The Gateway to Africa's Startup Ecosystem
The Gateway to Africa's Startup Ecosystem

Issue #37: Egyptian fintech MoneyFellows raises $31 million in Series B funding, Nigerian proptech SmallSmall raises $3 million in seed funding, and more

Welcome to the AU-Startups Weekly Newsletter issue for this week.

We’ve been busy this week highlighting some of the outstanding founders and startups that raised funds in the last month. As our AU-Startups Founder of the Month, we profiled Sophia Alj, co-founder and COO of Chari, and Kenyan furniture startup, MoKo Home + Living, as our AU-Startup of the Month.

You can find out more about them by clicking here.

AU-Startups Founder of the Month: Sophia Alj (October 2022)

AU-Startup of the Month: MoKo Home + Living (October 2022)

We also published a comprehensive analysis of the Nigerian Startup Bill and its potential impact on the Nigerian tech ecosystem. You can find it here.

Now, let’s get right into why you are here.



SmallSmall, a Nigerian proptech company, has raised $3 million in seed funding ($2 million in equity and $1 million in debt). Techstars, Oyster VC, Asymmetry Ventures, Vivaz, and Niche Capital, as well as some angel investors, participated in the seed round.

Founded in 2018 by Tunde Balogun, Naomi Olaghere and Pidah Tnadah, SmallSmall provides tenants with the convenience of paying rent on a monthly basis, as well as the relief of not having to deal with real estate agents, while also providing landlords with a way to screen tenants, increase their income, and manage properties.

The funds will be used to expand into other major cities in Nigeria, including Port Harcourt, Enugu, and Jos, by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

Series A

AfyA Care, a Nigerian healthcare group has raised $6 million in Series A funding from CardinalStone Capital Advisers (CCA),  a West African private equity fund.

Founded in 2019 by Tosin Runsewe and Kola Oni, AfyA Care provides integrated healthcare services including hospital care, health insurance and health technology services in Nigeria.

The funds will be used to strengthen its experienced talent pool, expand its hospital brands, and scale its Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and proprietary health tech solutions in order to transform healthcare delivery in Nigeria and beyond.

Series B

MoneyFellows, an Egypt-based fintech, has completed the first close of its Series B round with a $31 million investment led by CommerzVentures, MEVP, and Arzan Venture Capital, as well as Invenfin, National Investment Company (NIC). Existing investors Partech, Sawari Ventures, 4DX, and P1Ventures joined the round as well.

Founded in 2016 by Adham Badr and Ahmed Wadi, Money Fellows is a mobile-based platform that digitizes money circles, also known as “Gameya” in Egypt.

Money Fellows will use the funds to accelerate its growth, expand its product offerings across the B2C and B2B segments, and expand across Africa and Asia.


Spotter, a Moroccan open finance startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from UM6P Ventures.

Founded by Abdele Boukachabine and Mamoune Kettani, Spotter develops an API-driven platform that assists financial institutions in analyzing consumer financial data, allowing millions of people to gain greater credit access while also expanding the capabilities of lenders and other fintech companies.

Spotter intends to make its product available to local banks seeking accurate banking data on its  potential customers.

Omniscient, Africa’s first provider of privacy-protecting data collaboration platforms, has raised an undisclosed expansion round led by Buffet Investments and KLT. Shoprite Group, One5, ENL, and early shareholders Investec and Nedbank are among the other participants.

Founded in 2019 by Jon Jacobson and Anton Grutzmacher, Omnisient’s bank-grade encryption technology, which anonymizes customer data, enables businesses to use consumption data in a secure, compliant, and risk-free manner to generate new revenue streams.

This round of funding will be used to support the company’s geographic expansion as well as the development of their platform.

UNLOCK, an Egyptian B2B marketplace for professional services, has raised a six-figure round led by UI Investments and a group of angel investors.

Co-founded by Fady Younan and Mona El-Kheshen, UNLOCK connects businesses with service providers in a variety of industries, including marketing, software development, accounting, and consulting.

UNLOCK has served 600 businesses to date, generating more than $3 million in revenue for its vendor partners.


Payhippo, a Nigerian fintech startup focused on SMEs, has acquired Maritime Microfinance Bank (MFB), a financial institution specializing in savings products, demand deposits, investments, and SMEs loans.

Specifically, the extensive banking knowledge of Maritime Microfinance Bank employees will assist Payhippo in its mission to expand access to finance for SMEs through digital technology. Payhippo will also gain direct access to the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System as a result of the acquisition (NIBSS).

Hoods, a live e-commerce platform, has been acquired by Egypt-based buy now pay later (BNPL) platform valU.

Founded by Mostafa Hanafi and Waleed Ghalwas in late 2020, Hoods uses live video to help shoppers find and compare brands. The startup raised $350,000 in a pre-Seed investment round this year.

X-ERA, a logistics services provider based in the UAE, has acquired Egypt’s B2B marketplace SPEED, as part of its international expansion strategy. The purchase price was not disclosed.

SPEED connects FMCG suppliers with small to medium-sized merchants and retailers, with plans to add B2C services to its platform, and has over 35,000 merchants signed up, with a target of 100,000 by mid-2023.

Tractor Outdoor, the leading out-of-home (OOH) media owner, has announced that it will take over the rest of the business after acquiring a 50% stake in boutique media company UrbanSigns in 2018.

This announcement comes on the heels of Hlayisani Capital, a black-owned private equity and venture capital firm, acquiring a minority stake in Tractor Media Holdings; both moves aim to aggressively accelerate Tractor’s DOOH growth strategy over the next few years.

AU-Startups Highlights

Nigerian Startup Touch and Pay wins $50,000 Ecobank Fintech Challenge 2022

MEST Africa announces top 5 start-ups for grand challenge

500 Global, GIZ establish bootcamp for accelerators in Africa to help them define sustainable business models

Interesting Finds

How Duplo is Reimagining B2B Payments for African Businesses

Experiment and refine until you find your custom attribution model

Why Price Transparency is Critical to execute Effective Digital Media Campaigns

Events, Opportunities and Jobs

Click here for this week’s curated list of business opportunities, accelerator programs and grants for African business owners, venture builders and startup founders, and 13 job openings across 6 companies.

And that’s a wrap for this week. Please help grow our readership by sharing with your friends and colleagues.

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Issue #38: South African healthtech Contro raises $580,000 in pre-Seed funding, while Algerian superapp Yassir raises $150M in Series B funding, and more

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