CARMA, a tech-startup filling the credit-data gap in sub-Saharan Africa, announced today an early-stage venture funding round led by Microtraction, a Venture Capital firm that invests in Africa’s most remarkable teams at the earliest stage of their venture. The financing will be used to expand CARMA’s operations across the continent and launch its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria.
The establishment of the Lagos office, led by Ted Martynov, co-founder, and CEO, comes as the company looks to foster seamless customer support and account management by providing a fully decentralized protocol of data sharing for enterprises to fuel credit assessments with extra data points. This will help lending and non-lending organizations monetize their data to create a passive revenue stream. The company also connects enterprises by providing a data supply chain for organizations with access to CARMA services, contributing to data-driven business decisions.
According to the World Bank private credit bureau coverage 2019, only 14%  of adults in Nigeria have a credit history from credit bureaus and only financial institutions are currently submitting data on individuals and commercial entities regularly. As a one-stop-shop for pan-industry data, lenders in Nigeria can now access data on a real-time basis via CARMA’s decentralized technology while data contributors will also have access to monetize their data in a secure data marketplace.
The economic impact caused by the global health pandemic has had a severe impact on the digital lending space across the continent as the number of non-performing loans continue to be on the rise due to job losses and pay-cuts. The major challeng e lending organizations have been facing is getting access to aggregated credit data for proper credit assessment. As digital financial services are broadening and speeding up financial inclusion in many African countries, specifically where digital mobile lending has already become advanced, data sharing between organizations remains crucial for lenders to provide high-quality loans and prevent over-indebtedness.
Ted Martynov, CARMA’s Co-founder and CEO, said: “Our early-stage venture funding allows us to invest in growing our presence across sub-Saharan Africa and our ability to address the gap in the credit data ecosystem while strengthening our network of clients. We are also focusing on supporting companies with quality data in the credit decision process to avoid non-performing loans. We anticipate on strengthening our services across the region, which will bring us closer to helping companies enhance data sharing to build proper credit assessment procedures.”
“We are excited to be CARMA’s partner as part of their Africa rollout. Microtraction supports several great tech teams across the continent and we are acutely aware of the gap in access to credit data, which we believe is a fundamental one to fill. Providing a solution that addresses this lack of data improves the quality of business processes and also helps the mass populous with access to financing, which of course, is very critical during these times as the world continues to fight a health and economic crisis. We look forward to working with CARMA as we continue to support teams working to address infrastructural challenges across Africa.” said Chidinma Iwueke, Partner at Microtraction.
CARMA is the world’s first data marketplace founded in 2020 by an international team of lending and tech entrepreneurs. The company provides services for mutual access to internal data for enterprises enabling data-driven business decisions and improves credit assessment quality for professional lenders. Their services can be utilized across all industries providing a unique revenue stream to companies for monetizing data for their customers while entities and data seekers receive access to inclusive pan-industry data one-stop-shop. For more information: https://carmachain.com/
Kinyungu Ventures Research calls for changes to cut-and-paste VC strategy in Africa
The Paper recommends investment structures and approaches tailored to African operating conditions.
East African venture advisory firm, Kinyungu Ventures has published a white paper Chasing Outliers: Why Context Matters for Early Stage Investing in Africa that has found that there continues to be a wide misalignment between traditional venture capital models and the African market. The team behind the report is now calling for a broadening of approaches to institutional investment on the continent. Speaking with 100 Pan-African founders, investors, and LPs across 15 African countries, the research suggests investors should prioritize investing structures and practices that reflect the realities of operating in Africa. This includes adopting more flexible investing structures with longer time horizons.
According to the paper, there are multiple mismatches between key characteristics of Silicon Valley VC and African markets, which influence how startups and funds maneuver as well as what results they expect and produce. Findings show that African markets are large, but also fragmented, and its consumers have limited purchasing power. Furthermore, consumers on the continent are difficult to acquire and retain, yet the sheer size of the African market also presents a real opportunity for profit once the environment is clearly understood. The paper’s key recommendations for funds include:
- Adopting more focused investment strategies, such as investing in b2b companies or cross-subsidizing a portfolio with less risky, steady return assets.
- Considering non-unicorn investing models geared at more resilient companies, with returns distributed more widely across the portfolio
- Using flexible structures such as debt or PCVs to accommodate market-level changes, where feasible
- Allowing a longer time horizon for returns, understanding that growth could be slow and difficult to achieve for many companies
Kinyungu Ventures catalyzes resilient businesses for local intergenerational prosperity. The East African-centric investor focuses on entrepreneurship in East Africa, startups, seed funding, debt financing, impact investing and angel investing.
Speaking on the launch of the white paper, Tony Chen, Managing Director of Kinyungu Ventures and co-publisher of the report says, “Capital in Africa is scarce and pursuing a “growth at all costs” strategy where capital pools are shallow presents huge risks for companies. We’ve also found that many great businesses don’t fit the typical VC profile, but have tremendous unfulfilled potential”.
Tayo Akinyemi, lead researcher and writer of the report added: “In our conversations with numerous investors and founders, it is clear that nuances in variables such as consumer behavior, cultural norms, and business practices impact startups significantly and being on the ground is crucial for success. While African markets aren’t always able to provide the outsized returns that Silicon Valley typically looks for in high-growth companies, a more focused strategy here could unlock real gems, as has been proven by some of the startup successes the continent has seen over the years.”
Global Credit Rating reaffirms Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc ‘A-‘rating
Global Credit Rating Limited has reaffirmed an A-rating for Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc.
Global Credit Rating Limited, an international rating agency, has reaffirmed an A-rating for Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc.
According to a press release signed by the firm’s Deputy General Manager, Olusegun Bankole, and seen by Nairametrics, the insurance firm has consistently maintained its rating for over a decade now.
The key drivers that helped in the reaffirmation of the A-rating by the firm are;
- Consistency in paying her claims obligations over the years, as captured in an earlier solvency and operational report for financial institutions in Nigeria and other allied businesses, released by the rating agency in December 2020.
- Listing of rights issue in 2019 which helped to increase the shareholders’ funds of the company to N8.2 billion as at Q3 2020, up by 31% Year-on-Year. This played a catalyst role in maintaining the A-rating status of the firm.
- The capital adequacy of the firm was also pivotal.
According to the information available on the website of the rating agency, the A-rating reflects high claims-paying ability, strong protection factors, modest risk which may vary over time due to economic and/or underwriting conditions.
This fact was buttressed by a section in the press release which reads:
- “Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc has great potentials for growth in the years ahead, considering some of the strategies that have been put in place to propel its operations. Global Credit Rating noted that the company has shown a great deal of consistency in her claims obligations to her numerous customers spread all over the country.”
About Global Credit Rating Limited
- Global Credit Rating Co (Pty) Ltd (GCR) operates as a credit rating services provider. The Company ratings for banks, financial institutions, insurance, corporate and public sector debt, and structured finance serves customers worldwide.
Range Developments: Citizenship-by-Investment in Grenada
Range Developments is the largest and most successful hospitality developer in the Eastern Caribbean engaged in the Citizenship by Investment sphere.
Citizenship by Investment is the process of obtaining a second citizenship and passport by investing in the economy of the host country. Located in the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea is Grenada – a country which offers Citizenship by Investment to willing investors. This program was restructured and relaunched by Grenada in 2013 and it offers a low cost entry for a second passport for willing Investors. Grenada as a country is enriched with exquisite cuisine, excellent healthcare and education systems. In addition, it is one of the safest nations in the Caribbean and its citizenship by investment programs is one of the most sought-after citizenship programs in the world due to many advantages Grenadian citizenship entails
Range Developments is the largest and most successful hospitality developer in the Eastern Caribbean engaged in the Citizenship by Investment sphere. With years of expertise under its belt, Range Developments offers the most desirable process for acquisition of Citizenship by Investment in Grenada. All you need as an Investor and prospective Grenadian citizen is $220,000 (two hundred and twenty thousand US Dollars) in addition to applicable fees. Through this process, an Investor gets their Grenadian passport in 90-120 days without the need to reside in or even visit Grenada. Further, no interview, education or management experience is required for an Investor.
By participating in the Citizenship-by-Investment project in Grenada, Investors will enjoy global benefits and a secure investment in one of the world’s most renowned hospitality brands. Some other perks of obtaining Grenadian citizenship through Citizenship-by-Investment with Range Developments include:
- Visa-free travel and visa-on-arrival to over 140 countries worldwide including Schengen member States, the United States of America (USA), the United Kingdom, China, Russia and many more;
- Access to the USA Investor E-2 Visa (which allows citizens of Grenada to operate a substantial business and also reside in the USA);
- Eligibility of family members (siblings, children and parents) for Grenadian citizenship;
- Right to hold dual citizenship;
- Citizenship for life in Grenada with the right to live and work in the country;
- Enjoying political and social security;
- Tax benefits and incentives (such as no foreign income, wealth, gift, inheritance or capital gains tax, etc).
For more information, Range Developments may be contacted at +97143253447. You may also reach out on Whatsapp at +971527324097 or via email at [email protected]