Some Nigerian start-ups raised over $224.3 million in funding across various sectors in the last eight months. This represents 24.1 per cent of the over $1 million raised in Africa. According to the data curated by Maxime Bayen, these reports comprised of 44 start-ups from nine African countries.
Although, majority of the start-ups in Africa are struggling to remain afloat due to financial constraints, 10 Nigerian start-ups were able to make the list. This is because start-ups depends on sourcing for funds to launch their product and services.
Meanwhile, South Africa took 33.3 per cent, and raised about $97.3million. Start-ups from South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya dominated the list, recording 15, 10 and eight respectively. Uganda got three, Ghana and Egypt got two, while Mauritius, Zimbabwe and Zambia one each.
From Nigeria, Andela led the start-ups, followed by TeamApt, OneFi, Farmcrowdy, Kudi, mDaas, Gokada, Arnergy, Max, Opay, 54gene, Kobo360, TechAdvance. These were in the education, fintech, agriculture, healthcare and the logistics and travels sector.Out of the top five in Africa, Andela, which led others, raised $100million, follow by OPay, which raised $50 million, and Kobo360 raised $30 million.
Dominating the list are fintechs. The increase in investment in fintechs is a reflection of the growing financial services industry and the need to deepen inclusion. They accounted for 34 per cent at $156.4million, followed by the logistics and transport that took 13 per cent at $94.9 million, then energy for 11.1 per cent at $72 million; healthtech 11.1 per cent at $24.5 million; jobs ($4 million), and agritech ($8 million) at 5.6 per cent both, among others.
Nigeria’s TeamApt raised $5 million in February and have been developing solutions for large firms. Also, eight of the African start-ups were founded or managed by women including Angela (Nigeria), PayItUp, InstaDeep (Tunisia), BitPesa (Kenya), SweepSouth (South Africa), Neopenda (Uganda), Framcrowdy (Nigeria) and MdaaS Global (Nigeria).
Meanwhile, the Global System for Mobile telecommunications Association (GSMA) has said that technology startups will play crucial role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It stressed that low-tech mobile tools will meet this need and beyond. Several mobile innovations reaching scale today in Africa and Asia Pacific that are driving impact on the lives of low-income mobile users are driven by low-tech, offline solutions. Even in the age of smartphones, low-tech solutions are indispensable to addressing the SDGs.
Mobile operators play an important role in granting start-ups and third parties access to lowtech mobile channels, such as APIs and USSD, for deploying life-enhancing services with a direct impact on the SDGs.
For example, in November 2018, SMS-based weather forecasting service, Iska, launched in Nigeria with 9mobile, while MTN Uganda launched its mobile money API, enabling developer access to MTN Mobile Money’s proprietary software platform. Meanwhile, Orange runs the platform #303# My Store that enables developers to plug into a standardised USSD API. #303# My Store is active in Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and DRC, with around 50 third-party services accessible on the platform.