The Empowa October Update
Fortunately, October the month of Halloween and horror was certainly not that way for Empowa. Empowa continues to go from strength to strength!
From partnerships signed with entities such as Djed and Mercy Corps Ventures to the flow of funds from lease-to-owners demonstrating what we knew, but needed to prove, Empowa is now collecting the data to prove that customers will support affordable, quality products.
Over and above the work and impact outlined below, the management team has also been working on the partnership and developer pipeline to demonstrate to our community and other potential funders that the numbers that we have shared in the White Paper about the backlog of 50 million homes is not academic, but a very real business opportunity.
In the coming days, we will be sharing some of the details of this pipeline which, together with the proof of payments, demonstrates the massive Empowa business opportunity.
A huge shout-out to the community for voting for Empowa to present at the Cardano Summit in Lausanne too as this presents a great opportunity for us to be seen, share our success to date and mingle with the Cardano aficionados. We look forward to seeing you there.
Thank you for joining our journey.
On the Ground
The lease-to-own program that started in June with investments mobilised through the Emp-WMT seed NFT has been running above and beyond expectations. All the leases due by Casa Real’s clients have been paid on time and over 50% are ahead of their payment schedule.
Yet again this proves that poverty is not the limiting factor in increasing access to quality housing. Many communities at the front lines that carry the worst of the impact of current climate change want to pay for more resilient homes if the financing terms are in line with people’s (in)formal ways of living.
Once our lease-to-own management tool Empowa Pay is fully functional we will start sharing more details with this community.
Empowa’s delivery partner in Mozambique, Casa Real, was recently reconfirmed as the preferred developer for a major mixed-income housing development in Beira, ultimately covering 25.000 homes. Empowa is currently finalising the terms of engagement to act as an investment partner within this structure. More information on this mixed-income housing project can be found here.
In the last couple of months, the development team have been focused on setting up our codebase. This has seen us lay the foundation for our development which has included: picking the right tools, implementing automation in our development processes and documenting our choices, coding philosophy and way of working.
We also set up a Design System, which helps us improve the handover between design and development. This was important for us to be efficient and consistent in what we wanted to deliver. This results in applications being built in a more scalable, modular way and makes it easier for new developers to join our team with proper onboarding.
Being able to claim your EMP rewards is our top priority. We’ve made a lot of progress putting together the UI and making sure the claim requests are being handled. This is something you can expect in the upcoming month. Below you can see some screenshots of the explorer with the claiming function that is currently being coded.
Our other major focus has been Empowa Pay. A SaaS web application for the developers on the field to manage their client’s payments and ultimately record this on-chain to increase transparency and real-time auditability, which allows us to better manage our loan book.
Together with our development team, we worked out the technical requirements that are needed to start putting together the UI of the screens and data storage.
They say bear markets are for building and we are definitely embracing this philosophy with respect to partnerships. Since our last update, we’ve concluded the following partnerships.
Mercy Corp Ventures
Mercy Corp Ventures is the investment arm of global development agency Mercy Corps, to date they’ve supported 32 early-stage ventures to scale and raise over $125 million in follow-on capital.
Their focus is on enterprises developing solutions to build climate resilience and increase financial inclusion so that those living in frontier markets can withstand disruption and plan for the future. Through targeted support, strategic collaborations, and insight sharing, they plan to further catalyze the ecosystem towards smarter investments.
This focus made them the perfect partner to offer both capital and expertise towards the funding of the development of Empowa Pay. Our Empowa Pay app will help us capture tenants’ payments on-chain to ensure we benefit from the transparency and accountability the Cardano infrastructure brings.
To read more about this partnership click HERE
The Dutch Government
Climate-smart construction has always been a key pillar of the Empowa project. If we are to tackle the backlog of 50 million homes that the African continent requires building in a sustainable way is critical to ensure we don’t further impact the planet.
Given this focus, we are continuing to explore sustainable building techniques. One such approach is the use of hempcrete. Thanks to the support of the government of the Netherlands Casa Real were able to build Africa’s first affordable hemp house.
Through building this home we are able to better understand the construction techniques, capture valuable data about the home’s ability to regulate humidity and temperature and test if there is a market fit.
We’ll be providing more insight into this project during the course of November but to find out more about the project you can click here.
COTI and Djed
Critical to any RealFi project is the ability to move funds of a fixed value without friction. This is easier said than done, particularly across the African continent. Given this challenge, we were excited to announce a partnership with COTI. As part of this project, we’ll be exploring how we could use their Djed token for moving funds in market.
This is just the start of the conversation and we look forward to exploring more with the COTI team. You can read more about this partnership here.
We also launched our first double-yield farm in partnership with MuesliSwap. Should you wish to participate you can view the pool here.
Before adding your liquidity please make sure you are familiar with the risk of impermanent loss, you can watch an explainer video here.
Finally, we were invited to attend The GIIN Investor Forum. The forum is the largest in-person global gathering of impact investors. The Forum has a strong reputation for presenting delegates with the opportunity to build relationships, discover opportunities, share insights about new strategies, learn the latest industry developments, and explore ways to drive continued momentum and growth in the market.
We were blown away by the response the Empowa offering received and the level of institutional interest in our use of blockchain technology to unlock the affordable housing market in Africa. The team will be following up on the conversations had at the event and we will update the community as discussions progress.
Affordable Housing Academy
Empowa aims to be a large and impactful property developer without actually developing properties. The delivery of these quality and affordable homes is done by local affordable housing developers with whom Empowa partners. These local organisations know best what their communities need and can afford.
As Africa has so few affordable housing developers active on the ground currently, Empowa launched an affordable housing academy (AHA) earlier this year. After successfully completing a business development course at the European Business University, a cohort of 17 individuals from Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe has now been selected to move on to AHA’s next phase. The cohort is now starting to prepare appealing affordable housing propositions that unlock their local affordable housing markets. The best propositions among those will be eligible to pitch for funding through Empowa’s ecosystem sometime in early 2023.
We continue to be motivated by the level of institutional interest in our Empowa offering. As these conversations turn to contracts we’ll share the details with our community. The bear market is for building and we are most certainly doing just that! As always we’d like to thank you for your continued support and for joining our journey.