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

Issue #78: Okra Solar Raises $12 Million in Series A Funding; Rentoza Secured $6 Million, while Itana Announced $2 Million Financing for its Virtual City Development

We recorded quite a number of remarkable deals across the African Startup ecosystem last week. Leading energy startup, Okra Solar raised $12 Million in a mixture of debt and equity funding, while Rentoza secured $6 Million to scale its online subscription services. In addition, Itana, Nestcoin, Kotani Pay, and Anchor all announced fundings in the range of $1.9 to $2.4 Million within the same time frame. 



Funding round: Series A (Undisclosed)

InvestorsBeltone Venture Capital

Founded:  2016, Egypt

Founders:  Khaled Attallah and Shahir Arslan

Products:  ariika operates a digital-led home and décor brand partnering with artisans,  real estate developers and art creators to design and curate housing interior aesthetics for clients. 

What Next?:  ariika intends to utilize the funding to finance its geographic expansion into Saudi Arabia, improve its omni-channel marketing strategy, and develop its technological infrastructure with advanced AR tools.


Funding round: ($850,000)

Investors: A15 and Beltone Venture Capital

Founded: 2022, Egypt

Founders: Mostafa Tarek, Mohamed Elshabrawy and Omar Shawky

Products: Sehatech provides tech-backed products that streamline medical insurance processes. The company’s solutions eliminate manual processes in health insurance claims, facilitating a seamless and frictionless experience for patients and healthcare service providers.

What Next?: Sehatech plans to use the funding to  expand its team, accelerate product development, and enhance its customer service operations across Egypt and MENA.


Funding round: Pre-Seed ($2 Million)

Investors:  Future Africa, LocalGlobe, Amplo and Pronomos Capital.

Founded: 2019, Nigeria

Founders: Luqman Edu, Iyin Aboyeji, and Coco Liu

Products: Itana is building a virtual city in the Nigerian government-led free zones for businesses in the digital and service industry. The company currently operates  an online one-stop-shop app comparable to global tech products letting international businesses conduct operations in Nigeria and access business incentives like capital repatriation and business visas without having a physical presence in Nigeria.

What Next?: The startup will utilize the funding to augment its efforts to improve Nigeria’s ease-of-doing-business index, drive foreign direct investment (FDI), and catalyze employment.


Funding round: ($1.9 Million)

InvestorsHashed Emergent, Alter Global, Magic Fund, CMT Digital, 4DX Ventures, Adaverse and Base Ecosystem Fund

Founded: 2021, Nigeria

Founders: Yele BadeMosi, Taiwo Orilogbon

Products: The startup operates a cryptocurrency investment software that enables investors to develop and invest in crypto-backed projects. Nestcoin also builds, operates and invests in crypto-native products.

What Next?: Fueled by the funding, Nestcoin aims to further democratize access to economic opportunities presented by crypto and web3. It plans to use the money to shore up its finances and further  its mission to provide individuals in frontier markets with equitable access to economic possibilities.

Okra Solar

Funding round: Series A Debt and Equity ( $12 Million)

Investors:   At One Ventures, FMO, Susquehanna Private Equity Investments LLLP, Autodesk Foundation, King Philanthropies, EDFI.

Founded: 2016. 

Founders: Afnan Hannan, Damian Veling

Products: Okra Solar develops IoT enabled hardware and software for last-mile energy companies serving remote off-grid communities. The company develops mesh-grid technology, comprising its proprietary Okra Pod, PV panels, battery, and inverters to serve communities. 

What Next?: Okra Solar intends to invest the funding to scale its mesh-grid technology and expand its reach to serve more clients and communities. 

Kotani Pay

Funding round: Pre-Seed ($2 Million)

Investors: P1 Ventures, DCG/Luno, and Flori Ventures

Founded:  2020, Kenya

Founders: Felix Macharia, Keith Mandela, Samuel Kariuki, Jonathan Morgan and Brian Kimotho

Products: Kotani Pay operates a crypto payments platform designed to simplify cross-border remittances for Africans. The company’s platform acts as a middleware connecting blockchains to local payment networks allowing users to  send money on feature phones without the internet.

What Next?: Fueled by the funding, the startup intends to expand its operations into markets in Rwanda, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, and Nigeria. 


Funding round: Seed ($2 .4 Million)

Investors: Goat Capital, FoundersX, Rebel Fund, Y Combinator and Byld Ventures.

Founded:  2021, Nigeria

Founders: Segun Adeyemi, Olamide Sobowale, and Gbekeloluwa Olufotebi

Products: Anchor operates a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) solution which includes APIs, dashboards, and tools designed to aid developers build banking products and systems such as virtual bank accounts, funds transfers, and issuing cards. 

What Next?: The startup intends to channel the funds into improving its offerings and exploring pan-African expansion, extending its reach into new markets.

Be Wireless Solution (BWS)

Funding round:  ($ 1.6Million)

InvestorsSmart Capital and Capsa Capital Partners

Founded: 2018, Tunisia

Founders: Karim Kharrat, Sofiene Ghram, Nizar Ghram

Products: Be Wireless Solutions (BWS) develops resource-saving solutions incorporating Internet of Things (IoT) technology. The company operates a digital infrastructure that enables users to track and monitor resource-saving efforts. 

What Next?:The company intends to utilize the  substantial investment to reshape the landscape of IoT technology in Europe and beyond by extending its services and more advanced solutions to those regions.


Funding round:  Undisclosed

InvestorsRenew Capital Angels 

Founded: 2015,  Kenya

Founders: Richard Machomba

Products: FlexPay operates an innovative “save now, buy later” platform that enables customers to save up for purchases over time without incurring any interest, all while helping them set and achieve their personal savings goals. 

What Next?: Fueled by the new funding, Flexpay is set to partner with merchants and pioneer a transformative change redefining consumer finance across Africa.


Funding round:  ($6 Million)

Investors:   Alitheia IDF and Vumela Enterprise Development Fund

Founded: 2017,  South Africa

Founders: Chris Govender, Aviraag Ramdhani, Avinesh Reddy, Mishaan Ratan

Products: Rentoza operates an online subscription platform for goods and appliances. It aims to provide convenient access to essential products and services for Africans through its subscription model.

What Next: Rentoza will use the capital injection to fuel its growth and facilitate its expansion within the e-commerce landscape in South Africa and across the African continent. The allocated funds will be channeled into asset acquisitions, capital projects, marketing initiatives, and talent recruitment.

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The WFP IGNITE SEED Innovation Program 2023 for Research-Based Food-Systems Innovators in East Africa.

The Aurora Tech Award 2024 for Women Tech Founders 

Beyond Limits Fellowship Programme 2023 for Young African Founders 

D-Prize Challenge 2023/2024 for Social Entrepreneurs to Fight Poverty 

WFP Digital Green Innovation Acceleration Programme (DGIx) for Digital Solutions

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