Home » Ten African startups that raised more than $100 million this year

Ten African startups that raised more than $100 million this year

by Chidi Emenike

This year remains unprecedented in the annals of African tech startups. It was a record-breaking year in terms of funding. Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that African startups have so far raised more than $4 billion in 754 deals.  

Most interestingly, the data revealed that raising over $100 million is now the new normal for African startups. All over the continent, the share of mega-deals (+$100 million) in funding has risen continent-wide, by about 90 percent in Senegal, 55 percent in Nigeria, and 39 percent in South Africa, as well as in other locations. 

These mega-deals accounted for about 40 percent of the total funding raised by African startups this year. 

The development is important, as it represents a paradigm shift from the status quo.

As reported by Quartz Africa, no African startup raised $100 million in 2020, excluding the acquisitions of Sendwave and Paystack.  

In addition, it is worth noting that, before this year, only two African startups have ever raised $100 million in single rounds: Andela and O’Pay in 2019. 

In this light, the recent development indicates a growing interest in the African startup scene. 

Here is a list of African startups that raised more than $100 million this year. 

1. O’pay (Nigeria) 

Amount: $400 million 

Sector: Fintech 

O’Pay is a Chinese fintech company operating in Nigeria. The Olu-Akanmu-led company raised a total of $400 million this year from its lead investor, SoftBank. The firm explained that it intends to expand its operations with the fund. 

Earlier, Billionaires.Africa reported that the company raised about $170 million in 2017 via two funding rounds, $50 million that June and another $120 million in November. 

2. Chipper (East Africa) 

Amount: $250 million 

Sector: Fintech 

Chipper Cash is a fintech company established in 2018 by Ugandan Ham Serunjogi and Ghanaian Maijid Moujaled. The company offers mobile-based, no fee, P2P payment services in seven countries on the African continent. 

The fintech giant raised $250 million this year from SVB Capital and FTX, thereby pushing up its valuation to about $2 billion. 

Billionaires.Africa gathered that the pan-African company raised $100 million in its Series-C round in June this year, followed by another $150-million Series-C extension round in November. 

3. Wave (Senegal) 

Amount: $200 million  

Sector: Fintech 

Senegal-based mobile money firm, Wave, secured $200 million this year from a host of investors, including Sequoia Heritage, Stripe, Founders Fund and Ribbit Capital.  

The funding secured in a Series-A round helped push its valuation to around $1.7 billion. 

Billionaires.Africa gathered that Wave is the first unicorn from Francophone Africa and the third startup to reach the mark this year after O’Pay and Flutterwave. 

4. Andela (Nigeria) 

Amount: $200 million 

Sector: Recruitment  

Andela is a Nigerian startup that connects promising software engineering talents to global companies. The firm raised $200 million from SoftBank and Whale Rock, pushing its valuation to $1.5 billion. 

5. Flutterwave (Nigeria) 

Amount: $170 million 

Sector: Fintech 

Established in 2016, Flutterwave is a Nigerian payment company, with offices in Lagos and San Francisco. It is one of Africa’s few startups that have secured more than $200 million in funding. 

This year alone, the startup secured $170 million in funding in a Series-C round led by Avenir Growth Capital and Tiger Global. The company is now valued at more than $1 billion. 

6. MNT-Halan (Egypt)

Amount: $120 million

Sector: Fintech

Founded in 2018, MNT-Halan is Egypt’s largest and fastest growing lender to the unbanked.

7. Jumo (South Africa)

Amount: $120 million 

Sector: Fintech

JUMO is a fintech company that collaborates with financial institutions and e-commerce players to deliver financial choices to customers in emerging markets in Africa and Asia.

8. Trade Depot (Nigeria)

Amount: $110 million 

Sector: Logistics

TradeDepot is a B2B digital platform that connects producers of consumer goods to an informal network of SME retailers.

9. Tyme Bank (South Africa)

Amount: $109 million

Sector: Fintech

TymeBank is a South Africa-based, exclusively digital retail bank.

10. MFS Africa (South Africa)

Amount: $100 million

Sector: Fintech

According to Crunchbase, MFS Africa is the largest mobile money interoperability hub in Africa, which connects mobile network operators across the continent through a single API.

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