April’s Biggest African Tech Moves

Several important steps were taken in the African tech ecosystem in April.

From MTN’s PSB license approval and Airtel’s super-agent license in Nigeria, to Sun King’s $260m fundraising in Kenya and CAR’s adoption of crypto Here are the 10 biggest tech moves in April.

In April, startups across the continent raised $413,143,000 over 38 fully disclosed* offers.

This means April ranks lowest in terms of funding announcements, 41% (~$296M) lower than what was announced in March and 34% (~$216M) lower than February announcement.

By sector, the first 3 sectors are energy-tech, fintech and logistics. Energy leads with $289,800,000 (70.1%); fintech with $53,500,000 (12.9%); and logistics with $34,000,000 (8.2%).

By region, East Africa leads with increases announced in April 2021, with Sun King’s $260 million Series D increase leading the 4 increases announced. West Africa comes second with $90.5 million pledged across 18 funding deals. North Africa is next with startups from Egypt and Morocco announcing a combined total raised of $39.3 million across 11 deals.

The top 5 leaked deals of the month are:

  • Sun King’s $260 million Series D fundraising to expand in Africa and Asia.
  • Nigerian logistics start-up Sabi’s $20m funding round.
  • $19 million seed round from Egyptian energy technology company Pylon.
  • Umba’s $15 million seed round to expand its digital bank into new markets.
  • Ghanaian agritech Farmerline’s $12.9m pre-Series A round.

*Note: This data only includes funding deals announced in April 2022. Increases are often announced later than when deals are actually closed.

These figures exclude the Bboxx/PEG Africa acquisition agreement, the figures of which remain to be confirmed. It also excludes estimated grants from accelerators like Techstars or Y-Combinator.

This month, a slew of good news arrived for the mobile money sector in Anglophone and Francophone West Africa.

Nigerian telecom arms MTN and Airtel have made significant strides in accelerating the adoption of mobile money in the country.

First, MTN received final approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to operate a payment services bank in the country.

A few weeks later, Airtel secured a super-agent license from CBN that will allow it to recruit agents for agency banking and provide essential financial services to customers through a third-party agent network for the financial institutions account.

Meanwhile, in Senegal, fintech unicorn Wave has secured an e-money license from the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) to expand its mobile money services in the country.

Africa’s most popular startup, Flutterwave, faced a series of heavy charges in March.

Following an article by journalist David Hundeyin, the co-founder and CEO of F Olugbenga Agboola has been charged with insider trading, fraud and sexual harassment.

Agboola, as well as former CEO Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, also mentioned in the article, also responded to some of the allegations.

In March, Google’s undersea Internet cable landed in Togo.

Following this announcement, the 12,000+km cable meandered to Lagos, Nigeria in April, then to Namibia, Saint Helena – a British territorial island west of Angola – and finally Africa from South.

The cable is part of Google’s billion-dollar plan to provide affordable internet access in Africa by building global infrastructure to help bring faster internet to more people and lower connectivity costs.

In April, the Central African Republic (CAR) became the first African country to adopt bitcoin – and all other forms of cryptocurrency – as legal tender.

It is also the second country in the world, after El Salvador, to take this measure.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has fined 3 of the country’s commercial banks for flouting a cryptocurrency trading restriction imposed a year ago.

The 3 banks – Stanbic IBTC, Access Bank and United Bank for Africa (UBA) – were fined a total of ₦800m (~$1.9m) for operating accounts used for trading in crypto.

This is the most recent development of the current crypto trading restriction in Nigeria.

Twitter may not be an African company, but everyone has business there.

In April, the billionaire and CEO of Tesla bought Twitter for $44 billion.

There is a not-so-funny story behind Elon’s takeover, however.

First, Musk got an individual majority stake in Twitter, then he got an invitation to join the board, which he declined after realizing he couldn’t own Twitter if he accepted the offer. ‘offer.

Musk has also been sued by other investors for failing to disclose his holdings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). After the decline, Musk also offered to buy all of Twitter’s stock in a veiled threat that could have sent Twitter’s stock prices crashing. Twitter in turn adopted a poison pill before succumbing to Musk’s charm offer.

Many good things await Kenya. The country announcement a digital 10-year plan in April.

E-commerce giant Amazon has also announced the launch of an Amazon Web Services local zone in the country.

Visa has opened its first Africa innovation studio in Nairobi and Google has announced plans to launch its first product development center on the continent in the capital as well.

A year after launching its operations in South Africa, the Chinese ride-hailing giant, Didi Chixung, has ended its operations in South Africa.

The ride-sharing company has faced fierce competition from Bolt and Uber, and its expansion has also been married to South Africa’s third wave of COVID, which has prompted another lockdown.

Global Product Manager Ebi Atawodi has taken yet another important step.

Last year, Atawodi announced her move from her position as Head of Products, Payments and Financial Products at Uber to Netflix, where she served as Director of Products, Payments MEA.

In April, Atwodi took yet another important step. After a year at Netflix, she joined Google where she now serves as Director of Product Management for YouTube Studio.

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