Quona Capital’s 2022 Impact Report reveals portfolio companies’ progress; firm provides deeper insights into Africa portfolio companies

The founders of Quona Capital Management LLC

Quona co-founders Jonathan Whittle, Monica Brand Engel, and Ganesh Rengaswamy

  • Quona’s Africa portfolio companies recorded $4.5 billion in payment transactions processed / transaction volume in 2022
  • $278 million in loans financed across 1.1 million loans across Africa
  • Portfolio has served 408K retail customers and 353K MSMEs

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, June 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Quona Capital, a venture capital firm investing in innovative fintech startups in emerging markets, has released its 2022 Impact Report, showcasing the measurable impact its investments have made on financial inclusion. The report highlights the progress its portfolio companies have made in helping underserved individuals and small businesses access affordable and reliable financial services, and features case studies on several companies. The complete report is available at https://tinyurl.com/bddxmnyc

Some highlights from Quona’s Africa portfolio:

  • Cowrywisean SEC-regulated personal finance management platform providing affordable core savings and investment products for Nigeria’s financially underserved, reported:
    • 775,000 registered customers on its platform
    • 93% of its customers are underserved, earning less than $10,000 per year
  • Lulaa South Africa SME banking and working capital provider, reported:
    • 25,000+ loans provided since inception
    • 10,000 SMEs financed to date
    • A repeat application rate of 84%
    • 75%+ of its customers accessed business term credit for the first time
    • 30%+ of its customers are female-owned businesses
  • Wasoko, a leading B2B e-commerce and fintech platform across 6 countries in Africa, reported:
    • 2.3 million orders delivered during 2022 across 6 countries in Africa
    • Over 50,000 registered merchants on the platform
    • 180 suppliers active on the Wasoko platform

Quona’s investments in Africa span a wide range of fintech solutions, including digital payments platforms, lending, insurance, embedded finance and other financial services that leverage technology to eliminate barriers to access. The firm’s approach to investing—which gives Quona insights across geographies from companies with common themes, such as embedded finance, logistics, and more—enable it to bring important perspectives to founders that they can’t easily obtain elsewhere.

“Our mission is to create a world in which everyone benefits from financial inclusion,” said Monica Brand Engel, co-founder and managing partner at Quona Capital, who leads the firm’s investments in Africa and the Middle East. “We are committed to investing in innovative fintech startups that tackle the world’s toughest problems and have the potential to deliver transformational impact by reaching underserved and unserved segments of society.”

Quona’s 2022 Impact Report reveals that since the firm’s inception in 2015:

  • Quona has made investments in 72 companies across India and Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.
  • Together, these portfolio companies have touched more than 144.5 million customers’ lives, 79% of which were underserved.
  • These investments generated over $1.5 billion in revenue in 2022 alone, bringing significant social and economic benefits, including increased access to financial services, job creation, and improved financial health for individuals and communities.

The report underlines Quona’s ongoing commitment to investing in the fintech sector with a focus on driving greater financial inclusion and impacting positive change in developing economies. By working hand in hand with founders and entrepreneurs to scale transformative fintech businesses, Quona demonstrates its ability to help create impact at scale as well as financial returns.

“There’s never been a more important time for financial innovation in the region and the world,” added Johan Bosini, a Cape Town-based partner at Quona Capital. “We are proud to back so many entrepreneurs who are truly making a difference across the globe.”

ABOUT QUONA
Quona Capital is a venture firm focused on fintech that can expand access for underserved customers and small businesses in emerging markets including Africa and the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Quona’s global partners are experienced investors and operators in both emerging and developed markets, and back entrepreneurs whose companies have the potential to generate financial returns while promoting breakthrough innovation in financial inclusion for both consumers and SMEs. More: quona.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/74ff307f-b223-4ef8-adb5-d54d5a72b69c

MEDIA CONTACTS
Shannon Austin
+1 703.338.8813
Shannon@quona.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8849442

BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG: Queixa criminal apresentada em Berlim contra Elon Musk e o Twitter por possível fraude em detrimento dos utilizadores

BERLIN, May 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG informa hoje que foi apresentada uma queixa-crime contra Elon Musk no Ministério Público de Berlim, número de processo: 253 UJs 1012/23, alegando que Musk cobrou os cartões de crédito dos utilizadores do Twitter, mas suspendeu as contas verificadas do Twitter sem dar qualquer motivo.

Fonte: https://www.BerlinerTageszeitung.de/wirtschaft/269895-criminal-complaint-in-berlin-germany-against-elon-musk-and-twitter-for-possible-fraud-to-the-detriment-of-twitter-users.html

“O bloqueio de contas de utilizadores está na ordem do dia no Twitter, mas o facto de depois cobrarem constantemente os cartões de crédito dos utilizadores torna o assunto explosivo e está actualmente a ocupar o Ministério Público de Berlim (República Federal da Alemanha). Em todo o caso, coloca-se a questão de saber até que ponto se pode conceder poder a um meio de comunicação como o Twitter e quando é que as autoridades de controlo devem intervir para proteger os utilizadores do Twitter.”

Aliás, esta não é a primeira vez que Elon Musk é investigado, já que o CEO da Tesla, Elon Musk, também é actualmente objecto de um processo judicial contra investidores. A ação judicial tem a ver com os tweets de Musk em agosto de 2018, anunciando prematuramente que queria tirar a empresa de carros elétricos do mercado de ações e que tinha garantido financiamento para o fazer. Mais tarde, verificou-se que não havia compromissos firmes por parte dos investidores.

“Elon Musk mentiu”, disse um advogado dos queixosos. O juiz norte-americano Edward Chen (juiz do Tribunal Distrital dos Estados Unidos para o Distrito Norte da Califórnia) já tinha considerado em 2022 que as declarações de Musk nos tweets não eram verdadeiras.

“Continuaremos a acompanhar o caso de perto e a relatar novos desenvolvimentos à medida que novas informações estiverem disponíveis. Resta saber como se desenvolverão as acusações criminais contra Elon Musk e o Twitter e quais serão as consequências.”

De um ponto de vista factual, é de notar que, de acordo com o artigo 48.º da Carta dos Direitos Fundamentais da União Europeia, a presunção de inocência aplica-se aos arguidos e acusados, o que também se deve aplicar no caso das acusações criminais contra Elon Musk por “alegada fraude em detrimento dos utilizadores do Twitter”.

META KEYS:
Elon Musk, Elon Musk Twitter, Elon Musk, acusações criminais, contas Twitter, Thierry Breton, Thierry Breton Twitter, Ministério Público de Berlim contra Elon Musk, utilizadores Twitter, BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG, contas Twitter verificadas

Foto deste comunicado disponível em https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f3c50532-be3a-4bad-8e85-7253731d594c

BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG
Press Contact: P. Hansen
Unter den Linden 21
10117 Berlin
Germany
Mail: Info@DeutscheTageszeitung.de
Web: http://www.DeutscheTageszeitung.de

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8849964

Berliner Tageszeitung : Plainte pénale à Berlin contre Elon Musk et Twitter pour une possible fraude au détriment des utilisateurs

BERLIN, 31 mai 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Le BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG rapporte aujourd’hui qu’une plainte pénale a été déposée auprès du parquet de Berlin contre Elon Musk, numéro de dossier : 253 UJs 1012/23, affirmant que Musk a débité les cartes de crédit d’utilisateurs de Twitter, mais a bloqué les comptes Twitter vérifiés sans donner de raisons.

Source : https://www.BerlinerTageszeitung.de/wirtschaft/269895-criminal-complaint-in-berlin-germany-against-elon-musk-and-twitter-for-possible-fraud-to-the-detriment-of-twitter-users.html

“Le blocage de comptes d’utilisateurs est monnaie courante chez Twitter, mais le fait qu’ils débitent ensuite constamment les cartes de crédit des utilisateurs rend l’affaire explosive et occupe actuellement le parquet de Berlin (République fédérale d’Allemagne). Dans tous les cas, la question se pose de savoir quel pouvoir peut être accordé à un média comme Twitter et quand les autorités de surveillance devraient intervenir pour protéger les utilisateurs de Twitter”.

Ce n’est d’ailleurs pas la première fois qu’Elon Musk fait l’objet d’une enquête, puisque le CEO de Tesla, Elon Musk, fait également actuellement l’objet d’une plainte d’investisseurs. La plainte porte sur les tweets de Musk en août 2018 annonçant prématurément qu’il voulait retirer l’entreprise de voitures électriques de la bourse et qu’il avait assuré le financement pour cela. Il s’est avéré par la suite qu’il n’y avait pas d’engagements fermes de la part des investisseurs.

“Elon Musk a menti”, a déclaré un avocat des plaignantes. Le juge américain Edward Chen (juge du United States District Court for the Northern District of California) avait déjà constaté en 2022 que les déclarations de Musk dans les tweets ne correspondaient pas à la vérité.

“Nous continuerons à suivre l’affaire de près et rendrons compte des nouveaux développements dès que de nouvelles informations seront disponibles. Il reste à voir comment les accusations pénales portées contre Elon Musk et Twitter vont évoluer et quelles conséquences pourraient en découler.”

Sur le plan factuel, il convient de noter que, conformément à l’article 48 de la Charte des droits fondamentaux de l’Union européenne, les accusés et les prévenus bénéficient de la présomption d’innocence, qui doit également s’appliquer dans le cas de la plainte pénale déposée contre Elon Musk pour “fraude présumée au détriment des utilisateurs de Twitter”.

META KEYS:
Elon Musk, Elon Musk Twitter, Elon Musk plainte pénale, comptes Twitter, Thierry Breton, Thierry Breton Twitter, Parquet de Berlin contre Elon Musk, utilisateurs de Twitter, BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG, comptes Twitter vérifiés

Une photo accompagnant ce communiqué de presse est disponible à l’adresse suivante : https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f3c50532-be3a-4bad-8e85-7253731d594c

BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG
Press Contact: P. Hansen
Unter den Linden 21
10117 Berlin
Germany
Mail: Info@DeutscheTageszeitung.de
Web: http://www.DeutscheTageszeitung.de

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8849964

UPDATE – Berliner Tageszeitung: Criminal complaint in Berlin, Germany, against Elon Musk and Twitter for possible fraud to the detriment of users

Berliner Tageszeitung: Criminal complaint in Berlin, Germany, against Elon Musk and Twitter for possible fraud to the detriment of users

Berliner Tageszeitung: Criminal complaint in Berlin, Germany, against Elon Musk and Twitter for possible fraud to the detriment of users

BERLIN, May 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG reports today that a criminal complaint has been filed against Elon Musk with the Berlin public prosecutor’s office, file number: 253 UJs 1012/23, alleging that Musk charged Twitter users’ credit cards but suspended verified Twitter accounts without giving any reason.

Source: https://www.BerlinerTageszeitung.de/wirtschaft/269895-criminal-complaint-in-berlin-germany-against-elon-musk-and-twitter-for-possible-fraud-to-the-detriment-of-twitter-users.html

“Blocking user accounts is a daily occurrence at Twitter, but the fact that they then continuously charge money to users’ credit cards makes the matter explosive and is currently occupying the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office (Federal Republic of Germany). In any case, the question arises as to how much power a medium like Twitter can be granted at all and when the regulatory authorities should intervene to protect Twitter users.”

Incidentally, this is not the first time Elon Musk has been investigated, as there is also currently an investor lawsuit against Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The lawsuit is about Musk’s tweets in August 2018 with the premature announcement that he wanted to take the electric car company off the stock market and had secured the financing to do so. It later emerged that there were no firm commitments from investors.

“Elon Musk lied,” said a lawyer for the plaintiffs.

US Judge Edward Chen (Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California) had already found in the 2022 trial that Musk’s statements in the tweets had not been true.

“We will continue to monitor the case closely and report further developments as new information becomes available. It remains to be seen how the criminal charges against Elon Musk and Twitter will develop and what the consequences might be.”

From a factual point of view, it should be noted that according to Article 48 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the presumption of innocence applies to defendants and accused persons, which must also apply in the case of the criminal charges against Elon Musk for “suspected fraud to the detriment of Twitter users”.

META KEYS: Elon Musk, Elon Musk Twitter, Elon Musk Strafanzeige, Twitter accounts, Thierry Breton, Thierry Breton Twitter, Berlin public prosecutor’s office against Elon Musk, Twitter users, BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG, verified Twitter accounts

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f3c50532-be3a-4bad-8e85-7253731d594c

Press Contact:
BERLINER TAGESZEITUNG
Press Contact: P. Hansen
Unter den Linden 21
10117 Berlin
Germany
Mail: Info@DeutscheTageszeitung.de
Web: http://www.DeutscheTageszeitung.de

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8849934

Woman, 25, jailed for stealing GH4,600.00

A 25-year-old unemployed woman, who allegedly connived with her friend to steal GH?4,600.00 from a small-scale miner has been sentenced to two months imprisonment by a Tarkwa District Court.

In addition, the court presided over by Mr Charles Owusu Ansah, fined the convict, Queenstabel Mintah, alias Ohemaa, GH?1,080.00 or in default serve four additional months in prison.

She pleaded guilty to the charge of stealing and was convicted on her own plea.

Police Sargeant Douglas Addai, Prosecuting, told the court that the complainant, Eric Ankomah, a small- scale miner resides at Bogrekrom, whiles Queenstabel live at Brahabobom all in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality.

He said on November 7, 2022, about 0430 hours, the complainant who was passing through the Tarkwa Railway station was attacked by the convict and one Maame Yaa now at large.

Sargeant Addai said the two women succeeded in stealing a cash sum of GH?4,600.00 from the complainant and both women fled the scene after the act and went into hiding.

He said the complainant later reported the case to the Police in Tarkwa and on April 11, 2023, he saw Queenstabel in Tarkwa township and with the help of the Police arrested her.

Sargent Addai said efforts were in progress to apprehend the convict's accomplice Maame Yaa.

Source: Ghana News Agency

About 1,267 Ada-East residents benefited from LEAP in 2022

Ms Sarah Dugbakie Pobee, District Chief Executive (DCE), Ada-East, said 1,267 beneficiaries covering 691 households from 39 communities in the district benefitted from the government's livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) in 2022.

She added that 79 People Living with Disability (PWDs) were also supported in various categories, ranging from business to medical to education, as part of the government's social development programme.

Ms Pobee who was speaking during the Assembly's ordinary session said it was done through a four-cycle review payment by the Social Welfare Department of the district.

She said that was the first time the beneficiaries got their funds through the E-Zwich platform.

She said the department collaborated with other institutions to rescue 39 trafficked children, made up of 26 boys and 13 girls engaged in child labour, adding that four of the children rescued had been enrolled in apprenticeships.

The DCE said the department received 26 cases involving 28 children on maintenance issues, out of which 24 had been successfully handled and two were being worked on.

She said the district engaged the community members in several sensitization programmes on the need to improve sanitary conditions, personal hygiene, unsafe abortions and their effects, and a lot more.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Hohoe MCE commissions, hands over completed projects to communities

Mr Daniel Noble Awume, Hohoe Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), has commissioned and handed over some completed projects to communities in the Municipality.

The projects are a mechanized borehole with a Polytank stand and supply of a 5,000-litre capacity storage tank each for the Alavanyo Dzogbedze CHPS Compound, Alavanyo Wudidi and Gbi Avega communities.

The Fodome Hloma, Wli Afegame and Gbledi Chebi communities are also beneficiaries of the mechanised borehole, poly tank stand and storage tank facility.

The MCE also commissioned a 10-seater water closet toilet and bathhouse for the Afadjato Senior High Technical School, a 2-Unit classroom block for Fodome Dzorkpe and a three-Unit classroom block for the Fodome Amele/Axor M/A Junior High School.

Mr Awume speaking to the media after the short ceremonies held in all the beneficiary communities, said the Assembly was committed to the development of the communities in the Municipality.

He said the Assembly would continue to support communities in tackling water, sanitation, health and educational issues.

Mr Awume said the Assembly would initiate other projects while working towards completion of ongoing ones and tasked the beneficiaries to own the projects and worked towards their maintenance and sustainability.

He urged students to take their studies seriously and strive to achieve the best since the future belongs to them.

Mr David Anku Boateng, a resident of Alavanyo Wudidi Electoral Area, expressed gratitude to the Assembly for providing for the needs of the people.

Madam Rebecca Gbafa, a resident of Gbi Avega Branch 2, said the community had been facing water challenges for years and that the water provided would go a long way in helping them, and was grateful to the Assembly.

Togbega Homatekpor V, Paramount Chief of Gbledi Traditional Area, commended the Assembly for the projects undertaken in the area.

He said the projects for the School and Gbledi Chebi coupled with others had upgraded the status of the traditional area.

Mr Thompson Adoboe, Assemblymember, Fodome Amele Electoral Area, on behalf of the traditional authorities, expressed gratitude to the Assembly for the project.

He said as a community, they were hoping more of such projects would be brought to them.

Mr Prosper Folitse, the Hohoe Municipal Works Engineer, said Water and Sanitation Committees would be set up in the communities that benefitted from Assembly's water project.

He said the aim was to ensure proper management of the water towards their maintenance and renovations when need be.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Prosecute Transnational Organized Crimes, money laundering – Ndego

Mr Benjamin Ndego, a criminologist, has called for concurrent investigations and prosecution of Transnational Organized Crimes (TOC) with money laundering to enable relevant institutions to recover proceeds of such crimes.

Mr Ndego, who is also an Expert in Organized Crime and Money Laundering, said the current practice of institutions focusing only on predicated crimes before going to tackle money laundering would give the perpetrators enough time to divert the monies and cover them up.

He made the call during the ongoing two-week Maritime Security and Transnational Organized Crime (MSTOC) programme organized by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) with support from the German Government.

He said that the proceeds of all TOCs activities such as drug trafficking, arms trafficking, human trafficking and smuggling, and terrorism, among others, end up in money laundering.

He said it was a vicious cycle in which the crime generated monies that needed to be laundered as a way to avoid detection, and those monies were then used to sponsor more crimes to generate higher proceeds.

'Arresting people and jailing them without collecting the monies involved in the proceedings is just a waste of time and national resources, as they go and come back to enjoy the money they made from those crimes,' he said.

Mr Ndego said the criminals wash their dirty monies by initially injecting the illegal cash into banks or security companies and sometimes transforming it into other assets, and they also remove the monies far from the location of acquisition to avoid detection.

He said they lay the money through its conversion into monetary instruments such as bonds and also sell the initial assets acquired.

The criminologist said the last part of the money laundering involved integrating it into real estate, buying properties, and buying loss-making enterprises, among others.

Touching on the types of money laundering, he said some laundered the monies through third parties who were not involved in the committing of the crimes, whiles some do self-laundering as well as standing alone.

He said some of the features of money laundering were having monies from a criminal origin, with the aim of obscuring the origin while making the funds appear legitimate, using front companies, strawmen, and philanthropic activities, and co-mingling the money as a cover.

Source: Ghana News Agency