Home / Blockchain / Venture capital, global expansion, blockchain and drones characterize African technology in 2018: TechCrunch

Venture capital, global expansion, blockchain and drones characterize African technology in 2018: TechCrunch

2018 saw the African technology sector become more dynamic and international. The VC firms on the continent have multiplied. There have been numerous rounds of investment. And start-ups have pursued acquisitions and global expansion. Here is a snapshot of the news that shaped African technology in the last year.

Surge in VC funds

A notable trend in 2018 was that the VC landscape in Africa has become more African, with a growing number of investment funds based on the continent and managed by locals, according to Crunchbase data published in this Exclusive TechCrunch.

Based on its database and research on primary sources, Crunchbase has identified 51 vital VC funds focused on Africa globally with at least 7-10 investments in African startups, from seed to series.

Of the 51 funds, 22 (or 43%) were headquartered in Africa and are run by Africans. Of these 22, nine (or 41 percent) were formed in 2016 and nine were Nigerians.

Four of the nine Nigeria-based funds were formed in the last year: Microtraction, Neon Ventures, Beta.Ventures and CcHub's Capital Growth Growth fund.

The Crunchbase study also monitored more Africans in top positions with external funds and the rise of national venture capital weapons.

One of these entities with a corporate venture branch, Naspers, announced a $ 100 million fund called Naspers Foundry to invest in South African technology startups. This was part of a $ 300 million ($ 4.6 billion) commitment by South African media and investment companies to support South Africa's technology sector in general, as reported here at TechCrunch.

Another DFI arrived on the scene when France announced a $ 76 million African startup fund run by the French Development Agency, AFD. TechCrunch has the skinny on how it will work Here.

Investment and expansion

If the investment securities of the African VC were scarce a decade ago, in 2018 we became overwhelmed. This was largely the result of several recently closed African funds – $ 40 million of TLcom, Partec has $ 70 million, The 2 billion TPG – begin to unfold that capital.

In March, the Nigerian Terragon consumer data analysis company $ 5 million raised by TLcom. African African business enterprise software company talking it raised $ 8.6 million in a round led by IFC.

Start of investments Piggybank.ng it closed $ 1.1 million in seed financing and announced a new product: Smart Target, for traditional savings groups. Trucking logistics company Kobo360 has re-launched two rounds, for a total of $ 7.2 million. Twiga Foods, a start-up in the Kenya-based agtech supply chain, raised $ 10 million. B2B retail chain Sokowatch closed a $ 2 million seed round led by 4DX venture.

Starting the loan in white label Mines.io has secured $ 13 million Series A round. South African payment company for SMEs Yoco has raised $ 16 million. Pay Payments added $ 10 million in new funding.

And then there were the three big increases in the year. Kenyan digital payment company Cellulant trailed at $ 37.5 million in a series C round driven by TPG Growth. Start-up of the South African loan Jumo has raised $ 52 million led by Goldman Sachs. And just this month, The Carlyle Group has invested $ 40 million in the online travel site focused on Africa Wakanow.com.

Acquisitions and expansion

In 2018, African technology proved to be able to travel, as numerous digital societies expanded on the continent and abroad. In May, MallforAfrica and DHL launched MarketPlaceAfrica.com, a global e-commerce site for selected African artisans to sell items to buyers in any of the 220 DHL delivery countries.

Pay has announced its intention to expand in Africa and internationally, with a look back on Ethiopia, Mexico and the Philippines, CEO Tayo Oviosu told TechCrunch. Kobo360 is enter new markets – Ghana, Togo and Côte d'Ivoire.

On the back of his $ 52 million round, Jumo said it will expand in Asia and started by opening an office in Singapore.

On the acquisition front, Terragon acquired the Bizense Asian mobile marketing company in a cash and stock agreement. The company is exploring more growth opportunities in Latin America and Southeast Asia, CEO Elo Umeh told TechCrunch.

TPG growth acquired a majority share (of an undisclosed value) in Africa entertainment content company TRACK. After previous investments, Naspers acquired 96% of the South African e-commerce business Takealot.

And in December, Emergent Technology Holdings, based in California acquired the payment company Fintech Ghanese InterpayAfrica.


The collaboration between local technology companies and big global names continued in 2018. Liquid Telecom and Microsoft continue their partnership to offer cloud connectivity services like Microsoft Azure, Dynamics 365 and Office 365 to select startups and hubs. This is part of the Liquid Telecom strategy of going long on African startups as its future customers and the next major companies on the continent.

Facebook has collaborated with the Nigerian technological hub CcHub to launch its NG_Hub high-tech incubator.


While crypto-fever held many important economies in 2018, Africa modeled its own blockchain storyline – one more founded on the utility of speculation. 500 Startups supported SureRemit has launched a cryptographic token product aimed at disrupting the multi-billion dollar remittance market in Africa and raising 7 million dollars in an ICO. South African ventures Wala and the launch of solar energy Solar exchange he also had ICO.

For blockchain as a platform, agtech startup Twiga Foods is Hi tractor collaborated with IBM Research to use digital ledger technology to advance small-scale farmers and agriculture across the continent.

Ride-hail boda bodas

Ride-hail technology has expanded into the market for motorcycling taxis commonly used on the continent. Uber entered the three-wheeler taxi tuk tuk motorbike market in Tanzania in March and Uber and Taxify have launched motorcycle transport services in East Africa, including Kenya and Uganda.


Last year he saw Y Winder with VOD opening with combined support. In February 2018, the start of Nigerian e-commerce Konga – supported by VC – was sold in a distressed acquisition. There were great expectations for Konga and her much-loved founder, Sim Shagaya. I he made the case one The acquisition of Konga was one of the first major startup failures of Africa that flew under the radar.


TechCrunch he took a deep dive into the scene of African drones, speaking with different experts and analyzing emerging use cases among delivery, agtech and detection services. From a regulatory point of view, several countries – Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia and Malawi – are doing some interesting things about the regulation and creation of corridors for drone testing for global players.

TechCrunch and Africa

In 2018 TechCrunch did more business with Africa than any previous year. In addition to more content, there was a journey of engagement on the market in Ghana and Nigeria, with meet-and-greet at Impact Hub, MEST Accra and Lagos and CcHub.

Even TechCrunch had its own first Africa panel on Disrupt SF main stage, a Session in Africa at Disrupt Berlin and held the second Startup Battlefield Africa in December in Nigeria.

Fifteen startups competed in Lagos in front of a pan-African and global crowd. Virtual South African bank launch bettr it was second classified. M-Scan from Uganda, ultra-cheap, was the winner.

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