African Start-up fundraising in 2019

7 little stories in the big one

N°1 – Interswitch (Nigeria) – 200 million dollars

The company joined the African unicorns club – companies valued at $1 billion – in November 2019, after receiving $200 million from the American Visa. Founded in Lagos in 2002 by Mitchelle Elegbe, this electronic payment company is connected to 17,000 Nigerian ATMs and records more than 500 million transactions per month. Interswitch is expected to go public on the London Stock Exchange in 2020..

N°2 – Opay (Nigeria) – 170 million dollars

Backed by the Norwegian browser Opera, acquired in 2016 by the Chinese billionaire Yahui Zhou, the Nigerian platform Opay – specialised in mobile services and payment- attracted several Chinese investors in July and November 2019. Successive rounds of financing led to two fund-raising rounds of $50 million and $120 million.

In addition to Opera Limited, investors included IDG Capital, Sequoia China, Source Code Capital, GSR Ventures, Meituan-Dianping, GaoRong, Softbank, Ventures Asia, BAI and Redpoint. The money will allow Opay to be more ambitious by addressing other markets Ghana, Kenya and South Africa.

N°3 – Andela (Nigeria) – 100 million dollars

The company is specialized in the recruitment, training and placement of African coders for major international technology companies. The fourth round of financing for the Lagos-based US was led by the investment firm « Generation Investment Management » of the former US Vice President Al Gore.

Andela therefore raised $100 million in January 2019 before announcing nine months later a strategic turnaround that led it to lay off hundreds of Nigerian, Ugandan and Kenyan coders despite a turnover of $50 million.

N°4 – BBOXX (England)– 81 million dollars

The British start-up BBOXX has gone through not one but two rounds of financing this year. The first was for $31 million in January 2019 and the second for $50 million in August 2019. Established in Rwanda, Kenya, DRC and Togo, BBOXX will draw on these funds to supply 10 million Africans with electricity by 2022 thanks to its off-grid solar energy services.

The French EDF holds 50% of the subsidiary co-founded by Mansoor Hamayun, Christopher Baker-Brian and Laurent Van Houcke.

N°5 – Swvl (Egypte) – 42 million dollars

This start-up was created in Cairo in 2017 by Mostafa Kandil, a 30 year-old tech&&& man. A former director of operations at Rocket Internet, he launched Careem in several Egyptian and Pakistani cities as well as in Istanbul. This inspired him to create his own public bus transport company, Swvl. The company raised $42 million in June 2019 in a third round of financing led by Swedish fund VC Vostok Ventures and Dubai-based BECO Capital. Now valued at nearly 100 million dollars, the start-up wants to expand in Africa. Already present in Nairobi, it was launched in Lagos (Nigeria) in July 2019.

N°6 – Retail capital (Afrique du Sud) – 41,7 million dollars

The company was founded by Karl Westig and is specialized in financing small and medium-sized enterprises In March, the South African fintech raised 41.7 million dollars in a second round of financing from the Crossfin holding company. The aim is to strengthen its distribution channels. Seven months later Retail Capital approached local payment service provider PayGate to develop a short-term working capital service called Easy Advance. To date, Retail Capital has supported 10,000 businesses, mainly restaurants and retailers.

N°7 – PalmPay (Nigéria) – 40 million dollars

The Nigerian e-payment company has attracted the attention of Transsion (the Chinese giant of mobile phone) and two other players in the sector, NetEase and Mediatek. In November they all three injected a total of 40 million dollars into the company led by Greg Reeve, enabling the PalmPay application to be pre-installed in all of Transsion’s phones (Tecno, Inifinix and iTel), i.e. 20 million devices by 2020.

Source: Jeune Afrique (le titre est de la rédaction)

See also :
WAEMU: 583.36 million transactions via electronic money accounts in the first half of 2019
Emmanuel Bocquet : African Digital Business Booster
Tele-School It’s TV and it’s School!
Upcoming IT clusters & Hi-tech countries in Africa Rwanda, Egypt and Ethiopia
IT Ecosystem & Startups: Assets and Disabilities of 4 of the Top 10 African countries

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