We bring you the monthly round up of startup funding on the continent for October. Funding YTD now stands at $740M across 307 rounds in a mixture of funding. This is 37% less than what was raised last year in the same period ($1.17 billion across 421 rounds). For the month of October, startups raised $63M across 27 rounds: Debt Finance ($32M, 2 deals), Grant ($2.3M, 6 deals), Pre-Seed ($1.19M, 3 deals), Seed ($4.3M, 3 deals), Series A ($15.4M, 4 deals) and Series B ($24M, 2 deals). Majority of the funding went to the E-Commerce & Retail industry ($30M, 2 deals) followed by Energy & Environment Resources ($18.5M, 5 deals), Financial Services ($9.6M, 8 deals) and Agriculture ($2.1M, 1 deal). This total is a 61% and 12.5% drop by value and volume compared to what was raised in September 2020 ($160.3M across 59 rounds) and October 2019 ($72M across 24 deals). $31M of the total figure (49%) was raised in venture rounds. With two (2) months left to close off the rather tumultuous 2020, African startups still have time to outstrip 2019 funding and achieve another billion dollar end.
Here is a breakdown of the Top 10 Deals of the Month:
At the start of the month, Good Nature Agro raised $2.1M in a Series A led by Goodwell Investment with participation from existing investors Global Partnerships and FINCA Ventures . The for-profit social enterprise that specializes in legume value-chains will use the funds to hasten their processing infrastructure in Central and Eastern Zambia, grow their full farm extension services for smallholders and connect farmers to large-scale agribusinesses and food processors seeking sourcing, as well as to further their seed breeding program. This is the company’s first disclosed deal since it was founded in 2014.
Easy Solar raised $5M split into a $3M Series A from impact investor Acumen and Dutch Entrepreneurial development bank FMO, $2M in Debt Finance from investment platform Trine to boost access to solar energy in Africa. The company offers affordable and accessible clean energy solutions and financial services to low income countries Liberia and Sierra Leone whose rates of electrification are below 20%. Easy Solar has brought transformative energy services to more than 450,000 people, and created over 600 clean energy jobs, with a far-reaching distribution network going all the way to the last mile by offering a wide range of energy solutions from small solar lanterns for lighting and mobile charging, to pico solar home systems with appliances like TVs and fans, all the way up to kW sized systems designed for residential, commercial, and industrial users.
Egypt’s Financial Service Flick raised $1M in Pre-Seed funding from an undisclosed Angel Investor to grow its team and boost its efforts across its four key markets where large populations of the Egyptian diaspora are based in Jordan, the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Founded in September this year the company hopes to launch its cross-border, end-to-end money transfer solution in 2012. This platform will allow the sender and recipient to complete a money transfer from anywhere in the world without the need to visit a bank, remittance or exchange house.
Another Financial Service from Uganda Tugende raised $6.3M in a Series A round led by Toyota Tsusho investment fund Mobility 54 with participation from US-based Global Partnerships’ Social Venture Fund, current shareholders including Denali Venture Philanthropy and Segal Family Foundation, and new angel investors. The company that is based in Uganda and has operations in Kenya has over the years raised predominantly Debt Finance ($23M of the total $24.8M across 6 rounds) and ranks as the most funded startup in Uganda. This new investment brings their total funding since 2012 to $31.1M across 7 rounds. Tugende uses asset finance, technology, and a high touch customer support model to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) own income-generating assets to tackle the $331 billion credit gap MSMEs face across Africa and has served over 35,000 clients. The investment will further enhance its technology platform, both for internal operations and client-facing offerings and to further grow its core financing product for motorcycle taxi drivers and accelerate its diversification into other MSME asset finance products including equipment for retails shops, agriculture, and further mobility assets, including e-mobility.
Wamda Capital, Meninx Holding, Flat6Labs' Anava Seed Fund, Jasminum Capital and other angel investors backed Tusian EdTech GoMyCode in a $850K Pre-Series A round to invest in their technology, team, and operations. The company that initially started in 2017 as a coding school, now offers different types of training programs for technology and digital jobs in Tunisia and Algeria. The startup claims that it has trained over 5,000 students since its inception in 2017 and also helps these students find jobs where they could use their newly acquired skills. Following their expansion from Tunisia into Algeria, GoMyCode seeks to further expand into the Morocco, Egypt, and Nigeria markets.
Mid of the month, NowPay announced its second raise yet in a $2.1M Seed round co-led by Foundation Ventures and Endure Capital, with the participation from Beco Capital, 500 Startups, Plug and Play, 4Dx Ventures, MSA Capital and EFG-EV Fintech. This brings the company’s total funding to date to $2.7M across 2 rounds. The company promotes financial wellness by allowing employees to access part of their salaries at any time of the month and has over 70 entities using this platform. The funds raised will be used to grow this platform further. Mostafa Ashour, the co-founder and CEO of NowPay says the startup has managed salaries in excess of US$100 million with a 60 percent month-over-month growth rate.
Healthcare platform Ilara Health also made a $1.1M Grant raise within the month from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve maternal health outcomes in Kenya by developing effective antenatal care (ANC) interventions and tech based solutions for pregnant women unable to access essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic and is expected to reach at least 4,000 low income pregnant women in peri-urban Kisumu county. Ilara Health offers point of care diagnostic testing to small primary care clinics in Kenya.
Angaza provides business-critical software for companies in emerging markets that sell life-changing products and services to low-income consumers. Towards the end of the month, the company closed a $13.5M Series B fundraise led by led by East African energy impact fund KawiSafi Ventures and was joined by Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures (TCNV), joined by existing investors Ajax Strategies, Emerson Collective, Rethink Impact, and Salesforce Ventures. The company recently achieved a significant milestone by positively impacting the lives of over 12 million people around the globe since its launch in 2013. Today, over 200 distributors in over 50 countries spanning Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific rely on Angaza’s technology.
South Africa-based Udok developed a tele-healthcare system to bring medical care right to the palm of your hand by bringing remote consultations directly to patients and via pharmacy clinics. The company has developed a digital ecosystem consisting of hardware and software to capture medical information from patients. This enables providers to make diagnosis remotely in real time. The company raised $677K (€518K) in Seed from FinX Capital to expand its network and technology and also aims to provide access to a Udok virtual practice at close to 200 Clicks Pharmacies in South Africa.
Twiga Foods made its second fundraise of the year in a $30M Debt round with a $15M contribution from International Finance Corporation and the rest channeled through unfunded Risk Sharing Facilities (RSFs) which will be scaled in phases. The funds will be used to support more than 300 irrigated medium-scale contract farmers to complement Twiga’s seasonal smallholder farmer supply base. This will stabilise year-round fresh fruit and vegetable volumes in line with Twiga Foods’ mission of supplying readily available safe, affordable, and high-quality food to Kenya’s urban markets. This brings the company’s total funding to over $105M across 14 rounds.