OCTOBER 10, 2022

3 min Read

Investor Updates: October 10 2022

African startups have raised over $4bn so far in 2022

2022 africa venture funding
Image from TechCabal/bird


  • Latest figures from Africa-focused startup investment tracker, The Big Deal, show that investor appetite in the continent’s rapidly-growing tech marketplace is not waning, although there have been hiccups.
  • As things currently stand, the ecosystem is on track to match or exceed the total amount of funding raised in 2021 ($4.5 billion), which in itself is quite an achievement given global trends.
  • Startups in Africa have raised over $4 billion this year already, despite a lackluster performance in Q3 where funding for startups sunk by more than half, its worst quarter of the year.

Source: TechCabal/bird

Our Takeaway

African startups’ 2022 performance does not surprise—the ecosystem raked in $1 billion in the first seven weeks of the year. That take was more than 25% of the entire 2021 amount and came through just over 130 deals. For 2022, the overall amount (over $4 billion in 2021) was initially projected to almost double. While that overall trajectory is now unlikely, given the impact of global economic turmoil on the startup ecosystem, Africa’s startup environment has shown resilience not matched by any other region’s.

Namibia’s central bank accepts Bitcoin as a payment tool

Image from Finbold


  • Although cryptocurrencies are not legalized in Namibia, the country’s central bank has included “virtual assets (VA) and virtual assets service providers (VASP) under its Fintech Innovations Regulatory Framework” through its innovation hub.
  • The Bank of Namibia (BON) highlighted that although digital currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) are still not legally recognized, retailers and dealers may take money in this form if they are “willing to participate in such an exchange or trade.”
  • Notably, the central bank said that it is contemplating making changes to “applicable laws and regulations diligently in consultation with other relevant authorities.”

Source: Finbold

Our Takeaway

The Namibia apex bank’s new stance on digital currencies indicates it is warming up to cryptocurrencies, after initial hostility. It’s huge news for local crypto enthusiasts but Namibia’s ambitions have raised concerns, given it’s one of the world’s poorest countries with significant infrastructure gaps; few of its people have access to the internet, and electricity coverage remains low. The plan also comes as the market capitalization of digital assets has dropped by about $2 trillion since late 2021, with Bitcoin down more than 55% since the beginning of the year.

Safaricom goes live in Ethiopia and gets mobile money license

Anwar Soussa, Managing Director of Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC, holds Safaricom sim-cards during the Safaricom service launch in Addis Ababa
Image from Reuters


  • Kenya’s Safaricom officially launched its Ethiopian network on Thursday—becoming the first private operator in one of Africa’s largest telecoms markets—along with its popular mobile money service, M-Pesa. 
  • The launch follows a ten-city pilot and a phased launch across the country, which started in August 2022 in the city of Dire Dawa, 350km east of Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. 
  • Until now, state-owned Ethio Telecom operated as a monopoly with 54 million subscribers in Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country with an estimated population of 118 million people.

Source: Reuters

Our Takeaway

This is Safaricom’s first expansion outside Kenya, where it holds a monopoly in the telecoms and mobile money sectors. Now it will be forced to compete with another monopoly, Ethio Telecom. For Ethiopia, the launch represents a significant milestone in the government’s bid to open up major sectors (such as telecom and banking) in the previously state-controlled economy. This process kicked off as far back as 2018. Safaricom plans to roll out services in 14 additional cities between now and April 2023 to cover 25 cities and enable it to meet the 25% population coverage obligation in its license.

investing in africa

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