This week saw a significant increase in funding activity across the continent, with seven deals recorded in the seed funding category alone. The largest deal recorded was Moove’s $30 million sukuk issuance.
Let’s get into the specifics.
VENCO, a Nigerian proptech startup, has raised $670,000 in a pre-seed funding round led by Zrosk Investment Management. Voltron Capital, Decimal Point Ventures, and Fast Forward Fund also participated in the round, as did angel investors such as Tayo Oviosu (CEO of Paga) and Odun Eweniyi (COO of PiggyVest).
Founded in 2022 by Chude Kenneth Osiegbu, Reagan Mbitiru, and Uzochukwu Alor, VENCO automates the collection and reconciliation of all community dues and payments, leading to increased receipts and better margins for property owners.
The funds raised will assist VENCO in expanding its credit delivery infrastructure for rent and household expenses, as well as expanding into other cities and countries across the continent, beginning with Nigeria and Kenya.
Launched in 2022 by Rania Reda and Mo’nes Sadeq, Brito Cloud Kitchens owns and operates a network of smartly distributed and fully operational cloud kitchens throughout Egypt, assisting international brands in quickly expanding their presence and delivery to the Egyptian market with minimal investment.
SIDEUP, an Egypt-based logistics platform, has raised $1.2 million in seed funding from Launch Africa VC, 500 Global, Riyadh Angels, Alex Angels, Al Tuwaijri Fund, and Saudi angel investor Faisal AlAbdulsalam.
Launched in 2019 by Waleed Rashed, SIDEUP (formerly VOO) offers payment gateways and API integration for shipping, warehousing, and fulfillment through a single platform to simplify operations and improve customer experience.
SIDEUP will use the investment to increase its presence in Egypt and expand into Saudi Arabia, relocating its headquarters to Riyadh.
Founded in March by Tamer Amer and Karim Maurice, OneOrder works to enable restaurants to source food and daily procurement needs from local suppliers directly.
OneOrder will use the investment to expand its warehouse footprint and gain market share, as well as to invest in proprietary technology.
Zeraki, a Kenyan edtech startup, has raised $1.8 million in seed funding led by Acumen Fund.Other investors include Save the Children Impact Investment Fund, Verdant Frontiers Fintech, Logos Ventures, Nairobi Business Angels Network, and Melvyn Lubega, co-founder of Go1, an Australia-based edtech unicorn.
Founded in 2014 by Isaac Nyangolo and Erick Oude, Zeraki uses technology to address some of the barriers to quality education that students face. Using technology, the startup ensures the quality of education students receive at each level of education.
The new funds will be used to catalog the startup’s product growth while also fueling its expansion in East Africa, according to the company.
Launched in 2020 by Sneha Mehta, Jade Oyateru and Catherine Lee, Uncover produces tailored beauty and skincare products for its African customers using African botanicals. The startup outsources its manufacturing to professional Korean manufacturers, ensuring that their products are made with the best available technology, safe ingredients and formulations, and extensive testing.
Uncover plans to use the funds to scale its operations in Kenya before expanding to Nigeria in January 2023.
Kapu, a social commerce startup based in Kenya, has raised $8 million in seed funding after emerging from stealth mode. Giant Ventures and Firstminute Capital co-led the seed round, with participation from Founder Collective, Base Capital, Norrsken, and Raven One.
Founded in January by former Jumia Group executive vice president Sam Chappatte, Kapu enables group bulk-buying of groceries through direct sourcing from manufacturers and producers, allowing consumers to save money on fresh produce and packaged consumer goods.
Kapu intends to expand its network of local agents through which customers can place orders.
Gridless, which was founded earlier this year, designs, builds, and operates bitcoin mining sites in collaboration with small-scale renewable energy producers in rural Africa where excess energy is wasted.
The investment will help the company expand its bitcoin mining operations across African markets.
Synatic, a data automation startup from South Africa, has raised $2.5 million in seed extension funding led by E-Squared Ventures and UW Ventures. Adansonia Fund Manager and Endeavor South Africa are among the other investors.
Launched in 2017 by Martin Naude, Synatic provides a low-code/no-code integration solution for internal and external data sources. It currently offers data solutions to multinational corporations like HCC Tokio Marine, a US-based insurance company.
Synatic plans to use the funds raised to expand its market reach in the United States in advance of Series A funding in 2023.
Mobility for Africa, a Zimbabwe-based mobility startup, has received a $2 million (Z$723.8 billion) investment from InfraCo Africa to deploy 400 electric vehicles in the country’s rural areas.
The deal also covers the production of 600 electric batteries, and the installation of eight charging stations, with the goal of creating a sustainable transportation system to stimulate sustainable development, particularly in communities not yet served by Zimbabwe’s national electricity grid.
Moove, a Nigeria-based vehicle finance startup, has raised $30 million through a debut sukuk issuance arranged by Franklin Templeton Investments (ME) Ltd. in its mission to build the largest EV ride-hailing fleet in the MENA region.
Sukuk are financial products whose terms and structures are Sharia-compliant, with the goal of producing returns comparable to those of traditional fixed-income instruments such as bonds.
Moove will use the funds to expand its fleet to 2,000 EVs in the UAE over the next year, creating long-term economic opportunities while accelerating mobility electrification and improving the ride-hailing passenger experience in the region.
Morni, a Saudi Arabia-based mobility solutions platform, plans to invest $10 million through Exists.me, an M&A advisory firm, to target new acquisitions in Egypt in the mobility space. This buy-side agreement will be in effect until 2023.
Launched in 2016, Morni is a one-stop shop for towing and roadside assistance. In the event of an emergency, the startup allows users to obtain integrated logistics services for their vehicles.
The startup will receive a $50,000 equity investment as well as access to top business coaches, mentors, and global investors.
Sky.Garden, a Kenyan e-commerce startup, has been acquired by Lipa Later Group, a financial services company that offers BNPL services among other things. The company was facing closure after failing to close a funding round in September.
Sky.Garden is now fully owned by Lipa Later Group and will continue to operate under the same name. The acquisition of Sky.Garden by Lipa Later presents an opportunity for both companies to capitalize on each other’s strengths and accelerate the growth of the e-commerce industry.
Seedstars, a Swiss-based venture capital firm, has launched its investment arm “Seedstars Capital” for emerging VC fund managers in the Middle East and other emerging markets, with the help of xMultiplied, a Swiss-based investment holding company.
The platform will incubate, accelerate, and invest in new venture capital funds in emerging markets such as Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia.
Seedstars expects to invest more than $500 million in emerging and diverse managers, who will create more than 10,000 new jobs and generate more than $20 billion in additional GDP across emerging markets over the next ten years.
The fund formed from TLG’s existing funds will assist Future Africa’s portfolio companies in maintaining their runway in an increasingly challenging fundraising environment.
Events, Opportunities and Jobs
And that’s all for this week. Remember to share this newsletter issue with your friends and colleagues at work, so they don’t miss out on the happenings in the African startup ecosystem.