With a population of 1.1B that’s growing increasingly connected and mobile, Africa is home to a tech industry poised for rapid growth. Not to mention, the Nigeria-based Africa Internet Group recently joined the global unicorn club of private companies valued at $1B+. More African unicorns are sure to emerge in the future.
Using the CB Insights database, we rounded up 11 notable tech VC financings in Africa over the past 5 years to see which companies are drawing investor attention.
Interestingly, a largest share of financings on the list went to e-commerce, highlighting the industry’s potential in Africa. In first place was Jumia, an e-commerce company active in 9 African markets. Its latest round put it at a valuation of $555M. Also notable is that Jumia is a portfolio company of Africa Internet Group, the unicorn that is an internet holding company and also appears separately on the list.
The next largest round went to Takealot Online, a South Africa-based e-commerce platform that appeared on our list of 50 Future Unicorns. Takealot raised a $100M round in Q2’14 from Tiger Global Management.
Finally, in third place was the previously mentioned Africa Internet Group (AIG) whose recent financing from French insurer AXA Group put the company at a valuation just above $1B. AIG is a joint venture between of Rocket Internet, MTN Group (a South African telecom), and Millicom, a telecom and media conglomerate active in Africa and Latin America. AIG portfolio companies include Jumia and Zando (a fashion e-commerce site also on the list), among many others.
Aside from e-commerce (Nigeria-based “online mall” Konga.com is also present), several other verticals made the list. Smile is telecom with focus on mobile phone infrastructure, and Wananchi Group is a television/internet service provider. Travelstart, a travel tech booking site, made the list with a recent $40M round. And Teraco Data Environments, with a $23M Series C, operates data centers to house clients’ data and networking operations.
While most were large rounds, also included were 2 companies that raised sizable early-stage rounds: BRCK recently raised a $3M seed round for its wireless connectivity devices; and Kopo Kopo raised a $2.1M Series A in Q4’15 for its pivot away from mobile payments into micro-lending.
See the full list below:
||Series A||100||South Africa||Q2’14|
|3||Africa Internet Group||
|4||Wananchi Group Holdings||
||Unattributed VC – II||57.5||Kenya||Q2’11|
|5||Smile Telecoms Holdings||
||Unattributed VC||40||South Africa||Q1’16|
||Series A||26||South Africa||Q4’12|
|8||Teraco Data Environments||
||Series C||23.2||South Africa||Q2’11|