There’s no doubt that funding in Africa’s tech startups is on the rise. That on its own is exciting. Yet, what is more, exciting is that the deal amounts are also going up every day. Additionally, we are seeing indigenous founders also receive funding in increasing frequency and amount.
Below, we take a look at the top 15 deals that have been made into startups in Africa since the beginning of the year. Together, they have a combined total of $377 million.
1. Webuycars, $94M, Unknown round
In September 2018, Naspers announced its $94 million (1.4 billion Rand) investment in South Africa’s specialized car buying service., Webuycars. The investment was made through Naspers classified arm, OLX Group. Founded in 2001 by Faan and Dirk van der Walt, Webuycars operates a used car marketplace in South Africa offering a specialized car buying service to sellers.
2. Zola Electric, $75M (Series D, $55M + Debt, $20M)
Formerly called Off Grid Electric, Zola Electric raised $20 Million in debt from SunFunder and an undisclosed family fund. This was to fund further expansion of the company into four new African countries. Earlier in the year, in January, they raised a $55 million Series D in a round led by Helios.
With a total of $206.6M in funding raised over 11 rounds, the Tanzania based company has operations in homes and businesses across Tanzania, Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana.
Zola Electric was founded in 2011 by Erica Mackey, Joshua Pierce, and Xavier Helgesen, and has partnered with Tesla, Vulcan Capital, DBL Partners, Helios Investment Partners, EDF, Total and GE Ventures for investment.
3. Jumo, $55M, Venture Rounds
Cape Town-based Jumo has closed $55 million in investment this year in two venture rounds. The company closed $3 million in April this year in a Venture Round that was led by PROPARCO.
It then followed this up with a $53 million Venture Round in September 2018 that was led by Goldman Sachs. The round also saw the participation of some of Jumo’s existing investors including; Proparco, Finnfund, Vostok Emerging Finance, Gemcorp Capital, and LeapFrog Investments.
Founded in 2014 by Andrew Watkins-Ball the founder and CEO, Jumo is looking at using the funds to expand into Asia and it has already established an office in Singapore.
4. Cellulant – $47.5M, Series C
Cellulant is an African multinational payments company headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. Founded in 2004, the company is digitizing payments with operations in 11 African countries. According to their CrunchBase, Cellulant has raised a total of $54.5M in funding over 3 rounds.
The latest funding came as a Series C round in May 2018 led by The Rise Fund. It also had participation from Endeavor Catalyst, Satya Capital, Velocity Capital & Progression Africa.
5. Yoco – $16m, Series B
South Africa based Yoco closed a $16 million Series B in September 2018 in a round led by Partech. Other investors like Orange Digital Ventures, Dutch Development Bank FMO, South African-based FutureGrowth and existing Series A investors Quona Capital and Velocity Capital also participated in the round.
Founded in 2013, by Bradley Wattrus (CFO), Carl Wazen (Chief Business Officer), Katlego Maphai (CEO) and Lungisa Matshoba (CTO), Yoco has raised at least $26 million in funding to date.
6. Mines – $13m, Series A
Mines is a credit-as-a-service digital platform focused on emerging markets. In August 2018, it announced the closing a $13 million Series A round led by The Rise Fund, the same investor in Cellulant.
Other participating investors were Velocity Capital, X/Seed Capital Partners, Western Technology Investment, Trans Sahara Investment Corporation, Singularity Investments, Nyca Partners, and First Ally Capital.
The company plans to channel the investment towards talent acquisition, continued growth in Africa, and expansion to South America and South-East Asia.
Mines was founded in 2014, with a base in Silicon Valley, and has now raised a total of $17.2M in funding over 4 rounds.
7. Vezeeta, $12M, Series C
Cairo-based health tech startup Vezeeta raised a $12 million Series C in September 2018 in a round led by Saudi Arabia’s STV Capital, the largest VC fund of the Middle East & North Africa. Vezeeta’s existing investors including BECO Capital from UAE, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures and Silicon Badia from Jordan also joined the round along with Dubai-based Crescent Enterprises’ CE Ventures. With this round, Vezeeta has now raised about $22.5 million in funding so far, which makes it one of the most-funded startups in the region.
8. M-Kopa – $10m, Private Equity
In March this year, Kenya-based ‘pay-as-you-go’ energy provider, M-KOPA raised $10 Million in funding. The funding was led by CDC Group, with participation from FinDev Canada and the United Kingdom’s development finance institution.
Founded in 2011, M-KOPA currently operates in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania as well as Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire through a licensing agreement with PEG Africa in 2014. The firm has now raised a total of $161.8M in funding over 11 rounds.
9. Paga – $10m, Series B2
Paga, closed a $10 million Series B2 to further expand into Ethiopia, Mexico, and the Philippines. Global Innovation Partners led the round with participation from Unreasonable Capital as well as existing investors; Goodwell Investments, Adlevo Capital and Omidyar Network.
Founded in 2009 by Tayo Oviosu (CEO) and Jay Alabraba (Director Business Development), Paga says that it has over 9 million customers and 17,000 agents across Nigeria.
This recent round brings Paga’s total amount of funding raised to date to at least $35 million. In October 2015, the company closed a $15 Series B in a round led by Adlevo Capital, with participation from Goodwell Investments, Omidyar Network, and Capricon Investment group.
10. Africa’s Talking – $8.5m, Series A
Nairobi headquartered Africa’s Talking, announced in April that it had raised US $8.6 Million Series A round of funding. IFC Venture Capital led the round in which Orange Digital Ventures and Social Capital participated.
The company is channeling the funds to building a studio to recruit and support engineers, as well as to expand and continue with product development.
Africa’s talking has been operating in 6 African countries; Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania, and Rwanda; and is now looking to further move into West Africa.
11. SWVL – $8m Series A
Egyptian bus transportation network, SWVL, announced that it had raised US $8 Million from a group of investors led by regional venture fund BECO Capital, Africa-based investor DiGAME and global VC fund Silicon Badia.
Launched in March 2017, the startup ballooned into a team of 36 in less than a year, completing 100,000 rides per month across Cairo and Alexandria. Worth noting is that they graduated from AUC Venture Lab, with $500k seed funding.
Swvl had plans to “solidify its position in Egypt” and to expand beyond Egypt to other emerging markets across the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa region within 2018.
12. Paystack – $8m, Series A
Paystack, a Nigerian payments startup, in August announced an $8 million series A it raised from both new and existing investors. The funding came from China’s Tencent, Stripe, VISA, and Y Combinator. Both Tencent and YC are existing investors in the startup. According to TechCrunch, the startup is looking to use the funds to expand into new markets with Ghana being top of their radar.
13. SureRemit – $7m, ICO
SureRemit, a Nigerian blockchain startup, raised $7 million during its token sale held from December 8th, 2017 to February 8, 2018, to develop its non-cash remittance platform.
The company was founded in 2014 by Adeoye Ojo primarily as an ecosystem for global non-cash remittances, with headquarters in San Francisco Bay.
14. Lidya – $6.9m, Series A
Nigerian based Lidya in May 2018 received a Series A $6.9 million funding from Omidyar Network. The Africa-focused fintech platform working to ease access to finance for SMEs across Africa.
According to Disrupt-Africa, the funds raised were to foster expansion in Nigeria, and for Lidya to enter new markets in Africa especially Kenya where similar services are on demand. This is in addition to bringing in more skilled professionals.
15. Wuzzuf – $6m, Series B
In May, Wuzzuf announced their $6m Series B round from a syndicate of 4 International VC funds. These were the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (ERBD), Vostok New Ventures, Endure Capital and Kingsway Capital.
The Egyptian job listing startup planned to use the funds to fuel growth inside and outside of Egypt, as well as across other markets. This is in addition to focusing and research on integrating AI into its platform.
This article has been updated to stay up-to-date with the funding activities across the continent. Below are the updates;
- Paga, Jumo, Webuycars, Yoco and Vezeeta funding rounds that were announced in September
- Zola’s $55 million Series D they raised at the very beginning of the year that we had initially not taken into account for 2018
In case you think there’s an error in the amounts stated above or we missed out anything, kindly send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.