Africa's year of Acquisitions? 💰
Tech, Deals, Events and Opportunities 😎
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Morning from San Fransisco!
I got here on Thursday and since arriving I've been most surprised by San Francisco's 'micro-climate.'
In Daly City (where I'm staying) it's a cold foggy morning.
Drive over to Mission District (15 minutes away) and it's nice and sunny.
According to someone at our Friday Happy Hour, Oakland (on the other side of the bridge) is 5-7 degrees warmer than San Francisco.
Coming from Australia anything under 60°F (15°C) is cold, so I might be staying on the wrong side of town.
Anyway - I'm excited to finally announce our first official event!
It's an event for you - the Tech Safari Community - and for founders, investors and operators in African Tech.
The goal? Fill a room with San Francisco's Africa Tech Community, get them connected and having a great time.
The event is brought to you by Chipper Cash at their San Francisco HQ and supported by our partners, Termii, Benue Capital and HoaQ Club.
If you're in town, come along! And if you know any founders or investors in San Francisco, forward this across to them.
Just make sure to RSVP - spots are limited. Cant wait to see some of you in person! 👋🏾
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Africa’s Acquisition Season
In January, I wrote about the end of the 'mega-round’ and the start of 'acquisition season' in Africa.
My bet - African Unicorns are out. Instead, we can expect more startups to get 7-8-9 figure acquisitions rather than going public or raising mega-rounds.
And I was wrong on the first point. Mega-rounds have slowed down. But they aren't over.
MNT-Halan earned unicorn status earlier this year as it raised $200 million.
Notable rounds like Carry1st ($27 million), Lulalend ($35 million), and Smile Identity ($20 million) were raised.
But the second point is becoming true - it is acquisition season in Africa.
In the last fortnight, Smile Identity announced its acquisition of Appruv for ’not more than $20 million’, and Nigerian car marketplace Autocheck Africa acquired a majority stake in AutoTager.
Here are the acquisitions that have been publicly announced since the beginning of the year:
GOTWENTYSIX LIMITED (a Nigerian valet service provider in Nigeria) was acquired by DriveMe Mobility Tech.
Galactech LLC (a Tunisian gaming startup) was acquired by GBarena (an Egyptian E-Sports platform) in a share swap valued at $15 million.
IRNet Coop Kenya was acquired by Kenyan fintech startup Kwara off the back of a $4 million funding round.
InstaDeep Ltd was bought by BioNTech SE for $684 million in Africa's biggest acquisition to date.
Blockfinex (a crypto trading exchange) acquired Fluidcoins, a crypto payments startup.
Andela acquired Qualified, an assessment platform that certifies top engineering talents, adding 3.6 million engineering talents to Andela's global community.
Fin, a South African credit-led neobank, acquired Thuthukani Financial Services a housing finance provider.
FairMoney, (another) credit-led neobank in Nigeria acquired PayForce by FairMoney - a merchant payment provider.
Bloc, a Banking-as-a-Service startup acquired Orchestrate, a payments platform.
Autochek Africa acquired a majority stake in Egypt's AutoTager.
And this week, Smile Identity - Identify Verification scale up - acquired Appruve.
What do you think of Africa's high acquisition activity this year?
Capria Ventures has announced the first close of its $100 million fund. Capria invests in startups in the global south and will be focusing on startups harnessing the potential of generative AI. Notable fund investors include OIP Investment Trust and Gates Ventures.
Telkom FutureMakers, has partnered with venture builder firm Aions Creative Technology to grow local startups. This partnership follows Aions winning ZAR58 million ($3.2 million) of funding.
AltSchool Africa has partnered with Fast Forward Fund and HoaQ to its students to invest in the startup for as low as $500. The round closes on May 15.
Nomadi, a community for African digital workers and nomads, launched publicly after merging with investing syndicate Thrive Africa.
Storspay, a Nigerian platform connecting retail investors to alternative investment opportunities, has raised $320,000 and has been selected to participate in the Techstars NYC accelerator to scale its platform.
Maholla, a South African rewards app that gives users airtime and vouchers for scanning their receipts, has raised a $1.5 million seed round from Buffet Group and Castleton Capital to scale its rewards platform and deepen its technical moat.
Raise, astartup organising ownership data for African companies (and otherwise known as Africa’s Carta) has received funding from Carta - a US-based equity management platform. This a strategic move from both Raise and Carta as they work together to build Africa’s leading equity management platform.
Smile Identity, a KYC compliance and verification partner for African businesses, has acquired Inclusive Innovations, the parent company of Appruve - a Ghanaian developer of identity verification software. The cash-and-stock deal is estimated to be ‘not more than $20 million.’
Events and Opportunities
The African Food Prize is a $100,000 prize for innovators in food security and agriculture in Africa. If you are working on sustainable food security, apply here for the $100,000 prize before June 17.
And that's a wrap for this week! We will be back with a feature story next week.
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