12 Global Investors Involved In Funding African Tech Firms

Written by Peter Pedroncelli
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Global investors are focused on the African tech ecosystem for the wealth of opportunities and the return on investment that they believe they will get from funding tech firms across the continent.

African tech startups had 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 from January to June saw $168.6 million raised by startups, eclipsing the $167.7 million raised in 2017, 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.

Investors from all over the world, from Silicon Valley to Accra in Ghana, have an important part to play in making these investments and funding rounds possible.

Here are 12 global investors involved in funding African tech firms.

4Dx Ventures

Africa-focused early stage venture firm 4Dx Ventures has offices in Accra, Ghana and San Francisco in the U.S, with investments in the likes of Kenyan e-commerce startup Sokowatch and Nigerian solar-powered internet service provider Tizeti. In both of these investments, 4Dx Ventures led the funding rounds. As part of the Tizeti financing round, Walter Baddoo, co-founder & managing partner of 4DX Ventures joined the startup’s board, according to Ventureburn.

Social Capital

Based in Palo Alto, Social Capital is a venture capital firm that invests in healthcare, financial services and education. With a specialization in tech, the company describes itself as “a partnership of philanthropists, technologists and capitalists utilizing venture capital as a force to create value and change on a global scale.” Social Capital has investment interests in Nigerian solar-powered internet service provider Tizeti, Ghanaian media startup OMG Digital, Kenyan startup Africa’s Talking and Kenyan mobile survey platform mSurvey.

Y Combinator

U.S. tech incubator Y Combinator, perhaps the world’s most powerful startup accelerator program, has backed many African tech companies over the years. The Silicon Valley-based incubator has played a part in the successes of some well-known tech startups, including Ghanaian media startup OMG Digital, Nigerian fintech startup Flutterwave, Senegalese solar startup Oolu, Egyptian crowd-sourcing platform InstaBug, and Nigerian fintech startup Paystack, among others.

TLcom Capital

Africa-focused TLcom Capital is a venture capital firm with offices in Lagos, Nairobi and London. The investor was involved in Andela’s $40 million funding round, as well as Kenyan mobile survey platform mSurvey‘s Series A funding round of $3.5 million, which it led. Earlier this year the African venture firm also made a $5 million investment in Nigeria’s Terragon Group, a data analytics software company, according to the firm.

Partech Partners

Paris-based global venture capital firm Partech Partners is a global investment platform focused on tech and digital companies. In addition to Paris, Partech has offices in San Francisco, Berlin and Dakar in Senegal. The VC firm recently led a $16 million Series-B funding round in South African fintech startup Yoco, a point-of-sale payments provider. The firm also previously invested $3 million in Nigerian startup TradeDepot.

Lynett Capital

Lynett Capital is an early stage investment firm with a presence in New York and San Francisco. Nigerian startup Tizeti and Kenyan e-commerce startup Sokowatch are some of the African companies that Lynett Capital has invested in. Apart from investing, the firm aims to assist its portfolio companies with networking and advice.

Global investors are backing African tech companies across the continent. Photo - AP - Ted Shaffrey
Global investors are backing African tech companies across the continent. Photo – AP – Ted Shaffrey

Omidyar Network

Omidyar Network is a Silicon Valley impact investment firm established by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay. The firm recently led a $6.9 million Series A funding round into Lidya, a Nigerian fintech platform that offers small business loan, according to Ventureburn. The firm previously invested in Off-Grid Electric, a Tanzania-based company providing solar lighting services in Africa, Hotels.ng, Nigeria’s largest hotel booking website and Zoona, one of the leading money transfer service providers in Zambia and Malawi.

Orange Digital Ventures

Orange Digital Ventures is a program, launched by French telecommunications operator Orange, mandated to invest directly in African startups within a number of industries including logistics, e-commerce, transport, energy, fintech, and e-health businesses, according to ITNewsAfrica. The investment arm of the mobile operator recently invested in South African fintech startup Yoco, as part of a $16 million Series-B funding round, and it was involved in Kenyan startup Africa’s Talking‘s $8.6 million investment.

CRE Venture Capital

Pan-African venture firm CRE Venture Capital was famously involved in a $40 million funding round into Andela, a startup that trains and outsources African engineers and coders to work for global firms. Co-founded by Pule Taukobong and Pardon Makumbe, CRE is based in Johannesburg and registered in the U.S. Other African investment interests include Rensource, Prepclass and Sweepsouth.

Village Capital

Washington, D.C.-based Village Capital is another of the American venture capital firms with interests in African tech companies. In June the investor was involved in a $1.1 million funding round that benefited Nigerian fintech startup Piggybank.ng. Village Capital also has investments in Kenya fintech firm Olivine Technology.

Golden Palm Investments

Golden Palm Investments Golden Palm Investments is a Ghanaian investment firm based out of Accra, with tech in Africa as a major focus. Investments include Andela, Flutterwave and mSurvey. One of its most recent investments includes a part in a $2 million seed funding round in Kenyan e-commerce startup Sokowatch.

The Rise Fund

The Rise Fund is an impact investment fund run by U.S.-based private equity group, TPG Growth. The firm was involved in one of the biggest investments of the year with regards to African tech companies, leading a Series C funding round into Cellulant, a digital payments solution firm which raised $47.5 million in May, according to Quartz.