No. 142: Three AM Reads: Cars45 gets $5m | Ethos Makes a Sugar Play | Ghana’s Illegal Mining Problem

Cars45 Gets $5M to Streamline Nigerian Used Auto Sales

Jake Bright reports that Cars45 raised a nice Series A round from Frontier Car Group that has backing from some serious names in the venture capital space – Balderton Capital, EchoVC, TPG Growth, and Maryland-based NEA. Seeing that Cars45 raised its round from this one group got me curious. Two of Frontier Car Group’s directors are on the founding team of Cars45. What is more interesting is that the Spring, Texas-registered Frontier Car Group has raised nearly $22M from 28 investors. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to invest a quarter of your fund in one company. Perhaps the group is raising a larger fund? Late last year, the Group filed that it had raised $18M. The $22M size of the fund was filed as an amendment in mid-April. Very interesting. Look out for more here.

Ethos Takes Controlling Stake in South African Beverage Company

According to Africa Capital Digest, Ethos Private Equity has taken a controlling stake in Little Green Beverages, a South African beverage company. This is interesting timing for the close of this deal considering South Africa’s sugar tax is slated for implementation at some point this year.  We’ll see what Michael Benjamin, former General Manager at SABMiller, can do to navigate that while improving the company’s products.

Illegal Mining a Sore Spot for Ghana-China Relations

Ghana has been trying to figure out what to do about illegal gold mining for quite some time now, but apparently hasn’t made much headway. This Financial Times piece outlines the issue as the Akufo-Addo Administration tries to take a broad stance against illegal mining, while others point the finger directly at Chinese driving of illegal mining. China’s response has been to remind Ghanaian officials of all the money China could pull out of Ghana if it doesn’t get it’s media to be “objective” about its coverage of illegal mining in the country. Illegal mining is going to continue to be a thorn in Ghana’s side with its terrible child labor issues and environmental impact, on top of navigating relations with a world power. Nonetheless, Ghana must keep trying to pull the thorn out.

No. 109: 3 Tuesday AM Reads – US-China Relations and Africa | Africa’s Beer Market | Baltimore on the Rise

  1. Aly-Khan Satchu, one of the most respected equity investors in Kenya, discusses briefly how US-China cooperation would be a benefit to African countries. This aligns with comments Bobby Pittman, managing director of Kupanda Capital made at a session discussing the Electrify Africa Act. More on that sometime later this week.

  2. There are rumors of Anheuser-Busch InBev making a bid to acquire SABMiller. Here’s a good piece on how important the African beer market is to that deal.

  3. Steve Case was in Baltimore yesterday as part of his Rise of the Rest tour to highlight the entrepreneurial spirit in other cities around the country. Here’s a piece on his excitement about the city’s potential. I felt so much energy during the Baltimore Bike Party last Friday night and was amazed by the energy and excitement of participants and onlookers. We rode through parts of Baltimore that have seen hard times for a long time, including the areas where rioting took place following Freddy Gray’s death. Yet, I felt a belief and pride in the city.  Rooting for Baltimore.