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African VC activity shows impressive spike in 2014

It’s been a good year for Africa’s startups. In terms of investment activity at least, data from one of the world’s most comprehensive startup databases, CrunchBase, shows that there’s been a huge increase within the last year, highlighting confidence.

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With big investments from the likes of Naspers and Rocket Internet (or its African arm African Internet Group), the Nigerian ecommerce space makes up most of 2014’s fourth quarter activity, amounting to US$193-million (over R2.2-billion)!

Possibly gearing up for the end-of-year shopping season, in October Nigerian ecommerce player Konga announced it secured US$40-million from South Africa’s Naspers. One month later, its competitor Jumia received a cash injection of US$150-million from Africa Internet Group, backed by Germany’s Rocket Internet.

Read more: Takealot gets $100-million from Tiger Global but no expansion plans… yet

Following the venture money trail further back this year, South Africa’s ecommerce giant Takealot received the blessing of US-based Tiger Global Management, amounting to US$100-million in May. Around the same time online shopping outfit uAfrica also banked US$1.5-million lead by online marketplace Bidorbuy.

Below you can see a spike in 2014’s second half, especially looking at the amount of seed round activity. Prominent rounds include Kenya’s BRCK securing US$1.2-million as well as BookNow‘s US$75 000, South Africa’s Ekaya with US$127 800, and Côte d’Ivoire’s Sycelim with US$60 000.

Read more: Ushahidi’s BRCK raises $1.2M to connect the 4-billion in emerging markets

As you can see above, 2013 Q4 saw the most first round investment activity. Around this time Uganda’s Tugende and Egypt’s Instabug both raised US$300 000 along with Kenya’s M-Farm and Ideacentric from Nigeria which raised US$235 000 and US$200 000, respectively.

Between 2010 and 2014, CrunchBase found that South Africa leads in the total number of venture rounds recorded, followed by Nigeria, Egypt and Kenya.

See below:

While quite comprehensive, it should be noted that this is of course not all major investments made in Africa. For instance, the database doesn’t include recent reality show Dragons’ Den SA‘s rounds such as SA Florist, eShip , PropCare or 3Sixty Mobile Beauty — to name but a few — but together raised over R9-million.

Image via PixaBay

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