Monthly Round Up: Top 10 Deals of February 2021

    Monthly Roundup

A total of $252.2M across 48 rounds. Out of this, 49% ($123.2M) was venture capital raised in 45 rounds. This is an increase of 105% compared to February 2020 that emerged as the most funded month of the year with $124.7M across 34 rounds. February 2021 saw companies raise  56% more funding than January 2021 which recorded $161.5M across 25 deals. Social innovation investor SAB Foundation and financial services investor AlphaCode were the most active investors in the period, dispersing $699K (17 deals) and $90K (9 deals) respectively. 

Below are key takeaways of funding trends of February:    

Key Takeaways: 

  • Most Funded Country: South African-based startups received the highest amount and deal count for the region with $122.8M across 30 rounds. The largest being Tymebank’s $109M investment. 
  • Most Funded Sectors: By deal count and value: Financial Services (18 deals, $121.2M) and Healthcare & Pharma (8 deals, $108.7M). 
  • Most Funded Stages: By deal count: Grant (27 deals), Seed (10 deals). By deal value: Private Equity ($100,1 deal). However, the Undisclosed rounds presented the highest value ($118M, 2 deals).
  • Most Active Investors: SAB Foundation (17 deals, $699K) and Alpha Code (9 deals, $90K) were the two most active investors of the month.

Here is a breakdown of the top 10 funding rounds for the period in order of amount:

Investment company TymeBank made the largest raise of the period with a $109M (R1.6 billion) from private equity fund Apis Growth Fund managed by Apis Partners and Philippines based JG Summit Holdings. The funds will be made in two (2) tranches with the first investment of $34M (R500 million) received while the rest R 1.1 billion ($75M) will be invested into the business in the next 12 to 15 months. The investment will help the company expand its range of banking products and grow its lending portfolio. TymeBank currently offers a transactional and savings  account with zero to low monthly charges. The company has consecutively received investments since 2019 with a current total of $139.8M across 3 rounds. 

Egypt-based Alfa Medical Group (AMG) that also consists of diagnostics Alfa Scan and Alfa Laboratories, and El-Safa Hospital also made a solid raise of $100M Private Equity led by UK financial institution CDC Group with participation from healthcare investor Africa Platform Capital and the family office of leading sector expert and former co-founder of the global private equity firm Cinven, Simon Rowlands. The investment will enable AMG to improve its medical health service outcomes, increase public access to medical care, and broaden impact into new Alfa Medical City as well as support the expansion of the AMG laboratory business and Alfa Scan radiology centers particularly into underserved regions across Egypt. 

Kenyan energy startup SunCulture made the largest Debt Finance raise of the period in a $11M round backed by solar energy financing company SunFunder, Off-Grid Energy Access Fund of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Energy Inclusion Facility (OGEF), Triodos Investment Management, the Danish government’s Nordic Development Fund (NDF), and investment company AlphaMundi. This marks the company’s second disclosed round bringing its total funding to $25M. The new investment will be used to prevent  CO2 emissions of 20,000 tonnes per year by replacing farmers’ diesel pumps with solar ones while facilitating income growth and  job opportunities in rural communities. SunCulture offers solutions tailored to smallholder farmers, combining technology with pay-as-you-go (PAYG) financing and value-add services.

Sawari Ventures led a $9M undisclosed round for microelectronics company Si-Ware Systems with a major contribution from Egypt Ventures. Since its inception in 2004, Si-Ware has raised a total of $19 million in funding. The company has been bootstrapping over the years and the founders were able to raise another $20 million from the company’s side business in microchip design. Si-Ware’s device has been customized into products that proved useful in fields such as food production, manufacturing quality control, as well as precision agriculture.

South African HearX Group made two raises in the month, only one being disclosed, to the tune of $8.3M backed by Bose Ventures, HAVAIC, Futuregrowth Asset Management and Sphere Holdings to increase access to hearing healthcare through their smart digital solutions. The investment has also boosted the launch of its premium, direct-to-consumer hearing aid solution Lexie Hearing, a comprehensive and affordable US-developed hearing aid solution from as little as US$39 over 24 months. HearX has raised a total of $11M across 3 disclosed rounds since inception in 2015. 

Financial Service Stitch received a $4M Seed investment to solve the compliance and no infrastructure problem that has frustrated making building products. Stitch has created developer-centric API infrastructure, which handles security, privacy and compliance. The investment was made by Raba Capital, Firstminute Capital, CRE Venture Capital, Village Global, 500 Startups, Future Africa, Musha Ventures and Norrsken Foundation. The company’s API allows developers to connect apps to financial accounts by sharing their transaction history and balances, confirming their identities and initiating payments. This is their first disclosed fundraise. 

Lundin Foundation made a $3.5M investment in Cameroon-based startup Diool to scale within Cameroon. Diool started as a started off as a mobile recharge project back in 2015 that offered small merchants a way to sell prepaid recharges to their customers from a single app but later pivoted into a financial service with a variety of solutions to satisfy the needs of target customers. The company has so far serviced over 2000 merchants and transacted over $120M on its platform. 

Another financial service Pngme raised $3M Seed funding from Radical Ventures, Raptor Group, Lateral Capital and EchoVC to expand across Africa by growing its Lagos and Nairobi engineers and data scientists teams, and scaling its product for banks, mobile money operators and fintechs. Pngme’s platform collects user-permissioned data through a partner’s existing mobile app using a one-click data-sharing feature which then delivers real-time financial data and alerts and registered a 300% month-on-month growth rate in Q4 last year. This second investment brings the company’s total disclosed funding to date to $5.6M across 2 rounds. 

Sakneen made its second consecutive raise in a $1.1M Seed round backed by Algebra Ventures, Sarwa Capital and Foundation Ventures. Other investors that participated in this round include US-based real estate private equity firm Hem+Spire, Saudi Arabia-based fund Nakhla VC, along with angel investors  BlackRock and McKinsey among others. Sakneen eases the process of buying a house by browsing their website and using filter options to select property type, location, price range, finishing type, delivery date and other details.

Mortgage Market  was founded to simplify the process of getting a home loan by eliminating unnecessary paperwork and inefficiency in the home financing by digitizing the access and application process. The South African-based company raised $683K (R10 million) in a Seed round from entrepreneurial financing institution IDF Capital. The startup has developed a home loan pre-approval tech capability through a shared-value model for its users to access a free credit and affordability assessment as well as providing them with accurate knowledge of their buying potential and finances. 

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