· 2 months ago

These 14 investors have led Africa’s biggest funding rounds this year (so far)

Naspers funding

According to Partech ventures, there was $560 million in venture capital funding that flowed into Africa in 2017. This was a significant rise from $367 million that was reported in 2016. Yet this year, so far, the top 15 funding rounds have brought in a combined $377 million

Below, we take a look at the investors who have led these deals as well as other deals they have done before on the continent.

1. OLX Group (Naspers), $94M 

Naspers, through OLX Group, made an investment into South Africa’s Webuycars, a specialized car buying service. Earlier in the year, OLX Group also invested $89 in online car marketplace Frontier Car Group, which has operations in Africa, through its early-stage investment arm OLX Ventures.

The investment in Webuycars is the highest in a company with most of its operations in Africa in 2018 (so far). Other investments made by the OLX Group this year includes a $500 million into US-based LetGo.

2. The Rise Fund, $60.5M

TPG, formed The Rise Fund last year, attracting some $2 billion in capital. Its board members include entrepreneur Richard Branson, Mo Ibrahim, Pierre Omidyar, Laurene Powell Jobs, Reid Hoffman and more. The Rise Fund has made at least 15 investments since April last year.

The fund made its first investment in Africa in May this year when it led Cellulant’s Series C. The $47.5 million, remains the second-highest figure raised by a fintech this year, after Jumo’s $52 million. It followed this up with leading Mines’ $13 million Series A in August 2018. Combined, The Rise Fund has led two rounds with a combined total of $60.5 million.

3. Goldman Sachs, $52M

The American multinational investment bank hasn’t been active in Africa, but whenever it has participated, the ticket sizes have been significant. In September 2018, Goldman Sachs led Jumo’s $52 million Venture round. However, before that, the bank had participated in Jumia Group’s €360M Series C.

4. Helios Investment Partners, $55M

Some of their notable investments in Africa is Interswitch in which they acquired a majority stake in 2010. However, since then, they have gone on to make additional bets on the continent.

In January this year, Helios – together with GE Ventures – co-led Zola Electric’s (formerly Offgrid Electric) $55 million Series D (2). Both Tesla and Total Energy Ventures participated in this round. However, before that, Helios had led Zola Electric’s $10 million Series D in August 2016.

5. SunFunder, $20M

SunFunder is headquartered in Nairobi and was founded in 2012. The fund is focused on solar energy businesses in emerging markets and provides them with debt financing. In July 2018, the fund arranged $20 million in debt for Zola Electric. Some of the companies that they have funded before include; SolarNow, PEG and more.

6. Partech, $18M

In January 2018, Partech raised €57 million for its Africa fund. The fund made its first investment on the continent four months later – $3 million in Nigeria’s TradeDepot. It followed this up by leading South Africa’s Yoco’s $16 million Series B in September 2018.

7. STV, $12M

Saudi Technology Ventures – STV – is an independent venture capital fund which raised $500 million anchored by Saudi Telecom, the Middle East’s largest telecommunications company. The fund led Egypt’s Vezeeta’s $12 million Series C in September 2018. However, in April 2018, STV also led Saudi Arabia’s Telfaz11’s $9 million Series A.

8. CDC Group, $10M

CDC Group is a development finance institution owned by the UK government. In March 2018, the institution led M-Kopa’s $10 million Venture round. However, prior to that, CDC had also participated in Jumia Group’s €360M Series C in 2016 that was led by Rocket Internet and MTN.

9. Global Innovation Partners, $10M

Headquartered in London, GIF invests in social innovations that aim to improve the lives and opportunities of millions of people in the developing world. The fund led Paga’s $10 million Series B in September 2018.

Founded in 2014, GIF has also in the past led a couple of rounds for Africa based or focused ventures. In August 2017, it led South Africa’s WhereIsMyTransport’s £1.2 million Seed round as well as Paris-based Afrimarket’s €10 million Series B in September 2016.

10. IFC Venture Capital, $8.5M

IFC’s Venture Capital group invests in ventures and growth stage companies. In April this year, they led Africa’s Talking’s $8.6 million Series A. However, they also participated Zola Electric’s $16 million back in December 2014.

11. BECO Capital, $8M

BECO Capital provides growth capital and hands-on operational support for early-stage technology companies in the MENA region. The fund led SWVL’s $8 million Series A in April 2018. Though, it also participated Vezeeta’s $12 million Series C that was announced in September 2018.

12. Stripe, $8M

Stripe provides a set of unified APIs and tools that instantly enable businesses to accept and manage online payments. The payments company led Paystack’s $8 million Series A that was announced in September 2018. Stripe, which has raised at least $440 million in funding to date also participated in Monzo’s £71m funding round

13. Omidyar Network, $6.9M

Omidyar Network is one of the most active firms in Africa. The firm has invested in Twiga Foods, BudgIT, WhereIsMyTransport, Andela and more. Though, it led none of the above rounds. However, in May 2018, Omidyar Network led Lidya’s $6.9 million Series A. It also participated in Giraffe’s undisclosed Venture round in April 2018.

14. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), $6M

As an investment firm, EBRD hasn’t made a lot of bets on African and Africa focused companies. The only notable one is that it recently led Wuzzuf’s $6 million Series B. A15, which Helios bought out of TPAY, also participated in the round.

Note

This list is a living document and will be updated regularly in case of any changes. In case you think there’s an error in the amounts stated above or we missed out anything, kindly send us an email to [email protected]

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