Startbucks-backed venture capital fund leads US$6.5m round in PathSpot

USA – PathSpot, a creator of a real-time hand hygiene management system, has raised US$6.5 million in a Series A round led by Valor Siren Ventures I L.P. (VSV), bringing the company’s total funding to US$10.5 million. Formed with an anchor investment from Starbucks and in collaboration with the consumer and tech-focused focused private equity firm, Valor Equity Partners, VSV is a leader in early-stage food, food technology, and retail technology investing. Valor Siren Ventures was established in March 2019 with Starbucks pioneering a US$100 million investment in the fund…

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Apollo Global acquires stake in American grocery chain Albertsons for US$1.75bn

USA – Global alternative investment manager, Apollo Global Management has made a US$1.75 billion equity investment in Idoha-based retailer, Albertsons Companies which represents acquisition of approximately 17% stake. The transaction was led by Apollo’s Hybrid Value business in partnership with the Credit platform and is expected to close by June 15, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions. “Albertsons Companies is pleased to work with Apollo and its co-investors. Apollo knows our industry and business model well, given its significant prior history of successful investments in the grocery sector,” said Vivek…

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Carlsberg forms joint venture beer company with Marston’s in the UK

UK – Carlsberg UK and one of UK’s leading independent brewing and pub retailing business, Marston’s have announced a proposed deal to form a joint venture beer company in the UK to be operated as Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company. Initial agreements between the companies will see Carlsberg UK and Marston’s inject their brewing and distribution assets into the joint venture. In addition, at completion of the joint venture Carlsberg revealed that it will pay up to £273 million (US$332.6m) to Marston’s, of which £34 million (US$41.42 million) will be a…

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Locust Invasion Update: World Bank joins fight to combat locust invasion with US$500m facility

AFRICA – The World Bank Group has approved US$500 million financing for the Emergency Locust Response Program (ELRP), to help countries in Africa and the Middle East fight the locust swarms that are threatening the food security and livelihoods of millions of people. The ELRP will focus on providing immediate assistance to help poor and vulnerable farmers, herders, and rural households overcome one of the worst locust upsurges in decades. The program will provide immediate support to affected households through targeted social safety nets like cash transfers, while investing in…

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Carrefour Kenya set to open new branch in June

KENYA – Carrefour Kenya, operated by Dubai-based conglomerate, Majid Al Futtaim is set to open its eight store in June following the signing of lease deal for the refurbished Nairobi Mega property along Uhuru Highway between the retailer and the property owner, automobile dealer Car & General. This was revealed by Car & General in its half-year financial report, that Carrefour will be the anchor tenant at the property which was formerly occupied by the once-dominant Nakumatt. “We have completed the refurbishment of Nairobi Mega (formerly Nakumatt Mega), which comprises…

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Impact Angel Network funds Roadrunnee Technology Solutions for the third time

ETHIOPIA – Members of RENEW’s Impact Angel Network (IAN) have funded a third investment in Roadrunner Technology Solutions LLC (Roadrunner), a partner of Deliver Addis in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.    Deliver Addis is the pioneer e-commerce company in Ethiopia, the world’s 12th largest country. Since the IAN’s initial investment, the company’s daily deliveries have grown 630%.   Since 2015, Deliver Addis has focused on online food delivery, but in April 2020, in response to increased demand caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the company expanded services and now includes an online Marketplace that enables Ethiopian consumers to…

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Kenya unveils final draft of tea industry regulations to streamline the value chain

KENYA – In efforts to cultivate robust and progressive tea regulations that will steer the tea industry well into the future, the government of Kenya has unveiled the final draft of regulation that will govern activities around one of the country’s top export earner. The final draft regulations, which were presented by the Cabinet Secretary (CS) in the Ministry Of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries And Cooperatives, Peter Munya seek to improve the management of the tea value chain with a view to improving operational efficiencies of various actors and guarantee better…

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South African agricultural service provider launches new agtech platform

SOUTH AFRICA – South African agricultural services provider AFGRI Agri Services has launched Axl, a new agtech platform designed to enable the convenient rental of farm equipment, facilitating the contract between the renter and the owner in an efficient and secure way. Axl allows farmers to find, rent and pay for agricultural equipment through a secure portal while enabling the equipment owners to build their business and grow revenue streams and optimising the process of renting machines. “Access to the right machinery at the right time is a critical success…

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South Africa overtakes South Korea as the world’s largest cider, perry, mead exporter

SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa has overtaken South Korea as the world’s largest exporter of cider, perry, mead and other fermented beverages with 2018 shipments from each country amounting to approximately 108 million liters. According to a recent report by research and consultancy firm, IndexBox, South Korea- which has long been a world leader in cider exports – has been registering a rapid decline in exports by as much as 50% within the past five years. The report, ‘World – Cider, Perry, Mead And Other Fermented Beverages – Market Analysis,…

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Grocery delivery start-up Imperfect Foods raises US$72m in Series C round

USA – San Fransisco-based grocery delivery start-up, Imperfect Foods, has closed a US$72 million series C funding round to help finance the company’s expansion plans and mission to reach more customers with affordable and fresh groceries. Imperfect Foods’ Series C financing round was led by Insight Partners and supported by existing investors of the company, including Series B lead Norwest Venture Partners. The grocery delivery startup said that the funds will fuel continued expansion of the grocery delivery service across the United States, increase capacity in new and existing fulfillment…

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