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Top Ten (10) Landmark Deals Sealed in 2022 by Nigerian Tech Startups

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Start-up - Investors King

In the year 2022, the tech ecosystem was on the ascendancy which many considered to be immune from the economic downturn. However as the macroeconomic factors began to intensify, the tech sector was greatly impacted which saw funding slowdowns, layoffs, etc.

In response to the economic downturn, 1013 tech firms laid off 153,160 in 2022, 59.57 percent more than the 95,991 that had been laid off since the onset of covid-19 before 2022.

Giant tech firms were also not left out as companies such as Meta, Amazon, Twitter, etc, all laid off a significant amount of their workforce. Also, some Nigerian firms were not isolated as firms such as Kuda and 54gene, were forced to downsize their workforce in other to navigate the economic downturn.

According to experts, while 2020 and 2021 were a season of plenty in the tech ecosystem, 2022 was the beginning of a drought season.

Meanwhile, despite the macroeconomic factors that ravaged the tech industry, some Nigerian tech startups sealed landmark deals in 2022, as some of these firms maintained a growth trajectory.

It is interesting to note that in Africa, even though the continent witnessed slow funding, Nigeria maintained the lead in terms of numbers

Here is a list of the top ten (10) landmark deals sealed in 2022 by Nigerian startups

10.) Credpal ($15 Million)

Nigerian Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Tech startup Credpal, that allows consumers to buy anything and pay for it in installments across online and offline merchants by providing them with access to credit at the point of check out, closed a bridge round of $15 million in equity and debt, the latter constituting a very large chunk of the financing — to expand its consumer credit offerings across Africa.

As one of the foremost providers of BNPL services on the continent, the seed round appears somewhat impressive, knowing how early the sector is in Nigeria and most of Africa.

9.) Bamboo ($15 Million)

Digital investment platform that provides real-time access to buy, hold, or sell stocks, Bamboo, raised a US$15 million Series A funding round to accelerate its growth, as well as move into new markets and launch more products.

With the funds raised, the startup revealed plans to further accelerate its growth, doubling down on unlocking new markets and launching more products.

8.) Umba ($15 million)

African digital bank, offering free bank accounts and financial services to customers Umba, raised $15 million in Series A funding in April.

The startup revealed that the new funding will allow it to test out, as it prepares to launch in new markets, including Egypt, Ghana, and Kenya, where mobile money is prominent.

The firm also disclosed making some expansions product-wise rolling out debit cards, savings accounts, and stock trading.

7.) Omnibiz ($15 million)

B2B e-commerce platform for FMCG manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, that supports local businesses and helps them navigate the modern market, Ominibiz, secured a $15 million pre-Series A investment led by Timon Capital, to begin further regional expansion.

Omnibiz seeks to become the primary B2B operating system for informal retailers, by helping with last-mile delivery, procurement, working capital, inventory management, and operational tools for tracking sales, cost, prices, and profit. 

6.) Vendease ($30 million)

Online marketplace that allows restaurants and other food businesses to buy supplies straight from manufacturers and farms, Vendease, raised $30 million in an equity and debt funding round to consolidate its growth and operations in Nigeria and Ghana, and to support its expansion across the continent.

Present in 8 cities across Nigeria and Ghana, Vendease makes bulk-buy deals with food suppliers, warehouses the food, and guarantees delivery within a day for food supplies at considerably cheaper prices for restaurants.

Over the last 12 months, the startup has moved more than 400,000 metric tonnes of food through its platform, helping its users save more than $2,000,000 in procurement costs and more than 10,000 procurement man-hours.

5.) Reliance Health ($40 Million)

Nigerian startup that uses technology to make quality healthcare delightful, affordable, and accessible in emerging markets, Reliance health raised $40 million in a series B round.

Reliance Health has bundled both vital concepts so that users can get access to an integrated suite of healthcare products via subscriptions. Some of that healthcare is provided by Reliance Health directly — through its telemedicine platform, drug delivery system, and two clinics based in Lagos, Nigeria.

The six-year-old startup said it has averaged a 3.5x year-over-year revenue growth from 2016, disclosing that the new round of funding led by General Atlantic will fuel this continued growth.

4.) TeamApt ($50 million)

Financial technology company that develops digital banking and payment platform for financial transactions, TeamApt now known as moniepoint, raised more than $50 million in funding to expand its credit offerings.

The round was co-led by QED Investors and Novastar Ventures. Other investors, including Lightrock and BII, took part.

TeamApt has progressed from developing mobile apps for major commercial banks to serving customers and businesses through its agency banking platform (Moniepoint) and merchant solution (Monnify).

The fintech company operates one of Nigeria’s largest business payments and banking platforms, with a $100 billion annualized transaction value processed through its products Moniepoint and Monnify.

Moniepoint now serves 400,000 small and medium-sized businesses in Nigeria, providing them with various features.

3.) ThriveAgric ($56.4 Million)

Agricultural technology providing access to finance, premium markets, and data-driven advisory for smallholder farmers, ThriveAgric raised US$56.4 million in debt funding from local commercial banks and institutional investors to grow its 200,000-strong farmer base and expand into new African markets, including Ghana, Zambia, and Kenya.

Founded in 2017 and fully operational since 2018, ThriveAgric empowers farmers in Nigeria to sell their products to FMCGs and food processors, leveraging its proprietary technology to access finance as well as improve productivity and sales to promote food security. 

2.) Moove ($181.8 Million)

African-born global mobility fintech that provides revenue-based vehicle financing and financial services to mobility, entrepreneurs across ride-hailing, logistics, mass transit, and instant delivery platforms Moove,  raised the second highest amount of funding ($181.8 million) in 2022.

Moove launched in Europe for the first time when it launched a 100% EV rent-to-buy model in London. The company also launched in India and will launch 5,000 CNG and EVs across Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore in its first year to help create sustainable work opportunities in the developing economy.

Over the past two years, Moove claims its customers have completed over 11 million trips in Moove-financed vehicles, a feat, it claims, has been aided by its alternative credit scoring technology.

1.) Flutterwave ($250 Million)

Nigerian fintech company that provides a payment infrastructure for global merchants and payment service providers across the continent, Flutterwave raised $250 million in a Series D round that tripled the company’s valuation to over $3 billion in just twelve months.

At $3 billion, Flutterwave is currently the highest-valued African startup, surpassing the $2 billion valuation set by SoftBank-backed biotech Opay and FTX-backed cross-border payments platform Chipper Cash last year.

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African Healthtech Shows Resilience with Mere 2% Decline in Funding While Broader Tech Ecosystem Plunges in 2023

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healthtech

Healthcare consulting firm Salient Advisory has launched its latest Intelligence Report, presenting findings on funding activity, covering grant, equity, and debt investments for African healthtech startups in 2023.

Titled “2023 RoundUp: Investments in African HealthTech”, the report provides analysis on funding trends in African healthtech ecosystems.

It provides insights for key stakeholders across governments, investors, donors and global health institutions, and is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

While investments in African startups plummeted last year, mirroring global trends, healthtech showed resilience, experiencing only a 2% dip compared to a staggering 39% decline in the broader ecosystem.

The number of deals in African healthtech rose by 17% year-over-year (YoY) to 145, with total funding of $167 million and an average ticket size of $1.1 million. In total, 114 innovators received funding in 2023, with 23 receiving multiple investments in the year.

The number of deals for women-led companies remained relatively steady (26 in 2022 vs. 33 in 2023), however, the amount of funding saw a dramatic shift as the gender gaps significantly narrowed: women-led companies secured $52 million in funding –31% of all investments in 2023. This represents a 2000% YoY increase compared to the $2 million (1.4%) they received in 2022.

Online pharmacy solutions attracted the majority of investor capital, capturing 38% ($63 million) of all funding raised, driven by Series B funding rounds by Kenya’s Kasha ($21 million) and MyDAWA ($20 million), alongside Egypt’s Yodawy ($16 million).

Electronic medical records solutions were the second-best funded category, driven by Helium Health’s $30 million Series B funding round.

Equity investments accounted for 91% of total funding with an average deal size of $3.2 million. This significantly outpaced grants, which only contributed 7% of capital with an average ticket size of $168,000.

However, grants continue to play a crucial role in enabling access to early-stage funding for innovators to test and validate their business models. Debt funding remains rare as only one debt-based investment was tracked in 2023.

While still rare, merger and acquisition activity doubled in the past year with four key transactions. The prospect of future funding also appears strong as, despite broader economic headwinds which suggest a slowdown in funding for technology startups, over $600 million in new funding was announced by investors with an interest in African health systems.

Speaking on the launch of the report, Yomi Kazeem, Engagement Manager at Salient Advisory, commented:

“The resilience of African healthtech innovations shines through in the findings of this report. Amid difficult headwinds, these innovations continue to demonstrate commercially viable models that have the potential to improve access to healthcare and deliver impact at scale. The increased funding for women founders is a high point and, in coming years, investors must prioritise sustaining strategies that ensure equitable funding across founders.

Dr. Analía Porrás, Deputy Director, Global Health Agencies and Funds, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also commented: “African healthtech has proven resilient over the past year, with innovators receiving investments to test, validate and scale solutions that have the potential to transform health systems across the continent. We are pleased to be playing a role by providing innovators with risk-tolerant capital through the Investing in Innovation program and hope to see the current resilience translate into increased confidence and funding from investors and donors.”

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Nigeria Loses Startup Investment Crown to Kenya as Foreign Investments Plunge by 65.83%

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Nigeria has lost its coveted crown as the top destination for startup investments to Kenya, according to the latest report ‘Africa: The Big Deal’.

Foreign investments in Nigerian startups declined by 65.83% year-on-year from $1.2 billion in 2022 to $410 million in 2023.

During the same period, Kenya raised $800 million to emerge top destination for investments in Africa while Nigeria dropped to the fourth position in terms of total startup investments.

However, the Big Four African nations, including Kenya, Egypt, South Africa, and Nigeria, continued to dominate the startup funding scene in 2023 and attracted 87% of the total foreign investments on the continent.

The report highlights Nigeria’s pivotal role in this shift, noting that while the country still boasted the highest number of startups raising $100,000 or more (146, constituting 29% of the continent), the total funding amount experienced a drastic threefold decrease year-on-year.

The research firm observed that “Nigeria is the country where the most dramatic change happened in 2023.”

Despite maintaining a high number of startups, the total funding for Nigerian startups plummeted to $410 million, compared to $1.2 billion in 2022 and $1.7 billion in 2021.

Consequently, Nigeria’s share of Western African funding declined to 68%, down from 85% in 2021 and 77% in 2022.

This decline in startup investments emphasizes the changing dynamics of Africa’s tech ecosystem with Kenya emerging as a formidable player in the startup funding arena.

As Nigeria grapples with this setback, stakeholders are left pondering the reasons behind this significant shift and exploring avenues to revitalize the country’s startup investment landscape.

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Bolt Expels Over 5,000 Drivers in Kenya to Enhance Safety Measures

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Estonian ride-hailing giant Bolt has taken decisive action in Kenya by removing more than 5,000 drivers from its platform over the past six months.

This move comes as part of Bolt’s commitment to bolstering safety and ensuring compliance among its driver partners.

The company, operating in over 15 towns and cities in Kenya, has earmarked KES 20 million ($130,000) for investments in safety-related practices.

The decision to expel drivers follows recent safety concerns raised by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).

Bolt faced scrutiny and was asked to outline its strategy for addressing safety issues, including instances of physical assault on passengers and unauthorized sale of driver accounts.

The NTSA’s directive was a prerequisite for Bolt’s annual license renewal.

Linda Ndungu, Bolt Kenya’s Country Manager, emphasized the company’s commitment to user trust and safety.

Ndungu stated, “We understand the trust our users place in us, and we are taking proactive steps to ensure their well-being during every ride.”

To enhance safety measures, Bolt is implementing internal measures such as random driver selfie checks, providing training for both riders and drivers, and enforcing strict compliance with swift consequences for violations.

Bolt has also introduced improved reporting tools to facilitate the reporting of safety concerns.

Bolt’s move is a response to recent driver dissatisfaction, attributed in part to commission rates exceeding the government’s recommended 18%, including booking fees.

The company aims to address these challenges and reinforce its commitment to safety and compliance within its platform.

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