Several Nigerian Tech Startups Likely to be Impacted by Silicon Valley Bank Collapse
VC companies like the Y combinator accelerator which help African Tech startups raise funds were reported to be affected, as 30 percent of their portfolio companies were impacted
The recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has no doubt put tech companies on alert as several Nigerian tech startups have been reportedly exposed to the bank crisis, as tech entrepreneurs predict a negative impact on these startups.
VC companies like the Y combinator accelerator which help African Tech startups raise funds were reported to be affected, as 30 percent of their portfolio companies were impacted, and Nigerian tech startups make up part of those companies.
Nigerian entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Andela Iyinoluwa Aboyeji speaking on the impact of SVB collapse on tech startups in Nigeria disclosed that the prestigious tech-focused Bank was one of the most prolific lenders and banking institutions that catered to a large swath of the startup and venture community, which is why many of these tech companies banked with it.
He further added that the foreign exchange problems in Nigeria were what spurred most startups to commit their funds to foreign banks.
In his words,
“Silicon Valley Bank was one of the few banks that understood how to bank technology companies. Most of our local banks don’t understand how to bank us and that was why there were so many tech companies that went to SVB. Most of the affected startups could have kept their money at home. The only challenge is that there are lots of regulations around the restriction of foreign exchange”.
“For instance, VC companies, like the Y combinator accelerator, which help African Tech startups raise funds, were impacted, as 30 percent of their portfolio companies were impacted, and Nigerian tech startups were part of the portfolio companies of Y combinator accelerator.”
He, therefore, urged the Nigerian government to develop a tech bank, which would function slightly differently from the way normal banks operate, in order to protect the nation’s technology startups hub.
Also, the Co-founder of Digital of Carbon, a digital lending company Ngozi Dozie said that the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank may result in less funding for African startups this year.
According to him, most investments into startups are financed by Silicon Valley Bank and its peers and with the recent developments, Venture Capitalists are now faced with uncertainties that will make them withdraw and become less adventurous in investing.
Investors King understands that if SVB’s collapse degenerates into a broader economic downturn or a contraction in the tech industry, it could become more difficult for Nigerian startups to raise capital or attract investment, which could slow down the growth of the tech industry in the country and lead to a reduction in the number of new startups.
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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