Web Summit 2017 Welcomed African Startups seen as gems in the tech world

Legazy (www.Legazy.co.za) returned to the 2017 Web Summit after having attempted to purchase a Web Summit conference in 2016 with $1million USD letter of intent. Legazy founded by Zuko Tisani one of the world’s top 350 entrepreneurs under the age of 26, according to the Kairos Society, arrived in Lisbon with Africa’s largest TMT company Telkom and their executives prepared to purchase a Web Summit conference to be hosted in South Africa for the next 3-years. The deal went cold when both parties couldn’t come to an agreement on the numbers. Zuko’s relationship with Web Summit began earlier that year when he attended the Rise conference in Hong Kong and with platinum band was treated to Web Summit’s hospitality and had dinner discussions with the founder of Web Summit Paddy Cosgrave and other tech giants Dave McClure from 500 Startups. It was at dinner where the offer of $1million USD was given to Zuko.

Instead of giving up on the hopes of bringing the tech world to Africa, Legazy pivoted and took the largest African delegation to the tech world. Twenty startups and two of their board of investors, one being Lebo Gunguluza, South African judge on Dragons Den (networth est. $20mil) and Stephen Newton Former CEO Naspers e-Commerce and Google Africa.

Of the twenty startups that exhibited at the Web Summit, most of the South African entrepreneurs were funded by Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank and major partner of Legazy. Because Zuko sits on the advisory board of the Chamber of Commerce of Lisbon and South Africa so was able to give intimate engagement to all startups from Business Leaders in Lisbon, Incubators, VC’s etc.

The stories that have come from the entrepreneurs selected for the excursion are amazing, a lot of them had left South Africa only for the first time because of the Web Summit sponsorship. Some of the wins involve upwards of $300,000 in investment (term sheet stage).

Incubation offers to Startup Boot camp London. Partnership with Portuguese bank BNI Banco for one of the Fintechs and valuable connections made for expansion. Startup Lisboa will be incubating a South African startup in February to April 2018.

Legazy continues its pursuit on locking down a major international conference partner for 2018 in South Africa, the market and interest is there to grow the community and improve the ecosystem, from last year’s $1million USD Letter of Intent it seems that the budget is there though too. Legazy which mainly focuses on sourcing investment-ready startups and getting brokering seed investments from its large pool of investors hopes to be the needed gateway for the world to recognize Africa for its beauty and talent.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Legazy.

Media Contact
Zuko Tisani
Legazy Technology Conferencing
Phone: 083 376 9509
Website: www.Legazy.co.za
Email: Info@Legazy.co.za

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Modex adds top advisor from Google

Modex (www.Modex.tech), the smart contract marketplace, announces the signing of Google executive as its latest advisor. Onur Bildik, a Google seasoned business professional, advises large brands on digital transformation and marketing strategies. Bildik’s success has been in mentoring start-ups and newcomers at both Google Campus and in the new ecosystem of tech innovation.

When Bildik met Modex CEO, Mihai Ivascu, and discussed smart contract marketplace’s game-changing innovation, he hailed Modex’s “amazingly diverse team of fintech wizards. Modex is truly onto something remarkable,” he said.

“Modex represents the best of what Blockchain was built for in the first place — the trust factor. This company has the capability of becoming the most trusted smart contracts marketplace, built on what is essentially the most trusted transactional technology in recent times,” he added. “That is why I came onboard. I’m delighted to be part of a project that I can positively impact.”

Ivascu spotted Bildik’s track-record in boosting brands on e-commerce platforms, including PayPal and the UK launch of the first-ever Pay-Per-Click ad product, eBay AdCommerce. An expert in the back-end infrastructure of online businesses and complex technologies, “Onur is a great addition to the team,” says Ivascu.

“Trust will drive the next significant shift in consumer behaviour, and this company will be at the forefront,” Bildik told journalists on the sidelines of the ‘Blockchain Unleashed’ event in London last week where Modex announced the launch of the world’s first App Store for Blockchain.

The Modex Smart Contract Marketplace will be launched through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), allowing contributors to buy utility tokens, which will give them access to the marketplace. The date of the pre-sale for the ICO will be 28th November 2017.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Modex.

Media Contact:
Mihaela Becheru
Head of Communications at Modex

About Modex
Modex (www.Modex.tech) is a Smart Contract Marketplace and app ecosystem that allows for easy, user friendly access to crypto-currencies and smart contracts alike. Developers can leverage Modex to monetize their skills and offer Smart Contract solutions to end-customers and contributors. The real-world community can easily find Smart Contracts that meet real-world needs, are already audited and secure, without having to scout developers and manage one-off development projects.

Modex makes deployment of Smart Contracts significantly easier, faster and more cost-effective, speeding up blockchain technology adoption.

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Urgent action needed to solve West African food security threat

Vessels arrested for illegally fishing in West African waters are still carrying on with business as usual, said a Greenpeace Africa (www.Greenpeace.org/africa/en) report released today on World Fisheries Day (http://APO.af/n9KAiN). The report, “The Cost of Ocean Destruction”, details how West African fishermen and communities continue to suffer from the consequences of overfishing and illegal fishing in this region and it provides specific recommendations for Governments on how to solve the crisis. [1]

Greenpeace (www.Greenpeace.org) is calling upon West African governments as well as nations fishing in, or importing seafood from the region, to stand together to protect millions of Africans against the unceasing onslaught of industrial fishing fleets. [2]

Greenpeace is also demanding that authorities provide follow-up information on fishing vessels and crews that were arrested during a joint patrol by Greenpeace and African fisheries inspectors last spring.

Pavel Klinckhamers, project leader in Greenpeace Netherlands, said:

“The current situation in West Africa is a result of decades of overfishing and inaction, but it is also a result of commitments from West African governments and foreign fishing nations, like China, South Korea and the EU, that were simply never translated into reality. Coastal communities are the ones paying the price and they cannot wait any longer. African states and foreign fishing nations in the region have to change course and put in place the policies that these communities need in order to survive.”

In only twenty days, Greenpeace and fisheries inspectors from Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone and Senegal came across 17 vessels contravening applicable rules, while 11 of these vessels were arrested for infractions which included involvement in illegal transshipment, fishing in breach of their license conditions, using illegal nets and shark finning. However, only 6 months later, all 17 vessels are still licensed to fish in West African waters, and in most cases, local authorities are not responding to requests from Greenpeace to clarify what legal steps were taken after the arrests. Chinese authorities have ordered provincial authorities to punish the captains of some of the Chinese vessels involved in infringements, while specific subsidies to their operations have also been cancelled. The general lack of information on each case is symptomatic of the lack of transparency and accountability of governments when it comes to fisheries policies.

“West African countries keep signing new and opaque fishing agreements with foreign countries without putting in place the means to monitor their activities and sufficiently take the interests of local small-scale fishermen into account. This kind of practice has disastrous consequences for the marine environment, for local fishermen and hence for African communities as well,” Pavel Klinckhamers said.

One of the main fishing players in the region, China, is currently conducting a revision of its Provisions for the Administration of Distant Water Fishery. [3] The review will include new sanctions for IUU fishing, however It is still crucial to ensure transparency, effective implementation, and the strengthening and effective enforcement of punishment measures by coastal West African countries, when vessels break the law. Also, a number of new fisheries agreements are currently in the making. Last month China signed long term fisheries agreements with Sierra Leone (http://APO.af/1ResDD) and Mauritania (http://APO.af/mgJMQg) and the EU is working on a fisheries agreement with Guinea Bissau, since the current protocol will expire later this month. [4] According to unconfirmed information, Senegal and Russia are also holding conversations around reintroducing Russia’s industrial fishing fleet, that was kicked out of Senegal back in 2012.

“This is not a quick fix, and we need everyone involved in West African fisheries to cooperate. For African states in particular, they need to manage shared resources jointly and ensure priority is given to the labor intensive, small-scale sector. This sector which directly employs one million people and generates €3 billion annually. At the same time, we need foreign fishing nations to ensure their fleets do not undermine the sustainability of fisheries in the countries they operate in,“ Ibrahima Cisse, senior oceans campaign manager in Greenpeace Africa, said.

For more than 15 years, Greenpeace and other NGOs have warned against overexploitation of fish stocks in West African waters and its serious impacts on livelihoods, food security and employment for millions of people in this region. Also, we have outlined how substantial progress can be made through strong cooperation and harmonization of West African fisheries policies and legislation. In fact, regional cooperation has been at the core of an already established mandate for West African countries of the Sub regional Fisheries Commission, SRFC, since 1985. [5] Still, very little has been done in reality to turn the tides for West African waters, and the situation out at sea in West Africa and the consequences on land, are alarming.

Photos and video footage available here (http://APO.af/t1nZMB)

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Greenpeace.

Pavel Klinckhamers, Project Leader, Greenpeace Netherlands,PKlinckh@Greenpeace.org, +31 629001153
International media enquiries: Christina Koll, Communications Coordinator, Greenpeace Nordic, CKoll@Greenpeace.org , +45 28109021
African media enquiries: Bakary Coulibaly, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Africa, Senegal office, Bkouliba@Greenpeace.org , +221 773336265
Chinese media enquiries: Tengfei Xu, Communications Officer, Greenpeace East Asia Beijing Office, Xu.Tengfei@Greenpeace.org , +86 186-0127-7872

[1] The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has recently raised concerns regarding the repercussions of stock depletion due to overfishing on food security and the economy of West Africa (http://APO.af/00a0Xx). Around seven million (http://APO.af/3Akkd6) people rely on fish for income, while many millions more depend on fish as a source of animal protein. Around 300,000 jobs (http://APO.af/I7yiKz) in the artisanal sectors have been lost due to lack of policies that protect both fisheries and livelihoods.
[2] From 24 February -l 7 May, The Esperanza, was on an expedition in West Africa to document the threat from overfishing to the marine environment and food security for millions of Africans. Full details of ship tour finding and Greenpeace’s recommendations can be found in the report “The Cost of Ocean Destruction”.
[3] China’s Provisions for the Administration of Distant Water Fishery: http://APO.af/UtNrSX
[4] EU Fisheries Partnership Agreements: http://APO.af/rTi9pr
[5] Mandate of the SRFC: http://APO.af/6nrLbR

Source:: Urgent action needed to solve West African food security threat


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Vantage Capital provides $12.5 million of funding to Purple Capital, a leading Nigerian property development company

Vantage Capital (www.VantageCapital.co.za), Africa’s largest mezzanine fund manager, announced today that it has provided $12.5 million of funding to Purple Capital (www.PurpleCapng.com), a prominent Nigerian real estate company and financial service provider. Purple Capital is the developer of the iconic 6,000m² Maryland Mall (www.MarylandMallng.com), a neighbourhood shopping centre in the Ikeja district of Lagos.

The newly opened Maryland Mall offers one-of-a-kind experiences for adults and children, with over 35,000 visitors experiencing the mall’s varied attractions each week. Entertainment options include one of the only skating rinks in Lagos, a vibrant food court, restaurants and over fifty retail shops. The centre is home to leading multinational and local brands including Shoprite, Miniso, Uber, Genesis Cinemas, Stanbic IBTC and The Place. Maryland Mall is located on Ikorodu Road, one of the busiest thoroughfares in Lagos, and entices passers-by with one of the largest LED visual display screens in West Africa.

Purple Capital is headquartered in Lagos and has built a high-quality property portfolio, including upmarket residential estates in the Lekki suburb of Lagos.

Warren van der Merwe, Chief Operating Officer of Vantage Capital, said, “The Purple team epitomizes the best of Nigeria’s entrepreneurial spirit with its ability to navigate a demanding operating environment to create market-leading developments. Maryland Mall is one such development, a uniquely inviting family destination for Lagosians of all ages.”

Johnny Jones, Associate Partner at Vantage Capital, added, “Vantage is currently investing over fifty million dollars from its third-generation mezzanine fund in real-estate projects across Sub-Saharan Africa. We have reviewed over fifty real-estate opportunities since we launched our latest mezzanine fund but have only selected four to support. We are impressed with the Purple team’s cost-effective execution and believe their business is an excellent fit for our investment style.”

Laide Agboola, Managing Partner of Purple added, “’We are excited about Vantage Capital’s partnership with Purple on this refinancing and investment transaction which helps us reset, consolidate and gear up for exciting opportunities in the future. It also provides a seal of approval and increased possibilities for growth across our focus areas of financial services and real estate development.”

Obinna Onunkwo, Managing Partner of Purple also added, “Our focus on good corporate governance, high-quality deal origination and execution was a strong attraction for Vantage Capital as an offshore investor. Their investment acts as an enabler to our long-term growth strategy in Africa’s largest economy.”

The Purple investment is Vantage Capital’s sixth transaction in Fund III, a $280 million (R4 billion) fund, with a 55% allocation to countries outside South Africa. Purple Capital represents the 24th transaction executed by Vantage across three generations of mezzanine funds with aggregate capital deployed to date of $277 million (R4 billion).

Vantage was advised by Adepetun Caxton-Martins Agbor & Segun, one of Nigeria’s top commercial law firms known for its finance and cross-border M&A work, and Werksmans a leading South African corporate and commercial law firm. Purple Capital was advised by Bloomfield Law Practice, a ‘practical and hands-on’ Nigerian law firm with expertise in corporate commercial, private equity, real estate and financing matters.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Vantage Capital Group.

For more information contact:
Johnny Jones
Associate Partner
Tel: +27 11 530 9114

Akinseye Akinola
Senior Associate
Tel: +27 11 530 9138

Laide Agboola
Managing Partner
Tel: +234 802 828 2777

About Purple Capital
Purple Capital (www.PurpleCapng.com) was established in 2013 as a specialist investment firm with business areas in Financial Services and Real Estate. Purple’s focus is on building sustainable long-term relationships based on trust and consistent performance. Strong emphasis is placed on proper corporate governance and best practices. Over the past 4 years, Purple has made significant investments in the Real Estate and Financial Services sectors, including the development and finance of Maryland Mall (www.MarylandMallng.com), a Grade-A Retail Mall in Lagos, Redworth Terraces and Bishopsgate Residences, which are premium residential developments as well as Purplemoney Micro Finance Bank.
Website: www.PurpleCapng.com and www.MarylandMallng.com.

About Vantage
Vantage Capital Group (www.VantageCapital.co.za) was established in 2001 and currently manages assets of $775 million (R11 billion) in five distinct mezzanine debt and renewable energy debt funds.
Vantage has offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town and targets mezzanine debt opportunities of between $5-30 million across more than a dozen key African markets. To date, Vantage has invested in 17 transactions in South Africa, two each in Ghana and Nigeria as well as opportunities in Namibia, Uganda and Botswana. Mezzanine is an intermediate form of risk capital, which is situated between senior debt, the least risky tranche of the capital structure, and equity, the most risky. It combines elements of both debt and equity thereby providing companies with long-term funding on terms which are less dilutive to shareholders than pure equity.
Website: www.VantageCapital.co.za.

Source:: Vantage Capital provides $12.5 million of funding to Purple Capital, a leading Nigerian property development company


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