Recent Fundraises for Female-led Start-ups
It is no longer news; Africa’s future is female. This encompasses everything including the vibrant African ecosystem.
With each passing day of this new year, African women-led (or co-founded) start-ups are creating value, generating jobs, making an impact and progressing as strongly as their male counterparts.
Because as Hope Ditlhakanyane’s LinkedIn post pointed out, “Progress toward a gender-inclusive ecosystem can unlock economic growth for the continent.”
And women will achieve more if their ideas receive significant attention and funding from investors. However, we are all aware of the history of women-led/co-founded businesses.
Fortunately, that story is taking a turn for the better.
“Over the last three years,” according to TechCabal, “there has been an improved focus on, and support for, women-led businesses in Africa. In 2021, female founders across the continent attracted $288 million in funding, which is considerably more than the $52 million achieved just two years prior1. But while this is an impressive shift, female-led startups are still receiving considerably lower venture funding than male-led startups.”
A Good Start to 2023
January 2023 was an incredible, fundraising month for female founders; a fantastic start for women, and we have listed five of them here.
Do remember that this is not an exhaustive roll-on for last month. It is just an indication of how women are continually winning in the African start-up ecosystem.
- Lucy Hoffman, one co-founder of Carry1st, the Cape Town–based start-up founded in 2018, raised $27M Pre-Series B. Carry1st develops and publishes enriching social games and interactive content apps across Africa. The company’s platform also allows users to pay for digital content using digital wallets and credit cards.
- Cynthia Wandia secured a $3M seed extension and signed an exclusive digital solutions distribution agreement with the Kenya Union of Savings & Credit Cooperatives (Kuscco), the national umbrella body representing Saccos to reach over 4,000 credit unions. She is the co-founder of Kwara, a FinTech turning credit unions into banks.
- Miishe Addy landed $13M Pre-Series A in debt and equity as co-founder of Jetstream Africa, a Ghanaian e-logistics company for cross-border trade providing technology-enabled freight forwarding, trade financing, and cargo tracking tools for African businesses.
- Daisy Isiaho, co-founder of Zuri Health and another Kenyan start-up providing affordable and accessible healthcare solutions, raised an undisclosed amount of funding. It is creating an all-inclusive service that caters for all individuals with a mobile device, regardless of their location, health history and social status.
- Jessica Boonstra secured $4.5M Pre-Series A. She is the co-founder of Yebo Fresh, an online shopping service platform that brings the power of e-commerce to South Africa’s Township Businesses. It currently operates in over 25 major townships across greater Cape Town.
Congratulations to all these incredible women (and more) who are consciously and unconsciously paving the way for others to follow in their footsteps.
In other related, gender news,
- Google for Startups Africa launched a Women Founders Africa Programme, and applications close on 20 Feb. 2023.
- Mastercard Foundation backed Aruwa Capital Management. Aruwa is a $20M-growth, equity fund with eight portfolio companies. Founded/co-founded by women, its average deal size is $1,5M.
Related: 5 Female Founders Inspiring the Next Generation of Females
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