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Charis UAS: Rwanda’s Drone Startup Raises Investment to Manufacture Drones

Charis UAS

Kigali based Charis UAS, a leading drone startup reports having raised a significant but undisclosed investment from XM2 PURSUIT, a global player in the moving camera business.

The new funding received is to be used to accelerate the expansion of the company’s drone manufacturing and solutions on the continent.

This new found support from XM2 PURSUIT, will enable the drone startup extend its market reach thereby cementing its position as a leader in drone services in Africa and across the globe.

Eric Rutayisire Muziga, the founder and CEO of Charis UAS, in a news statement welcomed the news and stated they were thrilled to work with a cutting-edge company such as XM2 PURSUIT.

This investment, gives them the opportunity to rapidly expand across Africa and build upon their current drone-based technological solutions and manufacturing services.

Charis UAS was launched in 2014 as Rwanda’s first-ever licensed UAV venture and through its advanced data analytics, the startup company has very much supported a number of governments and private organizations in optimizing their business operations and by so doing created a powerful social impact within communities such as using drones to fight against malaria and advance local energy programs.

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Charis UAS
Prez. Paul Kagame in attendance at an exhibition by Charis UAS

Charis UAS has continued to break new grounds by positioning itself as Africa’s first commercial drone manufacturer as it launch of its first ever made-in-Rwanda drone in February 2020.

Upon examining Charis UAS’s strong track record within Africa, the COO of XM2 PURSUIT, Aidan Kelly shared that,

“Whether its designing solutions, integrating workflows, utilizing automation or delivering data in meaningful ways, our investment into Charis UAS is part of our plan to partner with leaders in their field around the world, to unlock the true potential that aerial and remotely sensed data can provide.”

Africa is rapidly adopting new technologies and open to new innovations, according to Eric Rutayisire Muziga of Charis UAS and for him,

“Having the investment, support, and expertise of XM2 PURSUIT will help us execute our vision to support intelligent decision making and scale up the manufacturing of drones on the African continent.”

He added that this partnership will also create thousands of high skilled jobs for the multitude of youth on the Africa continent.

Outside Rwanda, Charis UAS also operates in Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Tanzania and Uganda.

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ImaliPay: Nairobi Fintech Startup Raises Pre-Seed Funding Led By TEN13


ImaliPay, a fintech startup helping African freelancers reach their financial goals has raised an undisclosed amount in pre-seed funding from the Australian venture capitalist, TEN13, reputed for investing in top-tier start-ups.

The other investors who participated in this pre-seed round include, Finca Ventures, Optimiser Foundation, Mercycorps Ventures, Changecom, and super angels from Norway, Nigeria, UK and Kenya.

ImaliPay is an embedded finance platform that provides and offers tailored financial products that promote the inclusion of gig economy platforms and workers across Africa.

According to ImaliPay, the primary aim of this newly raised funding is to expand and accelerate their growth and footprint in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya to be a one-stop-shop for gig workers’ financial needs on the continent.

The backing of ImaliPay by TEN13 is on the back of recent chain of events that has elevated the visibility of Africa’s fintech startup scene.

Commenting on the deal, Managing Partner of TEN13, Stew Glenn, said,

“We believe this is a perfect opportunity to introduce our growing international network of investment professionals and investors to one of the most exciting emerging fintech companies in Africa.

ImaliPay in 2020 was co-founded by Zimbabwe’s Tatenda Furusa and Sanmi Akinmusire a Nigerian, who were former colleagues at the leading payments company Cellulant. The fintech company thinks the investment from the venture capital has significant benefits.

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In a statement released to the press, Tatenda Furusa said,

It’s a great opportunity for investors to participate in the fintech revolution and a fast-growing segment. Our vision at ImaliPay is to advance financial health and inclusion for gig workers who struggle to manage and access flexible financial services that are often only available to traditional SMEs.

The growth in the African gig workforce is being pushed by the growth in digitization and smartphone penetration. Gig workers constitute a significant proportion of the economy within ImaliPay’s target markets and this market segment is expected to grow rapidly over the next decade.

ImaliPay Users

ImaliPay offers gig workers a one-stop-shop of financial services such as the ability to seamlessly save their income and receive in-kind loans through a “buy now, pay later” model tied to their trade.

Bolt drivers in Kenya can now request a fuel loan and payback after 3-4 days, this allows them to get more work done and Safeboda riders in Nigeria can now buy on credit bike parts, fuel, and smartphones to keep their gig moving and reduce any downtime.

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Other products to be offered off the platform include insurance and investment options to foster a safety net for this hard-working but vulnerable part of the population.

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