By Abbas Badmus
Nigeria has achieved unprecedented milestone when it comes to start-ups and the development of innovative products to address challenges in the African continent. Ranging from Fintech, to edtech and to proptech, young innovators in the country are breaking new grounds.
It is, therefore not shocking that Nigerian start-ups are attracting more foreign investors’ interests than their counterparts in other African countries.
Last year alone, Tech Digest reports that the start-ups attracted over $150 billion, which was 35 percent of the total investments that came into Africa in 2021.
This year, Nigerian startups have accumulated close to a billion dollars in the first quarter.
The Tech Digest, a publication of Image Merchants Promotion, presents top five performing startups that made the news in Q1 2022:
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 this year put the 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.”
Moove ($105 million)
In March, 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.
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.
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 this year. Additionally, the company received a $1.75million 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.
Reliance Health ($40 million)
In February this year, 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.
Credpal ($15 million)
CredPal, one of the earliest pioneers of ‘buy now, pay later’ services in Nigeria, also closed a bridge round of $15 million in equity and debt in March this year to expand its consumer credit offerings across Africa.
According to a statement shared by the company, the investment will support its expansion into other African markets, mainly Kenya, Egypt, Ghana, and Cameroon.