January 2020 recorded some of Africa’s most impressive deals with Fintech taking center stage securing the highest round of the month. Payment’s platform Flutterwave raised $35M in a Series B backed by US-based investors Greycroft and e.Ventures, Visa, Green Visor Capital and CRE Venture Capital. This brought the startup’s total funding so far to $55.25M across four (4) rounds. Other notable deals included e-logistics Sendy’s $20M in a Series B and South African Skynamo’s Series A of $30M. In total the month grossed in $95.6M disclosed funding in 12 rounds.
A month after and venture capital has risen by 27% to $130.6M across 17 rounds. This brings the total funding for the first two (2) months of 2020 to $226.2M, a 37.4% rise from the $141.4M across 31 rounds of the first two months of 2019. Last year Andela raised 70.7% of this figure ($100M of the $141.M) in its largest round yet, backed by Generation Investment Management, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, GV, Spark Capital and CRE Venture Capital. This year Jumo also closed its biggest raise so far in a $55M Series C backed by Goldman Sachs, Odey Asset Management and Leapfrog Investments (representing 24.3% of $226.2M.) Jumo intends to use these funds to move into new markets and launch new products in Africa and Asia.
Despite Financial Services having the most valuable round of the month, E-Commerce & Retail dominated with three (3) of the top 10 deals of the month, valued at $10.3M in total. Financial Services and Transport & Logistics each had two rounds valued at $55.1M and $14.3M respectively. This was followed by Healthcare and Pharma valued at $40M, Recruitment with $2M and Information Technology all featuring one round.
Here are more details on some of the notable deals:
Digital healthcare platform Vezeeta raised a Series D of $40M backed by new investor Gulf Capital and Saudi Technology Ventures. This brings the Egyptian startup’s total funding to $63.5M across 6 rounds. This raise will drive their new products such as an online-pharmacy as well as “tele-health” services across its existing and new markets.
SokoWatch has so far raised a total of $18.5M across three (3) rounds, the latest being a Series A valued at $14M. This round was led by Quona Capital, Amplo and Breyer Capital. According to CEO Daniel Yu, these funds will broaden its client’s services and target new African markets. Sokowatch has not only offered its customers logistics and supply chains but also credit facilities via its mobile platform. The startup has also raised consecutively for the past 4 years.
Since its launch in 2011, e-commerce platform Elmenus has raised a total $9.5M across two (2) rounds the recent being an $8M Series B backed by Global Ventures, Algebra Ventures, Tarek Sakr and Hamad Al Homizi. The platform lets users browse from local restaurants for delivery or just to discover where to dine out. The new funds will be used to scale across the country.
Orange Digital Partners, Partech Partners and Consonance Investments Partners all backed recruitment startup Gebeya in a Seed round valuing $2M. This is its first raised since it was founded in 2016. This is also a well timed investment for Orange since it is interested in acquiring one of Ethiopia’s new telecom licences to support its intention to develop software talent across Africa.
Another ECommerce platform Homzmart raised a $1.3M Seed round, one of the largest seed rounds raised by an Egyptian startup. The investment came from China’s MSA Capital, Oman Technology Fund and Equitrust. The marketplace connects furniture manufacturers and vendors with customers with the aim to solve the pain points of both parties within the MENA region.
Afrikrea is a marketplace that allows users buy and sell African inspired items like African clothing, jewellery, art and accessories. Latest of its funding rounds was a $1M Series A backed by Id4 Ventures, Saviu Ventures and Showroomprive, bringing its total funding to $2.1M across 5 rounds. This round will grow its team and expand its online mobile marketplace.
Another Egyptian-based startup Garment IO is boosting the productivity of the garment industry with its software/ hardware solution by providing garment factory managers and owners with a complete overview of production processes, labour performance and production cost calculation. Towards the end of the month, 500 Startups and Egypt Ventures backed this startup in a $450K Seed Round, its second round since 2019. This brings the startup's total funding to $600K.
IntiGo, a Tunisian e-logistics startup also raised a $300K Angel round from undisclosed investors. The startup is still young as it launched 4 months ago. IntiGo allows its users to take bike rides 20 to 30 percent less than regular regular taxi rides.
Nigerian Fintech ThankUCash secured $150K in a Seed round bringing its total funds to $360K across 3 rounds. The investment came from global venture fund 500 Startups. This is after the rewards startup was selected among the 29 startups to participate in the 26th edition of the 500 Startups Accelerator. This $150K is in exchange for 6% equity, access to training, mentorship and networks.
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