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Startup founders Ham Serunjogi, Olugbenga Agboola lead Payhippo to secure $3 million in seed funding

Payhippo is an AI-driven lending platform that provides loans to small businesses.



Entrepreneur Ham Serunjogi.

Leading fintech startup founders and top executives across Africa have led the Nigerian fintech startup Payhippo in a $3-million seed round, as the firm moves to scale its operations.

The round will allow the fintech startup to strengthen its operations and technology and deliver on its promise to bridge the financing gap facing African businesses.

The round was secured through investments by Ham Serunjogi and Maijid Moujaled, co-founders of Chipper Cash, Olugbenga Agboola, founder of Flutterwave, Hakeem Belo-Osagie of Metis Capital Partners and Bolaji Balogun of Chapel Hill Denham.

It marks a growing trend in the African tech space, as founders and industry experts join hands to complete pre-seed and seed funding rounds for new players in the continent’s tech space.

Payhippo is an AI-driven lending platform that provides loans to small businesses in under three hours and helps them effectively spend lender capital.

It was founded in January 2020 by Zach Bijesse, Chioma Okotcha and Uche Nnadi, who hold key positions in the startup as the CEO, COO and CTO, respectively.

Other participants in the round included angel investors from Paystack, Brex and Tala. TEN13, VentureSouq and Prodigio Capital were the only institutional ventures to invest in the round.

Payhippo has now raised a total of $4 million in its pre-seed and seed funding rounds

Payhippo’s $3-million round follows a $1-million pre-seed round in the second half of 2021.

Aside from the initial capital that the founders raised to kickstart the platform in 2020, Payhippo has raised a total of $4 million.

Information gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that Payhippo has disbursed N1 billion ($2.43 million) to more than 450 registered small and medium enterprises on its platform since 2020.

In September 2021, it earned $64,000 in revenue from the $900,000 in disbursed loans, as it experienced 25-percent monthly growth, with a 97-percent loan repayment rate.

What the founders are saying

Payhippo COO Chioma Okotcha said the round will allow the group to invest in hiring engineers and data scientists, as it aims to improve its technology and enhance lending offerings in line with its commitment to address the financing gap facing small businesses in Nigeria.

“At Payhippo, our vision is to provide millions of small businesses with sufficient and available capital to run and grow their businesses,” she said.

Meanwhile, Serunjogi and Moujaled of Chipper Cash, which recently hit a $2-billion valuation, were reported as saying that they are bullish on supporting new financial technologies in Africa in a move to enhance the competitive landscape in the continent’s financial sector.

Chapel Hill Denham Founder and CEO Bolaji Balogun added that it is exciting to see Payhippo use its technology to provide SMEs in Africa with access to finances to run their businesses. 

“By lending to small businesses, Payhippo is allowing business owners access to much-needed working capital to grow their businesses and create jobs in the economy,” he said.

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Egyptian billionaire Yasseen Mansour gains $1.86 million in 74 days from Palm Hills stake

Mansou owns a sizable 5.6-percent stake in the Cairo-based real estate firm.



Egyptian billionaire Yasseen Mansour. ©Billionaires.Africa

Egyptian billionaire Yasseen Mansour has recorded a EGP35.6-million ($1.86 million) boost in his net worth in the past 74 days, as shares in Palm Hills Development increased by nearly 19 percent in reaction to the company’s recently released first-quarter results.

Palm Hills Development, an operating subsidiary of Egypt’s largest conglomerate, Mansour Group, is a well-known real estate developer with active investments in Egypt. The company develops integrated residential, commercial, and resort communities.

Mansour, the chairman of Palm Hills Development and one of Egypt’s and Africa’s wealthiest individuals, owns a sizable 5.6-percent stake in the Cairo-based real estate firm.

The Egyptian real estate developer revealed that its profit increased by more than 40 percent in the first quarter of 2022, from EGP217.4 million ($11.36 million) in the first quarter of 2021 to EGP305.8 million ($16 million), owing to sustained growth in demand for properties in Egypt.

As a result of the firm’s strong financial performance, investors on the Egyptian Stock Exchange increased their buying interest in Palm Hills shares, resulting in an 18.6-percent increase in the firm’s stock price from EGP1.13 ($0.059) on June 1 to EGP1.34 ($0.07) on Aug. 14.

Mansour’s 5.6-percent stake in Palm Hills Development has increased in value over the past 74 days, from EGP191.94 million ($10 million) to EGP227.6 million ($11.89 million) at the time of writing.

This equates to a total gain of EGP35.6 million ($1.86 million) for the Egyptian billionaire, who ranks as one of the wealthiest men on the African continent, alongside his brothers Mohamed Mansour and Youssef Mansour, both of whom own Mansour Group and Palm Hills Development.

His net worth is estimated at $1.1 billion, making him one of Africa’s wealthiest businessmen.

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Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu unveils $23.8-million security support fund

It is the single largest donation to a philanthropic cause made by a Nigerian businessman.



Abdul Samad Rabiu. ©Billionaires.Africa

Nigerian billionaire businessman Abdul Samad Rabiu has announced the creation of the N10-billion ($23.8 million) Nigeria Security Support Fund through his philanthropic organization, the Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa). He unveiled the project during a meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock presidential residence in Abuja.

Rabiu launched the initiative to provide security equipment and medical and other supplies to the families of soldiers fighting terrorists in Nigeria’s northeast, and to strengthen local infrastructure.

The contribution marks the single largest donation to a philanthropic cause made by a Nigerian businessman, and follows the $3-million development initiative that Rabiu launched in Niger three weeks ago through ASR Africa. Last week, Rabiu received the Commander of the Order of Merit of Niger Award in recognition of his contributions to the country of Niger and its people.

Rabiu also praised Buhari for creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. He cited policies implemented by his administration, which, he said, aided the growth of his manufacturing conglomerate, BUA Group, which is one of the continent’s fastest-growing commercial groups.

He also promised to support the administration’s efforts in industrial development and security.

Rabiu established ASR Africa in April 2021 to promote long-term, impact-driven solutions to developmental issues affecting health, educational, and social development across Africa.

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Led by South African mogul Neal Froneman, Sibanye-Stillwater slashes output target for U.S. mines

The news comes nearly two months after it suspended operations in Montana for seven weeks.



Neal Froneman.

Sibanye-Stillwater has reduced its output forecast this year for its palladium and platinum mines in Montana by more than 20 percent due to operational challenges caused by regional floods.

Sibanye-Stillwater is a multinational precious metal mining company based in South Africa. Under the leadership of CEO Neal Froneman, the company is involved in gold and base metals mining in South Africa and the Americas.

The South African mining company has reduced its output forecast for its palladium and platinum mines in Montana to 445,000 to 460,000 ounces in 2022 from 550,000 to 580,000 ounces earlier this year.

The decision to reduce its output forecast comes nearly two months after it suspended operations in Montana for seven weeks due to regional floods that disrupted operations on June 13.

Stillwater’s Montana mine accounts for ab08t 60 percent of the mined production from its U.S. PGM operations.

Aside from operational challenges, the decision to reduce its output forecast can be linked to expectations that the palladium market will swing into surplus by the middle of this decade, necessitating operational repositioning in the event of future price weakness.

“Hence, with our view of the palladium market plus the macroeconomic environment we are going to be dealing with going forward, we really need to reconsider what’s the best way of extracting value out of the assets,” Froneman said.

The company’s cautious approach may also result in the postponement of spending on its Blitz project in Montana, as Froneman stated: “It just doesn’t seem to make good or smart commercial sense to spend millions or billions on a capital project that will deliver into price weakness in the future.”

Shares in the mining firm closed trading on Friday at R40.68 ($2.52), 6.14-percent lower than their opening price on the local bourse, in response to the decision to cut its output forecast in the United States, while maintaining the output profile for its operations in South Africa.

Sibanye-Stillwater’s market cap is R115 billion ($7.1 billion) at current prices, while Froneman’s minority 0.074-percent stake in the company is valued at R85.1 million ($5.26 million).

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