Note #14: June 18 - 30 2017
Context and Thoughts
On the back of the Civic [US] recent (very) successful $33mm well-planned ICO (Initial Coin Offering), i have to wonder: is the ICO a future option for African tech startups to effectively fundraise from global markets without fighting with currency controls and exchange controls? I would love to see someone execute an African startup ICO with the same level (or higher!) of quality and transparency as Civic’s recent ICO.
Terms were finally disclosed on this month’s Tizeti [NG] funding round, where they raised $2.1mm to support continued growth of their Nigerian tower network, with a long-term goal of expanding their tower network across Sub-Saharan Africa. Another example of how post-Y Combinator startups are successful at raising larger grounds including investors from outside of Africa.
Finally, looking at the growth of mobile subscribers in Africa, the June 2017 Ericsson Mobility Report states that Nigeria added 9mm new mobile subscribers in Q1 2017, making it the fastest growing country in Africa, with a total of 985 million mobile subscribers on the continent. Looks like Africa will hit 1b mobile subscribers by the end of 2017… go Africa!
Industry and Ecosystem News
Microsoft gives Affordable Access Initiative grants to Kukua Weather Services (UG), Solaris Offgrid (TZ), Standard Microgrid (ZM), SunCulture (KE), VisionNet (CD) and WrightGrid (CD)
TLcom Capital [UK] raises $40mm for its TIDE Africa Fund, focused on Sub-Saharan Africa startups (ticket size ranges from $500k to $10mm)
Digital Financial Services (DFS) Lab invests $250k in fintech startups focused on Africa: Inclusive [GH], Pezesha [KE], Pula [KE], Teller [US]
Singularity University [US] coming to Johannesburg for its first Africa visit to run its SingularityU Summit on Aug 23 & 24
LTE-A expansion continues in South Africa, with MWEB [ZA] launching LTE-A products via Rain’s LTE-A network
Deals, Startups, and More
Accounting and legal business management SaaS startup Drive Revenue [ZA] raises $775k funding round from HAVAÍC [ZA]
Domestly [ZA] raises funding round from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) (terms undisclosed)
YC-funded African media network OMG Digital [GH] raised $1.1mm funding from int’l investors
Indie game studio Polysmart [TN] raised $600k from CDC Gestion [TN]
WhereIsMyTransport [ZA] raises an additional $810k from Goodwell Investments [NL] and Bomardier [CA]
Mastercard announces partnership w/ NetPlus [NG] to developer Nigerian ecommerce payment solution
Advertising technology startup Xineoh [ZA] raises $2mm from US and Canadian investors