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African Startups Secured $4.69 Billion Funding In 2021 – African Investment Report

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Africa Investment Report -Investors king

African Investment Report released by Briter Bridges showed that African Startups secured $4.69 billion in estimated funding in 2021, out of which $4.65 billion was disclosed and $300 million undisclosed (not comprehensive, based on data provided by investors to Briter Intelligence).

Dario Giuliani, director of Briter Bridges said, “As the world learns to integrate COVID-19 into daily routine, work is retrieving as usual and interest in harnessing the business potential in Africa proves to be stronger and more intentional than it’s been in the past.

“2021 was a year of recognition, where the newly-available resources and the increasing number of international investors shifting mandates to include Africa met hundreds of promising entrepreneurs to support”.

“Approaching $5 billion in known funding in 2021, especially after nearly twenty-four months since COVID-19 pandemic began is a clear sign that Africa is undergoing tangible changes and the increasing presence of local exits and returns is shaping the continent’s attractiveness”. He added.

The top 4 African countries where the startup funding was focused are, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Egypt.

The report further revealed that financial technology companies captured the largest share of funding on the African continent, gulping 62 percent of the total funding. Breaking down the funding into sectors, Health and Biotech secured 8 percent of the funding, 7 percent to Logistics, 5 percent to Education, 4 percent to Cleantech, 4 percent to Agriculture, 3 percent to E-commerce, 3 percent to Mobility and 2 percent to Data and Analytics.

 

In 2021, 13 companies raised $100 million in a single round. Some of the companies are Opay, Chipper, Flutterwave, Andela, and others. The report also showed that debt financing companies captured 6 percent of total disclosed funding in 2021.

Africa’s startup Merger and Acquisition market also recorded significant growth in 2021. The African Investment Report showed that 33 acquisition was recorded in 2021 compared to 17 acquisition deals reported in 2020.

The report further revealed that a large sum of the fund disbursed in Africa’s market is from the United States and the United Kingdom. The United States accounts for 62.5 percent of the fund, 7.5 percent from the United Kingdom, 6 percent from South Africa, 4 percent from Canada and 20 percent from others.

The report stated, “the growing investment appetite towards Africa’s entrepreneurs has resulted in the rise of corporate venture funds and corporate innovation initiatives interested in harnessing the skills, networks and technologies developed by local companies in a variety of sectors”.

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Soft POS User Base to Grow 475% Globally by 2027

The total number of merchants deploying soft POS solutions will surpass 34.5 million globally by 2027

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A new study from Juniper Research has found the total number of merchants deploying soft POS solutions will surpass 34.5 million globally by 2027; rising from 6 million in 2022. This growth will be driven by Apple’s entrance into the soft POS space; enabling iOS users to access an affordable mobile POS solution.

Soft POS enables NFC enabled smartphones or tablets to accept contactless payments, without additional hardware.

1.2 Billion iOS Users Added to Soft POS Market

The research forecasts that Apple’s decision to enable third parties to develop soft POS solutions leveraging iOS NFC capabilities will result in an influx of iOS-specific services; leading to innovative solutions for merchants. Furthermore, the research predicts Apple’s entry will provide 1.2 billion iOS users with soft POS capabilities; unlocking a previously untapped market.

Soft POS is the latest development from Apple within the payments space; building upon Apple Pay and Apple Pay Later. Soft POS vendors should leverage Apple’s payment ecosystem by developing innovative solutions such as integrated QR payment acceptance, using Apple Pay and Pay Later compatibility to attract a broader iOS user base.

Increasing Contactless Payment Adoption to Drive Soft POS Uptake

The research anticipates soft POS adoption being driven by the increasing use of contactless payments – with volumes expected to rise from 195 billion in 2022 to 408 billion by 2027. Therefore, consumers will come to expect contactless acceptance as standard; forcing smaller merchants to adopt contactless-capable POS solutions. Merchants are anticipated to embrace soft POS, based on cost savings achievable from eliminating the need for additional hardware, as well as mobility advantages over contactless POS.

This will be profound for small-sum and mobile merchants that must accept contactless transactions, but lack the need for high-cost dedicated terminals. As such, the research recommends soft POS vendors must look to target micro and mobile merchants; designing solutions that meet their unique needs.

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Buy Now Pay Later Users to Reach Over 900 Million Globally by 2027

Buy Now Pay Later users will surpass 900 million globally by 2027; increasing from 360 million in 2022.

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A new study from Juniper Research has predicted that the number of BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) users will surpass 900 million globally by 2027; increasing from 360 million in 2022. This substantial growth of 157% will be driven by the anticipated economic downturn, which will increase the demand for low-cost credit solutions.

BNPL schemes enable consumers to spread the cost of their purchases without interest charges; making them a highly attractive alternative to credit cards. Additionally, BNPL services do not require hard credit checks and an increasing number of merchants are accepting this payment method; making it easier to access for consumers than traditional credit.

India to Experience High User Growth

The research identified India as having potential for rapid growth in BNPL, with users predicted to grow from 25 million in 2022 to 116 million by 2027. This is due to rising eCommerce usage and growing interest in international goods available through online retailers. In turn, it recommends that vendors build strategic partnerships with vendors in developing markets with established consumer bases, to successfully capitalise on this user growth and associated revenue.

Virtual Cards to Further Boost Usage

The research predicts that the adoption of virtual cards, where digital only cards are used for purchases, will increase the usage of BNPL solutions, as they only require merchants to accept card payments – overcoming previous limitations on growth. The advancement of virtual cards allows BNPL schemes to compete with credit cards; particularly in-store, where single use BNPL cards can be used within a digital wallet to complete contactless transactions.

Juniper Research recommends that in order to compete in this highly competitive landscape, BNPL vendors must differentiate their services: including offering virtual cards, browser extensions that automatically facilitate BNPL payment services, and digital loyalty schemes.

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Digital Wallet Users to Exceed 5.2 Billion Globally by 2026

The total number of digital wallet users will exceed 5.2 billion globally in 2026, up from 3.4 billion in 2022.

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Digital Banks in Nigeria - Investors King

A new study from Juniper Research has found that the total number of digital wallet users will exceed 5.2 billion globally in 2026, up from 3.4 billion in 2022; representing strong growth of over 53%. The research predicts that the presence of ‘superapps’ will drive digital wallet use in developing countries that are currently considered cash heavy.

Superapps are multipurpose apps able to integrate digital payments alongside other services, including wealth management and eCommerce.

Asia Pacific Countries to Experience Rapid Growth

The study identified three countries in Asia Pacific primed for rapid growth over the next four years:

1.    Philippines
2.    Thailand
3.    Vietnam

It predicts that the adoption of digital wallets will near 75% of the population in each of these countries by 2026. It cited the rising access to online and mobile commerce services as driving forces behind the use of digital wallets, notably through superapps.

Research co-author Damla Sat explained: “These rapidly growing markets represent a significant opportunity for digital wallet vendors, but they must work intelligently to maximise their position. A highly competitive wallets’ landscape means that vendors must differentiate themselves by integrating machine learning to provide spending insights and introduce new services such as wealth management to add value.”

Innovation Needed for Future QR Payments Growth

Additionally, the research identified QR code payments as the most popular digital wallet transaction type in 2026; reaching 380 billion transactions globally, and accounting for over 40% of all transactions by volume. However, as usage within markets including China and India reaches its apex, vendors must innovate to remain competitive entering new geographic markets. Therefore, the research recommends that QR code payment vendors integrate loyalty features and personalised marketing capabilities to incentivise merchant acceptance, which will be critical to driving adoption.

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