As more startups reveal the amounts raised in funding, we have taken to highlighting the 10 tech deals for the first month of Q2. During the Q1 of 2022, African startups raked in $2 billion dollars, 8 times the total amount raised in 2019 and though the deals seemed to trudge in April, things are looking up once more.
As in the last quarter, fintechs are taking the lead in attracting investors again.
Three years after its last disclosed funding, African payments company, Interswitch has announced its raise of $110 million in joint partnership from LeapFrog Investments and Tana Africa Capital. Founded in 2002, Interswitch is one of Africa’s largest electronic payments and infrastructure companies with a $1 billion valuation. The fintech attained unicorn status in 2019 when VISA acquired a 20% stake, valued at $200 million. One of the fintech’s solutions is Verve, the largest domestic card scheme in Africa with 100% payment acceptance in Nigeria and acceptance in over 185 countries globally.
This Egypt-based payments aggregator raised a $50 million series B round to grow its synchronized omnichannel which enables it to receive payments from other payments service providers. The funding comes as an addition to the $18.5 million series A funding it secured last year bringing the total amount raised since its launch in 2015 to $68.5 million. CrestHub reported that PayPal Ventures co-led the round with Kora Management. Others include Clay Point Investors, Helios Digital Ventures, British International Investment, Nclude, A15, FMO – Dutch entrepreneurial development bank and Global Ventures.
Pan-African crypto exchange platform, MARA, also disclosed the $23 million it raked in from its seed round. The investment came from Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research (FXT) and Distributed Global alongside a number of investors. MARA wants to “increase the number of Africans who can participate in the crypto economy.” According to Techcrunch , the platform will officially launch in July in Kenya and Nigeria where it currently has its headquarters.
4. Untapped Global
Investment and technology company, Untapped Global has netted a $10.3 million pre-seed round. Untapped Global is a platform that allows you to invest in a diversified fund of high-growth companies in untapped markets. Its smart asset financing model generates capital to entrepreneurs, assesses the risk of investments and delivers insights to investors on investment performance to secure lucrative returns.
Carepoint also announced a $10 million bridge round following an $18 million series A round secured last year. The startup has till date raised $30 million. Carepoint is a tech-driven healthcare startup that offers a variety of medical services virtually including consultancy with doctors teleconferencing, test results and a round-the-clock emergency response through its MyCareMobile app. This recent funding came from TRB Advisors, Breyer Capital, Beyond Capital Ventures (BVC) and other investors.
6. Egypt’s Esaal
This healthcare startup offering physical health, mental health and nutrition consultation service startup has revealed a $1.7 million funding it secured in seed round, totaling the amount it has raised since its launch in 2018 to $3 million. COVID-19 no doubt gave rise to the proliferation of telemedicine to cater for the millions of Africans without any established healthcare facility. But health does not end on the physical side- there is also the mental part of it. According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Health in Egypt in 2018, 25% of its population suffer mental-health related problems. This tends to boost the growth of the mental healthcare market as Esaal evidently expects a revenue CAGR of around 50% to 60% between 2021 and 2025. A major investor in the round was A15, a Venture Capital firm based in Egypt.
7. Kenya’s Zuri
Zuri joins the list of disclosed deals in the African healthcare system. With its $1.3 million seed round, the on-demand e-health platform plans to expand its product offering and enter into new markets. Zuri Health is a virtual hospital that gives patients across Sub-saharan Africa easy access to healthcare. The platform affords them the opportunity to chat with a doctor, buy medication from a pharmacy, book labs and diagnostic tests and have a doctor visit them at home. DOB Equity, Launch Africa, and Founders Factory Africa participated in the round.
South Africa- based agritech Nile , which connects buyers directly with food producers to achieve price transparency and retain quality of produce, also announced in May the $5.1 ticket size it secured in an equity round. A major investor, Naspers Foundry, contributed $2.5 of the total investment.
9. Victory farms:
This Kenya-based aquaculture startup, Victory Farms using technology to produce more fish at a reduced price also announced a $5 million raise in an undisclosed round. Last year, the fish farm raised $4 million in debt. The startup was co-founded by Joseph Rehmann and Steve Moran in 2015 and has since grown to have 54 retail shops in markets where about 15,000 women buy fish. Featured in the round were Ed Brakeman, a senior managing director at Bain Capital and Hans den Bieman, founder and ex-CEO of Mowi, one of the largest salmon businesses across the globe.
A South African edtech company using WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger Chatbot for high school students in emerging markets with limited internet access also raised $2 million in seed round. Think of FoondaMate as an organised, easy-to-use alternative to search engines. The startup which launched in 2020 now has over 400,000 users across 30 languages. Participants in the recent round include LocalGlobe, Emerge Education, FirstCheck Africa, Future Africa, and LoftyInc
Could these investments in May be pointers to much larger fundings to come? One thing is clear, they do illustrate the endless possibilities in the African ecosystem. Let’s work at investing then as we watch the ecosystem play its favourite game.