MAY 10, 2022

5 min Read

African Tech Weekly Recap: March 14 to March 18, 2022

Welcome to our third weekly recap where we share the most important news of the week in the African Tech Ecosystem 🌍

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🇳🇬 Nigeria’s Moove raises $105m Series A2 round to scale globally

Image from TechCrunch

Highlights

  • Nigeria-based mobility fintech startup Moove has raised $105 million in an oversubscribed Series A2 round to scale to seven new markets across Asia, MENA, and Europe over the next six months.
  • The startup uses proprietary performance and revenue analytics to underwrite loans to drivers that have previously been excluded from financial services.
  • The company is now planning global expansion after closing the Series A2 round consisting of equity and debt, which brings the total investments raised by Moove to $174.5 million.

Source: TechCrunch

Our Takeaways

Africa’s tech industry is increasingly seeing mega funding rounds (above $100M) like Moove’s latest raise. Last year, the ecosystem witnessed 14 megadeals coming from 12 companies and 48% of total equity funding went to these megadeals. Prior to 2021, only 8 megadeals had been recorded in the entire history of the African funding ecosystem. Moove claims over 3 million rides have been completed in its financed vehicles across six markets and three product categories.

🇰🇪 Sokowatch closes mega $125m Series B round

Image from TechCrunch

Highlights

  • Sokowatch, a company using technology to transform the informal retail supply chain, has closed a $125 million Series B equity round, while also rebranding to Wasoko and launching operations in West Africa.
  • Launched in 2016, Sokowatch provides free same-day delivery of essential goods and financing to informal retail stores across Africa. The platform enables retailers to order products at any time via SMS or mobile app and receive delivery through its proprietary logistics network to their store.
  • Now known as Wasoko, the startup has delivered 2.5 million orders to over 50,000 informal retailers across six markets. It is now targeting further expansion and growth.

Source: Disrupt Africa

Our Takeaways

Wasoko’s latest raise is the second-largest venture financing round ever secured by a non-fintech startup in Africa and the largest in the B2B retail e-commerce space, where a host of startups like TradeDepot, MarketForce, Omnibiz, Alerzo, and others play. It’s easy to see why VC funding is increasingly pouring into the space. More than $600 billion of consumer goods are sold in Africa through informal retail channels every year, supplying the vast majority of the 1.2 billion population yet the industry is faced with several challenges that can be addressed, profitably, with digitization.

🇪🇬 Egypt’s Bosta expands to Saudi Arabia, raises pre-Series B funding

Image from Daily News Egypt

Highlights

  • Egypt-based e-commerce delivery solutions provider Bosta has announced its expansion to Saudi Arabia after completing an undisclosed Series B funding round led by Khwarizmi Ventures and Hassan Allam Holding in addition to other investors.
  • The company earlier announced plans to expand to the UAE by the end of 2022, part of Bosta’s plan to spread and offer its services across the Middle East after a very successful launch in Egypt.
  • Since its founding in 2017 by Mohamed Ezzat and Ahmed Gaber, Bosta has managed to deliver over 10 million shipments.

Source: Disrupt Africa

Our Takeaways

E-commerce and logistics are currently booming across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). A recent report shows that the total value of requests made through delivery applications in Saudi Arabia had reached more than $533 million since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, with total requests amounting to 26 million, an increase of up to 250% when compared to pre-pandemic numbers.

🇰🇪 Lightrock backs Kenya’s 4G Capital in $18.5m round

Image from TechBuild Africa

Highlights

  • Kenya-based fintech company, 4G Capital, has raised $18.5 million in Series C funding from global private equity firm Lightrock.
  • 4G Capital is a Neobank for Africa, focused on empowering micro and small businesses through financial service, training, and digital solutions needed for growth.
  • The equity funding comes as the fintech company plans to launch a series of new products and services including new loans that will increase the credit limit from $1,000, and allow longer repayment periods from the current maximum of one month.

Source: Business Insider Africa

Our Takeaways

Access to capital remains a major barrier to the growth of many small businesses in Africa and it’s a problem foreign institutional investors are particularly keen to address as they get attractive returns. Operating in 90 locations across Kenya and Uganda, 4G Capital has branches in all major towns and market centers and has received backing from Swiss impact investor Alphamundi, Citi Bank, and indirectly from a host of DFIs. After nearly a decade in operations, it is exploring new growth opportunities in West and North Africa with a keen eye on partnerships in Ghana, Nigeria, and Egypt.

🇳🇬 Nigeria-based Big Cabal Media secures $2.3m seed for expansion

Image from TechCabal

Highlights

  • Big Cabal Media, the Nigerian parent company of leading digital media publications TechCabal and Zikoko, has raised $2.3 million in seed funding for expansion.
  • The new funding brings BCM’s total funding secured to over $2.9 million after the startup raised $620,000 in angel and pre-seed rounds between 2016 and 2020.
  • With the new funding, the company plans to develop new digital products, expand its staff, and reach more audiences.

Source: TechCabal

Our Takeaways

Global investments in digital media have been on a decline over the years. From $1 billion in the mid-2010s, only $115 million was invested in digital media startups in the US last year. In Africa, BCM is currently the most funded player in the technology-focused digital media space at almost $3 million. In all, quite a few media startups have raised publicly disclosed venture capital funding. These include Nigeria-based Stears, which raised $600,000 seed in 2020 and Kenya’s WeeTracker which secured $400,000 seed in the same year.

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African Tech Weekly Recap
Big Cabal
Bosta
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Egypt
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Lightrock
Moove
Nigeria
Saudi Arabia
Sokowatch
Startups
Techcabal
Wasoko

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