Quona Capital’s 2022 Impact Report reveals portfolio companies’ progress; firm provides deeper insights into Africa portfolio companies

The founders of Quona Capital Management LLC

Quona co-founders Jonathan Whittle, Monica Brand Engel, and Ganesh Rengaswamy

  • Quona’s Africa portfolio companies recorded $4.5 billion in payment transactions processed / transaction volume in 2022
  • $278 million in loans financed across 1.1 million loans across Africa
  • Portfolio has served 408K retail customers and 353K MSMEs

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, June 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Quona Capital, a venture capital firm investing in innovative fintech startups in emerging markets, has released its 2022 Impact Report, showcasing the measurable impact its investments have made on financial inclusion. The report highlights the progress its portfolio companies have made in helping underserved individuals and small businesses access affordable and reliable financial services, and features case studies on several companies. The complete report is available at https://tinyurl.com/bddxmnyc

Some highlights from Quona’s Africa portfolio:

  • Cowrywisean SEC-regulated personal finance management platform providing affordable core savings and investment products for Nigeria’s financially underserved, reported:
    • 775,000 registered customers on its platform
    • 93% of its customers are underserved, earning less than $10,000 per year
  • Lulaa South Africa SME banking and working capital provider, reported:
    • 25,000+ loans provided since inception
    • 10,000 SMEs financed to date
    • A repeat application rate of 84%
    • 75%+ of its customers accessed business term credit for the first time
    • 30%+ of its customers are female-owned businesses
  • Wasoko, a leading B2B e-commerce and fintech platform across 6 countries in Africa, reported:
    • 2.3 million orders delivered during 2022 across 6 countries in Africa
    • Over 50,000 registered merchants on the platform
    • 180 suppliers active on the Wasoko platform

Quona’s investments in Africa span a wide range of fintech solutions, including digital payments platforms, lending, insurance, embedded finance and other financial services that leverage technology to eliminate barriers to access. The firm’s approach to investing—which gives Quona insights across geographies from companies with common themes, such as embedded finance, logistics, and more—enable it to bring important perspectives to founders that they can’t easily obtain elsewhere.

“Our mission is to create a world in which everyone benefits from financial inclusion,” said Monica Brand Engel, co-founder and managing partner at Quona Capital, who leads the firm’s investments in Africa and the Middle East. “We are committed to investing in innovative fintech startups that tackle the world’s toughest problems and have the potential to deliver transformational impact by reaching underserved and unserved segments of society.”

Quona’s 2022 Impact Report reveals that since the firm’s inception in 2015:

  • Quona has made investments in 72 companies across India and Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.
  • Together, these portfolio companies have touched more than 144.5 million customers’ lives, 79% of which were underserved.
  • These investments generated over $1.5 billion in revenue in 2022 alone, bringing significant social and economic benefits, including increased access to financial services, job creation, and improved financial health for individuals and communities.

The report underlines Quona’s ongoing commitment to investing in the fintech sector with a focus on driving greater financial inclusion and impacting positive change in developing economies. By working hand in hand with founders and entrepreneurs to scale transformative fintech businesses, Quona demonstrates its ability to help create impact at scale as well as financial returns.

“There’s never been a more important time for financial innovation in the region and the world,” added Johan Bosini, a Cape Town-based partner at Quona Capital. “We are proud to back so many entrepreneurs who are truly making a difference across the globe.”

ABOUT QUONA
Quona Capital is a venture firm focused on fintech that can expand access for underserved customers and small businesses in emerging markets including Africa and the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Quona’s global partners are experienced investors and operators in both emerging and developed markets, and back entrepreneurs whose companies have the potential to generate financial returns while promoting breakthrough innovation in financial inclusion for both consumers and SMEs. More: quona.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/74ff307f-b223-4ef8-adb5-d54d5a72b69c

MEDIA CONTACTS
Shannon Austin
+1 703.338.8813
Shannon@quona.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8849442

BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG: Queixa criminal apresentada em Berlim contra Elon Musk e o Twitter por possível fraude em detrimento dos utilizadores

BERLIN, May 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG informa hoje que foi apresentada uma queixa-crime contra Elon Musk no Ministério Público de Berlim, número de processo: 253 UJs 1012/23, alegando que Musk cobrou os cartões de crédito dos utilizadores do Twitter, mas suspendeu as contas verificadas do Twitter sem dar qualquer motivo.

Fonte: https://www.BerlinerTageszeitung.de/wirtschaft/269895-criminal-complaint-in-berlin-germany-against-elon-musk-and-twitter-for-possible-fraud-to-the-detriment-of-twitter-users.html

“O bloqueio de contas de utilizadores está na ordem do dia no Twitter, mas o facto de depois cobrarem constantemente os cartões de crédito dos utilizadores torna o assunto explosivo e está actualmente a ocupar o Ministério Público de Berlim (República Federal da Alemanha). Em todo o caso, coloca-se a questão de saber até que ponto se pode conceder poder a um meio de comunicação como o Twitter e quando é que as autoridades de controlo devem intervir para proteger os utilizadores do Twitter.”

Aliás, esta não é a primeira vez que Elon Musk é investigado, já que o CEO da Tesla, Elon Musk, também é actualmente objecto de um processo judicial contra investidores. A ação judicial tem a ver com os tweets de Musk em agosto de 2018, anunciando prematuramente que queria tirar a empresa de carros elétricos do mercado de ações e que tinha garantido financiamento para o fazer. Mais tarde, verificou-se que não havia compromissos firmes por parte dos investidores.

“Elon Musk mentiu”, disse um advogado dos queixosos. O juiz norte-americano Edward Chen (juiz do Tribunal Distrital dos Estados Unidos para o Distrito Norte da Califórnia) já tinha considerado em 2022 que as declarações de Musk nos tweets não eram verdadeiras.

“Continuaremos a acompanhar o caso de perto e a relatar novos desenvolvimentos à medida que novas informações estiverem disponíveis. Resta saber como se desenvolverão as acusações criminais contra Elon Musk e o Twitter e quais serão as consequências.”

De um ponto de vista factual, é de notar que, de acordo com o artigo 48.º da Carta dos Direitos Fundamentais da União Europeia, a presunção de inocência aplica-se aos arguidos e acusados, o que também se deve aplicar no caso das acusações criminais contra Elon Musk por “alegada fraude em detrimento dos utilizadores do Twitter”.

META KEYS:
Elon Musk, Elon Musk Twitter, Elon Musk, acusações criminais, contas Twitter, Thierry Breton, Thierry Breton Twitter, Ministério Público de Berlim contra Elon Musk, utilizadores Twitter, BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG, contas Twitter verificadas

Foto deste comunicado disponível em https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f3c50532-be3a-4bad-8e85-7253731d594c

BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG
Press Contact: P. Hansen
Unter den Linden 21
10117 Berlin
Germany
Mail: Info@DeutscheTageszeitung.de
Web: http://www.DeutscheTageszeitung.de

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8849964

Berliner Tageszeitung : Plainte pénale à Berlin contre Elon Musk et Twitter pour une possible fraude au détriment des utilisateurs

BERLIN, 31 mai 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Le BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG rapporte aujourd’hui qu’une plainte pénale a été déposée auprès du parquet de Berlin contre Elon Musk, numéro de dossier : 253 UJs 1012/23, affirmant que Musk a débité les cartes de crédit d’utilisateurs de Twitter, mais a bloqué les comptes Twitter vérifiés sans donner de raisons.

Source : https://www.BerlinerTageszeitung.de/wirtschaft/269895-criminal-complaint-in-berlin-germany-against-elon-musk-and-twitter-for-possible-fraud-to-the-detriment-of-twitter-users.html

“Le blocage de comptes d’utilisateurs est monnaie courante chez Twitter, mais le fait qu’ils débitent ensuite constamment les cartes de crédit des utilisateurs rend l’affaire explosive et occupe actuellement le parquet de Berlin (République fédérale d’Allemagne). Dans tous les cas, la question se pose de savoir quel pouvoir peut être accordé à un média comme Twitter et quand les autorités de surveillance devraient intervenir pour protéger les utilisateurs de Twitter”.

Ce n’est d’ailleurs pas la première fois qu’Elon Musk fait l’objet d’une enquête, puisque le CEO de Tesla, Elon Musk, fait également actuellement l’objet d’une plainte d’investisseurs. La plainte porte sur les tweets de Musk en août 2018 annonçant prématurément qu’il voulait retirer l’entreprise de voitures électriques de la bourse et qu’il avait assuré le financement pour cela. Il s’est avéré par la suite qu’il n’y avait pas d’engagements fermes de la part des investisseurs.

“Elon Musk a menti”, a déclaré un avocat des plaignantes. Le juge américain Edward Chen (juge du United States District Court for the Northern District of California) avait déjà constaté en 2022 que les déclarations de Musk dans les tweets ne correspondaient pas à la vérité.

“Nous continuerons à suivre l’affaire de près et rendrons compte des nouveaux développements dès que de nouvelles informations seront disponibles. Il reste à voir comment les accusations pénales portées contre Elon Musk et Twitter vont évoluer et quelles conséquences pourraient en découler.”

Sur le plan factuel, il convient de noter que, conformément à l’article 48 de la Charte des droits fondamentaux de l’Union européenne, les accusés et les prévenus bénéficient de la présomption d’innocence, qui doit également s’appliquer dans le cas de la plainte pénale déposée contre Elon Musk pour “fraude présumée au détriment des utilisateurs de Twitter”.

META KEYS:
Elon Musk, Elon Musk Twitter, Elon Musk plainte pénale, comptes Twitter, Thierry Breton, Thierry Breton Twitter, Parquet de Berlin contre Elon Musk, utilisateurs de Twitter, BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG, comptes Twitter vérifiés

Une photo accompagnant ce communiqué de presse est disponible à l’adresse suivante : https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f3c50532-be3a-4bad-8e85-7253731d594c

BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG
Press Contact: P. Hansen
Unter den Linden 21
10117 Berlin
Germany
Mail: Info@DeutscheTageszeitung.de
Web: http://www.DeutscheTageszeitung.de

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8849964

UPDATE – Berliner Tageszeitung: Criminal complaint in Berlin, Germany, against Elon Musk and Twitter for possible fraud to the detriment of users

Berliner Tageszeitung: Criminal complaint in Berlin, Germany, against Elon Musk and Twitter for possible fraud to the detriment of users

Berliner Tageszeitung: Criminal complaint in Berlin, Germany, against Elon Musk and Twitter for possible fraud to the detriment of users

BERLIN, May 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG reports today that a criminal complaint has been filed against Elon Musk with the Berlin public prosecutor’s office, file number: 253 UJs 1012/23, alleging that Musk charged Twitter users’ credit cards but suspended verified Twitter accounts without giving any reason.

Source: https://www.BerlinerTageszeitung.de/wirtschaft/269895-criminal-complaint-in-berlin-germany-against-elon-musk-and-twitter-for-possible-fraud-to-the-detriment-of-twitter-users.html

“Blocking user accounts is a daily occurrence at Twitter, but the fact that they then continuously charge money to users’ credit cards makes the matter explosive and is currently occupying the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office (Federal Republic of Germany). In any case, the question arises as to how much power a medium like Twitter can be granted at all and when the regulatory authorities should intervene to protect Twitter users.”

Incidentally, this is not the first time Elon Musk has been investigated, as there is also currently an investor lawsuit against Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The lawsuit is about Musk’s tweets in August 2018 with the premature announcement that he wanted to take the electric car company off the stock market and had secured the financing to do so. It later emerged that there were no firm commitments from investors.

“Elon Musk lied,” said a lawyer for the plaintiffs.

US Judge Edward Chen (Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California) had already found in the 2022 trial that Musk’s statements in the tweets had not been true.

“We will continue to monitor the case closely and report further developments as new information becomes available. It remains to be seen how the criminal charges against Elon Musk and Twitter will develop and what the consequences might be.”

From a factual point of view, it should be noted that according to Article 48 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the presumption of innocence applies to defendants and accused persons, which must also apply in the case of the criminal charges against Elon Musk for “suspected fraud to the detriment of Twitter users”.

META KEYS: Elon Musk, Elon Musk Twitter, Elon Musk Strafanzeige, Twitter accounts, Thierry Breton, Thierry Breton Twitter, Berlin public prosecutor’s office against Elon Musk, Twitter users, BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG, verified Twitter accounts

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f3c50532-be3a-4bad-8e85-7253731d594c

Press Contact:
BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG
Press Contact: P. Hansen
Unter den Linden 21
10117 Berlin
Germany
Mail: Info@DeutscheTageszeitung.de
Web: http://www.DeutscheTageszeitung.de

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8849934

Let’s change our mind on TVET- Deputy Education Minister

Madam Gifty Twum Ampofo, the Deputy Minister for Education in charge of Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET), has reiterated the need for the populace to appreciate the role of TVET in national development.

She said the perception that TVET was for people who were unintelligent was demoralising learners and said it was time to change the narrative.

Madam Ampofo said this at a round table conference on TVET in Accra organised by the Vocational Training for Females (VTF) Programme, a Christian-based NGO.

She said holistic education was not grammar-based but involved using the heart, head, and hands.

The Deputy Minister said unintelliegnt students could not operate the kind of state-of-the art equipment and industrial machines in the TVET institutions across the country and urged parents to encourage their children to take advantage of TVET programmes for opportunities in the future.

She said the Government had collaborated with the German Government to roll out the Ghana TVET Voucher Project, which enabled master craftsmen and their apprentices to acquire modern skills training at technical institutions.

Madam Ampofo said the three phases of the Project had been completed and over 18,000 craftsmen and apprentices had been trained with over 72 per cent of them being women and that the fourth phase was set to be rolled out.

She appealed to private industries to collaborate ‘wholeheartedly’ with Government and TVET institutions in the training of learners through industrial attachment.

‘We are moving towards dual TVET, meaning, learners spending some time in the classroom and sometime in the factories,’ the Deputy Minister stated.

Mr Peter Antwi-Boasiako, Deputy Director-General, Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET), who spoke on behalf of the Director General, CTVET, said over GHS 15billion had been invested in retooling the TVET institutions.

He said, therefore, there was no impediment for any child in the country to pursue TVET.

Mr Antwi-Boasiako said TVET ‘held the world’ and was the way to go, so neglecting that investment meant neglecting the country’s development.

Mrs Rose Karikari Anang, Deputy Chairperson, National Labour Commission (NLC), underscored the need for continuous and strengthened advocacy on the importance of TVET to attract the support of private entities.

She said developed countries thrived on TVET and that practitioners earned more than some other professionals.

Ms Linda Agyei, Director, VTF Programme, said TVET was the master key that could among others, alleviate poverty, promote peace and help to achieve sustainable development.

She said for the past 20 years, the VTF had worked assiduously with State institutions, agencies, departments and private sector by introducing interventions and innovations to uplift the image of TVET.

Ms Agyei commended the Government’s commitment and efforts at transforming the TVET sector and making it an attractive option for the youth to reduce unemployment for national development.

‘Today, there have been some changes. We are all happy as sector stakeholders of what we are witnessing today, but we believe there is a long way to go,’ the Director stated.

Mr Tsonam Akpeloo, Chairperson, Advocacy Committee, VTF, expressed worry about the shortage of some job skills in the county necessitating the importation of expatriates for such jobs.

He called on the citizenry to promote TVET because it was the future, and its opportunities were as big as the problems.

An 11- member VTF Programme Advocacy Committee made up of representatives of several institutions with interest in the development of the youth and concerned with the country’s socioeconomic transformation was outdoored.

The committee is tasked to support the VTF to articulate concerns of the industry, find solutions as well as shape the public’s perception of TVET.

The VTF Programme is a Christian-based NGO established by the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and its partners, Bread for the World/ Protestant Development Services, Germany.

It provides support services to enhance the delivery of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Ghana and skills development.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Halala Kella Resort Officially Handed over to South Western Ethiopia Regional State

Halala Kella Resort is officially handed over today to the South Western Ethiopia Regional State by the Office of the Prime Minister.

Office of the Prime Minister twitted that “part of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s ‘Dine For Ethiopia’ initiative and a component of the Koysha cluster, the resort is handed over to the South Western Ethiopia Regional State by the Office of the Prime Minister.”

The regional state has entered into an agreement with Paradise Lodges Resorts and Hotels Management PLC to manage and operate the resort under the brand identity ‘Halala Kella Resort’.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency