Top Ten (10) Landmark Deals Sealed in 2022 by Nigerian Tech Startups
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.
Nigeria’s EFCC Arrests Olumide “D.O” Olusanya, Founder of Kloud Commerce
Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has taken Dr. Olumide “D.O” Olusanya, the founder of Kloud Commerce, into custody, according to sources.
The EFCC officers reportedly detained Olusanya on Monday while he was in the middle of a meeting at the Lekki offices of Gloopro, one of the business ventures he led. Olusanya’s previous startup, Gloo.ng, was also shut down.
Investors have alleged malfeasance and deceptive practices by Olusanya, who they claim provided false updates on the growth of Kloud Commerce. At least 18 institutional and individual investors had provided capital to the now-shuttered startup.
Former executives and employees who worked with Olusanya at Kloud Commerce had described him as an abrasive founder who presented a positive picture to investors despite scarce progress while continuously demotivating the team he had assembled.
Kloud Commerce had raised USD 765 K in pre-seed funding in 2021 to develop a multi-channel commerce solution for African businesses, starting in Nigeria. However, the startup closed its doors a year later after a prolonged period of questionable management and disputes that left the company crippled for several months.
At the time of publishing this report, Olusanya remains detained, and further clarification on the matter is still pending.
The situation serves as a reminder of the importance of transparency and accountability in the startup ecosystem, where trust and credibility are vital factors for attracting investors and customers.
Tony Elumelu Funded Entrepreneurs Generated $2.3 Billion Revenue in 8 Years
Entrepreneurs trained and funded by the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) have generated a combined $2.3 billion in revenue in the last 8 years, according to the Foundation.
In a brochure made available at the 60th birthday celebration of Tony Elumelu, the founder of TEF and Chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), TEF has trained about 1.5 million African entrepreneurs since launched 13 years ago.
The Foundation has also disbursed $100 million in seed capital to over 18,000 entrepreneurs across the African continent, with 25% of the beneficiaries getting additional investments to expand their businesses.
Since its establishment, over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs have been created by TEF entrepreneurs with female-owned businesses creating 58% of the total jobs.
The Foundation explained that it increased women’s employment to 52% from 24% in 2015 and has empowered more than 7,000 women with 85% of those women leading their businesses.
Speaking on its ability to reach entrepreneurs across the African continent, the Foundation said, “The robust ability of the foundation to reach entrepreneurs across geographies and sectors has enabled it to conduct innovative partnerships with the European Union, United Nations Development Programme, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United States Government via the United States African Development Fund and others with bespoke programmes including targeting female empowerment and growth in fragile states.”
On his part, Tony Elumelu said “I engage public and private sector players across my world. My message is always simple; let us partner on poverty alleviation, job creation and women’s economic empowerment in Africa.”
Investors King understands that Elumelu holds about 7% or 2.3 billion shares in United Bank for Africa and another 2.1% stake in Transnational Corporation of Nigeria.
In a Facebook post in January 2023, the CEO of the defunct Standard Bank had attributed his early success to hard work and luck, adding that the two variables are imperative in success.
He said “I owed my accelerated career and successes to two things: hard work and luck, and I know firsthand how these factors are inextricable in success.”
“My successes – and yes failures – have always driven me to create opportunities for young people. I believe that our young have the talent and the zeal to transform our world.”
TLG Capital Partners One Pipe, Provides N2.25 billion Collateralized Credit Facility to Expand Operations
Private investment firm which invests in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across sub-Saharan Africa TLG Capital has closed a N2.25 billion deal with One Capital, a startup that powers digital financial services, to expand its operations.
The deal which had reportedly been in the works since the third quarter of last year will power One capital’s inventory finance solution for small businesses.
Speaking on the investment made to One Pipe, investment professional at TLG Isaac Marshall said, “Despite contributing $220 billion per year in economic activity, micro-enterprises that deal in cash are Nigeria’s most neglected business segment. Fintechs tend to prefer more digitally integrated clients and traditional financiers tend to prefer bigger clients.
“With a clever product to help these small shops to obtain both credit and better purchasing terms on their goods, OnePipe has pioneered a model that can provide sustainable income growth to tens of millions of micro-enterprises.”
This investment will enable OnePipe to grow its business and work towards its goal of being Nigeria’s top supplier of financial services to small businesses. Its partnership with several banks and fintech has provided the startup with the underlying infrastructure.
OnePipe helps organizations integrate financial services within their value chains to create customer loyalty & improve overall business operations. Since its launch in 2018, OnePipe has raised at least $9.2 million.
Investors King understands that the Techstars-backed company is one of the African companies that has also garnered the support and partnerships of several banks and businesses. This includes, Flutterwave, Quickteller, Fidelity Bank, Migo, Polaris Bank, SunTrust Bank, Providus Bank, Paystack, and Quickteller.
The startup was also exposed to the fall of Silicon Valley Bank; with about $829,000 in the bank which represented 70% of their cash position. Onepipe’s funding announcement also comes as the company has laid off about 20% of its employees, as it seeks to navigate the current economic downturn and adjust to the macroeconomic headwinds.
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