capital firm Knife Capital and some angel investors.
The fresh investment will enable it to expand globally, enhance the product and scale customer service levels.
Founded by Mark Fawzy started as a workout tracking app for CrossFit gyms in its home market. It has evolved to a cloud-based gym management platform that includes member management and billing, payment gateway integration, scheduling, lead management, task management, payroll, reporting and website integrations.
It has already stepped outside its home country and has clients in over 27 markets outside, especially in Europe.

An emerging markets news platform for alternative investments
© The Capital Quest, 2021
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