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Are these the 10 biggest disclosed African tech startup deals of 2018? [Updated]

A whole lot of money. That’s what over 60 African tech startups raised this year.

While not every startup wanted to disclose how much they raised, those that did made quite a packet — over $178-million going on data from 48 venture capital disclosed deals (see Editor’s note below) reported by Ventureburn in 2018.

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Of this, almost a third or $52-million is accounted for by one deal in SA fintech JUMO (the startup raised a further $12.5-million, in addition to this, earlier this month – see this story).

In addition, SA startups accounted for about half of all funding raised that was disclosed.

Ventureburn’s calculations relate to only those deals that have been disclosed and that were concluded by companies founded in the last seven years.

African tech startups raised over $178-million going on data from 48 venture capital disclosed and reported by Ventureburn in 2018

Because of this a number of deals were not included, namely Paga’s $10-million deal, Terragon’s $5-million deal, MFS Africa’s $14-million deal, Wakanow’s $40-million deal and Africa’s Talking’s $8.6-million deal.

Paga, MFS Africa and Terragon were founded in 2009, while Africa’s Talking was founded in 2010 and Wakanow in 2008.

In a further 25 deals reported by Ventureburn this year (most of them South African firms), the startups did not disclose how much they raised.

Funding raised could run to millions

Like this the true amount raised by African startups could run into hundreds of millions of dollars, perhaps even topping a $1-billion.

In October the organisers of annual tech startup conference AfricArena said the amount of VC raised by African startups could for the first time exceed $1-billion (see this story).

The organisation said its prediction is based on internal research the organisation conducted earlier this year with Silicon Cape and Wesgro.

Earlier this year, Partech Ventures revealed that in 2017 African tech startups raised $560-million in VC funding through 128 rounds — up from $366.8-million raised in 2016.

SA, Nigerian startups dominated disclosed deals

SA startups dominated those disclosed VC deals for early-stage companies (no more than seven years old) that Ventureburn reported on this year. (see this story)

While SA startups raised $89.3-million from 15 disclosed deals (JUMO’s $52-million and $12.5-million deals and Yoco’s $16-million accounted for the bulk of this), Nigerian startups accounted for $29.9-million from 10 deals.

This was followed by Egyptian startups with $22.8-million from six deals (Vezeeta’s first of two deals this year accounted for $12-million of this) and Kenyan startups which raised 18.9-million from 11 deals.

The remainder of the deals were made up by Ghanaian, Tunisian and Senegalese startups.

Fintech dominate funding raised

The bulk of the disclosed deals were made in fintechs — which accounted for 11 deals worth $105-million (JUMO accounted for $64.5-million in two deals). Most of these deals were in Nigerian (five) or SA (four) startups.

Startups providing logistics solutions raised $20.5-million in six deals ($10-million of this was raised by Twiga Foods), while healthtech startup raised $13.9-million ($13-million of this went to Vezeeta in two deals) from seven deals.

The remainder of the firms were from a range of other verticals, including ecommerce, agritech, data analytics, robotics, agritech, telecommunications, software development, media, Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, edtech and ride hailing.

Here is a ranking of the top 10 disclosed deals that Ventureburn reported in 2018 (with the origin of startup and date it was founded)

1. JUMO (SA/Mauritius, 2014): $52-million
2. Yoco (SA, 2015):  $16-million
3. JUMO (SA/Mauritius, 2014): $12.5-million
4. Vezeeta (Egypt, 2012): $12-million
5. Twiga Foods (Kenya, 2014): $10-million
6. Paystack (Nigeria, 2015): $8-million
    Swvl (Egypt, 2017 ): $8-million  
7. Lidya (Nigeria, 2016): $6.9-million
8. Kobo360 (Nigeria, 2016): $6-million
9. MSurvey (Kenya, 2012): $3.5-million
10. TradeDepot (Nigeria, 2016): $3-million
    Tizeti (Nigeria, 2012): $3-million
     Snapt (SA, 2012 ): $3-million

Those deals that were not undisclosed include those by Accounteer, Aerobotics, Allpro, Atura, Bitkoin Africa, Click2Sure, CoGrammar, CoinAfique, CowryWise, Crossgate, DabaDoc, DataProphet, Giraffe, HouseMe, Instant Property, PEBL, PharmaScout, Riby, Skillup, Simply, Swvl, ThankUCash, Vezeeta, and Yalu.  

Read more: Are these the biggest disclosed VC deals in 2018 involving SA tech startups?

*Correction (21 December 2018): We removed the earlier inclusion of software developer Expensya’s $4.5-million deal announced on 19 December in an article by tech startup site Disrupt Africa – as the company is registered in France, not Tunisia.

In addition, earlier updates (on 18 and 23 December 2018, respectively) were made to this article, to include Agrocenta’s $650 000 deal announced last week by tech startup site Disrupt Africa (see here), as well as HouseMe’s announcement (also last week) of an undisclosed amount it received in investment and JUMO’s $12.5-million deal with Odey Asset Management (see here).

Featured image (from top left to bottom right): Yoco co-founder Katlego Maphai, JUMO founder Andrew Watkin-Balls, Paystack founders Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi and Vezeeta founder Amir Barsoum (Supplied, Ezra ‘God’ Olubi via Twitter and via Yoco)

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