British International Investment (“BII”), the UK government’s Development Finance Institution (DFI), formerly known as CDC Group, introduced its new name and announced a US $20 million, 4-year structured credit investment in Moove – a mobility fintech democratising access to vehicle ownership in Africa.
The investment reflects BII’s focus on mobilising capital to build self-sufficiency and market resilience in Nigeria, and improve access to inclusive economic opportunities while helping to catalyse the country’s boundless entrepreneurial ambition.
Last night, the British High Commissioner in Nigeria, H.E. Catriona Laing CB and CEO of BII, Nick O’Donohoe, co-hosted a business reception in Lagos to celebrate the launch of BII’s new name and reiterate the DFI’s continued ambition to scale up investment that will boost key economic sectors in Nigeria.
The event was held at the British Deputy High Commissioner’s Residence in Ikoyi, bringing together key leaders in business and BII’s investment partners from across the country.
BII’s leadership outlined the organisation’s strategy to deliver productive, sustainable and inclusive investment and pledged to deepen its capital commitments to support the emergence of more breakthrough Nigerian businesses providing progressive solutions to urgent and complex development challenges.
British High Commissioner, H.E. Catriona Laing CB, said: “It’s a pleasure to be in Lagos to mark the launch of British International Investment, and to host Nick O’Donohoe during his visit to Nigeria.”
“BII forms an important part of the UK’s package of tools and expertise to help Nigeria build their pipeline for investment and scale up infrastructure investment, in particular to achieve clean, green growth.”
“The launch of BII marks a continuation of this partnership, and we look forward to seeing BII’s support expand and diversify in Nigeria.”
In his keynote speech, Nick O’Donohoe highlighted BII’s 74-year history in Nigeria, from its first investments in 1949, in West African Fisheries and Cold Store, to the organisation’s pioneering role in supporting Nigeria’s first private equity fund – African Capital Alliance’s Capital Alliance Private Equity Fund I (CAPE I).
On how BII’s new five-year strategy is driving its investment in the world’s first mobility fintech, Moove, O’Donohoe comments: “Investing in the prosperity of Nigeria’s growing population requires innovative new partnerships that can leverage the country’s abundant capabilities and expertise. In Moove, BII has a partner that aligns with our commitment to back dynamic tech-enabled businesses that can help accelerate impact in Nigeria by strengthening the country’s informal transport industry.
“I am delighted that not only will BII’s investment help to create jobs and provide entrepreneurial self-starters with the means to own their vehicles, but Moove’s clear focus on gender diversity will foster inclusive economic opportunities for women, both within the company’s workforce and among its drivers.”
Founded by serial entrepreneurs, Moove is democratising access to vehicle ownership by providing revenue-based vehicle financing and financial services to mobility entrepreneurs.
The mobility fintech is creating sustainable employment opportunities to empower those otherwise excluded from financial services by embedding its alternative credit scoring technology onto ride-hailing, e-logistics and instant delivery platforms, and using proprietary performance and revenue analytics to underwrite vehicle loans.
Since its launch in 2020, Moove has rapidly expanded its operations within Nigeria and has entered into new African markets including Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa, as well as Europe, Middle East and Asia markets.
Currently, mobility marketplaces such as Uber face difficulty meeting rising rider demand, due to limited access to car supply and onerous and inflexible auto leasing products for aspiring drivers.
The funding from BII will enable Moove to purchase and import brand new fuel-efficient cars into Lagos, which will be leased to drivers who can then earn their way to asset-ownership, over a three to four-year period. This will also alleviate one of the key blockages to the development of ‘ride-hailing’ transportation infrastructure in Nigeria’s commercial capital.
Ladi Delano, co-founder and co-CEO at Moove, said, “We’re incredibly proud to welcome onboard a world-class partner such as BII, whose strategic support will play a key role in our mission to build the world’s largest integrated vehicle financing platform for mobility entrepreneurs.
With our new funding, we’re now in an even stronger position to use our technology and productivity data in creating a more inclusive financing ecosystem, whilst also tackling the unemployment problem affecting over a third of Nigerians by generating the opportunity for more seamless and sustainable employment.”
Nigeria is the BII’s biggest investment market in Africa, with a portfolio of nearly US $570 million, through more than 100 businesses and 43 funds, which collectively support almost 45,000 jobs across the country in 2020.
BII (DFI’s) Investments in Nigeria
The DFI’s investments in Nigeria, both direct and indirect through various impact-led funds and intermediaries, cover a variety of sectors from clean infrastructure and energy to digital infrastructure, food and agriculture, financial services, manufacturing and logistics. A highlight of BII’s key investment activities in Nigerian include:
Backing Nigeria’s private equity industry by investing in Capital Alliance Private Equity Fund I (CAPE I), managed by African Capital Alliance (ACA); CardinalStone Capital Advisors Growth Fund; Nigerian-led Synergy Private Equity Fund II, Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria (FAFIN), Verod Growth Fund III, Uhuru Growth Fund, among others.
– Bolstering Nigeria’s financial institutions to boost financial inclusion through a US $100 million loan to First Bank of Nigeria to support women and small business owners; a US $75 million investment in Stanbic IBTC Bank in 2020 to expand lending to businesses in critical sub-sectors; and helping to fund a $162.5 million syndicated loan package to Nigeria’s Access Bank Plc to increase funding to local micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.
– Supporting the country’s food and agriculture sector through US $140 million investment in Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemical Limited which is boosting fertilizer production in Nigeria and supporting local jobs.
– Catalysing early-stage innovation and entrepreneurial activities in Nigeria by investing in Venture Capital funds including US $25 million invested in TLcom, US $5 million in TradeDepot and US $5 million in TeamApt.
– Expanding access to clean and affordable clean energy through investments such as Gridworks, a pan-continental equity investment platform; M-KOPA, the world’s largest pay-as-you-go solar energy companies; and Lumos, an off-grid solar company that offers access to affordable and reliable electricity to homes and businesses in Nigeria.
British International Investment has an office in Lagos, Nigeria, which is led by Benson Adenuga.