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Corporate deals

Digital Currency Group acquires crypto exchange, Luno

DCG’s recent acquisition will be of significant financial commitment to support Luno expand worldwide.

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One of the leading blockchain companies, Digital Currency Group, or DCG, has recently acquired the British based crypto exchange, Luno.

DCG had initially bought a stake in Luno by investing in the exchange’s seed round in 2014. Since then, the exchange has spread its roots across 40 countries and currently boasts of more than five million registered users on its platform.

American based DCG will be making a significant financial commitment to support Luno expand worldwide including where Luno currently operates and beyond. Financial terms of the deal were however not disclosed.

DCG Founder and CEO Barry Silbert spoke on the recent deal. He said, “We are proud to have supported Luno as an early investor, and we recognize a shared commitment to building mission-driven companies that can help transform traditional financial services and improve economic freedom for people all over the world.”

“Luno is a high growth, global business and there is a massive opportunity to expand organically and through acquisitions,” he added.

DCG stated that Luno will keep operating as an independent organization under the leadership of its CEO while DCG will provide leadership, partnership, and investment capital to help the exchange scale its business.

Luno has become a digital asset powerhouse in many emerging and frontier markets, providing digital asset education, knowledge, and investment tools for individuals in Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Luno has helped broaden the global crypto investment community and the company has seen record growth of its customer base in 2020.

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In Africa, the company saw more than 550,000 new users on its platform in Q2 2020 and contributes the largest share of cryptocurrency trading volume on the continent across non-P2P exchanges.

Luno is a leading exchange in several countries that have the highest percentage of cryptocurrency ownership, including South Africa (third-highest of its citizens owning digital currencies), Nigeria (fifth-highest), Indonesia (sixth-highest), and Malaysia (tenth-highest)

Olumide Adesina is a France-born Nigerian. He is a Certified Investment Trader, with more than 15 years of working expertise in Investment trading. Message Olumide on Twitter @tokunboadesina. He is a Member of the Chartered Financial Analyst Society.

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Business News

This decade will be bullish for Nigeria’s tech space – DLM Capital Group

DLM Capital Group has announced its plans to expand into Nigeria’s million-dollar fintech sector.

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Leading developmental investment bank, DLM Capital Group has announced its plans to expand into Nigeria’s million-dollar fintech sector, following its acquisition of Links Microfinance Bank.

The license will give DLM Capital Group the mandate to operate small-scale banking services in Nigeria. This will also allow the launch of its star digital lending brand, Sofri, in the second quarter of this year. The acquisition, combined with the bank’s many fintech efforts already underway, will position it to deliver even more value for corporates and consumers.

DLM Capital Group’s acquisition of Links MFB represents both an entry into new businesses and complementary enhancements to the institution’s existing subsidiaries.

READ: Debt Service: Projects that we finance must generate revenue – DMO

First, this prospect opens new market opportunities for the bank on the African continent.

Second, the acquisition will enable the institution to exit its ‘legacy bank’ visibility and work more closely with the fintech community to build a ‘challenger bank’ brand that proffers innovative technological solutions for the Nigerian market.

What they are saying

The Corporate Communications Manager at DLM Capital Group, Chinwendu Ohakpougwu stated:

“We are particularly excited about our acquisition of Links MFB and how it enhances the growth trajectory of our business. This highly strategic acquisition represents another significant milestone for us on our journey as a resilient and well-capitalized financial institution with advanced scale and capacity to deliver sustainable and best-in-class financial services within the Nigerian market.

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We are confident that this decade will be bullish for Nigeria’s tech space and are ready to work with the fintech community in strengthening the solutions necessary to meet consumer needs.”

READ: Which of these contender groups will produce Nigeria’s biggest bank?

What you should know

DLM Capital Group prides itself as a foremost developmental investment bank in Africa and functions as a sole arranger to more than 80% of structured finance transactions in Nigeria, with 100% of all securitization transactions in the market currently.

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Corporate deals

DEAL: Curacel raises $450,000 pre-seed funding to drive insurance inclusion in Africa

Curacel’s flagship CLAIMS platform acts as a bridge between primary care hospitals and Africa’s insurance companies.

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Curacel raises $450,000 pre-seed funding to drive insurance inclusion in Africa

Curacel, an AI-powered platform for claims processing and fraud management in Africa, has raised $450,000 pre-seed funding.

The round was led by Atlantica Ventures and Consonance with participation from Kepple Ventures and other African angel investors.

The insurtech startup already works with some of the biggest insurers on the continent, including AXA Mansard, Liberty Health, and Old Mutual, as well as more than 800 hospitals in Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda. It plans to expand into 10 new African countries by the end of 2021.

READ: How health tech startups are solving Nigeria’s health problems

Every year, African insurers lose more than $12 billion to fraudulent, wasteful, and abusive claims. Curacel’s flagship CLAIMS platform acts as a bridge between primary care hospitals and Africa’s insurance companies, using advanced artificial intelligence to ensure that insurance companies only pay claims for the correct treatment, appropriate medications, and recommended patient therapies.

Curacel is also scheduled to launch Curacel Capital, a cash advance product that makes it easier for healthcare providers to access working capital to mitigate financial challenges. Delayed payments and other inefficiencies in the payment process mean many African healthcare providers often have to make the difficult choice between keeping the books balanced or providing healthcare at a loss.

READ: EdTech startup Kabakoo receives funding from Zoom, launches first no-code training in Africa

With Curacel Capital, healthcare providers can access lump sums of up to three times their average monthly billings, based on claims processed on the Curacel portal, ensuring that they can continue to deliver essential services without undue disruption.

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With insurance penetration at just 2.8% across the continent, many Africans are one accident or health emergency away from poverty. And in Africa’s communal societies, tragedy impacts entire communities, with people emptying their savings to pay for medical expenses, burials, or other disaster relief for family members and kin. By leveraging Curacel’s products and services, insurers across the continent are better equipped to close the insurance gap and safeguard prosperity.

The new investment will be used to accelerate Curacel’s expansion across Africa and facilitate the goal of becoming Africa’s premier provider of embedded finance technology for insurance.

READ: Nigerian fintech startup, Blueloop joins Y Combinator’s winter 2021 batch

What they are saying

According to Curacel Co-founder and CEO, Henry Mascot, “We are excited to have these investors on board and we are looking forward to partnering with them to drive our vision of improving insurance inclusion across Africa. At Curacel, we are uniquely positioned to safeguard livelihoods and increase the quality of life through our unique, market-leading products and services.”

IK Kanu, Partner at Atlantica Ventures noted that “the African insurance market represents a significant growth opportunity and we are delighted to be partnering with Curacel to drive growth in this sector. There is an opportunity to create an entirely new market of products and services here and we look forward to supporting the team to improve health outcomes across the continent.”

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“We believe the Curacel team has what it takes to be market leaders and we are excited to support them. They have a great product and we are delighted to be coming on board at this early stage,” Mobolaji Adeoye, Managing Partner at Consonance added.

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