JANUARY 18, 2023
3 min Read
Investors update: January 18 2023
BITKRAFT, a16z back Carry1st in $27m funding round
- Carry1st has raised a $27 million pre-Series B round led by BITKRAFT Ventures, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), TTV Capital, Alumni Ventures, Lateral Capital, Kepple Ventures, and Konvoy.
- The financing comes on the heels of a successful partnership with Call of Duty: Mobile in South Africa in Q4 2022 and new partnerships set to launch in 2023.
- Last January, Carry1st raised a $20 million Series A extension round, which followed the $6 million it raised in May 2021. It will use the new funding to develop, license, and publish new games, as well as further expand Pay1st, its monetization-as-a-service solution.
Africa, home to a largely young and digital-savvy population, is the fastest-growing region for mobile game downloads. Within six years to 2022, Sub-Saharan African gamers grew from 77 million to 186 million. The trend is set to continue at least for a decade, according to research. A 2021 report by Newzoo and Carry1st predicts the number of gamers in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) will increase by 275% over a 10-year period. The continent is thus poised to keep attracting global players in the game-focused venture capital space.
Egypt’s GBarena acquires Tunisia’s Galactech in $15m deal
- Egypt-based esports platform GBarena has acquired Tunisia’s Galactech in a $15 million share swap deal, to expand into the GCC and the Middle Eastern esports industry.
- Founded in 2016, GBarena operates an online gaming community connecting gamers with tournament organizers and providing them with a platform where they can manage their tournaments through fully automated processes.
- In October 2021, GBarena raised a pre-Series A funding round to fuel its expansion and is kicking that off by acquiring Galactech, which was founded in 2019 by Houcem Maiza and Houssem Zouaghi and now has over 200,000 active users.
The gaming industry has recorded astronomic growth over the past few years, thanks to the intervention of the Covid-19 lockdown, with the mobile gaming market predicted to witness a CAGR of 12.6% from 2021 to 2026. In the MENA region, the market will surpass $5 billion by 2025, increasing by 19% from 2019, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE leading growth levels. After this acquisition, GBarena is eyeing more deals with gaming studios and platforms, especially in the fields of Web3 and AI.
Africell receives license to launch mobile money in Angola
- Africa-focused telecom services provider, Africell, has received a license from the Banco Nacional de Angola (BNA) to operate its mobile money (MoMo) service, Afrimoney, in the South African country.
- The MoMo service is already in the middle of a six-month testing phase and will launch in April 2023, per multiple reports.
- With the launch of its MoMo product, the company will strengthen its fight for market share in a market largely dominated by at least three other telecom service providers.
Source: Techpoint Africa
Mobile money services have proven to be a highly lucrative business for African telecoms, like Safaricom in Kenya and MTN. With 34.5 million people, 61% below the age of 24, the Angolan market presents a great opportunity for Africell’s telecom and financial services. It launched in Angola last year as the country’s fourth telecom operator and hit the 5 million subscribers mark in just five months. That’s way more customers than most traditional banks in the Central African country have.