Africa’s tech startup scene is on the rise. Here’s a rundown of the most interesting funding deals, and tech and startup news in Africa for the month of July 2022. Here’s June’s Issue.
Most Insightful Funding, Tech and Startup News in Africa for the Month of July 2022
African startup funding in July, the Ist month of H2 is off to a slow start with only 20 deals being fully disclosed. African startups raised a total of $239,706,000 in July 2022, compared to $426,280,000 they raised in June.
Fintech, energytech and media/telecoms saw most of the funding that came into Africa. African Fintech startups raised $110,040,000 (45.9%), energytech startups raised $66,046,000 (27.6%), while media/telecoms startups raised $25,670,000 (10.7%).
Also, African startups continue their lay-off trend. In June, Swvl and Vezeeta, announced lay-offs. Francophone African unicorn.
Wave laid off 300 employees as the fintech scales back operations in Mali, Uganda, and Burkina Faso. Kenyan logistics startup, Sendy, also laid off 10% (30 workers), which in turn might halt its expansion to Egypt and South Africa.
🤑 Africa Fintech News for July 2022
- Kenya’s Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) accused several fintechs of money laundering.
- Senegalese fintech Wave’s $91 million syndicated loan from IFC.
- African Fintechs like Flutterwave, Uganda’s Eversend, and Rwanda’s Payday paused their virtual dollar card offerings. The shutdown came after mutual card provider, Union54, experienced a rise in chargeback fraud and couldn’t meet up with an ultimatum from Mastercard to keep chargeback fraud to less than 1.5% or improve its processes by July 18.
- Umba, a digital bank operating in Nigeria & Kenya who announced a $15M pre-series earlier this year, bought a majority stake in Kenyan deposit-taking microfinance bank Daraja for an undisclosed amount.
- Bloom, a Sudanese savings-focused digital bank, raised a $6.5M seed round.
- Ivorian payments platform, Bizao, raised an ~$8.2M (€8M) Series A.
- Fintech Flutterwave has accounts frozen in Kenya amid court probe
- Senegalese mobile money provider, Wave, raised ~$91M (€90M) in debt financing arranged by the IFC.
- Paymee, a Tunisian online payment gateway, raised a ‘six-figure’ funding round led by P1 Ventures.
- CreditChek, a Nigerian provider of customer identity, verification, and creditworthiness solutions for financial services providers, raised a $240K pre-seed led by Atom Capital with participation from Aidi Ventures,and others
- Duhqa, a Kenyan B2B retail distribution platform for FMCG, pharmaceutical, and cold chain goods, raised a $2M seed round from new investors CrossFund, Roselake Ventures, and Mo Angels, and existing investor Techstars and others.
- Egyptian-born shared mobility platform Swvl (NASDAQ: SWVL) acquired Mexican mass transit tech platform Urbvan in an ~$82M all-stock deal — According to Swvl, the deal will contribute to Swvl being cash flow positive in 2023; Urbvan joins other recently acquired companies in the Swvl ecosystem: Volt Lines, door2door, Viapool and Shotl
- Swipe, a Nigerian BNPL-focused credit-cards-as-a-service platform, announced a $500K pre-seed
- Zazuu, a British/Nigerian cross-border remittance aggregation platform raised a $2M venture round from Launch Africa, Founders Factory Africa, HoaQ Club, ODBA, Jonomi Ventures, and others.
- Bloc, Formerly TechAdvance, a Nigerian fintech infrastructure and banking-as-a-service (BaaS) provider, acquired Orchestrate, a Nigerian payments orchestration company for an undisclosed amount in cash and stock. Bloc has processed over $30M in the past year through its bill payments API alone.
🛒 In Africa Retail & eCommerce News
- Bumpa integrated with Meta to enable social merchants on its platform to manage their direct messages (DMs) from Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp directly on Bumpa. As well as share products, sell products, share invoices/receipts, to customers’ DM on Instagram and Facebook, all from the Bumpa App.
- Egyptian e-commerce startup, Cartona, announced a $12 million Series A round.
- Nomanini and Baobab Group announce a strategic partnership to launch a supply chain finance solution in seven Francophone countries and Nigeria.
- Autochek, a Nigerian automotive finance solutions provider & marketplace, acquired CoinAfrique, the leading classifieds platform in Francophone Africa, for an undisclosed amount — 50% of CoinAfrique transactions take place in the automotive vertical and this deal further accelerates Autochek’s push into French-speaking Africa following its May acquisition of Morocco’s Kifa.
- The future of traditional retail in Africa — BCG partners share the results of a study of 4,500 small retailers in Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa: “Despite the advance of supermarkets, convenience stores, and other modern formats, African consumers on average continue to buy more than 70% of their food, beverages, and personal care products from the continent’s more than 2.5 million small, independent shops… Traditional retailers not only are the cornerstones of African economies today but will also constitute the core of the region’s future commercial landscape.
- Gumtree, one of South Africa’s largest online classifieds marketplaces, was acquired for an undisclosed amount by Impresa Capital, a South African firm led by brothers Sean and Donovan Bergsma who are the majority shareholders of the Ignition Group.
🚗 Mobility & Ride Hailing News in Africa (July 2022)
- South African mobility platform NextNow is the latest ride-hailing platform to shut down in South Africa
- Anoter big partnership for July is Nigerian bike-hailing platform Max.ng partnering with Yamaha’s Nigerian subsidiary to expand operations across West Africa, and finance and maintain over 50,000 vehicles over the next 2 years.
- Moove Africa’s gets $20 million investment from Absa Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB). Moove also partnered with Uber India to expand to the Asian country and launch 5,000 electric and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles within 1 year.
- SolarTaxi, a Ghanaian e-mobility platform that designs, assembles, and distributes electric two-wheel and four-wheel vehicles raised an undisclosed amount from Persistent
Gaming, Crypto and Streaming News in Africa
- Nigerian sports gaming platform Scorefam’s gets $25 million raise from GEM Digital.
- Central African Republic’s digital coin finds few buyers
- Celo announced that its new fund for African startups to transition into Web3 is live.
- African music streaming platform Mdundo and Universal Music Group announce a licensing deal that makes the UMG catalog available to Mdundo users
- French Canal+ which owns production companies; Plan A in Ivory Coast and ROK Studios in Nigeria announced its acquisition of Rwanda’s largest content production and distribution company Zacu Entertainment. The French mass media company (Groupe Canal+) disclosed that it increased its stake in South Africa’s JSE-listed pay-TV platform MultiChoice — Canal+ now owns a 20.1% stake in MultiChoice, up from 15.4% in November 2021
- Stakefair (formerly BetDemand), a Nigerian DeFi-powered no loss betting platform and yield generation protocol, raised a $670K pre-seed
- Afriguild, a Nigerian play-to-earn blockchain gaming guild turned DAO (decentralized autonomous organization), raised an undisclosed amount from Adaverse in a seed round.
🚚 On-demand & Digital Services News in Africa
- Stllr Network, an Egyptian digital marketing platform, raised a six-figure venture round from 500 Global, Women Spark, Falak Angels, and others
- Chowdeck, a Nigerian on-demand food delivery platform, announced its acceptance into Y Combinator Summer 22 batch
🖥 Infrastructure & Data Centre News in Africa
- Vertically integrated Zimbabwean/pan-African tech platform, Cassava Technologies, raised $50M from C5 Capital, a British VC firm that specializes in cyber security, space, and energy security investing. Cassava Tech specializes in Digital Infrastructure (fibre networks & data centres) and Digital Services (cyber security, fintech, and B2C digital services).
- Google’s first African subsea internet cable, EQUIANO, finally lands in Swakopmund, Namibia after going through Togo and Nigeria. The EQUIANO cable is set to increase internet speed by 750% and create 21,000 jobs over the next 3 years (2022 and 2025) in Namibia..
⚡️Energy News in Africa for July 2022
- OFGEN, a Kenyan provider of solar power engineering, procurement, and construction solutions for commercial and industrial businesses raised an undisclosed amount from CFAO Kenya, an affiliate of the Toyota Tsusho Corporation
- Solar Panda, a Canadian provider of pay-as-you-go solar home systems to rural households in Kenya, raised an $8M Series A from EU-funded Electrification Finance Initiative (EDFI ElectriFI) and impact investor Oikocredit
- Mirova, a French management company, announced the 100% acquisition of Kenyan solar energy financier SunFunder for an undisclosed amount.
- CrossBoundary Energy, a Kenya-based owner & operator of renewable power plants that sells electricity to commercial and industrial (C&I) customers across Africa, raised $40M from Norfund, the Norwegian government’s investment fund for developing countries, and pension fund KLP.
- d.light, a provider of clean energy solutions across Africa, announced a $50M balance sheet debt facility from a consortium of lenders including Mirova SunFunder, TDB (Trade and Development Bank) and FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank
🏫 Education & Housing
- DigsConnect, a South African student housing marketplace, raised an undisclosed “multi-million rand” (minimum ~$100K) Pre-Series A from Launch Africa, Goodwater Capital, Five35 Ventures, and Delta Ventures
- Smartprof, a Moroccan tutoring platform that connects K-12 students with tutors enrolled in higher education, raised $50
💸 VC News in Africa
- German corporate venture builder Creative Dock Group (CDG) was acquired by FoundersLane — the combined entity, FoundersLane Egypt is co-led by Egyptian entrepreneurs Mohamed Aboulnaga (co-founder of MNT-Halan) and Anas Rabah (co-founder of fintech-focused VC Klivvr)
- FrontEnd Ventures, a new fund focused on early-stage Kenyan startups up to Series A, announced the first $1M close of a targeted $5-10M — so far the fund is largely backed by Kenyan HNWIs in the banking, real estate, and manufacturing sectors
Interesting Reads Links
- Zimbabweans abroad switch to food delivery apps to help families at home (The Guardian)
- Funding gap excludes Black-owned startups from South Africa’s booming digital economy (TechCrunch)
- The Kippa team analyzed 23,000 MSMEs who use the Kippa App across Nigeria’s thirty-six states and published ‘The Nigerian MSME Report’ (PDF)
- The African Scalecraft team published AfricanScalecraft.com, a website dedicated to examining how ventures scale in sub-Saharan Africa