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In today’s edition
- The biggest moves in tech from March
- TC Insights: Funding Tracker
- Job opportunities
THE BIGGEST TECH MOVES IN MARCH
Early in March, TechCabal brought you the most notable moves from February in Africa’s ecosystem.
Here’s your round-up of what made the front pages in March. 👇🏾
1. NON-FINTECH COMPANIES LEAD THE BIGGEST DEALS
In March 2022, African startups raised $510 million across 35 deals. This is $80 million short of what was raised in February, and $99 million more than January’s raise.
This means that the ecosystem is ending Q1 2022 with $1.5 billion raised so far, still a long way to go from the projected $6 billion total raise for the year.
Per sector, the top 3 sectors are fintech, e-commerce and logistics/mobility. Fintech leads with $138.9 million (27.23%), e-commerce follows with $128 million (25.09%), and then logistics/mobility at a close third with $123.25 million(24.16%).
For the second time in 2022, the biggest raise announcements of the month weren’t by fintech companies though. E-commerce and logistics/mobility led this quarter with Kenyan e-commerce startup Sokowatch—now Wasoko—raising $125 million, and Nigerian mobility company Moove raising $105 million.
Per region, East Africa takes the baton this month with 250,000,000 (49.1%) of the total funding. Leading this are Sokowatch’s massive $125 million Series B round, and M-KOPA’s $75 million equity round.
The top 5 disclosed raises of the month are:
- Sokowatch’s $125 million raise in its rebrand to Wasoko.
- Moove’s $105 million raise in its expansion to Asia, MENA, and Europe.
- M-KOPA’S $75 million equity round
- ThriveAgric’s $56 million raise to increase its user base across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
- Apollo Agriculture’s $40 million Series B round.
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2. BCM RAISED THE LARGEST SEED BY AN AFRICAN DIGITAL MEDIA
We rarely hear of funding for digital media companies. In fact, only $115 million out of the $329 billion raised in 2022 was invested in digital media companies. In Africa, only a few digital media companies have been able to raise including Nigeria’s Stears $600,000 raise in 2021, and Ghana’s OMG Digital’s $1.1 million seed in 2017.
Things changed in March as Big Cabal Media—parent company to Zikoko and TechCabal—beat the record with a $2.3 million seed raise to expand its digital products.
3. NIGERIAN BANKS REDUCED INTERNATIONAL SPENDING LIMITS TO $20
At least 4 commercial banks in Nigeria reduced the international spending limit on their users’ Master and Visa Cards to $20. These banks include Zenith Bank, GT Bank, First Bank, and UBA.
The banks also suspended the use of naira debit cards for any payments or withdrawals outside the country.
Here’s a brilliant explainer on why this happened.
4. SEVEN SEVEN SIX ANNOUNCES ITS FIRST AFRICAN TITAN
Early in March, US-based VC firm Seven Seven Six (776) announced plans to launch the Titan Fund, a new fund that awards $500,000 to “individuals who are new to venture but bring a network, an operational background or domain expertise”.
It’s a venture fund, for venture capitalists. At launch, 3 VC founders were selected including Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix of Crenshaw Ventures
On Wednesday, 776’s founder Alexis Ohanian—who also co-founded Reddit, and partner at Y Combinator—announced the first African recipient for the Titan Fund.
It’s Maya Horgan Famodu, Ingressive Capital’s founder! Horgan Famodu’s venture will receive the $500,000 initial investment from 776, as well as access to 776’s proprietary operating system, Cerebro.
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5. GOOGLE AFRICA’S FIRST INTERNET CABLE IS GOING TO TOGO
Google is bringing its first African subsea internet cable to Togo.
In March, it announced that the cable, tagged Project Equiano, will run through Portugal to South Africa, will first land in Togo.
It is estimated that the subsea cable will add approximately 37,000 new jobs between 2022 and 2025, and increase Togo’s economic output by an additional USD 351 million during the same period.
6. SOUTH AFRICA V. SILICON VALLEY
South Africa took some heavy steps against big tech companies in March.
First, South Africa’s Competition Commission sued Meta after accusing the company of allegedly abusing its dominant position in the market. This happened after Meta restricted GovChata—a startup that connects government and citizens—for failing to comply with its community policies.
Next, e-hailing drivers from Bolt and Uber, launched a 3-day strike to protest exploitation from the platforms they drive for.
7. CONGO REVERSES ITS E-TAX
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) finally removed its 18-month mobile registry tax which forced all mobile device owners to pay $0.17 (for 2G devices) and $1.17 (for 3G and 4G devices) per month for 6 months.
This comes after months of protests that led to the initial removal of the tax for 2G devices in October 2021.
8. GHANA’S E-LEVY BILL MOVES FORWARD
In more concerning tech legislation news, Ghana’s e-levy bill also took a step forward in March.
Ghana’s parliament approved the electronic transaction tax (e-levy) which will introduce a 1.5% tax on electronic money transfers and transactions.
9. LAST, BUT NOT LEAST
Last, on March’s biggest moves, is that over 40,000 active readers are still hooked to TC Daily.
Across the globe, this newsletter is becoming a staple part of people’s morning rituals. Readers of TC Daily are here for the information, but also for the delightful way it’s presented.
So if you’re reading, get someone hooked on a healthy habit this month. Share TC Daily.
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TC INSIGHTS: FUNDING TRACKER
This week, Khazna, an Egyptian fintech startup raised $38 million in debt and equity to expand its financial offering. The Series A round was led by Quona Capital and Lendable with participation from Nclude, Speedinvest, Khwarizmi Ventures, Algebra Ventures, Accion Venture Lab, and Disruptech, among others.
Here are the other deals for the week:
- CredPal, a Nigerian Buy-Now-Pay-Later startup, raised $15 million in debt and equity. The debt, which is a larger part of the bridge round, was provided by Credit Direct, a subsidiary of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), and a few unnamed financial institutions.
- An Egyptian fantasy football platform, Eksab completed a $3 million seed round. It was led by 4DX Ventures with participation from Darwazah Capital, Golden Palm Investments, P1 Ventures, and other angel investors.
- Yemaachi, a Ghanaian healthtech startup raised a $3 million round to accelerate precision oncology. The round was led by V8 Capital, with participation from LifeLine Family Heritage Fund, Y Combinator, Tencent, LoftyInc Capital, VestedWorld, V Square Capital, and Ethan Perlstein.
- Nigerian-based logistics startup, Kwik, completed a $2 million series A round led by XBTO Ventures with participation from new and existing investors.
- Waspito, a healthtech startup based in Cameroon raised $2.7 million in seed funding to expand its user base.
- Otida, a wellness and nutrition startup based in Egypt raised $340,000 led by LoftyInc Capital Management, with the participation from Flat6Labs, Afropreneurs, Jedar Capital, OQAL Angel Investors, UI Investments, and some angel investors.
- Kenyan social e-commerce startup, Tushop raised a $3 million pre-seed to expand its group-buying service across Nairobi.
- Churpy, a Kenyan-based fintech startup received $1 million in pre-seed funding led by Unicorn Growth Capital, with participation from an existing investor: Antler East Africa; and new investors: Nairobi Business Angel Network, and Rally Cap Ventures.
That’s it for this week!
Check out our funding dashboard, DealFlow to track every deal that’s happening on the continent in real-time. Also, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for more updates.
- Big Cabal Media – Sales Associate (TC Insights) – Lagos, Nigeria
- Flutterwave – Product Compliance Officer (Nigeria), Product Compliance Officer (Egypt), Product Compliance Officer (Cameroon) – Various countries
- Paystack – Freelance Video Editors – Africa (Remote)
- Nestcoin – Senior Frontend Engineer, Social Media/Community Specialist, Product Manager – Africa (Remote)
- Helicarrier – Senior Product Marketing Manager, Treasury Currency Dealer – Africa (Remote)
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Written by – Timi Odueso & Fikayo Idowu
Edited by – Kelechi Njoku
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