June 2023: 4 Notable African Start-up Events

The month witnessed funding, layoffs, users increase and a big deal.

It is funny how time flies.

No sooner had 2023 rolled in than half of it had gone by. Now, the last six months of the year are looming. But before tackling what they herald, here are four notable events in June.

West Africa led once again. Last month, African tech start-ups secured $126.2 million from 25 fully disclosed raises.

The numbers show a 70 per cent decrease compared to June 2022 where African start-ups raised $426.2 m. It is also a 79 per cent decrease from May 2023 when the total amount raised was $621.8 m.

Tech start-ups in the West African region took the lead by a mile, responsible for 72 per cent —$89.9 m—of the total disclosed funding. Year-on-year raises by West African start-ups have increased by 13 per cent.

The clean tech start-ups sector took the lead for the first time with 41 per cent of the total amount raised—$52.3 m. Health tech, logistics and FinTech followed with $34.3 m, $11.5 m, and $10.6 m respectively, in raises.

The top five disclosed deals of the month were:

  • Senegalese clean tech, Africa REN’s $35 m syndicated debt raise.
  • Nigerian FinTech, Helium Health’s $30 m Series B raise.
  • South African clean tech, Yellow Africa’s $14 m Series B raise.
  • Nigerian FinTech, Fairmoney’s $5.4 m raise.
  • Kenyan logistics start-up, Peach Cars $5 m seed raise.

Please note, the following are excluded from this data:

  • estimated grants from accelerators
  • combined $4.3 million in grants received by 43 African start-ups
  • the 25 African start-ups that received the Google Black Founders Fund
  • the 12 edtech start-ups from the CcHub-Mastercard Edtech Fellowship
  • the 6 African start-ups from Norrsken Accelerator Batch 2023.

Palmpay crossed 25 million users. The sixth month of the year saw the super app, Palmpay, reach its 25 million users milestone in Nigeria.

The company announced the milestone at the end of the month, noting that it has an extensive network of 500,000 mobile money agents and 300,000 merchants in its payments ecosystem.

More Layoffs: Unfortunately, it has been months and months of layoffs in the African tech ecosystem and June recorded the same; Mara, Chipper Cash, Smile Identity, Eyowo and Twiga pruned their staff. The five African start-ups revealed they had laid off over 238 employees.

Flutterwave signed a five-year deal with Microsoft. In uplifting news, Flutterwave signed a five-year deal with Microsoft. This will see the company build a new generation of payment services on Microsoft Azure, powering payments infrastructure across the African continent. The company also confirmed that it is looking to deepen its presence on the continent as it moves towards an IPO.

On the not-so-inspiring side, the FinTech’s problems in Kenya resurfaced as a Kenyan court froze 45 of its bank accounts and 10 mobile money wallets. The freeze came after 2,468 Nigerians sued Flutterwave for allegedly being the medium through which they were defrauded of Ksh1.6 billion ($12.04 million).

Will it be an interesting rest of the year? We wait to see.

Source: TC Daily

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