Nigerian Startups Emerge Tech Investors’ Bride — Leadership Newspaper

In the last one month, Nigerian technology startups have become the brides sought after by global investors seeking early stage companies that are viable commercially and have quick profit returns in the emerging markets as they have raised $34 million (N3.6 billion).

Startups like Mines, Tizeti and Paga have attracted millions of dollars in investments into the country. In early August, Nigerian fintech startup, Mines closed a Series A round of $13 million to continue growth in Africa, expand to South America and South-East Asia.

The Series A funding round was led by The Rise Fund, a global fund managed by TPG Growth. TPG Growth partnered with Mines to drive financial access across the world. Mines, the fintech startup re-inventing credit in emerging markets also plans to use part of the investment for talent acquisition.

A fortnight ago, Paystack, another Nigerian payments startup raised $8 million series A from a couple of new and existing investors. The funding has come from China’s Tencent, Stripe (which Paystack is cloning), VISA as well as Y Combinator. Both Tencent and YC are some of the existing investors in the startup. This investment brings Paystack’s total investment raised to date to at least $10 million.

Last week, two key announcements took place. Tizeti, a Nigerian internet service provider (ISP) start-up closed a Series A round investment of $3 million which would be used to build more solar-powered towers in Nigeria as well as expand unlimited internet services to Ghana.

The company which operates widely as a “Comcast for Africa”, builds and operates solar-powered towers in Nigeria, while also providing residences, businesses, events and conferences with unlimited high speed broadband internet access, covering over 70 per cent of Lagos.

The new capital injection was led by 4DX Ventures with participation from existing investors Y Combinator Continuity, Lynett Capital, Social Capital, Western Technology Investment, Friale and Golden Palm Investments. This follows on from the company’s seed investment of $2.1 million in 2017.

Tizeti will use this investment to expand operations outside of Nigeria, and will launch a new consumer-facing brand Wifi.Africa later this year, starting with neighbouring West African country, Ghana.

The company will also make additional investments in operations, product development and overall customer experience, with a view toward growing profitability exponentially.

This was followed by Paga, a Nigeria based mobile payment company, who announced a $10 million Series B2. Paga is looking to channel the funding towards global expansion with Ethiopia, Mexico, and the Philippines is on top of the radar. Additionally, they are looking to continue with product development

The round was led by Global Innovation Partners – which will take a board seat – with participation from Unreasonable Capital as well as existing investors; Goodwell Investments, Adlevo Capital and Omidyar Network.

Founded in 2009 by Tayo Oviosu (CEO) and Jay Alabraba (Director Business Development), Paga has over nine million customers and 17,000 agents across Nigeria. This recent round brings Paga’s total amount of funding raised to date to at least $35 million. In October 2015, the company closed a $15 million Series B in a round led by Adlevo Capital, with participation from Goodwell Investments, Omidyar Network and Capricon Investment group.

In May, Nigerian based Lidya in May 2018 received a Series A $6.9 million funding from Omidyar Network. The Africa-focused fintech platform working to ease access to finance for SMEs across Africa. Also, in May, Cellulant which operates in Kenya and Nigeria raised a total of $54.5 million in funding over 3 rounds.

Earlier in February, SureRemit, a Nigerian blockchain startup, raised $7 million to develop its non-cash remittance platform. The company was founded in 2014 by Adeoye Ojo primarily as an ecosystem for global non-cash remittances, with headquarters in San Francisco Bay.

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