Digest Africa Monthly Roundup: August Funding Brief

The month of August saw $554m in investment across 34 deals making it the most funded month so far in 2021 topping March’s tally of $258m. It also presented a growth of more than 57% compared to July in terms of investment but the deals dropped by 26. 2021 is now on track to become the most funded year in African startup history with over $2bn raised already. 

In investment trends, financial services as expected took the lion’s share of investment with $514m raised which is 93% of all amount raised across just 8 deals. E-commerce and Retail came in second with $33m raised in 11 deals. Nigeria attracted 94% of all funding ($522m) with Egypt (3$, $17.3m) and South Africa (2.5%, $14m) coming second and third.

Series C was the most funded investment round with $400m (72%), followed by Series B ($66m, 12%) and Series A ($63.5m, 11%). Startups founded or co-founded by women raised just 5.3% ($29.15m) of all funding across 9 deals.

Here are the Top 10 Venture Rounds of the Month in order of size. 

1.OPay ($400m, Series C)

OPay is a Nigerian fintech that was founded in 2018. Its mission is to replace cash and other legacy payment methods and helping local governments improve financial and information security. OPay previously counted ride-hailing and logistics services as part of its business but closed both following a government ban and the rise of the COVID19 pandemic. 

It raised a $400m Series C, one of the biggest ever funding rounds by an African startup. This round made OPay, Africa’s 7th unicorn. The Series C attracted global powerhouse, Softbank Vision Fund 2 of Masayoshi Son who made his first bet on an African startup. Other investors included Sequoia capital China Dragonball China Capital, Redpoint Ventures China, Source Code Capital, Softbank Ventures Asia, and 3W Capital. The $400m investment will enable OPay to expand its offerings to other markets including Africa’s second-biggest economy, Egypt.

2. KudaBank ($55m, Series B)

KudaBank is a Nigerian banking app that is taking on incumbents in the country with a mobile-first, personalized, and often cheaper set of banking services and is popular among young Nigerians. It raised a $55m Series B from Target Global and Valar Ventures at a $500m valuation. The startup currently has 1.4m users, more than double the 650,000 they had when they raised a $25m Series A in March 2021, KudaBank plans to use the investment to launch new services and launch into new countries.

3. Moove ($23m, Series A)

Founded by Ladi Delano and Jide Odunsi in 2019, Moove is a startup that is committed to democratizing vehicle ownership through a revenue-based vehicle financing model for mobility entrepreneurs for example car-hailing, ride-hailing, and bus-hailing drivers. It is Uber’s car financing and vehicle supply partner in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Moove raised a $23m Series A, the third biggest funding round of August 2021. Investors in this round include SpeedInvest and Left Lane Capital. The investment will be used to grow and expand into new markets and also develop and launch new products and services to capture more of the Nigerian market with other players like Autocheck and South Africa’s FlexClub also making inroads. 

4. Pngme ($15m, Series A)

Pngme unbundles financial data through APIs and drives data-driven insights. Its platform caters to fintech and other financial institutions across Sub-saharan Africa. It has three core products: an API, mobile SDK, and a customer management platform with operations in Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria.

It raised $15m in its Series A from Octopus Ventures, Lateral Capital, EchoVC Partners, Raptor Group, and Two Small Fish Ventures. The investment will be used to acquire more customers, attract key executive hires, expand its data science, engineering, and sales teams globally. 

4. MaxAB ($15m, Series A)

MaxAB is an e-commerce startup that manages procurement and grocery delivery to shops in Egypt. Shop owners use the platform to purchase goods, request delivery or logistics to move the goods, and access a customer support team. 

MaxAB raised $15m for its Series A. It was backed by investors like Riyada Managers BV, International Finance Corporation, Flourish Ventures, Crystal Stream Capital, Rise Capital, Endeavor Catalyst, BECO Capital, and 4Dx Ventures. Part of the investment was used to acquire WaystoCap, the Moroccan  B2B e-commerce and distribution platform. This was the first step towards regional scaling with markets like Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, and Tunisia also within MaxAB’s sights.

6. Naked Insurance ($11m, Series B)

Naked Insurance is an insurtech startup that enables its clients to cover, claim and manage their car, home, or single item insurance directly from the Naked app 24/7. The startup attracted investors like Naspers, Yellowwoods, and Hollard Insurance that backed it with $11m in its Series B. The investment will be used to expand the team, invest in technology, meeting the insurance needs of a growing portion of the South African market, and entering international markets. 

7. Alerzo ($10.5m, Series A) 

Alerzo is a B2B e-commerce retail startup based in Ibadan, Nigeria. It was founded in 2015 as a last-mile distribution platform that helps retailers stock inventory directly from manufacturers. It has a network of over 100,000 small businesses and serves tier 2-4 cities in Southwest Nigeria like Ibadan, Ekiti, and Abeokuta. 

For its $10m Series A, Alerzo was backed by Nosara Capital and FJ Labs. This investment will be used to expand geographically to Northern Nigerian and launch AlerzoPay, the startup’s cashless payments, and lending platform. 

8. PawaPay

PawaPay is a UK-based, Africa-focused payments company. It integrates mobile money payment services of different telecom companies in Africa like Airtel, Tigo, MTN, Econet, Safaricom, Orange, and Vodafone and collapses them into one API for business. It spun off from online sports betting company, BetPawa in 2020. PawaPay raised from MSA Capital, 88mph, Zagadat Capital, Kepple Africa Ventures and Vunani Capital. The money will be used to scale its operational presence, recruit talent and expand into new markets. 

9. Capitalsage ($4m, Debt Financing)

Capitalsage is an intergrated fintech group. It owns Kolomoni Savings App, CashMore (a reward-based VAS platform), and Kolomoni Agent Banking network with thousands of agents in over 24 states in Nigeria and a growing presence in neighboring Benin Republic. It also launched CapiFlex, an integrated payment and business solution for entrepreneurs and established companies. Capitalsage raised $4m from United Capital in a debt-financing round. 

10. Omnibiz Africa ($3m)

Started by Deepankar Rustagi, Omnibiz is a B2B e-commerce platform that connects manufacturers and distributors of fast-moving consumer goods (FCMG) to retailers in Nigeria. Retailers can place orders at their leisure and have goods delivered to their doorstep at no cost using the company’s mobile apps, Whatsapp Channel, or dedicated care number.

It raised $3m from V&R Africa, Timon Capital, Tangerine Insurance, LoftyInc Capital Management, Musha Ventures, Sunu Capital, Launch Africa Ventures, and Rising Tide Africa. Omnibiz will use the investment to expand across ten West African cities in the next few months like Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, Abidjan, Takoradi, Kumasi, and Accra. It also plans to invest in new tech products to enhance the value for the retailers.

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