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Nigeria’s Investment Climate Holds Favourable Promise

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CHINT Electric Co, Limited is a subsidiary of CHINT Group Corporation, the reliable player in the LV and HV Electrical equipment, manufacturing and EPC services in power generation, transmission and distribution. CHINT Electric has supplied its products and EPC services in over 140 countries and regions, including more than 90 national power utilities, renewable energy users, oil and gas users, metallurgy users, railway users, among others.
CHINT Electric Co Limited offers power/auto transformers, distribution transformers, gas insulated switches (GIS), circuit breakers, disconnectors, insulators, earthing switches, surge arresters, voltage transformers, current transformers, to name a few. CHINT’s presence cuts across countries in North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe, including Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, Russia, U.S.A, Ukraine, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, and a host of others.The launch of CHINT Electric in Nigeria heralds a new era of technological advancement as one of our goals is to empower the country through our innovative electrical solutions. Electricity as you know is an essential component of any nation’s development process. Its use and access largely correlate to economic growth; hence its impact on the livelihood of citizens cannot be overstated. It is on this premise that CHINT Electric is looking to empower Nigeria through the provision of world-class electrical solutions. We offer our customers with high quality products and professional services by integrating electrical resources. The company has been focusing on industrial electrical manufacturing for 33 years and is known for the durability of its products.

CHINT offers EPC customers with on-demand products and services through innovative integration, and over the years, we have increasingly grown to become a reliable partner for many major international EPC contractors in the field of New Energy, Power Transmission and Distribution, among others. These are what we have in stock for Nigerians and Nigerian market.

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With already well-established presence in other countries across Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, why has CHINT chosen to enter the Nigerian market?
Nigeria is undoubtedly one of Africa’s largest economies and we are highly optimistic about the potentials the country holds. While CHINT Electric ranks as one of the leading global players in the energy sector, with presence in over 140 countries, we strongly believe Nigeria is a nation that holds bountiful potentials for economic prosperity, and technology is one of the greatest catalysts to achieve this. There can be no technological advancement without first-rate electrical solutions; hence the establishment of operations in Nigeria. Also, we are very proud that Nigeria is the first subsidiary company of CHINT Group in Central and Western Africa, and the first in the whole sub-Saharan Africa.As a leading player in the global energy sector, CHINT has already positioned itself as not only an innovative brand but one with the capacity to meet the demands of customers in any geographical region. With up to 13 manufacturing bases in China, Thailand, Egypt and Germany as well as 17 international subsidiaries, 32 logistics centers and 2,300 sales companies, we are capable of maintaining the leadership position our brand has grown to be known for over the years.With a population of over 200 million, Nigeria is a hotspot for economic activities and this makes it an attractive consumer market for traders and investors. While there have been some reforms enacted to help boost Nigeria’s position in the World Bank’s annual Ease of Doing Business rankings, the investment climate has experienced some setbacks with Foreign Direct Investment in recent years, and this can be largely attributed to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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However, with the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration leaning towards prioritizing diversification of the economy beyond oil and gas, with goals of building a competitive manufacturing sector and capitalizing on the nation’s existing innovative opportunities, we believe the investment climate for Nigeria holds favorable promises.

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Adulteration remains a challenge eating deep into profit margins of established brands. How secured are your brands to protect it from adulterators?
At CHINT Electric, we pride ourselves in quality; hence our products have gone through a variety of extensive important tests by the appropriate organizations to ascertain and maintain the high standards we are globally known for. Consumer safety is incredibly important to us, and every product we currently manufacture is certified and meets the global standards.

Are there any future plans to collaborate with stakeholders in your industry?
Certainly. During our recent official opening ceremony, we called for collaboration with key stakeholders as we believe that with the right initiatives, support and collaboration with key players, the Nigerian energy sector would drive economic prosperity and sustainability.Yes, our products are certified with the Standards Organization of Nigeria and affordable. We have also received certification from other global standards organizations to ensure our products meet the best standards. Other certifications include KEMA, CESI, PCT(GOST) and TUV.

Do you have plans to set up a manufacturing plant in Nigeria in the nearest future?
Of course, yes. We have engaged in high-level discussions in the past few months with some notable stakeholders in the power industry to set up a meter factory in Nigeria. We are still open to collaborations with others who are interested and share the same view with us in developing Nigerian energy sector with our innovation and smart solutions

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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is key to every organisation. Does CHINT Electric has plans to empower communities through CSR initiatives?
As a socially conscious organization, CHINT Electric is always seeking avenues and creditable platforms to uplift members of the communities we operate in. We are always inspired to promote corporate philanthropy and sustainability while seeking to encourage other entities as well as well-spirited individuals to join hands in improving our society. As part of our CSR initiatives, we announced a strategic collaboration between CHINT Electric and the University of Lagos to offer best performing students of the Electrical and Electronics department annual internship programme.

In addition to the robust and extensive training, which will be gained during the course of their internship, our student beneficiaries will also receive financial benefits. I believe this serves as a glowing testimony to CHINT Electric’s goal to not only empower Nigeria but provide credible platforms for young Nigerian talents to flourish and excel. We are committed to creating value for customers, seeking development for employees and taking responsibility for the society.We see CHINT as a brand of choice and household name in Nigeria electricity industry in a few years’ time. The more customers that identify with your brand, the more loyal they become to it and the more resistant they are to any attempt made by competitors to lure them away. We have always set our priorities and today, I can say that those priorities have helped us achieve various things. Those decisions have rewarded us with the opportunity to host captains of industry, technocrats, academicians and our valued customers.

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Electric van maker Arrival misses quarterly production goal

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LONDON, Sept 30 (Reuters) – British electric van and bus maker Arrival said on Friday it had missed its third-quarter target to start van production because of supply chain problems, but was on target to meet its goals for the end of 2022.

“The supply chain is broken and we’re a new company,” chief executive Denis Sverdlov told Reuters. “We are going through our own production hell … but we expect we can go through this much quicker than traditional companies.”Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla (TSLA.O), famously complained of “production hell” as the electric carmaker struggled to scale up the manufacturing of its mass-market Model 3 sedan.

Arrival and other commercial electric vehicle (EV) startups are burning through cash as they race to bring vans or trucks to market before the funds run out or customers choose to buy from legacy automakers instead.

In July, Arrival said it would reorganise its business, possibly resulting in up to a 30% reduction in its workforce. In August, the company said it would delay spending on its bus project as it seeks fresh funds.
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By the end of the third quarter, Arrival said it had managed to build a “production verification vehicle” at its British “microfactory” in Bicester and would still deliver 20 vans to customers by the end of 2022 as previously announced.

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Arrival still does not expect to book any revenue in 2022.

Like many within the auto industry, Arrival said it had experienced supply chain problems, including securing supplies of metal, and parts such as lights and wire harnesses.
Arrival said it still expected to generate revenue in 2023 and would need to raise capital for its second van microfactory in Charlotte, North Carolina, which will focus mostly on fulfilling an order from package delivery company UPS (UPS.N) for up to 10,000 vans.

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Top 10 Nigerian tech companies funds raised in Q2 2022

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Nigeria continues to dominate the startup ecosystem in Africa in terms of the number of innovative companies springing up by the day. with this, it is not surprising that the country is attracting the largest funding across the continent as foreign and local investors inject more funds into its young innovators.

According to Africa Tech and Fintech report by Renaissance Capital, Nigerian tech startups raised a total of $678 million in 107 different deals between January and April this year. The country accounted for 31% of the total funds raised by African tech companies in the four months, which stood at $2.2 billion.

Although not as much as was recorded in the preceding quarter, Nigerian tech startups in Q2 202 also raked in millions of dollars from Venture Capitals and Angel Investors covering different stages of investments.

Here are the top 10 tech startup deals that made the news in Q2 2022:

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Identitypass ($2.8 million)
Identitypass, a Nigerian identity verification startup, raised $2.8 million in seed funding to expand its business. With the funding announced in June, the company said it planned to roll out new verticals around compliance, security, and data collection, push into new African countries and make new hires to its 14-man team.
The startup had raised $360,000 in pre-seed investment last November, bringing its total funding to $3.1 million. The latest funding was led by MaC Venture Capital with participation from other investors such as Y Combinator, Soma Capital, True Capital Fund, and Sherwani Capital.
Founded by Lanre Ogungbe, Niyi Adegboye and Ebuka Obi, the two-year-old SaaS platform in addition to its APIs. The software was built to enhance Identitypass’ growth scale and excel among its competitors in the market.

Indicina ($3 million)
Indicina, a credit agency startup, raised $3 million in June to drive its African expansion plans. The company, which currently operates in Nigeria and Kenya said it would also use the fund to build more products for consumer credit recommendations, and bolster its infrastructure.
Berlin-headquartered and pan-European venture capital firm Target Global led the round, adding to its long list of investments in Nigerian startups, including Kuda, Kippa and Edukoya. The firm’s partner Ricardo Schäefer will join Indicina’s board. Greycroft also participated in this round, as well as RV Ventures.
The investors hinged their interest in Indicina on its unique approach to solving Africa’s credit problem. The company uses data to solve the loan eligibility problem previously decided by incomplete creditworthiness assessments.

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ImaliPay ($3 million)
ImaliPay, a Nigerian fintech that prides itself as a one-stop shop financial services platform, closed a $3 million seed in debt and equity round in April. The fintech had raised $800,000 pre-seed round in 2020, bringing its total raise to $3.8 million.
The round which was led by Leonnis Investments also received follow-on investors from VCs such as Ten 13, Uncovered Fund, MyAsia VC, Jedar Capital, Logos Ventures, Plug N Play Ventures, Untapped Global, Latam Ventures, Cliff Angels, Chandaria Capital and Changecom. Angel investors like Keisuke Honda of KSK Angels and others from Serbia, Kenya and Norway participated.
The company said the investment would go into expanding its 50-man team, amping up its technology, and exploring new markets like Ghana and Egypt.

Kaltani ($4 million)
Kaltani, a cleaning technology plastic waste recycling company, received $4 million in seed funding in May to expand its recycling operations across Nigeria.
Founded by Obi Charles Nnanna, Kaltani aims to solve Africa’s growing plastic waste crisis by promoting the circular economy and recycling best practices. The company’s technology utilises data analytics, predictive analytics, and geo-mapping to ensure transparency and traceability throughout the value chain.
With the funding, the company said it planned to open 20 new collection and aggregation centres across Nigeria and increase its staff strength to over 500 people.

OnePort 365 ($5 million)
Oneport 365, a digital freight forwarding startup that makes it easier to transport cargo to, from, and within Africa, raised $5 million in seed funding in April to enable its expansion into new markets across the continent and push end-to-end digitization of freight management in Africa.
Mobility 54 (the Venture Capital arm of Toyota Tsusho and CFAO Group) led the seed funding round, which included SBI Investment, Samurai Incubate, Flexport, ODX, a Singaporean syndicate fund, and other strategic angel investors.
The startup’s platform allows traders to connect with shipping and inland transportation vendors and manage the entire process. Traders get GPS-enabled, real-time visibility of their shipments and they can view all documents relating to the shipment via the platform, eliminating the laborious process of physically retrieving these documents from offices or shipping line centers.

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Afriex ($10 million)
Afriex, another Nigerian fintech startup, also closed a $10 million Series A round in April to expand its blockchain money transfer platform. The company, which was valued at $60 million runs a money transfer system that utilises blockchain to enable users to send funds by converting them into stablecoins, which are cryptocurrencies backed by reserve assets.
Launched in 2019, the startup founded by Tope Alabi and John Obirije had raised a $1.3 million seed round last year. The latest funding round was financed by Sequoia Capital China and Dragonfly Capital with participation from Goldentree, Stellar Foundation, and Exceptional Capital, among others.

Leatherback ($10 million)
Leatherback, a financial services provider startup secured its first external investment in April as it secured a $10 million pre-seed funding from Zedcrest Capital, a leading pan-African principal investment firm.
With the funding, the fintech startup, which was being bootstrapped by its founders, said part of the fund would be deployed to raise Leatherback’s profile in the fintech space as well as extend its capacity in the many countries that it is licensed in and where it is about to be approved like South Africa, Egypt, Uganda, India, and the UAE.

ZirooPay ($11.4 million)
ZirooPay, a Lagos and Helsinki-based startup that develops mobile POS payment systems designed to facilitate mobile payments raised $11.4 million Series A round in April. The company said the funding would facilitate the expansion of its payment infrastructure, accelerating growth and growing its team.
The funding round was led by Lagos-based VC fund, Zrosk Investment Management, and also involved participation from existing investors, Nordic Venture Fund. Other private and institutional funds such as Fedha Capital and Exotix Advisory also partook in the funding. Individual investors include Petri Kivinen, the former managing director at Deutsche Bank; Morgan Stanley and Renaissance Capital; Abiodun Ajai, the director, Sub-Saharan Africa of Bank of America; Kurt Bjorklund, managing partner at Permira; Stephane Kurgan, venture partner at Index Ventures; and Jonas Dromberg, former Bureau chief at Bloomberg.

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Umba ($15 million)
Nigerian digital banking startup, Umba, in April raised $15 million in a Series A funding round, which brought its total fundraising to date to $17.5 million.
The round was led by VC firm Costanoa Ventures and saw participation from Lux Capital, Lachy Groom, Act Venture Capital, Streamlined Ventures, Palm Drive Capital, Chandaria Capital and Banana Capital, as well as Monzo co-founder Tom Blomfield.
Umba prides itself as a customer-centric, mobile-first digital bank that increases access to financial tools, including current accounts, bill payments, loans, cashback, P2P payments, and bank transfers.With the funding, the company said it intended to launch in Egypt, Ghana, and Kenya as well as roll out new financial products including debit cards, savings accounts, and stock trading.

Interswitch ($110 million)
One of Africa’s largest fintech companies, Interswitch, landed the biggest deal by a Nigerian startup in Q2 2022 as it secured $110 million in a joint investment from LeapFrog Investments and Tana Africa Capital to scale its digital payment services across Africa. The two investors said they would be supporting Interswitch’s next chapter through continued product innovation and growth across the African continent.
The investment secured in May came almost three years since Interswitch’s last disclosed funding round when Visa paid $200 million for a 20% stake in the company. Interswitch powers much of the rails for Nigeria’s online banking system and is well-known for its point-of-sale terminals, online consumer payment platforms, Quickteller, and Verve, the biggest domestic debit card scheme in Africa, issuing over 35 million active cards since launch.

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Fidelity Bank renovates classroom blocks, commissions ATM gallery in Zaria

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Leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank Plc has commissioned the newly renovated Madrasatul Anwarul Islam school in Zaria, Kaduna State, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives targeted across Nigeria.

Established over five decades ago by the emir’s father, late Maga in garin Zazzau, Alhaji Nuhu Bamalli, Madrasatul Anwarul Islam is the alma mater of the current Emir of Zazzau and has produced several notable personalities in the country.

The bank also inaugurated a state-of-the-art Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) gallery to drive financial inclusion within the community.

Speaking at the official project commissioning event on June 18 Executive Director, North Directorate, Fidelity Bank Plc, Hassan Imam, said the bank’s decision to renovate the school was borne out of its commitment to make learning conducive for both students and teachers across the country.

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According to Imam, “Our CSR footprint extends beyond education, healthcare and youth empowerment initiatives across the country as we are driven by the belief that we can only succeed as an organization when the people and community where we do business succeed.

“That is why we have taken it upon ourselves to help upgrade the facilities here at Madrasatul Anwarul Islam. Our hope is that the teachers and students in the school will put the facility to good use.

“As part of our commitment to drive financial inclusion across the country and boost commerce in Zaria in particular, we have installed an ATM gallery at the emir’s palace.

“We hope this would make financial services easier and accessible to members of the Zaria community in line with our mission as a bank and thank the emir, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, for his support in executing this project as well”, he said.

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Applauding the bank for its gesture towards promoting education and commerce in Zaria, HRM Ambassador Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli encouraged members of the community to put the facilities to good use and protect them against vandalism.

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The monarch urged businesses and merchants to patronize the bank as a way of appreciating their efforts in developing the community.

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 6.7 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels.

The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards.

The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.

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