Here’s how Q2 2023 started across Africa’s tech ecosystem.

Roughly 20 equity fundraises were announced in April, totaling ~$86M in disclosed funding, according to Afridigest’s weekly tracking. (This excludes mega-rounds from now-global companies Zipline and TerraPay, despite their origins in Africa.)

Some highlights:

  • Fintech remained the dominant sector, accounting for 40% of deals and just under 50% of funding raised in the month.
  • In terms of region, Nigeria led the way in terms of deal count, accounting for six of the twenty deals announced in the month (30%), but South Africa’s four deals accounted for 50% of the funding figure. Notably, however, no equity deals were announced in Egypt in April.
  • With Egypt missing, one might expect the historical dominance of NEKS (Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa) countries to have been tested in April, but three countries — South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria — accounted for 96% of the disclosed equity funding and 13 out of the 20 deals (65%).

Here’s a look at the deals announced in April across Africa’s tech ecosystem.

*Note: Techstars provides $0.02M upfront, as well as an optional $0.1M convertible note. For tracking purposes, we assume startups participating in Techstars accelerators elect to take the convertible note investment, but this may not be the case for all startups.

In addition to the equity funding rounds above, there are three trends worth watching: an uptick in M&A, the continued impact of the market downturn on African startups, and the rise in dry powder across the ecosystem.

Relative to M&A, there were a number of interesting acquisitions in April:

  • Nigerian automotive solutions provider & marketplace Autochek continued its acquisition spree as it purchased a majority stake in Egyptian used car marketplace AutoTager.
  • Identity verification & digital KYC platform Smile Identity acquired its Ghanaian counterpart Appruve.
  • Sun King, an American/pan-African provider of off-grid solar energy products, acquired pay-as-you-go smart meter provider PayGo Energy.
  • And Ghanaian savings-focused digital bank BezoMoney acquired Ghanaian microfinance provider Tiger Force Micro Finance.

Aside from acquisitions, some startups faced challenges:

On the plus side, however, monied investors continued to bet on the ecosystem’s long-term potential:

  • New sub-Saharan Africa-focused climate-tech VC firm Equator announced the first close of its first fund with $40M in commitments.
  • Nairobi and Lagos-based VC firm Novastar Ventures secured a $25M investment into a new Africa People + Planet Fund that’s said to have a +$200M target.
  • And Capria Ventures, an American firm whose portfolio includes Nigeria’s and Egypt’s Paymob, announced the first close of a $100M fund focused on tech startups across Africa and other areas of the Global South.

By Emeka Ajene

Based in Lagos, Nigeria, Emeka is the Founder & Publisher of Afridigest and leads Africreate, a strategic advisory firm that helps global senior executives, corporates, and investors take advantage of opportunities in African markets. He also connects global capital to promising Africa Tech investment opportunities via investment firm Africapital. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.