Despite the global economic headwinds that saw many tech giants embark on mass layoffs last year, the growth trajectory of tech startups across the world continued in 2022 as Venture Capitals and angel investors injected billions of dollars into innovative companies globally.
In Africa, Nigeria maintained its leadership in terms of numbers even though funding slowed across the continent.
Indeed, 2022 was not as buoyant for the startups as 2021 in terms of funds raised. By the end of the year, Nigerian startups raised a total of about $1.3 billion according to various figures released by the individual companies. This is lower than over $1.5 billion raised by Nigerian startups in 2021.
The four quarters of the year were a mix for Nigerian startups in terms of funding. While the first quarter was buoyant with huge deals announced across segments of the tech ecosystem, fundraising in the second quarter was slower. By the third quarter, some landmark deals were sealed, while the 4th quarter was also low.
Notwithstanding the slowdown, some startups in the country recorded a significant amount of fundraising in the year, thus helping to boost the number for the ecosystem. Highlighted below are the top 10 deals that made the news in 2022.
10. Credpal ($15 million)
CredPal, one of the earliest pioneers of buy now, pay later in Nigeria, also closed a bridge round of $15 million in equity and debt in March 2022 to expand its consumer credit offerings across Africa.
According to a statement shared by the company, the investment would support its expansion into other African markets, mainly Kenya, Egypt, Ghana, and Cameroon.
9. Bamboo ($15 million)
In January, fintech company, Bamboo, a brokerage app that lets Africans buy and trade US stocks in real-time. The start-up raised a US$15 million Series A funding round to accelerate its growth, move into new markets and launch more products.
The US$15 million Series A round was led by Greycroft and Tiger Global with participation from Motley Fool Ventures, Saison Capital, Chrysalis Capital, and Y-Combinator’s Michael Seibel, amongst others. With the capital, Bamboo plans to further accelerate its growth, doubling down on unlocking new markets and launching more products.
8. Umba ($15 million)
Nigerian digital banking startup, Umba, in April raised $15 million in a Series A funding round, which brought its total fundraising to date to $17.5 million.
The round was led by VC firm Costanoa Ventures and saw participation from Lux Capital, Lachy Groom, Act Venture Capital, Streamlined Ventures, Palm Drive Capital, Chandaria Capital and Banana Capital, as well as Monzo co-founder Tom Blomfield.
Umba prides itself as a customer-centric, mobile-first digital bank that increases access to financial tools, including current accounts, bill payments, loans, cashback, P2P payments, and bank transfers.With the funding, the company said it intended to launch in Egypt, Ghana, and Kenya as well as roll out new financial products including debit cards, savings accounts, and stock trading.
7. Ominibiz ($15 million)
Omnibiz, Nigerian B2B e-commerce platform closed a $15 million pre-Series A round comprising $5 million equity and $10 million debt in August 2022. The funding was led by Timon Capital with participation from other VC firms such as Ventures Platform, Lofty Inc, Chapel Hill Denham, Chandaria Capital and Musha Ventures.
Omnibiz said it would use the funding to double down on winning the loyalty of retail customers and driving their retention. The company also planned to begin its regional expansion into cities it cited during its seed raise last year: Abidjan, Takoradi, Kumasi, and Accra. Earlier, the company had closed a $3 million seed round in August 2021.
6. Vendease ($30 million)
Vendease, Nigeria’s food procurement startup raised $30 million in equity and debt funding round in September 2022. The Series A equity round of $20 million was co-led by TLcom and Partech, in a rare joint investment by two of the biggest Africa-focused funds, while $10 million debt round was raised from the local finance market. The equity round also included VentureSouq, Hustle fund, Hack VC, GFR Fund, Kube VC, Magic Fund, and Kairos Angels, who returned after participating in the previous round.
The company said the investment would be used to consolidate its growth and operations in Nigeria and Ghana and to support its expansion across the continent. It would also be used for the development of new solutions and services to drive growth across the food value chain.
5. Reliance Health ($40 million)
In February 2022, Reliance Health, an emerging markets-focused digital healthcare provider, completed a $40 million Series B funding round led by General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity investor, with participation from Partech, Picus Capital, Tencent Exploration, AAIC (Asia Africa Investment and Consulting), P1 Ventures, Laerdal Million Lives Fund, M3, Inc., and Arvanitis Social Foundation.
Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria and Austin, Texas, Reliance Health began operations in Nigeria in 2015 as a telemedicine-focused startup, Kangpe, founded by Femi Kuti, Opeyemi Olumekun, and Matthew Mayaki, and later expanded into a single-fee healthcare provider to better address the complex, evolving needs of patients.
4.TeamApt ($50 million)
TeamApt, a Nigerian fintech that provides business payments and banking platforms, topped the fundraising table in Q3 2022 with its $50 million pre-series C funding announced in August. QED Investors, a U.S. fintech-focused venture capital firm led the new investment, while Novastar Ventures (co-lead), Lightrock and BII also participated in the round.
The company said the fund would allow it to expand its credit services, move into new markets, and spread financial happiness by digitising Africa’s economy. TeamApt operates one of Nigeria’s largest business payments and banking platforms and processes a $100 billion annualized run-rate transaction value via its products Moniepoint and Monnify.
3. ThriveAgric (56.4 million)
ThriveAgric, a technology-driven agricultural company, also secured $56.4 million in debt funding from commercial banks and institutional investors in March 2022. Additionally, the company received a $1.75 million co-investment grant from West Africa Trade & Investment, which is funded by USAID.
As a result of the new investment, the company will be able to expand its 200,000+ farmer base, as well as enter new markets in Africa, including Ghana, Zambia, and Kenya.
2. Moove ($181.8 million)
In March last year, Nigeria-based mobility fintech startup, Moove had raised $105 million in an oversubscribed Series A2 round to scale to seven new markets across Asia, MENA, and Europe over the next six months.
But that was not all for the company in the year. Earlier in February, Moove had raised $10 million. It later raised $20 million in July and another $16.8 million in October, before raising another $30 million round in December. With a total round of $181.8 million, Moove secured the second-highest funding round for a Nigerian startup in 2022, only behind Flutterwave.
Founded in 2019 by British-born Nigerians Ladi Delano and Jide Odunsi, Moove is democratising vehicle ownership in Africa by providing revenue-based vehicle financing to mobility entrepreneurs.
1. Flutterwave ($250 million)
Recognised as one of the most-valuable startups in Nigeria, Flutterwave became Africa’s fourth unicorn last year after raising $170m in a Series C round. The company in February last year put an icing on its cake as it raised $250 million in its single-biggest funding round to date, valuing the startup at more than $3 billion, as it targets mergers and acquisitions, and a growing existing customer base.
The latest series D funding round was led by investors including Facebook Inc co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s venture capital firm B Capital Group and Boston-based hedge fund Whale Rock Capital Management. According to the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Olugbenga Agboola “the funding gives Flutterwave the much-needed support to deliver on our plans to provide the best experience for our merchants and customers around the world.”