African tech in 2017 was about a normalization of marketplace events mostly absent even a decade ago. There were acquisitions, mixed investment rounds, lots of expansion, large vital partnerships and some warn failures.
Africa is quick apropos home to a energetic tech sector. Here’s a image of a news that made that transition over a final year.
Andela’s $40 million VC raise in Oct was one of a continent’s many notable. The technology training and pursuit chain organisation perceived Series C appropriation from CRE Venture Capital, DBL Partners, a Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Salesforce Ventures, among others.
Andela pronounced it would use a supports for continued expansion. The coding accelerator noted 3 years in May by adding a Uganda office to locations in New York, Nigeria and Kenya.
New investment also helped changed Africa’s startup bang into a used autos space. In May, Nigeria-based Cars45.com raised a $5 million Series A turn from the Frontier Cars Group to improved bond used-car sellers to digital cost quotes, first-time online use histories and offers.
2017 fintech appropriation went to Nigerian startups Flutterwave ($10 million) and Lidya ($1.25 million). In digital solar, Kenya’s PayGo Energy raised $1.4 million.
Agtech startup Farmcrowdy received $1 million from investors including Techstars Ventures and Cox Enterprises to move Nigerian farmers online.
In April, South African media and record giant Naspers made a $70 million (majority stake) investment in Cape Town-based e-commerce association Takealot.
South African digital cleaning startup Sweep South concluded a Series A Round corroborated by, among others, DJ Black Coffee.
Several new African tech appropriation initiatives emerged in 2017. GSMA’s Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund made 7 of a initial 9 tellurian investments in African startups.
Lagos, London and Nairobi-based TLcom Capital lifted $40 million for a new growth-stage Tide Africa Fund. In April, The World Bank launched its XL Africa accelerator to support Sub-Saharan African startups with business mentoring and adult to $1.5 million in early-stage capital.
In October, U.S.-based private equity organisation TPG Growth raised $2 billion for The Rise Fund, founded by TPG CEO Bill McGlashan with Bono’s support.
In maybe a pointer of things to come, Africa also purebred some poignant external tech investment. In September, Naspers added $795 million to a land in Berlin-based food smoothness association Delivery Hero.
Products, Partnerships, Expansion
African tech saw a array new products and platforms launch in 2017. In January, MasterCard’s 2Kuze — an agtech app joining small-plot farmers to markets, payments and logistics services — went live in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
Africa’s initial unicorn, e-commerce venture Jumia, introduced an SME lending program. Safaricom ― Kenya’s largest telecom and M-Pesa mobile income provider ― went live with a Masoko e-commerce height in November.
Earlier in March, Kenyan communications hardware company BRCK unveiled a SupaBRCK — a waterproof, solar-powered Wi-Fi box that operates as a 3G hotspot and off-grid server.
Africa also purebred on a blockchain bandwagon. Earlier this month, 500 Startups-backed SureRemit launched a crypto token product directed during disrupting Africa’s multi-billion-dollar remittance market.
On enlargement and partnerships, Facebook was really active on a continent in 2017. FB announced a Africa Bots for Messenger Challenge in February, minute skeleton to boost free Wi-Fi on a continent in Apr and teamed adult with MainOne and Tizeti Network to urge Nigeria’s net connectivity in November. The association partnered with TechCrunch in Oct for a debut Startup Battlefield Africa and with CcHub to launch Nigeria’s NG_Hub accelerator.
Other large Silicon Valley names also purebred in Africa in 2017. Microsoft announced a opening of Cloud Form information centers in May and a partnership with Liquid Telecom in Aug to accelerate cloud adoption in Africa.
Off of CEO Sundar Pichai’s Jul Nigeria trip, Google announced plans to sight 10 million Africans in digital skills, boost appropriation to African startups and yield $20 million in grants to digital non-profits and mutated versions of products (such as YouTube) in Africa. Google for Entrepreneurs also upheld CcHub’s European PitchDrive tour in August.
The same month, eBay stretched a partnership with MallforAfrica.com to concede African vendors to sell things directly to American online consumers.
On accelerators and ability building, 500 Startups brought its frontier and rising markets transport array ― Geeks on a Plane ― to Africa for a initial time in March. Airbus hold a initial BizLab representation event in Nairobi targeting African startups regulating UAVs, 3D printing, intelligent sensors and IoT. The MEST incubator got a new CEO, Aaron Fu, and scaled a participation to embody programs in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Cote d’Ivoire.
And in October, Safaricom launched its Safaricom Alpha innovation core in Nairobi, with a idea of leveraging a company’s blurb amicable network (i.e. M-Pesa) to bond people to new product solutions.
Contraction and shutting adult shop
Of course, no tech zone expands and grows all a time. In September, Y Combinator-backed French denunciation VOD startup Afrostream shuttered, finale subscription services in 29 countries.
In November, Jumia e-commerce aspirant Konga slashed 60 percent of a workforce and finished a compensate on smoothness service, reportedly to cut costs. It’s not transparent if this is a pointer of difficulty or a realignment of business strategy, per Konga founder Sim Shagaya’s Medium post.
Exits and open offerings are still meagre in Africa’s tech landscape. There was a important merger in online genuine estate startup ToLet.com.ng’s purchase of Jumia House Nigeria from e-commerce unicorn Jumia in November. Africa’s most approaching and most behind IPO of fintech organisation Interswitch is approaching in 2019, according to Nigerian tech insiders — who offered TechCrunch perspective on other African ventures with inventory potential.
Tech to power
African tech and politics collided on several occasions in 2017. In September, anti-government protests in Togo, and a use of amicable media to muster them, led to a boss shutting down a internet for several days.
In a tech to energy success story, Cameroon’s #BringBackOurInternet movement — grown by internal IT activists — went global, forcing a country’s supervision to revive connectivity after switching it off in response to demonstrations that started in January.
Revenues and space
Big income news from African tech startups is still elusive, though Paga offering earnest info in August. The Nigerian digital payments organisation reported a first EBITDA certain quarter, after estimate 31 million exchange value some $1.3 billion since inception.
And in July, teams from Nigeria and Ghana launched satellites into space, with a small assistance from SpaceX and NASA — demonstrating a sky was not a extent for Africa’s scientists and techies in 2017.
More Africa-related stories @TechCrunch
- Startup Incubator Nailab Invests $25K in East African Startups
African tech around a ‘net
- How Africa’s Tech Generation Is Changing The Continent — @NationalGeographic
- Africa’s Smartphone Market in Early Stages of Recovery — @BusinessTech
Featured Image: NASA/Bill Ingalls/NASA/Bill Ingalls