African Tech Startups Have Already Raised More Capital This Year Than In 2017

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

African tech startups have already raised more capital during the first half of 2018 compared to the amount raised by companies in the sector during the whole of 2017.

A combination of 120 deals completed during the current year saw $168.6 million raised by startups, according to a WeeTracker.

The most popular tech sector for investment remains fintech, contributing 25 deals, while health-tech and agritech were the next most popular sectors.

The WeeTracker report for 2017 revealed that a total of $167.7 million was raised during the entire year, which means that African startups are already outperforming that figure during the first half of this year.

A total of 28 deals saw startups raising over $1 million so far this year, with the biggest investment involving Cellulant, a digital payments solution firm which raised $47.5 million in its Series C round in May, according to Quartz.

The funding round was led by The Rise Fund, an impact investment fund run by U.S.-based private equity group, TPG Growth. Endeavor Catalyst, Satya Capital, Velocity Capital and Progression Africa also participated in the funding round.

African tech startups growing in 2018

African tech startups
African tech startups have already raised more capital in 2018 compared to 2017. Photo – Flickr

The second biggest funding amount of the year thus far was raised by Branch, an online micro-lending startup, which received investment of $20 million in March, according to TechCrunch.

Trinity Ventures led the equity portion of the funding round, with participation from International Finance Corporation, Andreessen Horowitz and CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund.

Both Branch and Cellulant are fintech startups, and the report shows that four of the 10 biggest deals so far in 2018 belong to that sector.

Some of the other startups that received multi-million dollar funding during 2018 include Kenyan solar energy company M-KopaNigerian small business loan platform Lidya, agri-tech startup WeFarm and remittance provider SureRemit.

Looking at the numbers from a market perspective, Nigeria saw 29 completed deals, but it was Kenya that accounted for the most funds raised with $82.8 million, close to half of all startup investment across the continent so far this year.