The Capital Quest | Glamera, Easy Matatu, Livestock Wealth, Purple Elephant snag VC funding

Egypt-born SaaS startup Glamera, which has relocated to Saudi Arabia, has raised a seed round worth $1.3 million led by Riyadh Angels Investors, with participation from Techstars Accelerator, Ithraa Venture Capital and 100 Ventures.

Founded two years ago by Mohamed Hassan and Omar Fathy, Glamera offers B2B services to beauty and lifestyle services providers. It also provides a B2C marketplace where consumers can search and book such service sessions with them.

The company now covers Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Taif, Qassim, Madina and Tabuk besides Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt.

The fresh funding will be used to continue developing and launching the planned new services and expand into more GCC markets.

Purple Elephant Ventures

Purple Elephant Ventures (PEV), a Kenyan tourism-focused venture studio, has secured $1 million in a pre-seed round as it aims to create at least three startups every year.

The venture studio was founded by Ben Peterson, Jan Van der de Willebois and Mikul Shah. It raised the capital from a bunch of investors including Klister Credit Corp, a Canadian investment firm and early backer of Shopify.

Other investors were Fede Pirzio-Biroli, founder of Playfair Capital; Ian McCaig, former CEO of and M-Kopa board member; Anthony Rock, president of Rock Impact Capital; The Untours Foundation; Rich Hoops, executive director at Impact Capital; Jim Villanueava, managing director of Global Partnerships Social Venture Fund; and Helena Riese Harstad, co-founder and chair of the Optimizer Foundation.

PEV has already launched two ventures: Nomad Africa, a content-to-commerce business, and Elephant Bookings, a SaaS business that seek to help African hospitality providers go online.

Livestock Wealth

South African crowd-farming startup, Livestock Wealth, has raised ZAR10 million ($0.6 million) from the Mineworkers Investment Company’s Khulisani Ventures.

Founded in Johannesburg by Ntuthuko Shezi seven years ago, Livestock Wealth connects investors with farmers that require funding by using cattle as a form of investment.

The company claims it has already helped thousands of people to invest in tangible, growing assets at the click of a button, and has managed assets worth over R100 million across different product categories such as cattle-breeding, free-range oxen, organic garden tunnels and macadamia trees.

Easy Matatu

Ugandan minibus ridesharing service, Easy Matatu, has raised an undisclosed amount from Renew Capital, an impact investment firm focused on developing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa via its network of investors, the Renew Capital Angels.

The investment will help Easy Matatu to grow its technology platform in which riders reserve a seat through a smartphone app, and once aboard. Some of the matatus even come with refreshments and Wi-Fi.

“We realized that beyond just building an app that connects people from Point A to Point B, public transportation in African cities needed to be reformed or disrupted, and technology really presented the best tool to do that,” says Easy Matatu co-founder Carl Andrew Lema.

Easy Matatu said it will grow its fleet of vehicles and increase its capacity to handle more than 200,000 monthly rides. It also hopes to scale its platform to provide transportation in other African cities.

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