In terms of the number of creative businesses that are forming every day, Nigeria continues to lead the startup ecosystem in Africa. This makes it unsurprising that the nation is bringing in the most money on the continent as local and global investors continue to invest in the nation’s youthful inventors.
Nigerian digital firms raised $678 million in 107 distinct transactions between January and April of this year, according to Renaissance Capital’s Africa Tech and Fintech report. The nation contributed 31% of the $2.2 billion in funding that African IT businesses raised in those four months.
Here are the top 10 tech startup deals that made the news in Q2 2022:
Identity pass ($2.8 million)
Nigerian identity verification firm Identity pass secured $2.8 million in early money to grow its enterprise. The firm stated that it aimed to expand into additional African nations, launch new compliance, security, and data gathering verticals, and add new employees to its 14-person team with the investment that was revealed in June. Last November, the firm secured $360,000 in pre-seed capital, bringing its total funding to $3.1 million. With involvement from additional investors including Y Combinator, Soma Capital, True Capital Fund, and Sherwani Capital, MaC Venture Capital led the most recent round of fundraising. The two-year-old SaaS platform was founded by Lanre Ogungbe, Niyi Adegboye, and Ebuka Obi. It also has APIs. The program was created to increase Identitypass’ development potential and set it apart from the competition within the market.
Indicina ($3 million)
A young credit agency called Indicina received $3 million in June to fund its aspirations to expand into Africa. The business, which presently has operations in Kenya and Nigeria, stated that it will also utilize the money to strengthen its infrastructure and develop new products for consumer credit advice.
Target Global, a Pan-European venture capital firm with headquarters in Berlin, led the round, adding to its lengthy history of investments in Nigerian businesses, including Kuda, Kippa, and Edukoya. Ricardo Schäefer, a partner of the company, will join the board of Indicina. Along with RV Ventures, Greycroft took part in this round as well. The investors’ interest in Indicina was based in part on its original strategy for addressing Africa’s credit crisis. The business utilizes data to address the issue of inadequate creditworthiness evaluations that previously determined loan eligibility.
Imali pay ($3 million)
ImaliPay, a Nigerian fintech company that prides itself on being a one-stop shop for financial services, secured a $3 million seed round in debt and equity in April. The fintech has secured $800,000 in a pre-seed round in 2020, increasing its total funding to $3.8 million.
The deal, which was headed by Leonnis Investments, also included follow-on funding from VC firms including Ten 13, Uncovered Fund, MyAsia VC, Jedar Capital, Logos Ventures, Plug N Play Ventures, Untapped Global, Latam Ventures, Cliff Angels, Chandaria Capital, and Changecom. Participating angel investors included those from Serbia, Kenya, and Norway as well as Keisuke Honda of KSK Angels. According to the business, the money would be used to hire additional 50 employees, advance technology, and investigate potential markets in Ghana and Egypt.
Kaltani ($4 million)
In May, Kaltani, a cleaning technology and plastic waste recycling firm, acquired $4 million in startup capital to expand its recycling operations throughout Nigeria.
Obi Charles Nnanna founded Kaltani with the goal of resolving Africa’s rising plastic waste challenge by promoting the circular economy and recycling best practices. To maintain transparency and traceability throughout the value chain, the company’s technology employs data analytics, predictive analytics, and geo-mapping.
The firm stated that with the money, it aimed to construct 20 new collecting and aggregation centers across Nigeria and boost its workforce to over 500 workers.
Oneport 365 ($5 million
Oneport 365, a digital freight forwarding business that makes it simpler to ship cargo to, from, and within Africa, secured $5 million in initial investment in April to support its development into new markets throughout the continent and advance end-to-end digitalization of freight management in Africa.
The seed fundraising round was headed by Mobility 54 (the venture capital division of Toyota Tsusho and CFAO Group), with participation from SBI Investment, Samurai Incubate, Flexport, ODX, a Singaporean syndicate fund, and other strategic angel investors.
The platform of the firm enables merchants to handle the entire process by connecting with shipping and inland transportation partners. The cumbersome practice of physically acquiring these documents from offices or shipping line centers is eliminated because traders now have GPS-enabled, real-time visibility of their shipments and can examine all relevant documentation via the platform.
Afriex ($10 million)
Afriex, a different fintech firm from Nigeria, also completed a $10 million Series A financing in April to develop its blockchain money transfer platform. The startup, which was recently valued at $60 million, operates a system for money transfers that uses blockchain technology to let users transmit money by turning it into stablecoins, which are digital currencies backed by reserve assets.
The firm, launched in 2019 by John Obirije and Tope Alabi, raised $1.3 million in a seed round the previous year. With participation from Goldentree, Stellar Foundation, Exceptional Capital, and others, the most recent fundraising round was supported by Sequoia Capital China and Dragonfly Capital.
Leatherback ($10 million)
As a result of receiving $10 million in pre-seed capital from Zedcrest Capital, a renowned Pan-African main investment firm, Leatherback, a startup financial services provider, got its first outside investment in April.
The fintech startup, which was being bootstrapped by its founders, said that a portion of the funding would be used to increase Leatherback’s profile in the fintech industry and expand its capacity in the numerous nations where it already has licenses or is soon to receive approval, including South Africa, Egypt, Uganda, India, and the UAE.
Ziroopay ($11.4 million)
In April, ZirooPay, a business with offices in Lagos and Helsinki that creates mobile POS payment solutions intended to facilitate mobile payments, raised $11.4 million in a Series A financing. The business said that the money will make it possible to enlarge its personnel, accelerate growth, and expand its payment infrastructure.
Nordic Venture Fund and another existing investor, Zrosk Investment Management, both with offices in Lagos, participated in the investment round. The financing was also contributed to by other institutional and private entities including Fedha Capital and Exotix Advisory. Petri Kivinen, a former managing director at Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, and Renaissance Capital; Abiodun Ajai, director of Bank of America’s Sub-Saharan Africa division; Kurt Bjorklund, managing partner at Permira; Stephane Kurgan, venture partner at Index Ventures; and Jonas Dromberg, a former bureau chief at Bloomberg; are just a few examples of individual investors.
Umba ($15 million)
Umba, a Nigerian company in digital banking, earned $15 million in a Series A investment round in April, bringing its overall fundraising to $17.5 million.
Along with Lux Capital, Lachy Groom, Act Venture Capital, Streamlined Ventures, Palm Drive Capital, Chandaria Capital, Banana Capital, and Monzo co-founder Tom Blomfield, the round was headed by venture capital company Costanoa Ventures.
In order to enhance access to financial instruments including current accounts, bill payments, loans, cashback, P2P payments, and bank transfers, Umba prides itself on being a customer-focused, mobile-first digital bank. With the money, the firm said it will expand into Egypt, Ghana, and Kenya as well as introduce new financial services including stock trading, debit cards, and savings accounts.
Interswitch ($110 million)
Interswitch, one of Africa’s top fintech startups, scored the largest transaction by a Nigerian company in Q2 2022 when it acquired $110 million in a combined investment from LeapFrog Investments and Tana Africa Capital to develop its digital payment services throughout Africa. The two investors declared they will help Interswitch’s development in its upcoming phase through sustained product innovation and expansion across the African continent. Nearly three years had passed since Interswitch received its last publicly known round of funding, in which Visa invested $200 million for a 20% share in the firm. That transaction was made in May. It is best recognized for its POS terminals, online consumer payment platforms, Quickteller, and Verve, the largest domestic debit card program in Africa with over 35 million active cards since inception. Interswitch also powers a significant portion of the rails for Nigeria’s internet banking system.