CONRAD ONYANGO, BIRD STORY AGENCY
AFRICA’S startup scene has kicked off the year on a high, with multiple fundraising deals valued at over 700 million US dollars sealed in the second week of January.
Investment activities were concentrated on ride-hailing apps, social impact startups and fin-techs, which led the pack in terms of numbers of deals albeit at lower values.
Bolt, one of Africa’s “super apps” offering customers shared cars, scooters, restaurant and grocery delivery services, raised 719.9 million US dollars, the highest raise in terms of growth funds, between January 10th and 14th.
“Bolt seeks to use the new funding to continue expanding to new geographies and to bring more consumers and partners to its super app,” according to Wee Tracker’s “Deal Street” report.
Four fintech startups raised a total of 36 million US dollars across 4 deals, representing more than 30 percent of the total amount raised in the week.
Ghanaian FinTech, Float, raised 17 million US dollars – the biggest deal in the segment – that will go towards expansion and developing new service offerings.
Kenyan based, buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) startup Lipa Later raised 12 million US dollars in the form of debt and equity to extend its coverage in Kenya and expand to Nigeria, Ghana, and Tanzania.
ThankUCash, a multi-merchant rewards platform, raised 5.3 Million US dollars in seed funding as it plans expansion into new markets and further product launches
Nigerian credit management fintech, Bfree, eyes emerging markets with 1.7 million US dollars it raised in a pre-Series A investment.
Ivory Coast-based e-commerce startup Afrikrea, has rebranded to ‘ANKA’ following its 6.2 million dollars in pre-Series A funding round, while Egyptian Tawfeer Market, an online grocery retail startup raised 500,000 US dollars – the smallest amount of all disclosed funding rounds of the week.
Foodtech, startup 3attar, another Egyptian firm secured Seed investment of an undisclosed amount to expand its customer base through marketing acquisition and diversification.
Investors are also starting to warm up to startups with innovative and sustainable solutions to address some of the continents pressing challenges including plastic waste and climate change.
“Over the years, there has been a rise of a number of social entrepreneurs leveraging technological innovation to develop solutions that improve lives and create social impacts,” said the venture funding report.
During the period under review, a Kenyan plastics recycling firm, Mr Green Africa, received ‘a significant’ round of investment from impact-driven investors and key industry stakeholders towards making a localized circular economy in emerging markets commonplace.
Crowdlending platform, Energise Africa, partnered with pan-African energy leasing company, Solarise to fund eight large-scale solar energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa.