Nigeria continues to dominate the startup ecosystem in Africa in terms of the number of innovative companies springing up by the day. With this, it is not surprising that the country is attracting the largest funding across the continent as foreign and local investors inject more funds into its young innovators.
According to Africa Tech and Fintech report by Renaissance Capital, Nigerian tech startups raised a total of $678 million in 107 different deals between January and April this year. The country accounted for 31% of the total funds raised by African tech companies in the four months, which stood at $2.2 billion.
Although not as much as was recorded in the preceding quarter, Nigerian tech startups in Q2 202 also raked in millions of dollars from Venture Capitals and Angel Investors covering different stages of investments.
Here are the top 10 tech startup deals that made the news in Q2 2022:
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Identitypass ($2.8 million) Identitypass, a Nigerian identity verification startup, raised $2.8 million in seed funding to expand its business. With the funding announced in June, the company said it planned to roll out new verticals around compliance, security, and data collection, push into new African countries and make new hires to its 14-man team.The startup had raised $360,000 in pre-seed investment last November, bringing its total funding to $3.1 million. The latest funding was led by MaC Venture Capital with participation from other investors such as Y Combinator, Soma Capital, True Capital Fund, and Sherwani Capital.
Founded by Lanre Ogungbe, Niyi Adegboye and Ebuka Obi, the two-year-old SaaS platform in addition to its APIs. The software was built to enhance Identitypass’ growth scale and excel among its competitors in the market.
Indicina ($3 million) Indicina, a credit agency startup, raised $3 million in June to drive its African expansion plans. The company, which currently operates in Nigeria and Kenya said it would also use the fund to build more products for consumer credit recommendations, and bolster its infrastructure.
Berlin-headquartered and pan-European venture capital firm Target Global led the round, adding to its long list of investments in Nigerian startups, including Kuda, Kippa and Edukoya. The firm’s partner Ricardo Schäefer will join Indicina’s board. Greycroft also participated in this round, as well as RV Ventures.
The investors hinged their interest in Indicina on its unique approach to solving Africa’s credit problem. The company uses data to solve the loan eligibility problem previously decided by incomplete creditworthiness assessments.
ImaliPay ($3 million) ImaliPay, a Nigerian fintech that prides itself as a one-stop shop financial services platform, closed a $3 million seed in debt and equity round in April. The fintech had raised $800,000 pre-seed round in 2020, bringing its total raise to $3.8 million.
The round which was led by Leonnis Investments also received follow-on investors from VCs such as Ten 13, Uncovered Fund, MyAsia VC, Jedar Capital, Logos Ventures, Plug N Play Ventures, Untapped Global, Latam Ventures, Cliff Angels, Chandaria Capital and Changecom. Angel investors like Keisuke Honda of KSK Angels and others from Serbia, Kenya, and Norway participated.
The company said the investment would go into expanding its 50-man team, amping up its technology, and exploring new markets like Ghana and Egypt.
Kaltani ($4 million) Kaltani, a cleaning technology plastic waste recycling company, received $4 million in seed funding in May to expand its recycling operations across Nigeria.
Founded by Obi Charles Nnanna, Kaltani aims to solve Africa’s growing plastic waste crisis by promoting the circular economy and recycling best practices. The company’s technology utilises data analytics, predictive analytics, and geo-mapping to ensure transparency and traceability throughout the value chain.
With the funding, the company said it planned to open 20 new collection and aggregation centres across Nigeria and increase its staff strength to over 500 people.
OnePort 365 ($5 million) Oneport 365, a digital freight forwarding startup that makes it easier to transport cargo to, from, and within Africa, raised $5 million in seed funding in April to enable its expansion into new markets across the continent and push end-to-end digitization of freight management in Africa.
Mobility 54 (the Venture Capital arm of Toyota Tsusho and CFAO Group) led the seed funding round, which included SBI Investment, Samurai Incubate, Flexport, ODX, a Singaporean syndicate fund, and other strategic angel investors.
The startup’s platform allows traders to connect with shipping and inland transportation vendors and manage the entire process. Traders get GPS-enabled, real-time visibility of their shipments and they can view all documents relating to the shipment via the platform, eliminating the laborious process of physically retrieving these documents from offices or shipping line centers.
Afriex ($10 million) Afriex, another Nigerian fintech startup, also closed a $10 million Series A round in April to expand its blockchain money transfer platform. The company, which was valued at $60 million runs a money transfer system that utilises blockchain to enable users to send funds by converting them into stablecoins, which are cryptocurrencies backed by reserve assets.
Launched in 2019, the startup founded by Tope Alabi and John Obirije had raised a $1.3 million seed round last year. The latest funding round was financed by Sequoia Capital China and Dragonfly Capital with participation from Goldentree, Stellar Foundation, and Exceptional Capital, among others.
Leatherback ($10 million) Leatherback, a financial services provider startup secured its first external investment in April as it secured a $10 million pre-seed funding from Zedcrest Capital, a leading pan-African principal investment firm.
With the funding, the fintech startup, which was being bootstrapped by its founders, said part of the fund would be deployed to raise Leatherback’s profile in the fintech space as well as extend its capacity in the many countries that it is licensed in and where it is about to be approved like South Africa, Egypt, Uganda, India, and the UAE.
ZirooPay ($11.4 million) ZirooPay, a Lagos and Helsinki-based startup that develops mobile POS payment systems designed to facilitate mobile payments raised $11.4 million Series A round in April. The company said the funding would facilitate the expansion of its payment infrastructure, accelerating growth and growing its team.
The funding round was led by Lagos-based VC fund, Zrosk Investment Management, and also involved participation from existing investors, Nordic Venture Fund. Other private and institutional funds such as Fedha Capital and Exotix Advisory also partook in the funding. Individual investors include Petri Kivinen, the former managing director at Deutsche Bank; Morgan Stanley and Renaissance Capital; Abiodun Ajai, the director, Sub-Saharan Africa of Bank of America; Kurt Bjorklund, managing partner at Permira; Stephane Kurgan, venture partner at Index Ventures; and Jonas Dromberg, former Bureau chief at Bloomberg.
Umba ($15 million) Nigerian digital banking startup, Umba, in April raised $15 million in a Series A funding round, which brought its total fundraising to date to $17.5 million.
The round was led by VC firm Costanoa Ventures and saw participation from Lux Capital, Lachy Groom, Act Venture Capital, Streamlined Ventures, Palm Drive Capital, Chandaria Capital, and Banana Capital, as well as Monzo co-founder Tom Blomfield.
Umba prides itself as a customer-centric, mobile-first digital bank that increases access to financial tools, including current accounts, bill payments, loans, cashback, P2P payments, and bank transfers. With the funding, the company said it intended to launch in Egypt, Ghana, and Kenya as well as roll out new financial products including debit cards, savings accounts, and stock trading.
Interswitch ($110 million) One of Africa’s largest fintech companies, Interswitch, landed the biggest deal by a Nigerian startup in Q2 2022 as it secured $110 million in a joint investment from LeapFrog Investments and Tana Africa Capital to scale its digital payment services across Africa. The two investors said they would be supporting Interswitch’s next chapter through continued product innovation and growth across the African continent.
The investment secured in May came almost three years since Interswitch’s last disclosed funding round when Visa paid $200 million for a 20% stake in the company. Interswitch powers much of the rails for Nigeria’s online banking system and is well-known for its point-of-sale terminals, online consumer payment platforms, Quickteller, and Verve, the biggest domestic debit card scheme in Africa, issuing over 35 million active cards since launch.