Some stakeholders are already speculating of a possible funding crunch for African startups in the nearest future. And it’s easy to see why they are worried — global VC funding has recently been declining on a monthly basis, according to Crunchbase. And Africa isn’t exempt from this trend.
Needless to point out that this is not good news for an ecosystem that depends mostly on foreign investors for funding.
Already, was a significant drop in the amount raised by African startups over the past few months, especially compared to how much was raised during the first two months of the year. For context, African startups could barely raise $300 million in equity funding between April and May 2022. Whereas in Q1 2022 they raised about $1.8 billion, according to data tracked by Business Insider Africa.
This notwithstanding, there are good reasons to be optimistic. The main reason is that African startup funding grew by 150% in Q1 2022, out-performing other regions of the world. And even though the performance in Q2 hasn’t exactly been encouraging, there is a strong possibility of a rebound before the end of June and going forward.
For the rest of this article, we shall be focusing on 12 African startups that have performed really well in terms of fundraising. These 12 startups sealed the largest funding rounds between January till date.
As always, many of them are concentrated in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Egypt. See below.
- Flutterwave: In February this year, Flutterwave announced a $250 million Series D funding round that was led by B Capital Group, as well as participation from Alta Park Capital, Whale Rock Capital, Lux Capital and others. So far this year, the Nigerian fintech giant remains the only player in the ecosystem that has raised over $200 million in a single round.
- Wasoko: In March, this Kenyan e-commerce player announced that it had secured a $125 million in a Series A2 funding round that was led by Tiger Global and Avenir Growth Capital. It also rebranded from Sokowatch to Wasoko.
- InstaDeep: This Tunisian artificial intelligence startup announced in January that it had raised $100 million in Series B funding round, led by Alpha Intelligence Capital and CDIB Capital.
- Clickatell: This Africa-focused chat commerce startup announced in February that it sealed a $91 million Series C funding round that was led by Arrowroot Capital, with participation from Kennedy Lewis Investment Management and Endeavor Global and Harvest.
- M-KOPA: In March this year, this asset-financier secured $75 million growth equity from Generation Investment Management and Broadscale Group. Previous investors, including CDC Group and Lightrock, also participated.
- Moove: In March, this mobility fintech company announced that it had raised $65 million Series A equity funding and another $40 million in debt funding; thus bringing the total to $105 million. The equity round was led by Speedinvest, Left Lane Capital and The Latest Ventures.
- Copia Global: This Kenyan e-commerce startup announced that it had raised $50 million in a Series C round that was led by Godwell Investors, alongside Zebu Investment Partners and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation.
- VALR: This African crypto exchange raised $50 million Series B in March, led by Pantera Capital, Alameda Research, Cadenza and others.
- Instabug: In May, this Egyptian anti-malware startup raised $46 million in a Series C round that was led by Insight Partners.
- Apollo Agriculture: Also in March, this Kenyan Agritech startup raised $40 million in a Series B funding round that was led by Softbank.
- Reliance Health: Back in February, this healthtech startup raised $40 million in Series A, led by General Atlantic, with participation from Partech, Arvantis Social Foundation, and others.
- Market Force: Lastly, we have Market Force which also raised $40 million Series A in February, led by V8 Capital Partners, with participation from Ten13 VC, SOSV Select Fund, Vu Ventures and Vastly Valuable Ventures.