With the constant drive for evolving innovative products and large market potential, Nigerian startups have in the last couple of years continued to attract unprecedented funding from top investors across the world.
According to a report by Briter Bridges, a market intelligence and research firm, Startups in Nigeria and other African countries raised $5.4 billion in 2022.
The report revealed that among the countries in the continent, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and Egypt continue to dominate fundraises as they captured the “lion’s share” of investment distribution.
On the category of startups having dominance of the funding marketing on the continent, the report named Fintechs which “have averaged between 40 per cent and 60 per cent of deals over the last five years.”
According to StartupBlink’s ranking of Africa’s top tech ecosystems in its Global Startup Ecosystem Index, 2022, Nigeria boasts of one of the continent’s fastest-growing startup ecosystems. The massive inflow of funding means investors see a booming tech ecosystem and a large market.
Despite global headwinds the country reportedly saw a total of $1.2 billion injected by investors in the startups in 2022, a slight decrease from the $1.4 billion recorded in 2021. The services of the startups, cut across financials, logistics, e-commerce, healthcare and agriculture among others.
In this article, we will highlight the top 10 most Funded Nigerian startups so far in 2023.
1. OPay – ₦570 million
OPay, a fintech platform owned by Norwegian multinational technology company, Opera, is focused on deepening financial inclusion through technology. It is a mobile platform for payments, transfers, loans, savings and other essential services for every customers. According to information on the website, “OPay boasts of over 35 million registered app users and 500,000 agents in Nigeria who rely on the OPay’s services to send and receive money, pay bills and many more.”
The company’s latest round of fundraise was in August 2021 when it raised $400 million led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The funding brought the company a $2 billion valuation.
Prior to that, OPay had announced funding in 2019- the $50 million in June and a $120 million Series B in November.
The one of August 2021 is the largest so far.
2. Flutterwave – $475 million
Flutterwave is a Nigerian fintech company that provides a payment system for global merchants and payment service providers across Africa. The entry of the company has no doubt caused a quantum leap in terms of transformation of the fintech ecosystem not only in Nigeria but across the continent of Africa.
Recently, CEO and Co-founder of the Pan-African company, Agboola Olugbenga, announced that it has successfully established a partnership with the Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI), one of India’s largest banks, to provide its payment services to Indian businesses.
Agboola said: “Flutterwave will be the first African company to do this at scale where remittances from India to Africa become seamless and quick.”
Since its founding in 2016, Flutterwave has rapidly expanded and now has a presence in about 30 African countries.
Based in Lagos and San Francisco, the fintech company has led funding rounds and now has a total of $475 million.
Its latest fundraise was in February 2022 when it obtained capital for a value of $250 million U.S. dollars during a Series D funding round. This funding round which was led by investors including Facebook Inc co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s venture capital firm B Capital Group and Boston-based hedge fund Whale Rock Capital Management, tripled the Flutterwave’s valuation to $3 billion.
In March 2021, the startup raised $170 million in a Series C funding round from Tiger Global and Avenir at a valuation of $1 billion.
It raised a $35 million Series B in 2020 and a $20 million Series A in 2018.
The startup had raised capital for the first time in January 2016, when it secured $75,000 U.S. dollars through an accelerator program.
With its current valuation, ($3 billion) Flutterwave is the highest valued African startup, surpassing that of OPay which is $2 billion.
3. Andela – $381 million
Founded in May 2014 with its headquarters in New York, United States, Andela is a global job placement network for software developers. The company promotes remote work by championing engineering talent outsourcing globally.
In September 2021, Andela secured $200 million at a $1.5 billion valuation in a Series E funding round led by Softbank Vision Fund 2, the venture capital arm of Japanese conglomerate – SoftBank. This brought the technical remote company’s total funding raise to $381 million.
In 2017, Andela secured $40 million in Series C funding led by pan-African venture firm CRE Venture Capital with participation from DBL Partners, Amplo, Salesforce Ventures, and Africa-focused TLcom Capital.
Earlier in 2016 (two years after its launch), Andela got a $24 million funding, led by Facebook’s boss, Mark Zuckerberg.
It also raised $100 million in Series D in 2019.
4. Moove – $335 million
Moove, the African automobiles financing startup recently secured $76 million raised in funding round led by Mubadala Investment firm, an Abu Dhabi investment group. In 2022, Moove raised $10 million in February, $105 million in March, $20 million in debt funding in June, $18.3 million, in October, and $30 million in debt funding in December.
Launched in 2020 by Ladi Delano and Jide Odunsi, Moove with this latest funding, is valued at $550 million.
5. Lumos Global – $125 million
Lumos Global, a Nigerian off-Grid Solar Company, has raised a total of $125 million with its latest round being a $25 million financing from the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to grow its existing market for clean solar in Nigeria.
Founded in 2012, the company had also raised $90 million in 2016. This included $50 million debt and $40 million in equity. The investors are Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Pembani Remgra Infrastructure Managers, VLTCM and ICV.
6. TradeDepot – $123 million
TradeDepot is a B2B Nigeria’s e-commerce startup, linking local brands with International ones.
It has raised a total of $123 million in funding with its latest round of $110 million series B announced in December 2021.
TradeDepot raised $10 million to grow its business into a financial services company and credit offerings for retailers. It had also raised a $3 million investment in 2018.
7. Kuda Bank – $91 million
Kuda Bank, the London-based, Nigerian-operating startup is rendering digital banking services.
Founded in 2019, the digital bank has raised a total of $91.6 million. Its latest $55 million Series B round was announced in August 2021.
It had in March of the same year, announced that it raised $25 million in a Series A round led by Valar Ventures.
In November 2020, Kuda had also announced a funding round of $10 million led by Target Global.
8. Konga – $79.5 million
One of the popular Nigeria’s e-commerce platform founded in July 2012, Konga, has a funding history of around $79.5 million. This includes its latest funding of around $41 million Series C round led by Naspers in 2015.
The company was acquired by Zinox in 2018.
It had earlier raised $25 million in Series B, in 2014; a $10 million Series A in 2013 and a $3.5 million Seed round in 2012, all led by Kinnevik AB with participation from Naspers.
9. ThriveAgric -$65.4 million
ThriveAgric, an agricultural technology company in Nigeria, focused on ensuring food security and empowering smallholder farmers, has raised a total of $65.4 million.
It is said to be the most funded startup in Nigeria’s agricultural sector. Its latest funding round was $56.4 million in debt financing from commercial banks and investors, announced in March 2023.
10. Moniepoint – $55.5 million
Moniepoint (formerly TeamApt Inc), a fintech company founded in 2015 by Nigerian entrepreneurs, Tosin Eniolorunda and Felix Ike, leverages technology solutions to drive financial inclusion, especially among underserved customers and businesses in emerging and frontier markets.
The company announced its biggest funding of more than $50 million in 2022 to grow its credit offerings in Africa’s biggest economy.
With Nigeria having the startups attracting the highest funding in the continent, the trend would likely continue, if investors continue to see positive signs of return in their investments in the firms. Just the existing ones are continuously increasing their valuation, more are also springing up.