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Evolve Credit raises early funding to help Nigerians navigate fintech options

ImpactAlpha, October 15 – Africa pioneered mobile money more than a decade ago. Since then, digital lending and insurance products have extended access to finance to hundreds of millions of un- and under-banked people.  But alongside many responsible providers are bad actors who have engaged in predatory lending and collection practices (see, “Investors called to

Clean Energy Ventures backs SunDensity to increase the efficiency of solar panel

ImpactAlpha, October 14 – Solar is “some of the lowest cost electricity ever seen,” according to the International Energy Agency. While costs have fallen sharply, the efficiency of solar panels improved only incrementally.  SunDensity claims its “smart coating” can increase efficiency by as much as 20%. The panel coating enables the panels to convert high-frequency

Dryad Networks raises €1.8 million for wildfire sensors

ImpactAlpha, October 13 – This year’s California wildfire season is the worst on record. Australia’s fires early in the year devastated New South Wales and Victoria. Berlin-based Dryad’s networks of connected sensors aim to provide early wildfire detection of wildfires. The company has tested its “multi-hop mesh networks,” which can cover forests even without mobile

Rockstart raises €21 million to back energy startups in Europe

ImpactAlpha, October 13 – Rockstart, an Amsterdam-based impact accelerator, has added a venture capital arm to support Europe’s early-stage energy companies with co-investments of at least €100,000 ($118,000). Dutch pension fund ABP, De Hoge Dennen Capital, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and unnamed Dutch and German investors backed the fund. Rockstart’s energy fund follows a €18 million

Greenwood raises $3 million for a digital bank for Black and Latinx customers

The “neobank” founded by former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, rapper and activist Michael “Killer Mike” Render, and Bounce TV’s Ryan Glover provides online banking services for individuals and businesses and ways to give back to Black and Latinx causes.

Tugende helps Uganda’s motorcycle taxi drivers survive the lockdown – and raises $6 million to grow again 

This month, Tugende finally completed its $6.3 million Series A round of financing, led by Mobility 54. The new capital will help the company rebuild its cash cushion, which was obliterated by the COVID lockdown, and to begin debt fundraising for its next phase of growth.Tugende’s rebound, and its prospects for growth, provide a window into the full range of risks and opportunities facing small-business lenders and the micro- and small businesses they support, as emerging markets begin to emerge from COVID-caused disruptions.