Monthly Roundup: July Funding Brief

Over $263M was made in 49 investments to startups on the African continent for the month of July. 93% of this was venture capital ($243.3M across 48 rounds) which is 211% more than what was raised in June ($78.1M). For the year 2021, July, after March, has recorded the highest venture capital value by month for the year 2021. An additional 12 rounds of undisclosed capital was raised which would have recorded an even higher funding value for the month. 

Delving further into the venture investment trends, the Financial Services sector scored 61% of the month’s venture capital across 17 disclosed rounds ranking as the most funded sector. By country, South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria and Kenya (in that order) maintained their forefront and received the largest share of funding in a split of $92.1M, $70M, $57.3M and $18.1M respectively. By stage, the highest investment value was made collectively by two Series C rounds to the tune of $93M. The greater of the funding went to South African Financial Service Yoco in a hefty $83M round led by Dragoneer Investment Group. This resurgence follows a rather exceptional performance of the startup in South Africa and a previous fundraise of $16M received in 2018. 

Despite this positive recap however, funding is still disproportionately shared between male co-led and female co-led startups with over 94% ($229.1M across 39 rounds) of venture funding going to male co-led companies and only 5.8% ($14.3M across 9 disclosed rounds).

Here are the Top 10 Venture Rounds of the month in order of size: 

Yoco - $83M (Series C)

South African Fintech Yoco made the largest fundraise of the month in an $83M Series C round backed by a number of investors including Dragoneer Investment Group, Breyer Capital, HOF Capital, Raba Capital, 4DX Ventures, TO Ventures, Partech Partners, among others. The funds will be used to scale offline and online offerings and expand into new markets. Yoco was founded in 2013 and has over the years provided a platform for merchants to access offline payments. The platform that had 30,000 merchants as users has grown this number four times. 

FairMoney - $42M (Series B)

Another Neobank, FairMoney raised the second largest investment of the month to the tune of $42M in  a Series B round led by global investment firm Tiger Global Management. The round also had participation from other investors including DST Global, Flourish Ventures, Newfund Capital and Speedinvest. The funds will be used to diversify its offerings and expand to “become the financial hub for its users.” Since it was founded in 2017, the company has registered significant growth especially in 2020 disbursing a total loan volume of $93 million to over 1.3 million users who made more than 6.5 million loan applications. 

MaxAB - $40M (Series A)

RMBV, International Finance Corporation, Flourish Ventures, Crystal Stream Capital, Rise Capital, Endeavor Catalyst, Beco Capital and  4DX Ventures invested $40M in food and grocery delivery platform MaxAB. This brings their total funding to date to $46.2M across 2 rounds. The fresh funds will be used to scale across the Middle East and North Africa. The company claims to have launched in a new city every month this year and intends to expand even further. 

Elmenus - $10M (Series C)

Ecommerce and Retail platform Elmenus raised a $10M Series C round to accelerate the adoption of online ordering by users, while enabling restaurants with new verticals. This came in from digital payments platform Fawry, Marakez, and New York-based hedge fund Luxor Capital. Elmenus and Fawry will co-develop innovative solutions for restaurants and customers. Elmenus has to date raised $19.5M across 3 disclosed funding rounds. 

Lidya - $8.3M (Pre-Series B) 

After a year of expansion into the European market, Nigerian financial service Lidya made an $8.3M Pre-Series B fundraise led by Alitheia Capital through its investment arm uMunthu Fund with participation from Bamboo Capital Partners, Accion Venture Lab, Flourish Ventures. Lidya helps small businesses in fast growing economies access financing and build a credit score easily. The company previously raised in 2018 in a Series A round led by Carlifonia-based Omidyar Network. Their total funding now amounts to $16.5M across 3 rounds. 

Guidewheel - $8M (Series A) 

Goodwheel (formerly known as Safi) completed its rebrand and registered another win by securing $8M in a Series A round led by venture capital firm GreyCroft with participation from  leading firms, angels, and Fortune 500 executives. Guidewheel is pioneering a new category of cloud-powered FactoryOps, that will empower all the world's factories to digitize their operations and reach sustainable peak performance. This new investment will be used to accelerate the company’s growth. 

Yodawy - $7.5M (Series B)

Yodawy runs as an online pharmacy and insurtech allowing customers to order pharmaceuticals and cosmetics via a mobile app and have them delivered through a network of 500+ pharmacies across Egypt. The startup currently has over 3,000 pharmacies in its network and has delivered 800,000 orders to date. In a Series B round, Yodawy raised $7.5M for its digital marketplace from a  number of investors including Middle East Venture Partners, Global Ventures, Algebra Ventures, CVentures, P1 Ventures, Athaal Group to introduce additional offerings and expand to new markets. 

Smile Identity - $7M (Series A)

Smile Identity provides the best onboarding, identity verification, and user authentication service for fast growing businesses and startups in Africa. Since it was launched in 2016, the company has raised a total of $11M in disclosed funding across 2 funding rounds with the latest being a Series A round of $7M with investments from Costanoa Ventures, CRE Venture Capital, LocalGlobe, Intercept Ventures and Future Africa. Smile Identity is currently present across six markets in Africa: Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda and Uganda and covers more than 250 million identities and verification for 15 different ID types while performing over one million identity checks every month.

Taager - $6.4M (Seed)

Egyptian social e-commerce market Taager raised a Seed round of $6.4M led by Pan-African focused VC 4DX Ventures with participation from Raed Ventures, Beco Capital, Breyer Capital and some private investors. The company has built a B2B platform to provide a one-stop shop for these online merchants and suppliers with a suite of backend and integrated services, from operational and logistical infrastructure such as storage and shipping to an online marketplace to host their products, connecting sellers with wholesalers. They also claim to have 5,000 merchants on its platform, critical components to the 40% month-on-month increase in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV). 

Goodsmart - $3.6M  (Undisclosed)

Another Egyptian retail platform Goodsmart secured $3.6M funding in an undisclosed venture round led by MENA focused investment firm Sawari Ventures to accelerate its expansion and increase its team. This marks the startup’s second disclosed investment and brings their total funding to date to the tune of $4.35M across 2 funding rounds.Goodsmart enables users in West Cairo to order groceries using its mobile app and receive their orders in a pre-installed GoodsMart box outside their homes. As soon as the installation of the box is complete, one can order groceries using their mobile app and have them delivered between midnight and 6 am with an option of recurring orders to receive groceries regularly.

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