Nigerian startups have continued to attract investors from across the world. This year, they have secured funding from global VCs, angels, and institutional financiers. And we’ve seen more local investment vehicles and High Net-Worth Individuals (including startup founders themselves) get in on the act.
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One estimate suggests that between January 1 and December 1, startups in the country had raised a total of about $1.2 billion. While this isn’t as much as the $1.37 billion scooped up in 2021, it’s quite impressive when considered against the backdrop of reduced activity by seed and series investors across the globe.
This article walks you through Nigeria’s top 10 startup funding rounds in 2022, in increasing order of magnitude.
Umba ($15 Million)
Umba, a FinTech that offers a mix of traditional and digital banking services, disclosed in April that it had raised $15 million in its Series A funding round. VC firm Costanoa led the round, which also had Lux Capital, Act Venture Capital, Lachy Groom, Chandaria Capital, and Streamlined Ventures, among others. Umba says that the funding it’s raised will enable it to introduce new financial products, and expand into Ghana, Kenya, and Egypt.
Omnibiz ($15 Million)
Omnibiz, a retail-tech startup, closed a $15 million pre-Series A funding round in August. The company, which is digitizing Nigeria’s retail supply chain and linking manufacturers of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) to secondary sellers, had previously raised $3 million to expand to new markets within Nigeria. It plans to deploy its latest funding ($5 million equity and $10 million debt) to its efforts at setting up a presence in Ghana and Cote d’ Ivoire.
Bamboo ($17.4 Million)
Bamboo enables its users to invest in the Nigerian and US stock markets. In March, it closed a venture round in which it raised $17.4 million from undisclosed investors. This came less than two months after it lapped up $15 million in its Series A funding round. The startup has recently launched in Ghana.
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Vendease ($30 Million)
Vendease, a food-procurement platform, announced in September that it had secured $30 million in funding (equity and debt). Participating investors included TLcom and Partech (which co-led the round), VentureSouq, Kube VC, Hustle Fund, GFR Fund, Hack VC, and Magic Fund. Vendease enables hotels and restaurants to purchase supplies, access financial services, and strengthen their operations. It intends to deepen its impact in the eight cities across Nigeria and Ghana in which it is active.
Yellow Card ($40 Million)
Yellow Card, a crypto-exchange that’s present in more than a dozen African countries, revealed in September that it had closed a $40 million Series B funding round. The round was led by Polychain Capital, and had participation from Valar Ventures, Sozo Ventures, Third Prime, Fabric Ventures, and Castle Island Ventures, among others. Yellow Card currently has over 1 million users in Africa who trade cryptocurrencies on its platform.
Reliance Health ($40 Million)
Back in February, Reliance Health, a Nigerian HealthTech startup, completed a Series B funding round. General Atlantic led the round, which also had participants like Partech, Tencent Exploration, Picus Capital, Arvantis Social Foundation, and others. Reliance Health provides health insurance, telemedicine, and healthcare facilities to hundreds of companies and thousands of individuals. Femi Kuti, CEO and co-founder at Reliance Health, said that the funding it’s raised will help it to establish a presence in other emerging markets.
TeamApt ($50 Million)
TeamApt, a business payments and banking platform provider, received the fourth largest investment of any startup in 2022—more than $50 million from its pre-Series C funding round. The round, announced in August, was led by QED (its first investment in Africa), with Novastar Ventures, Lightrock, and BII (all of which had previously invested in the startup) getting involved as well. TeamApt wants to channel the funding it’s gotten to its push to broaden its credit offerings.
Moove ($105 Million)
Moove is a mobility FinTech startup that provides vehicle financing to drivers of ride-hailing vehicles, mass transportation outfits, and logistics services. It has served clients in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. Moove has now expanded into India as well, thanks to the financial backing that it’s received from investors. In March, news broke that it had raised $105 million in an oversubscribed Series A2 round. Funding was led by Speedinvest, Left Lane Capital, and The Latest Ventures. Moove has fundraised five times throughout 2022.
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Interswitch ($110 Million)
Three years after it became a unicorn, Interswitch drew in funding worth $110 million from Tana Africa Capital and Leapfrog Investment. The deal, which was disclosed in May, involved existing investors Visa, Helios and others, who sold a 15% stake to the new parties. Interswitch provides a good portion of the infrastructure that supports Nigeria’s e-payments systems and is known for its online payment platform Quickteller, and debit card scheme Verve.
Flutterwave ($250 Million)
In February, Flutterwave made the headlines across Africa after raising $250 million in its Series D round. The deal tripled its valuation to $3 billion, making it the highest-valued startup on the continent. As one of Nigeria’s leading payments companies, Flutterwave has processed more than 200 million transactions worth over $16 billion. Some of this has come from the more than 30 other countries in which its service exists. It also has an eCommerce platform (Flutterwave Market), and a remittance service (Send).
It’s been an interesting year for startup funding. Although things have slowed down somewhat in the past few months, we can hope that they’ll pick up in the near future.
Featured Image Source: Foundr
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This article was first published on 7th January 2023
Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.
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