Last week, the African startup scene witnessed an interesting turn of events, with venture fund news surpassing startup fundraising news. Despite this, three startups operating in Nigeria successfully secured seed funding rounds.
In this edition of the Weekly Insider, we will delve into the details of these noteworthy developments.
Payday, a Rwanda-based fintech startup, has raised $3 million in seed funding led by Moniepoint Inc, with participation from Techstars, HoaQ, DFS Lab and Ingressive Capital. Angel investors such as Dare Okoudjou and Tola Onayemi, also took part in the oversubscribed round.
Founded in June 2021 by Favour Ori, Payday connects Africans with the world through virtual dollar cards and similar offerings, enabling them to send and receive money globally from Africa.
With the new investment, Payday aims to obtain operational licensing in the UK and Canada, expand its team from 35 to 50 employees, and increase its marketing efforts while building out operations in the UK.
Fez Delivery, a Nigerian last-mile logistics startup, has raised $1 million in a recent seed funding round led by Ventures Platform. Other participants in the funding round included Voltron Capital, Acasia Ventures, and several angel investors.
Founded in 2020 by Seun Alley, Fez Delivery addresses several challenges that small businesses encounter in the last-mile delivery sector in the country. These challenges include pricing, reach, and delivery time issues. The startup enables individual customers to utilize its services, monitor orders, handle expenses, aggregate data, and conduct payments through its mobile and web applications, while providing its corporate clients with APIs and dashboards.
The company plans to use the seed investment to deepen its work in Nigeria, where it intends to improve its technology and operation efficiency, hire more talent, and increase its marketing spend. From Q4 2023, Fez Delivery also plans to consider expansion into other African markets, including Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa.
HouseAfrica, a Nigerian prop-tech startup, has raised $400,000 in seed funding from African and international investors, including Future Africa, SSE Angel Network (SSEAN), ARM Labs, CV VC, Startupbootcamp Afritech, Niche Capital, and Rebel Seed Capital.
Founded in 2019 by Nnamdi Uba and Ndifreke Ikpoku, HouseAfrica’s flagship product, Sytemap.com, leverages proprietary blockchain and map technology to create a private land registry, digitizing real estate project sitemaps and enabling instant land transaction authentication while growing sales for real estate companies.
The startup currently has three suites available for Sytemap, including Sytemap for Estate Developers, Sytemap for Buyers, and Sytemap for Realtors.
Kalon Venture Partners, a South African venture capital firm, is set to launch a new $50m fund to invest in digital innovation startups across Africa. The move marks the firm’s first foray into investments beyond South Africa’s borders.
The new fund aims to support the growth of startups across the continent by investing in digital companies with potential for scaling and driving economic growth. By expanding their reach beyond South Africa, the firm seeks to tap into the potential of the wider African market and contribute to the development of African tech ecosystems.
DFS Lab has launched the DFS Lab Stellar Africa Fund I, which aims to support builders and teams in Africa who are working to transform the digital payments landscape by building on the Stellar network.
The fund has been made possible through an investment from the Stellar Development Foundation, and will provide selected portfolio founders with access to DFS Lab’s team and community, as well as mentors from the Stellar Development Foundation and Stellar ecosystem companies. This initiative builds upon previous collaborations between DFS Lab and the Stellar Development Foundation, which supported startups and developers building on the Stellar network in Africa.
Oxfam Novib and Goodwell Investments have joined forces to launch a €20m ($21.7m) fund called Pepea. The fund will provide venture debt with a focus on mezzanine finance to early-stage startups in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia.
The fund will target businesses that have been in existence for one to five years and generating revenues, but yet to raise capital. It aims to invest in businesses in sustainable agriculture, energy, clean mobility, logistics and waste management sectors. The initial check will range from $100k to $500k, with follow-on investments up to $1M from Goodwell’s funds.
Egyptian venture capital firm Camel Ventures has launched an investment vehicle called Camel Ventures for Investment I (CVI), valued at EGP 500 million ($16m), aimed at supporting the growth of the fintech startup ecosystem in Egypt. Regulated by the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority, CVI offers both equity investments for early-stage startups and venture debt in local currency for later-stage startups.
The initiative has received backing from a variety of investors including banks, financial institutions, and family offices from Egypt and the GCC. CVI has already invested in ten sectors in Egypt and is committed to working closely with startups, regulators, and investors to promote sustainable growth.