In 2021, African tech startups raised a record $4 billion+, surpassing the total funding raised in 2019 and 2020 combined. Another major achievement this year was that, compared to prior years, more female-led startups raised a million dollars or more in Africa.
According to research published by Briter Bridges in the middle of this year titled, “In Search of Equity: Exploring Africa’s Gender Gap in Startup Financing,” only 3% of capital invested in African startups between 2013 and 2021 went to female-owned startups.
With the year coming to an end, more female-led startups have raised funding showing that more VCs are looking out for female-led teams to invest in. Nairametrics reviewed the six female-led startups that raised above a million dollars in a single round.
Female-led startups that raised over a million dollars in Nigeria in 2021:
Shuttlers, a tech-enabled scheduled bus-sharing company founded by Damilola Olokesusi in 2016 that provides businesses with improved transportation alternatives for their employees raised $1.6 million in seed funding to grow beyond Nigeria’s borders.
The deal would allow the company to grow both within and outside of Nigeria by digitizing the transportation sector, which was previously defined by a large number of individuals utilizing public transportation vehicles to go to their different workplaces and destinations.
Bankly, a Nigerian fintech startup founded in 2018 by Tomilola Adejana and Fredrick Adams to digitize cash for the unbanked raised a $2 million seed round.
Bankly digitizes financial services for people in the informal sector, mostly small-scale traders who save through rotating savings and credit unions referred to in Nigeria as “ajo” or “esusu.” The company intends to address some of the issues that exist in the offline world of group savings.
Okra, Nigeria’s fintech API startup raised $3.5 million in a seed round. Founded in 2019 by Fara Ashiru Jituboh and David Peterside, Okra’s API empowers companies and developers to build products with seamless access to inclusive financial data and secure payments.
This new investment fund will be utilized to develop the company’s data infrastructure across Nigeria, as well as to carry out a pan-African expansion into Kenya and South Africa.
Klasha, a San Francisco based cross-border technology company founded by Jess Anuna raised $2.4 million in seed funding to build technology infrastructure for cross-border commerce in Africa.
With this funding, the company will be able to develop its technology to assist worldwide B2B and B2C businesses such as ASOS, Zara, Amazon, and Zoom in receiving payments in African currencies from customers all over Africa.
Edukoya, an online learning platform centered in Africa founded by Honey Ogundeyi in December 2021 secured $3.5 million in a pre-seed round. This is the most funding an African EdTech platform has ever raised in a pre-seed round to date.
Edukoya will utilize the new funds to move from beta to live launch in 2022, as well as to hire more people, grow its user base, and improve the technology behind its learning platform, including support for its Pan African and European developer hubs.
Reelfruit, a premium dried fruit company founded by Affiong Williams and recognized for its high-quality healthy snacks raised a $3 million Series A investment.
Reelfruit distributes its nutritious dried fruit and nut snacks all around the country. Apart from the domestic market, the company also sells its goods to West African nations and abroad. Fruits including mangos, coconuts, and cashews are used to make the products. Reelfruit will use the funds to expand its dried fruit production, develop new products, and grow exports by 10 times to 15 MT in the first year.