AUGUST 02, 2022
3 min Read
Investor Updates: August 02 2022
Egypt’s Homzmart raises $23m pre-Series B round
- Egypt-based furniture and home supplies marketplace Homzmart has raised a $23 million pre-Series B round, bringing the company’s total funding to $40 million.
- Founded in 2020, Homzmart enables furniture suppliers and retailers to connect directly with consumers and transact through multiple payment solutions.
- In May 2021, it raised a $15 million Series A round and later expanded to the Saudi market, which currently represents 25-30% of its revenues. The new capital will be deployed to continue market expansion and product development as well as improve its logistics operations.
Being the third-largest startup ecosystem in the Middle East and North Africa and ranked among the top four largest in Africa, startups in Egypt are attracting increasing amounts of venture capital. Hozmart’s fundraising comes amid a boom in the region’s e-commerce industry, making its market opportunity substantial. The market was worth $8.4 billion in 2014, with an annual growth of 25%, and is predicted to reach $28.5 billion by this year. The startup claims it serves 25 million houses in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, with more than 150,000 products on its platform.
Kenyan insurtech Lami raises $3.7m seed extension
- Kenyan insurtech startup Lami Technologies has secured a $3.7 million seed extension raised in a round led by Harlem Capital to offer additional insurance product lines, while also expanding into Egypt and Nigeria.
- Other investors that participated in the round include Newtown Partners, Peter Bruce-Clark, Caribou Honig, and Jay Weintraub of InsureTech Connect.
- The latest funding adds to the $1.8 million seed funding the insurtech raised last year and will also go towards providing solutions that will digitize agents and brokers to reach a wide customer base and sell online.
Africa has an ever-growing need for innovative insurance solutions to address the significant lack of coverage on the continent. As of 2018, the insurance penetration rate in Africa stood at a meager 1.12% or 3% with South Africa. Efforts to scale quality insurance services affordably across
Africa, led by startups, have seen sufficient backing from venture investors. Apart from Lami, at least two other startups offering insurance-focused tech solutions announced funding over the past week.
Nigeria’s Youverify extends seed funding to $2.5m
- Youverify, a Lagos and San Francisco–based identity verification company helping African banks and startups automate KYC and other compliance procedures, has secured a $1 million seed round extension, bringing its total seed to $2.5 million.
- Africa-focused VCs Orange Ventures and LoftyInc Capital, the two investors who co-led its initial seed round, also led the extension.
- Over the next 18 months, Youverify plans to cover 30 countries, especially in southern, eastern, and francophone Africa, increase IDs it can verify from 400 million to 2 billion, and develop new products for gaming, travel, healthcare, and telecommunications industries.
Globally, businesses lose up to $1 trillion annually to cybercrime and in Africa, that figure stands at a whopping $4 billion. As digital services, financial and non-financial, providers penetrate the African market at large, there is a need for fintech startups and digital businesses on the continent to carry out stringent Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and verification checks on their customers. Youverify is one of the many platforms powering these crucial KYC processes for other startups.