Nigeria Attracted The Largest Tech Startup Investments in Africa in 2022
Recent reports reveal that Nigeria attracted the largest tech startup investments in Africa in 2022.
In 2022, tech startup companies raised more money than ever, which saw them surpass $3 billion for the first time, with a total of $3.3 billion invested.
Nigeria’s Fintech sector raised a total of $967.146 million in startups within a year, accounting for 29.3 percent of Africa’s total investment in the ecosystem.
About 180 startups in the country raised a combined $976,146,000 (29.3% of the continent’s total), placing it far ahead of all other nations in both categories, also emerging as the best-funded nation in Africa for the second year in a row, outpacing all other nations.
Despite the global downturn in investment activity, these startups raised more than ever. Disrupt Africa co-founded Gabriella Mulligan said, “In spite of global pressures, 2022 was another outstanding year for the African tech space. Who knows what the future holds, and whether the sector will now enter a more fallow period, but for now the space can reflect on a very good 12 months’ work”.
With about $1.5 billion in the capital received in 2022 from all startup investments made across the African continent, the Fintech industry was once again the most alluring to investors. A total of 205 Fintech startups raise money, with Nigerian firms accounting for over 40% of startups and 46% of Fintech funding.
The record for the largest round ever raised by an African tech startup was again in 2022, with Nigerian Fintech giant and African unicorn Flutterwave surpassing its own 2021 record with a $250 million raised in February.
As regards funding, Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt, and South Africa continue to be the “big four” African nations with high investments, though they collectively received less money in 2022 compared to the year 2021.
Investors King understands that Nigeria is the most popular investment destination on the continent. Between January 2015 and August 2022, 383 tech startups raised a combined US $2,068,709,445, a higher total than any other African country.
The country has long been a pioneering startup ecosystem on the African continent, leading the way in various sectors and increasingly becoming a focus for investment.
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.
African Development Bank And Partners Support Nigeria’s Digital And Creative Industries With $618 Million
The African Development Bank (AFDB) and its partners have launched a $618 million investment in the Digital and Creative Enterprises (iDiCE) program to support Nigeria’s digital and creative industries.
The $618 million fund is made up of $170 million from the African Development Bank (AFDB), and $100 million from the Agence Française de Dévelopment, a public financial institution that implements policy defined by the French Government, while the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) will provide $70 million in co-financing.
Also, the Federal government of Nigeria through the Bank of Industry (BOI) which will lead the iDiCE program, will back the fund with $45 million as a counterpart contribution to be availed through loans for qualifying startups and $271 million from the private sector and institutional investors.
Speaking at the launch of the event at the state capital Abuja on Tuesday, Nigeria’s Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo lauded the inflow of capital to tech startups in the country which he stated has contributed significantly to Nigeria’s GDP.
In his words, “This influx of private capital has enabled start-ups to expand operations and create new jobs while contributing significantly towards our GDP growth. It is now imperative to commence a coordinated approach towards innovation on the continent, bringing together all stakeholders to coordinate efforts at scaling up investments and building programs that provide the right enabling environment and produce talent pipelines that support the growth of innovation on the continent”.
Also speaking at the event is African Development Bank President Akinwunmi Adesina who emphasized the need to leverage the huge potential of iDiCE for sustainable job creation and economic transformation.
He said, “we are retooling Nigeria to be more competitive in an increasingly digital world. We are creating hope for a new Nigeria, driven by the power of the youth”.
Mr. Adesina further disclosed that the iDiCE fund will create 6.1 million direct and indirect jobs and equip more than 175,000 young people with technology startups, 226 creative enterprises, and 75 enterprise support organizations will be supported by the fund.
The i-DiCE model will be rolled out in other regional member countries through AFDB’s Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Bank Initiative, which will be designed to create a financial and non-financial services ecosystem to support startups run by young Africans and to create jobs.
It is also set to improve regulatory policy frameworks, including the 2022 start-up act, and establish a DICE fund, a venture capital fund managed independently to provide access to financing.
Investors King understands that Nigeria is the most popular tech startup investment destination in Africa. Between 2015 and 2022, 383 tech startups raised a combined US$2,068,709,445. The country also attracts the highest number of investors more than any other African country.
Hence, it is not far-fetched to say that the continuous influx of investments in Nigerian startups will no doubt solidify the country’s position as the premier hub for young entrepreneurs and start-up investments in Africa.
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