Alexandria's QED Investors leads funding round for Nigeria fintech TeamApt – Washington Business Journal – The Business Journals

Alexandria venture capital firm QED Investors is making a big splash in Africa by leading a financing round for Nigeria fintech company TeamApt Inc.
QED said Wednesday the deal marks its first investment in a company headquartered on the African continent.
The round totaled more than $50 million, according to multiple reports. Other participants in the round include Nairobi, Kenya’s Novastar Ventures, London’s Lightrock LLP and the U.K. government’s British International Investment LLP.
TeamApt is one of Nigeria’s largest business payments and banking platforms, with more than 400,000 businesses onboarded and processing an estimated $100 billion in annual transactions. QED said TeamApt has grown by 300% annually since its 2015 launch. CEO Tosin Eniolorunda said in a statement the funding would go toward widening the company’s credit offerings and expanding across Africa.
The QED investment comes from an oversubscribed $1.05 billion fund the firm announced in September. That fund was divided between a $550 million early-stage fund and a $500 million growth-stage fund. At the time, QED said the fund — the firm’s seventh overall — would be used to invest in fintech companies around the world.
The Alexandria firm, led by Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) co-founder Nigel Morris, said it was entering Africa earlier this year when it brought on Gbenga Ajayi and Chidinma Iwueke to lead its investments on the continent. In the last two years, QED has brought on numerous hires to expand its reach to international markets, including Southeast Asia and Latin America in addition to Africa.
Ajayi said in a statement the firm’s funding of TeamApt will be “profoundly impactful” because it will expand the financial capability of merchants in Nigeria and beyond.
QED invests solely in fintech firms. Morris told the Washington Business Journal in an interview last month the Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated the need for services financial technology companies provide, including offerings like buy-now/pay-later and earned wage access — products he said traditional banks are not meeting.
Since launching QED 15 years ago, Morris has overseen investments in 180 portfolio companies across 14 countries, of which 27 companies have gone on to become unicorns — private companies with valuations of more than $1 billion. Prominent investments include Credit Karma, which was bought by Intuit Inc. in 2020 for $8.1 billion, the online bank SoFi Technologies Inc., which went public in 2021, and Klarna, the Swedish buy-now/pay-later lender.
MainStreet Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: MNSB) in Fairfax has formed a community development subsidiary that will invest in underserved neighborhoods throughout the D.C. area.
The subsidiary, Main Street Capital, recently applied for and received designation as a certified development entity from the Department of the Treasury. As such, it is now eligible to receive new markets tax credits from the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, which it can then use to attract private capital to make loans and investments in low-income communities. 
“The New Markets Tax Credit Program is the gold standard for breaking the cycle of disinvestment that plagues distressed communities, leaving them with vacant commercial properties and outdated facilities,” Thomas Chmelik, MainStreet Bancshares’ chief financial officer, said in a statement this week. “Our goal is to utilize the tax credit to help communities turn things around. We’ll accomplish this by raising equity for high-impact real estate development projects as well as operating businesses in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.”
The CDFI Fund awarded $5 billion in new markets tax credits to community development entities last year, ranging from $15 million to $65 million. It has not yet announced its awards for 2022.
MainStreet said its community development entity intends to apply for the tax credits annually, beginning with the round to be awarded in 2023.  
MainStreet Bancshares is the parent of the $1.8 billion-asset MainStreet Bank, which has offices in Herndon, Fairfax, Arlington, Leesburg, McLean and D.C. It was recently honored by American Banker as one of the top-200 performing community banks in the U.S., based on a three-year average return on average equity.  — Alan Kline
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